Who Should You Vote For?

     As a former City Commissioner (and a pillar of the community) , people always ask me around election time who I think they should vote for.

                                                 
                                                      pillar     

     Most Fort Lauderdale citizens are just too busy with their own lives to pay close attention – but I do – so here goes!

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     There is a primary on Tuesday, January 31st for two of the Fort Lauderdale Commission seats ( Mayor and District II), because there are 3 candidates (technically) in those races.
 
     Two other seats will be chosen on March 13th, ( District I and District IV), as they only have two contenders, and there is no election in District III as the incumbent was elected unopposed.

         Mayor
     There is really only one reasonable choice for your vote for Mayor – 

                         
                              Jack Seiler


     On your ballot it will say John “P” Jack Seiler, I guess because he’s a Catholic and has to have a bunch of names!

     Seiler has been a refreshing change for Fort Lauderdale. He has brought an adult attitude to the Mayor’s seat. We are no longer portrayed in the national media as some sort of homophobic banana republic, and he and his colleagues are once again running the City, instead of leaving it all to the hired Manager.

     Seiler gets some grief for his “parade” leadership, but I think it’s a good thing. It’s time we begin to think of ourselves as a team, as a great city, something to be proud of – Seiler is helping to make that happen.

                                 
                                               parades YEA !

     This is not to say that Seiler has finished all of his tasks. There are real concerns with the big increase in burglaries in the City, and a strong return to Community Policing should be led from the Mayor’s seat.

     Also,  the homeless and vagrant problems have not been successfully dealt with, and the tortured decisions about redoing the International Swimming Hall of Fame has not resulted in a plan the citizens like.

     We don’t have a future vision, as the process has been marked by infighting and stagnation. While not the Mayor’s fault, he is the Mayor!
            
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     Seiler has one real opponent and one fake opponent.

                               
                                      real opponent Rynerson                                             

     
The fake opponent was a put up job by real opponent Earl Rynerson to make sure their was a primary, where Rynerson would have a better chance of getting votes from the more fiscally conservative Republican Presidential Primary voters.

     That “fake opponent” is a real, though shady character named Crimi. From here on, any fake candidate put up to force a primary will just be called a “crimi”!

                         
                              &n
bsp;                a crimi

    
Seiler’s other competitor, Earl Rynerson, is not qualified to be Mayor. But he is more than qualified to keep an eye on the City budget. 


                                     
     Whether you like him or not, Rynerson is right about the City budget exploding from $335 million in 2003, to $635 million today. 

      Seiler and the other incumbents tell half the story about spending. They crow about the “operating budget” being reduced, which is true, but the all funds budget, which is all the money the City Government uses each year, and which is taxpayers money, is twice what is was just a decade ago.

      Nearly all of that increase in the all funds budget happened during the two terms prior to Seiler, ( Naugle), but a $30 million dollar increase has happened on Seiler’s watch, and is a concern.

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     Vote Seiler on Tuesday.
 
     I’ll be back tomorrow to give you my choice for District II.

                               Tim