Sunrise Mayor Cheered In Tallahassee


Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan had them standing and applauding Wednesday at the Florida Capitoltwice.

In a stem-winding speech supporting public employee unions, Ryan blasted some of the most powerful members of the state Senate.

That’s always risky.  Senators are treated like royalty in Tallahassee.  They don’t often hear speakers attack them vigorously in public, especially a gifted orator like Ryan, a top litigator with a top law firm.

Senators have long memories and Sunrise always needs something from Tallahassee.

But for five minutes Wednesday, Ryan was a hero for his pro-union remarks.  The mayor was cheered by firefighters, police officers and other public employees who packed the audience of the Senate Budget Committee.

Ryan received the Sunrise police and fire fighters endorsement in last year’s election.

In the end, Ryan’s speech couldn’t stop the Republican steamroller. The Budget Committee passed the bill which would curtail payroll deductions for unions by 11-9.

The mayor hopes the committee vote can be reversed when the bill hits the full Senate later this month.

“When it gets to floor vote, I am confident we will not be Wisconsin,” Ryan told me by e-mail.

He also wrote that he didn’t think the speech would harm Sunrise in the future.

Ryan’s five-minute speech first sympathized with senators’ difficult job in a tough budget year.  He then them blasted them for wasting time on irrelevant matters like curtailing union rights.

Referring to the union deduction bill, Ryan said, “Where does it fit in with balancing the budget and saving homes?What are you doing?

He got a standing ovations from the entire audience, many in fire fighters or police uniforms.

When the audience quieted down, Ryan told senators that Sunrise didn’t need their help with its unions.

“We enjoy a positive relationship with our unions because we think they are part of the solution, not part of the problem, Ryan said.


He ended his remarks by admonishing senators to forget about the bill because unions weren’t one of the major problems facing the state.  He told them to “get back to the hard work of finding jobs, protecting education and savings our homes.

More applause. Another standing ovation.

I loved it.  It was great theater and I totally agree with him.

But I have to wonder if Ryan is underestimating the negative impact his stirring speech might have had on the senators.

27 Responses to “Sunrise Mayor Cheered In Tallahassee”

  1. Jimmy Hoffa says:

    Ryan is doing the same thing he complains about which is concentrating on an issue that is immaterial to the City of Sunrise. Union check off provisions are not a concern of Sunrise’s government. The mayor should be worried about stopping the Legislature from cutting off more money. He shouldn’t be acting as a union tool.

  2. I Don't Get It says:

    I can’t think of a good reason to force governments to deduct money from an employee’s salary to pay their union dues. Union membership is a private matter. It is not union busting to require that members pay their bills directly so I don’t see why this is being blown out of proportion. Unions should have more important goals like finding ways to keep their members employed at a time when government can’t afford them.

  3. Sunrise Resident says:

    Did we pay for this junket? I don’t approve.

  4. sunriseoversite says:

    Once again I will stress in my opinion he has shown me he is the voice of his voters. He is not doing this to serve himself but to serve the public even at the risk of pissing some people off. You know chaz he pisses people off to but in the end he got his day you can’t hide from the truth. If you don’t stand up for what you believe in then you don’t stand for anything. Good job to both of you !Very inspiring. Two completely different sides of the world with the same message just do the right thing and in the end all will be good.

  5. sunriseoversite says:

    @ Sunrise resident we probably did pay for this junket and we might have to pay. for many more commissioners have been traveling all over the place fighting for money to keep our programs intact. As a resident myself I don’t aprove of the

    6 million on redoing a golf course that loses a cool million every year how could anyone one of those commissioners vote for something like that. That’s like putting gold on a sinking ship

    And if I have done my math correctly we are going to pay about 200;OOO thousand maybe three to an attorney that was fired/quit. For pool litigation.

    If its a plane ticket for food or hotel money that we are paying for to fight to keep our programs alive I’m all for it. But its the millions and hundreds and thousands of dollars that are being spent here that I have a problem with.

  6. Resident says:

    Seems like Sunrise has a lot of money to spend lobbying for the Union and on everything else too. $5 Million on salary increases, $$$$ for a new city hall, $ to go to Tallahassee to lobby for Unions, and who knows what else.

    Where is the city residents and businesses in all of this that is paying for all of it? That’s what probably Tallahassee is talking about.

    Answer: Why can’t the Legislature just require Union members “collectively” to vote specifically on this matter each year if they want it? Then “collectively” they do it or not. Democracy in action.

  7. vivi says:

    The Mayor is doing a great job for the citizens of Sunrise. He is bringing in new ideas to help recognize the union members. He wants to keep our union members happy!

  8. Resident says:

    I’m glad he wants to keep the Unions happy. They provide a lot of support and money for campaigns.

    However, what about the residents and businesses that pay the taxes to support the Unions?

    Sunrise could significantly cut its tax rate if not for how they spend. Sunrise is one of the higher tax rate cities.

  9. Wal-Mart Greeter says:

    First off you must not be a city resident or business owner. If you were you would know that our City has one the lowest, if not THE lowest millage rates compared to the services it provides to its residents and tax breaks/incentives it provides its businesses. Now, if the residents or businesses choose not to participate in those benefits you can’t admonish the city for providing them.

    Concerning lobbying. The city lobbies on a lot of topics that most would think were irrelevant or unnecassary; however, if you think that lobbying in support of you’re employees is irrelevant, then you are probably a billionaire extremist who doesn’t care about anything else other then his pennies that he can earn on the backs of his employees. If that is the case, then it would explain your stance.

    I would bet you are in favor of the cities being permitted to continue to do payroll deductions for insurance and personal investiments, but for union dues because the unions are using the money politically. Did you ever stop to think of who owns or operates the business that the payroll deductions for insurance and personal investiments? Answer: Billionaire estremists! And I am sure they don’t use that money acquired through payroll deductions for political reasons (I hope you comprehended the sarcasim). Check out the Koch brothers political donations to name one example.

    So, if Mayor Ryan lobbies for his employees or the unions, I say go for it. The city workers and union members are just a mere window into our society, no better or worse then the average American. And average Americans extremely outnumber the billionaire extremists!

    Good Job!

  10. Broward Politico says:

    Mayor Ryan –

    Keep up the good work, Mr Mayor!

  11. PEARL H says:


  12. Sunrise Working Mom says:

    It is about time somebody stood up for the rights of the working people, whether it be Sunrise, the State of Florida, or the United States of America. Hooray for Mike Ryan, a politician for the people. Let’s just hope that what he said and all the applause for it woke up some of the sleeping idiots we have up in Tallahassee. Mayor Ryan, you ROCK!

  13. Sunrise Parent says:

    We’ve had too many like Feren, Wishner and Alu who are out for themselves. Today’s paper about Feren being under investigation is another embarrassment for this city. It is about time we had a mayor who represents us. I applaud Mayor Ryan.

  14. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    Mr. Mayor, you truly are the real deal. I originally thought you were just some activist yelling loudly from the sidelines to hear yourself shout BUT you have brought ol’ Stone Cold over to your side.

    You do have a major issue in your city, though and please heed my warning….don’t ever trust Commissioner Alu, there is always an agenda beyond an agenda underneath and agenda, with EVERYTHING she does or proposes.

    The best thing that could happen for your city is for her to run for County Commission and be off your dias. Whether she wins or loses doesn’t matter, you would be rid of her and her games, mischievious ways.

  15. Resident says:

    Wal-Mart Greeter be careful what you state as facts. See below the some tax rates of cities in Broward County, all lower that Sunrise.

    Also, note that to do this, the City had to use money from its Reserve Fund, so the city is not even collecting the amount of money it needs to run the city. Then it gives out raises and spends money like they have plenty of it.

    Sunrise $6.0543
    Plantation $4.5142
    Coral Springs $4.3559
    Weston $2.0000
    Lauderhill $5.9574
    Davie $4.8124
    Cooper City $5.0479
    Dania Beach $5.9998
    Ft. Lauderdale $4.1193
    Hallandale Beach $5.9000
    Oakland Park $5.7252
    Parkland $4.0198
    Pembroke Pines $5.6880
    SW Ranches $3.9404
    Pompano Beach $4.4077

  16. Alu (Jock) Supporter says:

    Stone Cold is on the MONEY! ALU for COUNTY! Alu for County! Alu for County! But I don’t know if there are enough #$%$ to #%$ at the county level. Oh well, Alu for County! Alu for County!

  17. Dr. Evil says:

    I agree with Stonecold. And for those of you who complain about the cost of a ticket and a meal for doing his job as mayor, which is representing the average american like the Wal-mart greater said, just remember the previous mayor used tax money to go to tally just to see his girl friends and golf with his buddies.

  18. modie says:

    Just another South Florida Dem peeing into the wind. But it feels good while it’s warm.

  19. The Real/Fake Sheila Alu says:


    The REAL (not fake) PEOPLE’S MAYOR!!

    Alu commented on the Stuart article: “I am sure you are not suggesting that only Mayor Ryan represents the residents of Sunrise…”

    SORRY ALU!!! I didn’t post that comment you referred to in your response on the article, but I will add to it. I would not have suggested that Mike Ryan was the only person who represented Sunrise. I would have down right said it. YOU ARE NOT FOR THE PEOPLE!!!! YOU ARE FOR YOURSELF!!! You got elected based on name recognition, sympathy for your ex-husband whom you still hold his name for political reason, and you pretty much ran uncontested! Welcome to reality.

    Mike Ryan – The People’s Politician

  20. Wal-Mart Greeter says:

    Let me quote myself and pay attention to the bold are of what I said:

    “First off you must not be a city resident or business owner. If you were you would know that our City has one the lowest, if not THE lowest millage rates compared to the services it provides…

    Although, I appreciate the research, a little more attention should be paid to what is actually said.

  21. Commissioner Alu says:

    Thank you Mike for taking the time to travel up to Tallahassee and for standing up on behalf of our unions. Great Job!

  22. Resident says:

    Dear Wal Mart Greeter:

    Your additional comment, “if not THE lowest millage rates compared to the services it provides…,” just makes it even more funny.

    Sunrise, at best provide similiar services to all those cities, and in many cases those other cities provide even more.

    As far as city services go, Sunrise is nothing special. I am even hard press to find something that is that unique to Sunrise in the way of city services, not to be confused with private services, i.e., Sawgrass Mills and whatever that place built by the county is called where the Panthers play.

    Oh yeah, for all the money they spend for the Panthers, residents may be able to see a game in the sky box.

    Fact is many of those cities listed provide more and better services, less costs, safer neighborhoods and better schools.

    And yes, I know first hand what services the city provides without any particular beef against the city other than its spending ways.

  23. S only says:

    Finally, someone had the courage to shout from the rafters how horribly petty the legislators are this year. Where are the JOBS? How can Florida attract business when EDUCATION is cut, cut, cut?

    Why don’t the mostly male lawmakers get OUT of female social issues? Why cut union dues out of payroll deductions and not charities? petty petty, petty…ha ha we can do this because we have majorities in both houses.

    When are democrats going to wake up and become activists again???

  24. oooh shelia ? says:

    Do you like unions ? Is it only certain unions? Employee, police, fire? Or is it only selected individuals ? Things that make you hmmm…?

  25. walmart shopper says:

    @ resident Those are great numbers Thank You! for sharing maybe we should ask to lower our taxes. Maybe the city is charging us to much ? I see that you are up on the facts so what do you think of the cities useless spending ?

  26. Resident says:


    Just verifies what I have been writing.

  27. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Oh Sheila Alu tells you job well done there Mayor. I can’t believe Comm. Alu did not travel with you, to take some of the spot lite. Notice she is blogging at 11.00 pm at nite(hit the funny bone last week huh?). I agree with the Mayor. Its ok to take out those damn insurance deductions, but not union dues? Please just another tactic by these elected officals (republicans)up in Tallahasse to get their own way and try any tactic or ploy to alienate certain voter preferences. Play our way, or no way seems to me. Good for you Mayor Ryan.