Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Dear Cooper City Resident,
The purpose of this letter is to sincerely thank you for your recent vote and support in my run for Cooper City Commissioner. In the time up to and preceding the election, I came know many of you very well and in a very short time frame. After you learn more about me, you will know that I am a strong person, a good family man and I fully believe in what I stand for and what I represent.
I was the only one challenging the incumbent along with the entire Commission, and I knew that the core issue was, and remains, accessibility to government. When people feel that their government is not listening, there is often a response from the election booth such as the one last Tuesday.
Tuesday’s victory belongs to the countless numbers of you that voted for the first time, or the first time in a very long while. To the folks from all across the city and county, from all kinds of political perspectives who decided it was time to see your stake in your neighborhoods come to fruition, your friends and neighbors’ dreams and struggles come to fruition, as well as your own. To each one of you who decided to take a chance not on me, but on your own aspirations, I applaud you.
Thanks to you, not only did we win at the polls, we turned a political campaign into a movement for positive change. And we did it against the huge odds, the old fashioned way, by grit, hard work and determination, one person at a time, one neighborhood at a time, one development at a time, reaching out and asking other people to see the connection that you have with them and acting like citizens, not just members of a certain party or movement, but members of a civilized community.
You knew that an outsider wasn't supposed to win without the blessing of the insiders. You knew that a grassroots campaign wasn't supposed to win. But you also knew that that's precisely the kind of politics we had to implement to bring positive change to Cooper City.
You all now know it's time for us all to get serious about our economy, about building successful relationships and businesses large and small, and making good jobs more plentiful across the whole city and that it is just as critical to get serious about economic justice. You know that it's time to get serious about delivering both internal and external quality customer service, and dealing once and for all with escalating taxes, fees and costs.
All of you whom I have corresponded with and spoken to, have shown me a great deal about yourselves and about this great city, which will tremendously help me on the Commission to better serve you. In the face of blistering criticism, personal attacks and accusations, extreme pressure from our elected officials and our city staff, I stayed on course with my message and beliefs, and I stood my ground without resorting to negativity.
I addressed the issues and the attacks with truth and facts, not faltering as to my purpose and as to why I ran for this position of public trust. Despite the rage against me by some in the administration and their supporters, I took the high road, and I intend to move forward, continue to be positive and always do the right thing for all of the people of this city.
It is the sweet harvest of the work of many tireless volunteers, young and old alike, funded by many small contributors from every part of this city and county. Those who lingered on the brink of despair only a short time ago have been brought into this campaign, heart, hand, head and soul, and I have been the beneficiary and have directly witnessed first hand, the most remarkable political process in the history of the world.
We ran a competitive campaign, but even when things got a little heated, I never doubted the sincere commitment to service that each of my supporters and friends brought to this campaign, and that which I have brought to their lives. I welcome their pledge of support and counsel in the coming weeks and in the coming years, and I'm proud to be a member of a group of citizens that counts them both among it's leaders, and I'm happy you're beside me.
My campaign group was an organization that gives dramatic proof to the power of love, and to a faith that can literally move mountains. As Yeats put it, “Count where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say: My glory was I had such friends.”
We are entering a new period of important and hopeful change in Cooper City. In the literature and music of our children we are told, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. And for our city, the time has come at last.
Make no mistake; this election was about whether we want lasting and meaningful change. It wasn’t about spinning our wheels, it was about aiming high. It wasn’t about government by sound bite, gimmick, or slogan; it was about leadership that strives to serve our long-term interests in stronger, healthier, safer and more prosperous communities.
I chose change. I chose hope. I chose to believe in what Cooper City could be if we bring to our local government the talent and idealism and creativity of women and men who are willing to challenge the old ways that have let us down all too often. And I invite everyone in this city to join on this journey. We need the best ideas and the best people from all comers, young, old, blue collar, professionals, Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, to help turn our city around.
Going forward, I too want to be proud of Cooper City and I want to help bring this community together to rise above all of the recent issues. I want to help make Cooper City more than ‘Someplace Special’. Let me know how I can help you to promote the same.
Thank you all for being there with me, from the very beginning and on every single day of this campaign over the few months. I've asked you to see this not as my campaign, but as yours. Not just my chance to be Commissioner, but your chance, our chance to reclaim our civic and political future, and that's why the recent victory is yours. It's all yours. Again, thank you and I truly look forward to working with all of you, and the current administration, in order to bring positive change to Cooper City.
My Inauguration Speech
Madam Mayor, Commissioner Kleiman, Commissioner Roper, Commissioner Mallozzi, City Manager Ferrell, Assistant City Manager Bernard and fellow citizens, Good Evening.
It is my honor to serve as the next District 1 Commissioner for Cooper City.
Tonight I come before you as man, humbled to have been chosen for this task.
The mandate given to Commissioner Mallozzi and myself on March 13th was both shocking and staggering.
But, the campaign is over, the election is complete, and the people have spoken.
And now, tonight, we must close this chapter on our history and begin to craft a new one-------together.
Together as a commission, we must continue to build on the solid foundation laid by our predecessors.
That is going to take unswerving commitment from all of us.
The philosophical differences that have separated us until now must be used to energize us as we go forward.
All of us on this dais bring different strengths, views and methodologies to the job.
That’s good for the City.
To all of you (nodding toward other commissioners), I vow to work along side of each you for the common good of Cooper City.
Together we can move ahead to impact our community in a positive way.
It’s time to bury the past and look with hope and optimism to the future.
Tonight, I also make the commitment to work together with the great organizations in our city.
Organizations such as the Optimist Club, the Davie-Cooper City Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club and the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce, to name just a few.
We cannot and should not ignore the deep and lasting contributions that these organizations, as well as many others have made, and continue to make to our great City.
Their selfless acts of giving back to our community will be felt for generations to come.
Finally, and most importantly, I will work together with our citizens to make our community more than “Someplace Special.”
To those citizens who voted for me, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am honored.
To those of you who didn’t vote for me, I will work hard to earn your respect.
To all of you, I welcome honest dialogue and forthright questions as we work together.
The city belongs to you---the people.
You have let your voice be heard, but this is only a start.
I urge you---continue to let your voices be heard.
Speak out when you have the opportunity.
Take interest in the decisions that are made, and let all of us know your thoughts.
Let’s work together, for there is much to do.
Finally, I would like to thank all of those who labored tirelessly on my campaign.
When things got tough, you still believed in what we were doing, and our vision for the city.
You didn’t waver----you stayed the course.
And tonight I am here---thanks to you.
Now, it is time for all of us to go to work---together!
So to my fellow commissioners and citizens, I ask you to pick up the pen with me.
And let’s begin to write that new chapter together.
The best for Cooper City is yet to come.