The Big Shake-Up: Top Broward Pols Retiring





Two of Broward County’s longest serving politicians are retiring and a third is undecided about leaving.

It all takes place in 2016.

That amounts to two years of back room jockeying and quiet campaigning culminating in an expensive election brawl for among the most desirable jobs in local politics.

Here is what’s at stake:

  • Clerk of the Courts Howard Forman told that it is “my intention” to end his more than four decades in elected office in two years.
  • Property Appraiser Lori Parrish told, “I’m through” in 2016.
  • Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said that she will make a decision whether to run again sometime “before” the filing period for the 2016 election.

Two other highly prized positions will not be open in 2016: State Attorney and Public Defender.

State Attorney Michael Satz and Public Defender Howard Finkelstein say they have no intention of retiring.  (See their statements in the comment section below.)

All the jobs are administrative positions paying roughly $200,000 in wages and benefits.

Of the three who are or may leave, Forman has served the longest.

Forman began his career in 1973 on the Hallandale City Commission. He served 12 years on the Broward County Commission (1976-88) and another 12 years in the state Senate (1988-2000) before being elected Clerk in 2000.

The four-term clerk said he does not know who might replace him.

Parrish began her political career on the School Board in 1984. She jumped to the County Commission in 1988, where she quickly became one of the most powerful and influential commissioners in modern times.

She became property appraiser in 2004.

It is widely assumed in political circles that Parrish wants County Commissioner Marty Kiar, a former Democratic state House member from Davie, to replace her. It is two years off and that could change.

Snipes was a retired school administrator of Broward Schools in 2003 when Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her elections’ supervisor.

She held no previous elective office.  However, some would argue that moving from a classroom teacher to area superintendent in the cutthroat school bureaucracy during her decades-long career involved considerable political skills.

Because she has not decided on retirement, Snipes did not talk about a replacement.

There is also some support for making the elections’ chief a non-elected position reporting to the County Manager after Snipes leaves.

The high salary and the relative independence of the three positions probably will draw no shortage of experienced candidates. This includes politicians who have been forced out of their current office because of Term Limits.

Keep tuned.


40 Responses to “The Big Shake-Up: Top Broward Pols Retiring”

  1. canthappensoonenough says:

    Boy it’s a new day in Broward. Out with the old and corrupt, in with the new!!!!
    I never thought I would see the day.

    Let’s make sure that we don’t replace these folks with power mongering pols

    Lets get some real public servants not pols that want to build up their power and then use it to move forward on their PRIVATE agenda

    Let’s not vote for a strong mayor
    Just imagine someone like Parrish running and winning- that would be disastrous

  2. Kevin Tynan says:

    In my view each of these offices should not be elected and we should hire quality professionals to run each one.

  3. Thanks Kevin says:

    I guess if you can’t win an election as local Republicans can not do, than say the position shouldn’t be an elected position.

    I disagree,I don’t think there is a “professional” out there who could have done a better job as Property Appraiser than Lori Parrish.. The taxpayers of this County are going to miss Lori Parrish.

  4. Duke says:

    Lori Parrish does a very good job of cracking down on homestead fraud. But every time a tipster tells the chicken man about another one he always says “Yeah, we knew about that one.” Uh huh. Sure ya did.

  5. The Guess Who says:

    Mike Satz is retiring too.


    Not true. Satz fully intends to run again in 2016.

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Parrish has done a great job of modernizing the Property Appraiser’s website. Talk about “making a difference” – Parrish received a Ford Pinto and is leaving her successor a sleek new Chrysler Town & Country!

    Forman – not so much. Researching court cases on his website is a royal pain. We need another Parrish to go in there and transform the place.


    I agree that Ms. Parrish has modernized the appraiser’s office.

  7. Broward Pulse says:

    I would say the Sheriff should step down too because there is no way he is re-electable in 2016. The heat behind the scenes to get him out is full of power brokers and HOT!!! He has been an embarrassment to Broward County and our Agency.

  8. Notocorruption says:

    I would not consider Dr. Snipes to be any part of the “corrupt old guard” in any way. The lady cleaned up a huge mess left by Miriam Oliphant, the personification of stupidity and arrogance in public office.

  9. janey says:

    It all depends on who you talk to. The Sheriff is doing a fine job and is well liked and well respected in most circles. He is very visible and accessible to anyone who needs to speak to him. He built a great team and many new programs to assist the public have been implemented. Most people think he is a breath of fresh air after the last one.

  10. Alice McGill says:

    Dr. Snipes definitely did a better job than Miriam. However, under Dr. Snipes’ watch, over 400 absentee ballots were turned into the SOE office by Lisa Duke, wife of the mayor of Dania Beach. Included in the 400 ballots were votes by convicted felons and at least one dead person. An investigation by BSO had to be closed out because felons won’t talk and dead people don’t talk.

  11. Goldwater's Ghost says:

    Gee, Kevin Tynan…Not really surprising that you don’t want these to be elected positions, given your toilet-worthy win record. Perhaps hoping that your appointment-heavy resumé will snag you yet another position you’re incapable of handling?

  12. ziggy says:

    is help me howard retiring….. check it out buddy


    I did check it out. Here is Public Defender Howard Finkelstein’s e-mailed answer:

    “Not retiring, with the voters approval of course. Still much work to do to end the disparity in Broward courts between the haves and the have nots and between black, white and brown. It is an honor and a privilege to be the public defender, which I am so grateful for, and hope the public will allow me to continue with until our courts allow each to stand equal.”

  13. Just the Facts says:

    Parrish’s “fraud” efforts are a wildly distorted joke. I would be that her office is forced to undo at least half the so-called “fraud” removals they make. My neighbor got her homestead exemption back. I’m sure Parrish has several good examples to trot in front of TV cameras … but most of her fraud cases ls are taking away exemptions from poor black families when mom or dad dies, knowing they don’t have the resources to hire a lawyer to fight back against her despicable thug tactics.

  14. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:


    I think Kevin Tynan’s last big “win” was the election of Steve Gonot.


  15. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:


    You know what would be a fucking riot?

    To hear Michael Satz say, “I’m really concerned about the racial inequality in Broward’s judicial system, and I’m going to partner with Howie to make sure everyone gets a level playing field.”

  16. Sam The Sham says:

    Help me Howard is an ass and I wish he would retire. Gotta bring up that race card to win votes, dontcha Howard? Don’t forget that old bon mot, “The Evil Rich”.

  17. Your worst nighttmare says:

    Smart quote Howard, I would expect nothing less at this point. I would hide the fact that your hand picked successor is APD Gordon Weeks. Ummm, that name sounds so white bread but he’s just another Ian Richards. The dreads to his butt will be all the rage. Play all the games you want there Re those ready to run against Gordon. I think when the residents see comparison between those running and Gordon, the residents of Broward, fair or unfair, will do what they do best, fail yet again to look beyond race to elect someone. Deep down Howard after decades fighting racism in Broward the true nature of the viter
    After that, it will go just they way you did it after Al, scrub the office of your legacy

  18. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Attention Brenda Snipes:

    Nebraska on Monday joined 19 other states that allow citizens to register to vote online. The Cornhusker State is the first state to modernize its system of voter registration since the Presidential Commission on Election Administration recommended it. Said Jennifer L. Clark, counsel in the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program:

    “Modernizing voter registration is a critical way to bring America’s elections into the 21st century. It increases the accuracy of the voter rolls, boosts voter registration rates, curbs the possibility of fraud, and saves states considerable time and money. More states should follow Nebraska’s bipartisan lead and enact these common-sense reforms.”

    The bill modernizing the system was signed by Republican Gov. Dave Heinemen Monday. It had passed the legislature unanimously in February, just a month after the commission released its report.

    A website managed by [Secretary of State John] Gale will allow Nebraskans with a valid driver’s license or identification card to register to vote or change their registrations.

    The online system would link voter registrations to signatures provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles for driver’s licenses or state ID cards. The state already allows voters to register at the DMV when applying for driver’s licenses, but the new law also will allow the DMV to send registrations electronically to county election officials rather than through the mail.

  19. Real Deal says:

    None of those jobs matter much. They’re ministerial.

  20. Abolish the BOCC says:

    Hypocrites…..that is what I hate about these politicians. They are all so full of crap. No honest, competent person wants to run for elected office because they will be beat up by the public for all the crap that the current elected pulled. I can’t say that I blame them. Term limits is the only way to go. ONE TERM and OUT for good. No jumping races to continue to feed from tax money. These crooks are so comfortable with each other they no they can get away with whatever they want. Right Mike Satz?

  21. Kevin Tynan says:

    Chaz – we may not get along, but at least you sign your comments.

  22. Ciar to have my vote says:

    The deals I can do when take over as queen of the throne at the broward ass essors office, opps I mean king.

  23. Howard's sad reality says:

    Howard can get himself elected until the end of time. The reality is he can’t get others elected nor can he stop those he dislikes from getting elected.

    Please don’t mention any judges from the 2010 cycle. No one person saved anyone in that cycle. The media and community came together to push back against the cast of losers who ran against the incumbents that year.

    The interesting part is that there are good people in the PD office who would be great at succeeding Howard running the office. Problem is they are white. Howard wants to close out his legacy getting in the first black PD elected in Broward. Sad thing, take away race, Gordon Weeks is a nice guy who but his big ambition to date is to running the juvenile division. Most in the office sees him as an average PD at best but being a Howard suck up takes him to the top.

    There will be three to four people running against Gordon. There willie no hand of power as there was from al to Howard. A candidate or two will run just to avenge what Howard did to Al.

  24. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:


    Paint me crazy, but I find it really hard to respect anyone who would stand up as a character reference for Steve Gonot.

    Dude was an outright crook.

    And you and I both know there was a lot more to that meeting in the Chinese restaurant than what’s been reported.

    Don’t we?

    It’s not that I don’t get along with you. I just think you’re a damn fool.

  25. Kaplan for Clerk says:

    The buzz within the Court house is Richard Kaplan will be running for Clerk. The in court clerks have been encouraging him to run. I agree with other Howard Forman is just the name and really serves no other function. The people also LOVE Howard Finkelstein. The grumble within the State Attorney’s office is that they can’t take another term under Michael Satz. If Howard wants to make a difference he should be our next State Attorney….

  26. tell the truth says:

    @Ha Ha Ha
    and all elections in oregon are by mailed ballots

    (think how much money saved on poll workers, poll worker training, rent for voting sites, eqy=uipment costs, malfunctioning equipment costs, fancy offices in county buildings, wasted warehouse spaces for storage and places for employees to kill time, etc. etc.)

  27. Broward Circles says:

    People in Broward do not think the sheriff is doing a good jobs at all. The employees think he is the worst sheriff ever. He is a phony, gets caught lying all the time and has abused tax payer dollars to pay back political favors with his personal friends. He has no fiscal responsibility and only cares about himself.

  28. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    @Ha Ha Ha: Nebraska is not Florida. Tell the state to modernize the process and implement laws like Nebraska. The state dictates the process Dr.Snipes must follow. If another county in Florida has a process better then Dr.Snipes, tell her.

  29. Truthiness says:

    @Broward Circles – I’m an elected official here in Broward and I need to say you don’t know what you are talking about when you say people don’t think he is doing a good job. I’m at parades and other community events with the Sheriff occasionally. Most of us get polite applause and polite nice responses. Compare that to the Sheriff where everyone in the place mobs him to shake his hand or have their photo snapped with him. That man is incredibly popular out there with regular people.

  30. To Twenty Three says:

    You must not practice criminal law. Gordon Weekes is a lawyer’s lawyer. He is fearless. He never backed away from a fight. He advocates on behalf of the indigent kids in this community. He is very thorough and talented as a trial lawyer. Oh yeah, he’s also black.

  31. Katie says:

    This is my wish list:
    Howard Finkelstein for PD-although I would love for him to be our next State Attorney.

    Richard Kaplan for Clerk of Courts-

    Gordon Weekes-Public Defender

    We need a new Sheriff….Anyone?

  32. Just Saying says:

    Richard Kaplan probably has 3% name ID countywide among likely voters … and he’s pretty much a joke who insanely sees himself as an ethics “expert” (remember when he insisted that newspaper reporters register as lobbyists if they wanted to meet with him!!). There must be someone better than that buffoon.

    I’m fine with Howard Finkelstein for PD for as long as he wants it.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Satz go. He’s been in office since Jimmy Carter was elected President.

    I’m fine with Scott Israel staying Sheriff for as long as he wants it too.

    I’m fine with Dr. Snipes too. But is she retires, it should be made into an appointed position.

  33. Weak weeks says:

    Head of Juvi, no trials, run around telling new hires what to do. Give me a guy like George Reres or Brian Reedy who actually are real public defenders trying cases and being in the trenches. Too bad those guys are white and Hispanic. Howard is not a fan of those things.

  34. Truthnotness says:

    You must be drinking his coo laid. If you were a public official you should have the balls to post your name liar. I don’t because the sheriff is a liar, very unpopular and at BSO we all know how vindictive he is. I live it everyday and listen to people everyday. He is horrible and not doing a good job at all…

  35. Whopper says:

    Ask Katie’s list who they want for sheriff and they will all say Scott Israel.

  36. Jerry The Giant says:

    In two years.
    Sheriff–Scott Israel
    Supervisor — an appointed professional
    Clerk — appointed by a committee of judges and the county commission
    State Atty — Mike Satz
    Public Defender — Howard Finkelstein

  37. Chaz Stevens, Festivus says:

    @ Truthnotness says:

    Ron, is this you?

  38. Bob Adams says:

    Truly a stroke of genius to suggest Howard Finkelstein run for State Attorney! He would clean up the corruption in this county and end race-based prosecution!

  39. They Are Clueless says:

    .29 Truthiness says:
    Must be Gunzbuger, who knows nothing about everything, the Sheriff, is doing a fine job, but will be removed from office because everyone around him are political hack who aren’t even good political hacks and are clueless, Gunzbuger is so clueless about the law, he will be the reason, the Sheriff is removed from office.

  40. One Who Knows says:

    So Brenda Snipes will decide whether to run “sometime before the filing period” She is an egomaniac who pulls the same thing every four years. She loves having her sycophants beg her to run. This time, a qualified candidate needs to call her bluff. Broward voters deserve better! Shipes has become Miriam Oliphant in sensible shoes!