BY BUDDY NEVINS
Former State Rep. Jim Waldman has decided not to run for a seat on the Coconut Creek City Commission.
Waldman instead will concentrate on his job as Keiser University’s general counsel and campaigning for a state Senate seat which opens in 2016.
Browardbeat.com revealed on Dec. 2 that Waldman was considering a return to where his political career began, the city commission.
I will let him explain his reasoning:
Recently, you published an article about the possibility that I would run for the Coconut Creek City Commission while I also pursue a state senate seat. I was truly flattered by all of the calls I received from long time Coconut Creek residents urging me to seek and serve out the remainder of the now vacant city seat and I appreciate the confidence so many have shown in my work ethic, sound judgment and my ability to contribute to forming public policy. I owed it to those constituents to explore the idea; however I knew I would be doing a disservice to my neighbors to serve in a position if I could not devote to it the time it requires.
I have a significant understanding of the major issues facing Coconut Creek (renegotiation of the Seminole Compact; the Wheelabrator/Landfill controversy; the final development plans for Main Street, etc.), but after careful thought, realize that the time demands of my professional responsibilities as the general counsel to Keiser University and the rigorous schedule of my state Senate campaign do not provide me with enough time to also take on the responsibilities of serving the city and doing it well.
It has truly been an honor to represent the citizens of Coconut Creek as a city commissioner, mayor and state representative. During my time on the Coconut Creek City Commission, I had the opportunity to negotiate the compact between Coconut Creek and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Over the years, the agreement has brought millions of dollars into the city’s general revenue fund and has reduced pressure for additional taxes. It has also provided funds to build parks, repair roads and infrastructure, pay for school resource officers and much more. I also helped to shape the city’s master plan and establish a quality of life that other municipalities strive to achieve. I am very proud of what I accomplished as a member of the city commission.
For the past eight years while in Tallahassee, I have also accomplished much for the district and the State of Florida. Against the odds, I am most proud that we passed the cigarette tax bill which I filed and sponsored. The bill increased the cigarette tax by $1 per pack and that increase has led to a significant reduction in teen smoking (as reported in last Saturday’s Sun-Sentinel) and has generated billions of dollars for the State of Florida.
Nearly a year ago, I announced that I am campaigning to represent state Senate district 29 which Senator Jeremy Ring will be leaving in 2016. That remains my focus and will require a great deal of my time and energy outside of my professional responsibilities. I am overwhelmed by the commitments of support I have already received.
I would like to see someone new become a part of the Democratic farm team and step up to serve in Coconut Creek. Some have speculated on the blogs that I would do this just to be in office to enhance my chances of winning the senate election in 2016 but that is not my style and is both disingenuous and disrespectful to the voters.
In the very near future I will share with you and my neighbors which candidate I believe can best dedicate him or herself to the needs of Coconut Creek; has the work ethic to learn the job and the issues; and help to secure and expand the quality of life in Coconut Creek.
Very truly yours,