Column: Maybe It’s Time For Gary Resnick to Call it Quits?

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I recently happened across a newspaper article about the upcoming Broadway remake of “The Boys in the Band.” This remarkable play first debuted Off-Broadway in 1968 and in 1970 was made into a film that quickly turned into a cult classic. 

The current Broadway production has a remarkable who’s who of young gay actors cast as the memorable group of gay men gathered in a NYC apartment to celebrate a friend’s birthday. 

Thinking back to so many of the memorable lines, one reminds me of local politics here in our Island City. This past week, many of us heard the news that Gary Resnick is no longer running for re-election as Mayor, but is now running for City Commissioner instead. 

This whole scenario of the Mayor originally stating that this would be his last term, then announcing his intentions to run again for Mayor, only then to change his mind once again, announcing that he would rather be a City Commissioner leaves me a bit dizzy. In this state of light-headiness, I hear Harold in the background as he delivers his cutting response, “Who is she, who was she, who does she hope to be?”

Who do you want to be, Gary Resnick? 

Perhaps you want to be a Real Estate agent, since at the last city commission meeting, you were advising a resident to put his house on the market and sell while his market value was not yet affected by the proposed townhouse development going in next door. His Honor was in favor of the project having two fewer units, but lost the vote 3 to 2.  Most people still in attendance were shocked by the Mayor’s comments.  It’s sad when our Mayor advises residents to start selling their properties. 

It is even more ironic that earlier in the meeting, the mayor’s chair was vacant during the very important vote on appointments to our city’s Planning & Zoning Board, the same board that makes decisions on just such developments. For him to join the meeting late into the night, after much of the agenda had been dealt with in his absence, and then to make an off-the-cuff remark to a concerned resident is not the behavior we should accept from our elected officials. 

Other recent slipshod comments by Mayor Resnick include his statement that the commitment of being Mayor is night and day from that of being simply a commissioner. Our Mayor goes on and states that he no longer has the time for such a huge commitment and that this new move to the commission will allow him and his partner to do other things. So, he basically wants to have his cake and eat it too, at our expense. “Oh, I don’t want the commitment of Mayor,” but I will just sit back for the ride, enjoy the perks of being an elected official, and easily serve as a City Commissioner for four more years. 

Wrong!

I wonder how his fellow commissioners feel about these statements. Vice Mayor Flippen along with Commissioners Tom Green, Julie Carson and Scott Newton are all fully committed and engaged with this community. They attend neighborhood association meetings, community events, many city board meetings, have positions on the MPO Board along with positions on the Florida and National League of Cities and so much more.  This commitment by the entire City Commission is further supported by a full-time City Manager who handles the day-to-day activities of our city, along with a fully staffed city government.

“Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy! You better chase all your cares away! 

What’s more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?

A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation.” 

No, it is a long-serving Mayor now trying to do a City Commissioner imitation! 

First elected in 1998 to the City Commission, then elected Mayor in 2008 and serving in that role ever since is a long and honorable track record. However, residents have grown tired of the same old song and dance, especially over the last two years. Residents have noticed the empty chair at the head of the dais, the lack of involvement at community events, the unawareness of happenings around town, and the condescending complacent attitude that comes with doing something for such a long time. Residents are feeling tired and used by the Resnick Show.

Residents of our Island City deserve fully committed elected officials.  If you do not have the time or the interest for such a commitment, then you should seriously consider removing yourself from consideration. Our city has no shortage of eager candidates to fill the role of public servant. Many, such as Paul Rolli, have stated their passionate commitment to serving the residents of our Island City, and to bringing new ideas and proactive leadership to our City Commission. After twenty years of service, it might be time for Mayor Resnick to move on to other endeavors, which he states is his interest, and leave the governing and leadership of our city to those who want to make a full commitment to making life in our great city just better here.

The Wilton Manors Gazette has now launched a Facebook page to keep residents informed with all things Wilton Manors. Click here to join. 


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