Vote Scott J. Brook for Mayor of Coral Springs on March 12

Quick story about why I will vote for Scott J. Brook to be the next mayor of Coral Springs, in the special election following the death of Skip Campbell.

My wife and I first met Scott at a Democratic organizing event when John Kerry was running for president. During a lull in the proceedings, when other attendees had broken off into caucuses we weren’t involved in, we struck up a conversation with Scott and he said one thing that always stuck with me: that the chance for Democratic victory would be stronger if “our side” spent more time saying positive things about John Kerry, rather than negative things about George W. Bush.

I think there was some truth to that. The Kerry campaign was the first one where we actively volunteered and had our heats broken, after W. was reelected despite lying us into war in Iraq. There were plenty of bad things you could say about George W. Bush, but perhaps we should have shown more enthusiasm for Kerry (an imperfect candidate, but aren’t they all?).

The reason I tell you that story about Scott is that it reflects his relentless positivity. For a cynic like me, it’s sometimes hard to take the way his biggest fans gush about him. But he is a fundamentally decent person, with the experience to lead as mayor because he has done it before.

After we ran into him at the Obama-Roosevelt Dinner, my wife Beth Anne went around the room telling anyone who would listen how she appreciated the way he had stayed involved in the community even when not in office through things like youth leadership programs. He also worked with the Parkland youth organizers following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

The other candidate I’ve heard the most about from other Democrats is
Nancy Metayer, who has a strong record as an organizer and activist. I just don’t think mayor is the right office for her to pursue. When the mayor election is over, I would rather see her pivot to run for an open city commission seat that will also be the subject of a special election. That one opened up with Dan Daley’s uncontested election to the State House, after Jared Moskowitz became director of the state Division of Emergency Management. Not only would Metayer be more likely to win a Commission seat, but that would be the right way for her to build experience if she wants to be mayor.

The Sun-Sentinel just gave its endorsement to Scott Brook, which I’ve excerpted below with a link to the full article (a very detailed analysis). Coral Springs voters can also view the video of a League of Women Voters Forum (debate).

Sun Sentinel

With Coral Springs in transition, Scott Brook best choice for mayor

With Coral Springs in transition, Scott Brook best choice for mayor

On March 12, Coral Springs voters will decide which of four candidates is best prepared to fill the big shoes left by the passing of former Mayor Skip Campbell.

Two of the candidates — Scott Brook, 54, and Vincent Boccard, 63 — have previously served as mayor. Both did a good job, though their terms were not drama-free.

The other two candidates — Nancy Metayer, 31, and Kurt Gardner, 36 — are well-meaning newcomers, but both lack the experience needed to lead the city through this time of change.

The mayor’s post is not the only seat in flux on the city’s five-member commission. Commissioner Dan Daley’s election to the Florida House of Representatives will soon open a second seat. And when you consider that a third seat was just filled by newcomer Joshua Simmons in November, you see the transformation taking place at City Hall.

The question is, who’s best suited to soundly lead the commission during this transition?

In weighing their choices, voters should be guided by the legacy of Campbell, who, before his sudden death in October, was known as a bridge builder and leader among peers. He spoke out against constructing a Taj Mahal-like city hall, spoke up for school resource officers in every school, and stepped up to lead a statewide initiative to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons.

Campbell’s stature is hard to match, but attorney Scott Brook comes closest. We endorse Brook for mayor.

Brook served on the commission, including a term as mayor, between 2003 and 2010. He says the top issue facing the city is what “residents consider to be high property taxes.” He wants to bridge the divide that erupted in late 2017, when the commission ignored a citizen’s outcry in raising property taxes 23 percent. Six months later, and without Campbell’s support, commissioners asked voters to raise taxes again via three bond referendums. All three were shot down, suggesting the commission was out of touch with its constituents.

“I would have held town hall meetings before making that decision. I doubt I would have put it on the ballot,” Brook said during a joint candidate interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board. That said, though, “I trust that our government did the right thing.”

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Author: David F. Carr

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