Democratic Stars Back Sunrise Candidate



What does the head of the Democratic National Committee, a candidate for governor and Broward’s property appraiser have in common?

They are all Democratic heavyweights and they are all hosting a fund raiser for Sunrise City Commission candidate Yomtov “Vivi” Assidon.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich and Property Appraiser Lori Parrish may not be at the campaign event at a west Sunrise pizza joint on Jan. 29.  But their names are the only ones on the invitation for Assidon.

Assidon is one of seven candidates to fill the seat of Sheila Alu, who resigned in December.

Why all those candidates want the job on one of the more historically dysfunctional commissions in Broward is not a mystery?  I’m told the job pays the best of any commission, more than $50,000-plus lavish benefits.  That is supposedly more than bigger cities like Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.

Sunrise voters can judge if they are getting their money’s worth.

On his campaign website, Assidon promises to “opt out from the excessive, costly benefits and expense allowance that Sunrise Commissioners receive, saving residents about $10,000 per year. “  Whatever that really means, it appears to be a step in the right direction.

Assidon was last in the news as a New Orleans Estate resident whose home was destroyed by a tornado Oct. 19, 2011.

He  had just gotten up to get some ice cream from the kitchen while watching TV – “Dancing with the Stars” was his reported choice for the evening.

That ice cream may have saved his life.  While he was out of the room, the storm ripped the roof off his TV room.

He is now living with his wife in another neighborhood of Sunrise.

Assidon moved from Israel many years ago.  He apparently enjoys torture because he has been a regular at the Sunrise city commission meetings.

Interested in politics for many years, Assidon met many big name Democratic pols as a member of the West Broward Democratic Club.

Parrish was introduced to Assidon outside of politics.  He was a vendor at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, when she was an administrator there two decades ago.

She called him “a very nice, kind man.”

Hosting a fund raiser doesn’t necessarily mean endorsing his election, which under law requires the signing of a formal endorsement card.

Parrish told that wasn’t formally endorsing Assidon because it may cause “hurt feelings” among the other candidates.


None of the three politicians on the invitation live in Sunrise.  Wasserman Schultz and Rich live in Weston, while Parrish is a resident of Davie.


13 Responses to “Democratic Stars Back Sunrise Candidate”

  1. John Fusaro says:

    The pile gets deeper. He drops names but doesn’t have the backing that’s an embarrassment and pretty nervy.

  2. BCDevelopment says:

    “nice guy, kind man” does not qualify someone to be an effective public policy maker….does not preclude someone either….local politics are certainly entertaining to watch if nothing else.

    Buddy’s remark on how “historically dysfunctional commissions” are in Sunrise,is filled with contradictions (Mayor Ryan’s arrival has helped to change that- bringing some much needed brain power, leadership skills and the voice of reason to the City Commission

    Sunrise remains one of the most financially sound of Broward’s many litle Kingdoms…Sunrise is also home to the only 20,000 seat arena in Broward… has the largest corporate office park in BC and is the location for the largest most successful mall project in the SE United States…. and going forward, with its remaining large commercical tracts, Sunrise will capture the regions best development opportunities over the next decade as well…all that in spite of its perceived dysfunction at the City Commission level.


    Ryan may have brought some “much needed brain power”, however he is one vote on a five-person commission.

    As far as your comments about Sunrise in the last paragraph, Sunrise is home to the arena. None of the credit can go to the current Sunrise commission or the past one. It belongs to H. Wayne Huizenga and the Broward County Commission, which build the arena and chose the location.

    It does have one of the largest office parks in Broward, but again no credit should be given to the commission. It is Mayor John Lomelo, the original planner of the industrial zone who annexed the land into Sunrise for that purpose a generation ago, and former City Manager Pat Salarno, who nurtured the area and enabled it to grow. The current commission had nothing to do with it.

    As you said, Sunrise will capture the benefits of Lomelo and Salarno’s work despite the dysfunctional commission….or maybe businesses will get sick of commission and go somewhere else. Who knows?

    As far as the fiscal health of Sunrise, I give you the Sun-Sentinel. It only survived it’s budget deficits because it had a large rainy day fund to dip into. Again, I credit Pat Salarno:

    SUNRISE — — It looks like rainy day funds will help fix Sunrise’s $6 million budget hole again this year.

    Sunrise commissioners told employees this week not to worry about pay cuts, layoffs or furloughs.

    Instead, they plan to use more than $3 million of the city’s $52.5 million in emergency reserves to balance next year’s $111 million budget.

    Commissioners also plan to raise the fire fee from $139.50 to $169.50 to raise $1.7 million.

    Another option on the table: Raising garbage rates by $12 a year to raise $750,000…..July 11, 2012

    Commissioners set a preliminary tax rate and fire fee Tuesday night that will cap the final rates they approve later this year. Come September, they can approve a lower rate but can’t go any higher than the rates set this week.

  3. Aviram Assidon says:

    Dear Mr. Nevins,

    On behalf of the Yomtov Vivi Assidon Campaign for Sunrise Commission, thank you for recognizing our campaign in your article on I just wanted to take a moment to correct a few things you had mentioned. You wrote, “He is now living with his wife in a rental near his old destroyed home.” Mr. Assidon is no longer renting and has been living in his home he purchased in Shannon Estates since last year with his wife and two kids. (I changed the reference–Buddy) Regarding the “excessive, costly benefits” that Sunrise Commissioners receive, my dad believes that Mayor Mike Ryan’s recent change to allow commissioners to opt out of the city pension is the right thing to do as part-time elected officials. We commend the Mayor for his leadership on this issue by opting out of the defined benefit plan and expense allowances.Vivi loves this community and wants to serve its residents, not pursue the pension or benefits. Mr. Assidon will also opt out of these allowances and pension plan to save Sunrise about $10,000 per year. Specifically, Sunrise Commissioners receive a car and expense allowance which is about $7,200 per year. He has been a very active resident and attends the meetings regularly without government subsidy. Finally, we are incredibly appreciative of our fundraiser sponsors and thank them for the support that they are providing. We welcome the support from any community leaders. I would like to point out that a completed endorsement by Hon. Nan Rich is posted on our website. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


    Aviram Assidon
    Campaign Manager
    Yomtov Vivi Assidon for Sunrise Commission Group C


    I wonder who Ryan is backing in this race? Hmmmmm.

  4. spectator says:

    The only thing I have to say is to commenter #1 is JOHN WHO?

    The only way Lori Parish would know your name is from your tax role.Probably not even that. Lol!

  5. lms says:


    Your reply to BCDevelopment is somewhat correct, but there’s more to the story. Both Pat Salerno and John Lomello did play significant roles in the development of Sunrise. But Lomello was also a disgraced public offical and convicted felon. His style of governing would never be tolerated today or even survive the new ethics laws. That part of his resume forever tarnishes any good he did in expanding the City’s boundaries.

    Salerno was a strong & successful City Manager by some measures. However, he didn’t single handedly usher in the City’s development boom. He employed a solid team of professionals around him and also benefited from serving during some of the most vibrant & expansive economic periods in modern history.

  6. Diana Suskind says:

    It was the “Voice’ not ‘Dancing with the Stars’ being watched when the tornado hit. The entire roof blew off the Assidon’s home except over the T.V. area. Vivi did not leave the room, just got up to get more Ice Cream and moved to the jetting wall beyond the refrigerator. Wanting a little more Ice Cream at that moment luckily saved his life.

  7. Sunrise resident says:

    Yeah and Vivi made a half million dollars from his insurance company and left his neighbors in peril for a year because be refused to secure the debris from his house. Once he got his money from the insurance company, which was a windfall, he never looked back.

  8. Sunrise Watcher says:

    Ryan and this Vivi guy want to talk about not taking perks. Why aren’t they doing anything about the 26 million dollars it’s costing the taxpayers every year to fund the cops and firefighter’s pensions. Ask Ryan why he’s not doing anything about that!! All is does is talk about national issues, and he doesn’t deal with the issues in his own City. Ryan has depleted all the reserves. Mark my words, he’s going to raise taxes because he won’t stand up against the people who helped get him elected. Time is running out Mayor. You’re about to be out of money. Then what? Are you going to try and tell the residents you need to raise taxes? Be ready for a recall if you do!

  9. The Real Sunrise Watcher says:

    To Sunrise Watcher: Stop watching and start verifying.

    It does NOT cost the 26 million for public pensions.

    How many cities in the county have raised taxes last year?

    What was the last year the City of Sunrise raised its millage?

    What is the City of Sunrise’s millage rate compared to other comparable cities in the county?

    How much is in the City of Sunrise’s reserves?

    When you can come back with those answers I will be impressed. Until then you just appear to be an angry, uninformed,neophytic, mudslinger who has a personal vendetta.

  10. toyman says:

    To john fusaro

    Stop being a hater!!!

  11. sushi sam says:

    Vote Vivi!!

  12. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Vote Pedro!

  13. What Would Reagan Do? says:

    Right on. Wishner lost to Ryan because he publicly stated that he would not guarantee Sunrise Police and Firefighters a fatter contract. That election you couldn’t throw a cat without hitting a firefighter or policeman with a Ryan for Mayor flyer. Ryan is elected and months later the police get a 6% raise (firefighters 4%??)in the worst economy since the depression. Quid Pro Quo? You be the judge.