Why are there few tributes or monuments in Surfside or Miami Beach honoring past political leaders? Perhaps it is because they are seldom worth the attention once done "serving" the public.
This resort town paradise is an island of mischief in an ocean of misgivings. We don't call it swamp for nothing.
Surfside 1935: Local residents obtain state approval and create an independent municipality, the Town of Surfside, based on their desire to maintain a community with independence from Miami Beach and to have a small, accountable, and efficient local government to reflect the priorities and well being of its own residents. Over the 7 decades to follow, Surfside has its ups and downs, but generally does a superb job at serving its residents, remaining debt free, and being a widely recognized example for cities and towns and villages all over the nation.
But something happened after the flamingos, alligators and mangrove were evicted. Yes, the lowest animal took up residence, and I'm not talking mosquitos.
Currently there is a special election underway as a result of one fine fellow marching to his own drummer. For those who give a hoot, commissioner Sheldon Libsbon rode into office recently on a wave of exasperated voters and under-the-table special interest push-back. But no sooner did he win a seat that he then decided to quit and run for state office. As fate would have it and not surprising, he lost... boohoo.
Eli Tourgeman, Joseph Graubart and Meredith Beattie — have qualified to take his place in a special election to be held Aug. 28.
But his sudden exit, two months after the swearing-in ceremony, angered and surprised commissioners and many town residents and will likely cost Surfside up to $20,000 for a special election to replace him.
This from Google:
ADL letter to Sheldon J. Lisbon for a real shocker. His apology to the ADL will also show up, but he offers no apology to voters in Florida District 100 which he wants to represent. We should all ask: if his words said in anger are his "true feelings". Re: June 2012 Commission meeting where he verbally attacked with his (aggitated voice rising) Commissioner Marta Olchyk who said she was disappointed in him for resigning his Commission seat after being elected in March.
Here's the thing. There are many signs around Surfside these days. Mostly roadwork signs thanks to the current administration and their hell-bent desire to re-do everything that is buried underground. This means tear up everything that was not broken above ground. Ultimately what will be broke will be the town's bank accounts.
The other visual pollution is all the political signs paid for by candidate Eli Tourgeman ( signs not pictured here). Old Eli has a date with destiny but he also has plenty of bagage and obviously tons of Hutzpah. old-timer neighbors know exactly what I'm talking about...
Surfside 1990 - 1992: Mayor Eli Tourgeman enacts foolish budget policies with a 3-2 vote of his Town Commission that put the Town into the red, ending his term with town deficits. Tourgeman supports a number of major zoning variances and tries to break down the zoning code to get approval for a 20 story condo despite a height limit in the code of 12 stories. The voters turned back Toureman's approval in a referendum that defeated and reversed the condo project's variance approval. In 1990 he was elected mayor, in 1992 he was voted off of the commission when voters saw his real priorities and he came in last from a field of 10 candidates.
The other front-runner is seasoned regular guy Joe Graubart. Neighbor, activist, organizer and all around too-nice-to-fail, Joe said to me recently that he is back in the game in an effort to throw interference at corruption. He wants to put the brakes on self-serving special interests intent on capitalizing on what makes Surfside special. That being our restrictions on building height and density, our non-denominational demographic nature and our ability to sustain a safe family-friendly neighborhood affordably.
Swampstyle endorses Joe Graubart for Commissioner.
Not to bemoan Tourgeman he has done some good albeit not enough to make up for the bad.
THE 6TH ANNUAL PARENTS HUNT FOR ART, HOSTED BY THE SURFSIDE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION AND THE SURFSIDE TOURIST BOARD,
“THE GOAL OF THE PROGRAM IS TO MOTIVATE YOUNG CHILDREN TO TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND TO SEE THEIR ART BEING DISPLAYED IN PUBLIC PLACES”, SAYS ITS CREATOR ELI TOURGEMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE SURFSIDE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION AND FORMER MAYOR OF SURFSIDE. ” THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE IT MOTIVATES THE PARENTS AND THE CHILDREN IN THE HUNT, ITS A BOND FOR PASSION OF THE ARTS.”
( picture not related )
The third candidate we will call the spoiler is Meredith, something or other . She entered the race just in time, seems to be doing everything right. According to her web site you can meet her at a pre-arranged coffee clutch. But here is the thing, according to Tourgeman she has lived in Surfside since 2004 but has never voted at any election. Go figure...
I don't need to tell you that Surfside is special, and if elected, I will use my decade of public administration experience and your insights to guide decision-making to protect our way of life. I would be delighted to share more of my qualifications in person and you can always email me at meredethbeattie. I respectfully ask for your vote for #600 Meredith Beattie on August 28 and, if elected, will honor your trust, listen to your opinion, and steward your hopes for our community.
Honestly, I can't blame Meredith for not ever voting considering this passage:
Quite simply, South Florida is corrupt and weird -- and it is these things to such an extent that its residents are cynical about local politics and politicians. South Floridians know full well how corrupt and opportunistic their politicians are; but trying to uproot them is like whacking moles -- swat one, and another pops up elsewhere. In such an environment, a healthy dose of cynicism is only rational.
Meanwhile the dust of Surfside remains unsettled. The big issues are this vacant commissioner seat, the endless infrastructure upgrade, the green-lighting of another mega-temple, the over-development of the historic sites SurfClub, BestWestern, Surfside-6 and the degradation of the environment.
I am glad to deliver a bit of good news from across the bay, the beach in Surfside is Simply Splendid by day, and the town is tranquil and starry by night.
What remains now is who will get that hot seat at town hall...