So – after a blog comment expressing a familiar refrain of frustration on who are Oliver Parker and Fred Segal, I decided to dial some of my contacts and look into reaching out to the two candidates for the position of Broward County Soil and Water Conservation District 3.
What I discovered is interesting – the position, which is a county-wide position, is an unpaid position, and focused on the environment, land use and preservation and supporting the agricultural needs of the county. It turns out that this seat is a very obscure position – the Broward Supervisor of Elections even left it off the sample ballot when mailed out before the election. The Board of Supervisors meetings discussing the issues of the District, and the two candidates have interesting backgrounds. Below, I provide you with information on the two men – one from an interview I had over the phone, and one from what limited knowledge I have learned about him on the web. I have left a phone message with Mr. Parker and am waiting for replies/photos from both men.
Fred Segal, current incumbent
Mr. Segal is the incumbent in the seat, and had been appointed to fill a vacancy in the District back in June 2008. He said that he was appointed to the seat because he normally attended the Board of Supervisors meetings for over three years and is involved with many orgs on environment, water, etc – and the roles are important.
Mr. Segal also serves as President of Broward County Farm Bureau, which is an agricultural membership organization. Also serves as President of the Broward County 4H Foundation, the Broward County Extension Foundation, Treasurer of the Davie Area Land Trust, serves on the Board of around eight other not-for-profit associations and foundations.
Why he is running: Mr. Segal is running because of his enthusiasm for the position – specifically due to his contact, his knowledge for the role and his experiences. His contacts are borne out of the time he spent in Tallahassee in every legislative session since 1972 in various capacities that included engagement of lawmakers on issues relevant to the community. His knowledge comes from interacting with all of the appropriate agencies – where community members can get grants learn about programs (where info can be shared from). Over the years, Mr. Segal has helped on the implementation of various land and agricultural legislation.
Where’s the campaign? He says he is running his campaign by pressing the flesh, getting out into the community and talking to other people. Aside from the $25 filing fee for the Broward SOE, he has not taken any campaign contributions – even when offered. He has simply asked the donor to give it to their favorite charity.
His campaign is the real standard grassroots version – even offering his cell phone (954 849 0745) to the public to answer any questions regarding the position and/or his campaign. When I spoke with him, he was on his way to a planning meeting for the Bean and Pepper Jamboree coming in March 2009, which will be held at the Pompano City Center (at Coplands and Federal) to benefit the 4H and the Boys and Girls Clubs.
What’s this position? He told me that the elected supervisors in the District are not paid – they offer numerous services to the community without levying a tax. These services include providing a mobile irrigation lab to check people’s sprinkler systems on their homes and make them more efficient/conserving water, “sea oat” planting on the beaches to prevent erosion, information on land preservation and preservation of open space, and acting as a conduit for information between the US Department of Agriculture and the community.
Why Segal versus Parker? Simply – his contacts, knowledge and experience. he has been attending these meetings for the District for the last three+ years. Never once saw Mr. Parker at those meetings – even though he is familiar with Mr. Parker’s previous civic experience. The difference is that Mr. Parker is used to dealing with a small municipality whereas Mr. Segal knows more about county-wide issues (like the differences between the needs of the more agricultural western part of Broward and the beach areas of the county).
Oliver Parker, former Mayor of Lauderdale by the Sea
From what I could find on the web, Mr. Parker is the former Mayor of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. There are numerous articles on issues that occurred during his political career, which I leave for readers to follow up on.
- Goodbye, Mayor Parker. Hello, Mayor Minnet
- Mayor Parker accused of talking too much
- Cuckoo for Coconuts
- 16 Votes Decide Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Mayor
- Judge Stays Mayor’s Political Execution
- Barring False Witness
UPDATE: I have called Mr. Parker a number of times, and have yet to get a response to either my voice messages or emails.
As with any story, I will add to this post as I learn more information – if you would like to comment, please do so below.