As the World Twists

Lake Pols-begone

We take you now to Parkland, where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, all the children are above-average, and the politicians are clueless.

Mayor Bob Marks and his wife, Carolyn, sit at their kitchen table, planning their day. There's an atmosphere of crisis in the Marks household, as Bob, a member of the City Commission for 18 years and mayor for the past two, faces a bitterly contentious election March 14. Things haven't been going well. Bob's sticky connections with local developers have the Florida Department of Law Enforcement poking around. It seems the mayor's janitorial company had a cleaning contract in a building owned by WCI Communities, which, incidentally, could count on Bob's vote whenever a WCI project came before the city. Ouch. Now, the Markses worry that an indictment might come down before the election, knocking Bob off the ballot.

Bob: Can you imagine? A Parkland election without "Mr. Parkland" on the ballot? Like a day without sunshine.

Carolyn: Honey, it'll never happen.

Bob: Or maybe like... pork without applesauce?

Carolyn: I said, don't worry about it.

Bob: I know, I know. You're running too. Even if I'm indicted, the Markses are represented.

Carolyn: That's the beauty of it. No matter what, it's Marks for Mayor...

Bob: But it's... you.

Carolyn: ... and I'm not even through yet. We're gonna plaster this town with Markses.

Bob: It's you, not me.

Carolyn: Next, we get the boys involved.

Bob (lurching in surprise): Jonathanand Jeremy? Our sons?

Carolyn: You bet. They're going to run for mayor too. That ballot's gonna look like a Marks blizzard.

Bob: Why do I think we're playing into the hands of our enemies?

The Markses' decision to run for mayor in tandem has our leafy little suburb reeling in confusion. At a recent candidates forum, audience members scratched their heads and sighed in disbelief. One attendee told political consultant/blogster Ron Gunzberger: "It was the strangest thing you have ever seen... At first, she said she and her husband are 'kind of running as a team. I am fully supporting my husband.' Then she said 'Vote for Bob, but if he can't be on the ballot, then vote for me. But, if Bob is still on the ballot, then vote for him. But, he might not be on the ballot, so vote for me.' She went on like that three more times." Meanwhile, a nearby meanie, former Coral Springs City Commission candidate Howard Melmed, who runs a website dedicated to Coral Springs affairs, declared the politicians of Parkland "horses [sic] asses." He even ran a photo of Mr. Marks near a photo of a handsome equine identified as Carolyn Marks. There was a quick response on the site's message board from somebody identified as "marks." The message was: "If I see you on the street I would [sic] punch you in the face! Insulting my wife like that is not very becoming. I am a good mayor and deserve more respect then [sic] this."

In the kitchen, the Markses still smolder in mortification.

Bob: Like blintzes without sour cream?

Carolyn: We're going to get through this.

Bob: No Bob Marks...

Carolyn: We're confusing the opposition. Got them talking to themselves. That Tailpipe person called, and I told him: "I am running with Bob. He has my full support. He has my vote." I think he fell out of his chair. Ha ha.

Bob: Like chips without salsa...

We depart from our friendly village now. The birds are twittering, the breeze ruffles the seagrape leaves, and someone mutters plaintively: "Like Bradwithout Angelina... Like beer without pork rinds..."

Hollywood Grease

Ever wonder what lubricates the powerful piston of Hollywood development? This sputtering old auto part often ruminates about the fine engineering of city deals, in connection with which he stumbled upon Alan Koslow. That would be Hollywood's former city attorney who has become one of South Florida's condo deal impresarios. Koslow could sell a high-rise to an earthworm with acrophobia.

"Alan Koslow is not a quitter," Koslow wrote in his September 1, 1993, letter of resignation from city government after admitting to a "mistake in judgment." As city attorney, Koslow had drafted a $50,000 settlement for former employee Ina Griesbeckafter she alleged that she was sexually harassed by her boss, Al Rosen. But it turned out that — oops! — Koslow forgot to mention to the City Commission that he was having an affair with Griesbeck at the time he drafted her settlement agreement.

Koslow publicly apologized and told commissioners in his resignation letter: "Although I will no longer be serving the city as its city attorney, I will always make myself available to each of you and the city in any way that the City Commission deems appropriate, and I will continue to be actively involved in community, civic, and charitable causes."

Boy, has Koslow made himself available! Now a lawyer/lobbyist for the firm Becker & Poliakoff, Koslow is a big-time fundraiser for Mayor Mara Giulianti and the other crusty incumbents who never seem to lose elections in the Diamond of the Gold Coast. Because Koslow has so many good friends on the dais, he's become the most effective lobbyist in town.

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