Posted Under: Important Issues for Fort Lauderdale
Should I run for Mayor of Fort Lauderdale?
I’ve finally made my decision.
(Announcement made on Veteran’s Day: November 11, 2011):
I’ve been asked this question a lot over the last few months, even by our current Mayor: “Well Earl, are you going to run?”
I’ve given it a lot of consideration. Over the last three years (since the last election), I have enjoyed providing you my thoughts about what is really going on at City Hall, criticizing the actions of a number of people there, offering suggestions and thoughts on how things should be different.
I’ve also written a “Vision for Fort Lauderdale” (20 chapters in all) that focuses on what we can do to make our City better, more progressive and less costly in the future. This Vision was written with the input of dozens of people here in our City. That document is meant to be a “starting point” from which we can all contribute and refine the future direction we need to go in.
I’ve ruffled the feathers of many of the “Old Guard” here in the City who don’t want to see any change (or improvement). They like things just as they are. These people are generally the wealthy, the well-connected, and special interest groups. They’ve been running things here for decades.
As most of you know by now, I have been particularly disappointed by our elected officials not facing economic realities and looking for ways to reduce spending. Other cities around our country have been successful in making the necessary (and sometimes painful) cuts to their budgets. Yet our budget has grown from $345 Million to $635 million in just the last 8 years. Almost double in size! We have a spending addiction. Our Mayor, rather than reduce spending, continues to hand out pay raises to City employees, and has been raiding the City’s savings account to cover the higher costs.
This cannot continue.
I have asked for advice from a number you on whether I should run again. You’ve been very supportive. One person who was affiliated with Jack’s campaign last time has told me: “Jack has given the go-ahead to certain groups that if you decide to run, they should attack you personally. He won’t do it directly, but his supporters (ie: City employee Unions) have been told to go ahead. And it will be vicious, Earl. The funding for this effort will come from sources outside the City.”
I’m a veteran. I’ve served our Country for 20 years in the military and am a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. I volunteered for both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and was in Middle East days after Iraq invaded Kuwait. I’m a small business owner here in Fort Lauderdale and have been successful in my business despite the severe economic downturn. I chose to move here from San Francisco more than 10 years ago because of the quality of life I saw here. I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish so far in my life.
So since today is Veteran’s Day (11-11-11), I think it’s as good a time as any to let you know:
I intend to complete the necessary documents at City Hall in the next few days and file for my candidacy as the next Mayor of Fort Lauderdale.
As Bette Davis said (in the movie All About Eve): “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride”…..