Posted Under: Important Issues for Fort Lauderdale
The Fort Lauderdale Mayor’s race, an exit poll and my analysis.
First, to those of you who supported my Mayoral candidacy with your time, money and effort, I say, “Thank you”! I’ve spent the last few days trying to personally reach each of you who helped us and to let you know how much I appreciate your efforts. And to those of you who voted for me, I am sorry that the results were not what we had hoped for.
We knew going in to this that (with our limited resources) it would be difficult to unseat an incumbent, especially one who is a career politician and has many contacts with deep pockets. We had hoped that our message of reigning in the out-of-control budget would make sense to those concerned about our City’s financial future. Although we did not ultimately succeed, at least we gave the voters an alternative to the status quo and I am happy that I was able to do that.
An interesting aspect after the election was an informal exit poll done outside of a few voting precincts. To those voters who voted for Jack Seiler, a question was asked: “What caused you to vote for Jack?” In almost every instance, the reply was one of three: “I know the family”, or “He’s the current Mayor”, or “I recognize the name”. A follow-on question was posed: “What has the Mayor specifically accomplished in his first three years?” No-one who was asked that question could come up with anything specific!
A final question was then posed: “If you had known that he had increased spending by more than $35 Million and had raided the City’s savings account by more than $25 Million, would you have reconsidered your vote?” The majority said they would have reconsidered.
So it appears that I did not do a good enough job of getting the word out, and I will take the blame for that. And now our City is heading for a major financial calamity unless one of two things happens: 1: Our City’s budget and spending are cut or, 2: Taxes and fees are raised.
I predict that this fall, Jack Seiler will push to have the millage rate (your property taxes) increased. He is already trying to get taxpayers to believe that their millage rate is too low (it’s actually too high).
My hope is that the majority of the Commission will recognize that cuts in the budget need to be made, rather than taxes increased. I also hope that the employee unions “get ahead of this issue” and voluntarily work to tighten their belts and lighten the burden on Fort Lauderdale residents and taxpayers. I am not optimistic that either will happen.
So I will continue to express my opinion on this web site and encourage others to do the same. We need to continue the pressure on our elected officials by sending them emails, calling them and having others do the same.
Over time, if we continue to exert our influence, I am confident that we will eventually prevail.