Commissioners Lust After Forman’s Salary, Pension


Howard Forman, you’ve got a target on your back.howard forman

At least one county commissioner is quietly exploring a run against you in 2012.  Maybe more than one.

Commissioners want your job and its 800 employees.  They want your shiny new office in the new courthouse they just voted to build you.

Most of all, they want your outsized $162,000 annual salary.  And the pension that will be based on it. 

Forman’s term is up in 2012. He has already said he will probably run again.

Which commissioners are sniffing around?

My lips are sealed.  I’ve made a promise to keep my mouth shut. I promised that would not identify which commissioner may run.

Maybe you can figure it out?

Twelve-year term limits were approved as of November 2000. It appears that commissioners who had three elections since that date must leave in 2012 John Rodstrom, Ilene Lieberman and Josephus Eggelletion.

I can assure you that the lust for Forman’s salary and pension won’t be confined to only those termed out in 2012.

Forman is such an attractive target not only because of his salary and pension.  For the first time in Forman’s career, he is under serious attack.

Earlier this month, Chief Judge Victor Tobin and lawyers publicly complained about delays in getting court records and foot-dragging in the implementation of electronic court document filings. 

Politically ambitious commissioners smell an issue. Commissioners  smell blood.

Two faults in their thinking:  

Outside of the courthouse, nobody cares how legal documents are processed.

And Forman will not go gently into that good night.

He is a beloved by the voters, who have returned him to office repeatedly since he first won a seat on the Hallandale City Commission in 1973.

He moved from Hallandale to the county commission and then to the Florida Senate before becoming clerk in 2000.

He’s never been defeated.

All the voting booth cred that Forman has built won’t stop a commissioner from challenging him.   Those facing term limits have nothing to lose.

Take Lieberman, for instance. 

She won office in 1996 after taking on another Broward political icon –Commissioner Jerry Thompson.

Like Forman, Thompson had an unbroken record of success.

A former bartender and swimming pool salesman he actually sold my family a pool once Thompson won a seat on the Wilton Manors Council in 1964.  He eventually became Wilton Manors mayor and moved on to the county commission in 1974.

In 1996, Lieberman came at Thompson like the Terminator. 

Thompson’s wife was dying and he didn’t want to face a 24/7 re-election challenge from Lieberman.  He stepped down from the commission after 22 years.  

Will Thompson’s history repeat itself for Forman?

Stayed tuned.

10 Responses to “Commissioners Lust After Forman’s Salary, Pension”

  1. Appoint the Clerk says:

    There is absolutely no basis in logic for electing a clerk of the courts. This job should answer to the chief judge since that is the role of the clerk — to keep documents and do paperwork for the courts. A career person with expertise in running that office should be appointed. Same goes for supervisor of elections. Same goes for property appraiser. These should not be political jobs as none of them make any policy, much less partisan policy.

  2. Sheriff Also says:

    The Sheriff should also be an appointed position. Nobody needs an elected sheriff. What we need is the best police chief we can find. Like the other constitutional officers, sheriff should not be based on politics or running campaigns. It should be based on what person we can hire that is best for the job.

  3. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Age discrimination should not be part of this, but it’s time for him to move on and give other people a chance.

  4. But Beth says:

    Beth, I’ve read a lot of your comments here and most are well thought out. Are the county commissioners, all who have been around for years, the ones to replace Howard? Shouldn’t we have new blood? Who?

  5. Who? says:

    Lieberman=ethical quesitons.
    Eggelletion=ethical questions.
    Jacobs=Not up to running the office.
    Wexler=Judy Stern
    Gunzburger=Too Old
    Ritter=Ethical questions.
    Keetchl=Mutual Benefits
    Wasserman= Ethical questions
    Seven have ethical questions, 1 is too old and one couldn’t handle the job.
    You rock, Howard Forman.

  6. One Huge Mess says:

    The clerk’s office has to be the largest, most monumental cluster*%&# which I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
    I suspect, that if I live for thirty more years I will never witness a cluster*%&# as grand.
    Mountains and mountains and mountains and more mountains of paper in the floor, on tables, on desks, next to court files and more court files and more court files.
    Ask any lawyer, judge, or citizen who has to deal with the clerk’s office.
    I the clerk’s office was a private business, Foreman would have been unemployed about six years ago.

  7. JAABlog says:

    We here at Jaab think its time for Forman to go. Judge Tobin inis hisdom has shown the flaws in how that office is run. Judge Tobin has been such a breath of fresh air over the clowns like Ross, Lynch and Spechler. Judge Tobin saw the future and has worked with Jaab in trying to make the Courthouse less corrupt and making information public. No one on the County Commission has the ethics to run the Clerks office. Hopefully Kevin Kulik can run someone for Clerk who is not part of the corrupt cesspool which is the Borwoard Courts/Cloerks office.

    FROM BUDDY: How about the county commission office, which many consider a “corrupt cesspool?”

  8. I.P. Freely says:

    The sheriff needs to be elected. That office has too much power to be taken away from the people.

  9. Hey IP says:

    By your logic every department head in the state and county should be elected also as they hold power and some hold even more power than a sheriff. If the holding of power was the measure of how to organize a government, we’d have chaos. Instead what we rely on is checks and balances. That system seems to work just fine without any need for so many political fiefdoms.

    FROM BUDDY: In my opinion, we should only have an appointed sheriff/public safety director if we have a mayor elected countywide administering Broward.

  10. Bob Adams says:

    Does anyone remember the Clerk’s office ten years ago? Howard Forman dragged it reluctantly into the 21st century! It has been modernized and is far more efficient and responsive since Howard Forman became Clerk! As far as current delays, foreclosures are up several hundred percent; and more than 100 positions have been lost due to budget cuts. It doesn’t tave a math major to realize what the result would be, but the Chief Judge is having trouble figuring it out!