BY BUDDY NEVINS
The race for Plantation mayor is perhaps the most interesting in the county this March.
It will decide which of three candidates will run the only large city in Broward still managed by an elected mayor.
Plantation has approximately 86,000 residents, with the larger groups being white (78 percent) and black (14 percent).
I asked the candidates to prepare a statement 800 words or less which would explain something about themselves, why they are running for mayor and anything else they want to write about the campaign.
I promised that I would not edit the material.
I must also add that I have not verified any statement by the candidates for truthfulness.
This is an experiment. I’ll see how readers like it and may do it again with other cities and in other elections.
Please have your say in the comments section. Here are their contributions to Browardbeat.com:
DIANE VELTRI BENDEKOVIC
My legal name is Frankie Diane Veltri Bendekovic, however, “Frankie was
dropped when I married. Diane Veltri Bendekovic has appeared on all my legal documents for over 37 years. Decades of “Giving back to our Hometown has been one of the most rewarding chapters in my life, most currently, as your Councilwoman.
Now I have accepted the challenge to run for Mayor of Plantation. I will be a
Mayor with ten years experience on City Council, deep Plantation roots, and an inner core of integrity for effective leadership. I fully understand the importance of quality city services while retaining Plantation’s hometown character. I have the ability to think strategically and execute both long term and short term plans for sustainability. I have been engaged in the budgetary process and have the know-how to manage financial matters. I support a budget which maintains and sustains while always researching avenues to reduce costs.
I am cognizant of daily operational services which need to be funded and the
inter-departmental partnership supporting those services. My thirty-four year career has provided me with management skills, and both the organizational and communicative tools to run Plantation’s daily operations.
My networking ability has proven to be invaluable having served on several
Boards both local and county, local hospitals’ Board of Trustees, and
memberships in many civic organizations.
I have reached out to the residents throughout those years with monthly
attendance at homeowners’ meetings not just at election time, addressing
individual concerns, cementing working relationships, building friendships and bridges to earn their trust.
I have been “a voice on school issues and all my efforts were on behalf of our
Plantation students. My presence at IZONE and School Board meetings was to
stay informed with the happenings which would impact our Plantation schools.
As your Mayor I will support term limits for elective officials so henceforth no Plantation elective official will be entitled to a lifetime pension. One of
my opponents would be eligible to receive a lifetime pension of approximately $59,000. I would not be eligible for a pension nor would I accept one.
My impeccable municipal voting record in Plantation elections shows the
importance of exercising our civic duty whereas one of my opponents hasn’t
voted in a Plantation municipal election in ten years.
I have withstood the onslaught of unfounded allegations which had no
substance and were without any merit. Fortunately, I have inherited a strong
As Plantation’s next mayor, I have the commitment, dedication, and
administrative ability to lead effectively. With the support of Plantation’s residents on Tuesday, March 8th, we can continue working together to make Plantation even better and “the grass even greener.
As Mayor my vision for the City of Plantation is to be a flourishing community blending a successful business environment with residential which embraces our hometown atmosphere. It is paramount to have an economically prosperous city by mixing impending projects with residential while still being mindful of the importance of our community’s integrity. It is my goal to stay cognizant of maintaining a low tax rate, but at the same time implementing a fiscally responsible budget to ensure quality service to our residents.
The City of Plantation budget will continue to be supplemented through
researching competitive contract bidding, comparable municipal fees, cost
saving employees’ fringe benefits, partnerships, franchises, and seeking grants.
As an aging community we need to continue addressing the infrastructure.
Plantation needs to have aesthetically appealing neighborhoods and business
corridors so it is imperative to continue enforcement of codes and procedures.
The exploration of ecological options is essential to having environmentally safe buildings, greener grass in Plantation, and a cost efficient government.
Families are the core to our hometown so it is imperative to maintain Public
Safety and our recreational amenities. We need to showcase and market our
neighborhood schools to attract new homebuyers to our community.
Plantation needs to be a community where generation after generation continues to be the mainstay.
The delicate balancing of economic transition, promoting our business
community, and working with residents will afford Plantation the ability to make the necessary adjustment to a changing municipality, but remain true to its roots.
I am Plantation City Council President Jerry Fadgen. I have been a member of Council for 16 years. And I would like to be your Mayor!
… INSERT TRUTH:
The Truth Squad is unfortunately required…
I have always conducted positive election campaigns. I have always emphasized my positive attributes, skills and knowledge. I have always tried to be professional, courteous, and respectful.
Because this Election is so “important not just to me, but to all the residents of Plantation I am compelled to answer the negative false rumors directed against me in a “whisper campaign designed to create fear among City employees and volunteers. Some of the rumors are flat out false, or comments taken out of context from years ago. These tactics are very demoralizing for those employees and volunteers, and just “another example of poor, poor judgment on the part of my opponent. These tactics will be counterproductive to the principal role of a good Mayor… to motivate all the employees and volunteers to strive for excellence and creativity in their individual activities, for the ultimate benefit of our residents and taxpayers.
The truth is and the facts are contrary to the following rumors:
My principal opponent, on September 23, filed papers as a candidate for Mayor and then told employees in the finance department they would all lose their job if Fadgen was elected Mayor, because he planned to outsource the finance department. False, Fadgen has no intention to privatize.
As Mayor, Fadgen will privatize the Building department. False, Fadgen has no intention to privatize.
As Mayor, Fadgen will privatize the Police Department, bring in the County Sheriff department, and cut 40 police officers from the force. False, Fadgen has no intention to privatize.
As Mayor, Fadgen will privatize the Emergency Medical Services, and bring in the County Sheriff department. False, Fadgen has no intention to privatize.
Perhaps the most bizarre falsehood of all… As Mayor, Fadgen will privatize the Volunteer Fire Department (which saves the City taxpayers millions of dollars each year … it’s a “volunteer department!!!), and bring in the County Sheriff department. False, Fadgen has no intention to privatize.
As Mayor, Fadgen will terminate the current Plantation Acres, garbage bins, and revert back to the blue bag collection method. False, Fadgen firmly believes, you should not try to fix something that is not broken and absolutely no one has complained about!
Please visit my website at www.Fadgen4Mayor.com , to learn about the “real and true issues in this election, as well as more about my background and philosophy.
This election boils down to one very important question, “Who is best qualified to manage the City’s $163 million expenditure budget, and its 950 full and part time employees, based upon a lifetime of relevant professional experience?
I believe Jerry Fadgen, as a certified public accountant for 37 years, in private practice for 22 years, with his 16 years of distinguished service and leadership as a member of City Council… is uniquely qualified… because I am prepared, trained, tested and experienced!
That is the facts and the truth!!!
When I first ran for City Council, I told you I believe in limited, efficient government, and I have consistently adhered to that philosophy. And I always will.
I have the diverse business, government and personal experiences over a 42 year professional career (of “relevant experience) and a lifetime, to be very well prepared for the challenges and other emerging issues that will confront the next Mayor of Plantation.
For 57 years, Plantation’s forefathers have built a solid foundation. Now the City is at a crossroads. I plan to build Plantations future on that foundation. The path into Plantation’s future is in your hands. The wrong decision today could be very costly. My professional life has prepared me well to be Mayor of this great City.
On Tuesday, March 8, 2011- just a few days away – - you have an important decision to make. I believe that I am best qualified and best prepared to be your Mayor, and will work as hard as I can to earn your crucial continued support now, and in the years ahead, as I continue to serve you.
Send me a note with your concerns and ideas to: Jerry@Fadgen4Mayor.com .
I, Warren Meddoff, humbly announced my candidacy for the position of Mayor of the City of Plantation last October because I saw that neither of the two declared candidates is qualified to administer the City’s Government. I did so having witnessed gross fiscal irresponsibility of the cities administration and council, for having raised taxes at a time when one in five homes in the community were being foreclosed, the tax base was rapidly shrinking, and for granting exorbitant pay raises at the time of a severe recession, saddling the city’s future with unsustainable debts.
The position of Mayor is a responsibility that I believe one is prepared for by experience, not osmosis or political photo ops. I believe in triple bottom line accounting, not accounting tricks for the wealthy and political elite. I believe in strong principles of governance, suitable for the 21st century, not the back room dealings of the power elite of last century, where favors were bought with promises, bribes, and kick-backs.
The position of Mayor is not about whom your parents were, or the political party, church, or club you have been a member of. It is about making a commitment to African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, Christians and Jews. All residents of Plantation deserve respect and services and are not to be treated as though they live on a plantation at the whim and control of a few.
I, Warren Meddoff, am the only candidate that has built large businesses from scratch, administered large workforces and made profits while serving the public at large. I know how to attract and run a business. The position of Mayor is about nurturing and assisting these private businesses to prosper, not shaking them down for political donations and support.
The position of Mayor is about rebuilding and maintaining decaying city infrastructures as a priority, before vainly expending funds on extravagances. It is about supplying our police and public safety departments the manpower, the most up-to-date tools and equipment to protect and serve the citizens, before giving special perks and pensions to department heads and elected officials.
I, Warren Meddoff, learned how to manage and administer large organizations as an executive vice president for business development, marketing, and government affairs of public corporations, international corporations, and private companies. I have decades of experience in finance and debt management, having been employed by foreign governments to assist them in sovereign debt consolidation and management. I have planned, managed and developed commercial and residential real estate projects and am conversant in the principles of twenty first century construction and renovation of existing structures in accordance with the standards of the US Green Building Councils internationally recognized LEED certification system. I own and have owned my own businesses, know full well what it is to make a payroll and the tough decisions of hiring and termination.
I have served as the president of a local union and been involved in national contract negotiations. I graduated from one of the most prestigious and difficult US Government Academies, where I was formally trained on how to deal with emergencies, natural disasters, and entrusted with the lives of the public, daily. I am a veteran and have been honored to serve my nation nobly in the US Army, both domestically and on foreign soil. I have served my country as an appointee of a President, a Governor, and a local city.
Our economy is healing. We need a plan to insure that we are prepared for the financial challenges ahead of the runaway pension costs and unfunded repairs to our water and sewer system. Fortunately, by applying careful administration we will not have to cut services; we need only cut out the waste and questionable expenditures in the budget. We need to modernize the method in which compensation is allocated to our employees and to empower them in being a part of the solution to any problems. We need for the City’s government to be streamlined and made more efficient by carefully modernizing its computer systems and energy consumption, replacing in a cost effective manner, the outdated and wasteful methods used today. We need to re-allocate our Parks and Recreation Programs to better serve Senior Citizens and children not living close to current facilities, so that all may benefit from what we have all built. We need to re-organize the method in which our City handles its legal affairs and cast aside the wasteful system of the last century. We need to replace our inefficient hired private city attorney with a cost effective internal legal department.
I have made mistakes and have sinned; as such I have asked God’s forgiveness. I am fully prepared and qualified to work for the citizens of Plantation as their Mayor as the best qualified individual for the job.