Posted Under: Important Issues for Fort Lauderdale,Our Vision for Fort Lauderdale!
The last Chapter of our Vision must to come to fruition if all the other chapters of our Vision are to succeed: You!
YOU need to get more involved!
So many of the issues that we are grappling with today here in Fort Lauderdale cannot be blamed on anyone except us! With State and Federal elections, we have 40% to 80% voter turnout here in Fort Lauderdale. But with city elections, it’s consistently been around only 10%.
That low voter turnout is due to both voter apathy as well as lack of knowledge about the issues. Many of us don’t even realize there is a City election occurring until we see all the yard signs popping up. We are so involved with our day-to-day issues that we don’t seem to have the time to take an hour out of our schedule on election day to cast our vote.
The anemic voter turnout here in Fort Lauderdale has allowed special interest groups and the “Old Guard” to dictate for years how this City is run:
- That’s why our Budget is almost twice as large as other cities our size, and our spending addiction keeps growing!
- That’s why the City employee unions are successful in getting salary raises every year, even though many of those employees have total compensation in excess of $100,000/year!
- That’s why the City’s employee pension plan is on target to bankrupt our City in less than five years.
- That’s why our City’s dwindling Financial Reserves are being raided each year to cover the widening shortfall in revenues.
- That’s why we have almost 1,000 more employees than other cities our size (2,500 vs 1,600).
- That’s why an “Attitude of Entitlement” exists throughout much of our local government.
YOU need to re-assert your authority! The City is supposed to work for you, not the other way around! If this sounds like a “Call to Arms”, it is. Here are the steps you can do to change things for the better here in Fort Lauderdale:
- Mark your calendars: Tuesday January 31, 2012 will be the date for the State Primary. It will also be the primary date to vote for a Fort Lauderdale Mayor and District Commissioners (if more than 2 people are vying for the same seat). There should also be early voting dates established.
- Get an absentee ballot! If you are not sure whether you’ll have the time to vote on election day, get an absentee ballot from the Broward County Supervisor of elections. Call them at 954-357-7055 to obtain one, or go to www.browardsoe.org.
- Get your friends and family members involved! Set a personal goal of educating 5 other Fort Lauderdale residents about the local issues and get them to the polls! Whether these folks are family members, friends or neighbors, if they are qualified to vote in Fort Lauderdale, their voice will be heard if they vote. Whether they vote on election day (or fill out an absentee ballot), they must vote!
- Join your neighborhood Civic Association! Get active in a project that helps your neighborhood.
- Vote on Municipal Election Day! Tuesday March 13 will be the official day to vote for the Mayor and your District Commissioner. This will be your last chance to have an impact on how this city is run in the future.
Know this: If we as residents do not exercise our authority and vote this time, we will see more property tax increases in the fall of 2012, more increases in your water bill, parking fees, late fees and other bills the City charges you.
The Budget will continue to increase, employees will continue to get salary raises and pensions that most of us will never see. You will continue to allow the “Attitude of Entitlement” to foster here in Fort Lauderdale. This must change and YOU are the one who can make that change happen! Don’t waste it by being apathetic; you’ll regret it in the future!