Letters for September 11, 2003
God speaks in film: Regarding Susan Eastman's article, "Our Lady of Hollywood," in the September 4 issue, I too have visited Rosa Lopez's home. Many people visit expecting to see miracles, for there are many who need to see in order to believe. My faith, however, is strong enough where I do not need to see to believe, for the whole basis of faith is believing in something for which there is no proof.
I took a picture in front of Rosa Lopez's home on a very wet and rainy August 13 four years ago. While saying the rosary in a complete downpour, the sun peered out for about two minutes. I was able to point my camera directly at the sun without difficulty (if you have ever tried to look at the sun, it's almost impossible to do) and snap ten pictures. All of the pictures developed into nothing but a complete blur. The image on one picture, however, appeared four days later. I've shown it to many people, and most of them (including myself) clearly see a woman holding a baby, while other people I've shown it to see nothing.
It doesn't matter if one believes or doubts these apparitions to be true. One cannot say he or she has faith in God while needing some kind of sign (proof) that he exists.
Commissioner Bashing Is this free weekly in a dais? Trevor Aaronson's August 28 slam of John Rodstrom, "The Commish," was about as balanced as my Aunt Trudy after three martinis. I grew up in Broward County and have known John since 1983, when I met him in the Young Republicans. One of my most vivid memories, when I was president of the organization in 1986 and 1987, is that of all the elected officials in Broward County, John was the only one who would drop by on a regular basis to say hello and support the group. During the 1980s, we were probably the most effective Republican political organization in Broward, and we were recognized statewide and nationally as the most successful large Young Republican Club in Florida and the nation. The only time I saw most other politicians was when they wanted something from us. John's consistent support helped us be successful, while there was no direct political gain for him. His commitment was one of the first things that impressed me about John Rodstrom. His sincere willingness to be accessible is another quality that made him different from most of the other elected officials I dealt with.
I was disappointed when John left the Republican Party, but I understood his frustration in Broward County. As Aaronson says: "Politics isn't as simple as betting on the right horse." Successful campaigns require a lot of generous campaign contributions, especially when running against someone as talented as Ken Jenne. My memory of that election includes a lack of financial support from the local Republican Party for John. I was disgusted with the lack of support John received from us.
The glaring contradictions in Aaronson's article persuaded me to write. In the second half of it, he writes, "When Rodstrom wrote a check for $550 and began to count out the $375 in cash, Carusillo stopped him." Why would this guy think that John was handing him $4,000 in cash if he had to write him a check for the $550?
Aaronson's apparent conclusion is to question John's motivations. His own reporting supports John Rodstrom's integrity. In the City of Sunrise, Mayor Rodstrom did a phenomenal job; if his only interests were power and money, why did he propose and campaign for changing Sunrise to a city manager form of government? His motivation was clearly good government. I have no doubt that if John wanted to remain mayor and enjoy all the perks and financial benefits of being a strong mayor in a city the size of Sunrise, he could have gotten reelected based upon his successful record leading the city.
I have not spoken to John about the airport runway expansion; I support it (full disclosure: I live in southwest Fort Lauderdale). I think we need to plan ahead for the necessary growth of the airport. What I have read in the press about John's position on the airport is that he supports good growth but has serious reservations about the accuracy of the county's data.
The overall tone of the article slams John for being successful. John has gotten where he is in politics and business by hard work and talent. There are issues I disagree with John Rodstrom on. But in 20 years, I have never had reason to question his character or motivations. John represents his constituents and follows his own judgment when setting policy for the County Commission. I don't know about the rest of your readers, but that is the kind of politician I want working for me.
P.S: John can hold on to my wallet for me anytime.
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