We have never seen Earl Rynerson shoot a moose from a helicopter or put lipstick on a pig, but the local businessman reminds us of deposed veep candidate Sarah Palin if only because he simply won't leave the limelight. He may have lost the election for Fort Lauderdale mayor in February (to longtime political player Jack Seiler), but some of Rynerson's money-saving ideas struck a chord with those who attended his campaign events and heard him out. Rynerson has been yapping about waste in the city budget ever since he set foot in town several years ago. (He blew in from San Francisco.)
Though he lost the mayoral election, Rynerson has now started a website, www.abetterftlauderdale.com, where he continues to make his case. Rynerson's biggest gripe is the salaries of city employees. He writes, "Our City Manager Gretsas and City Attorney Stewart both earn more than the Vice President of the US! They have become millionaires on the backs of you, the homeowner & taxpayer here in Fort Lauderdale." Rynerson's arguments were supported by a Sun-Sentinel article that examines salaries of city officials. Fort Lauderdale's city attorney makes more than $370,000; even the 300th-highest-paid guy, a police officer, made $120,093, plus $17,000 in overtime.
On his website, Rynerson makes a bold, bold move when he dares to go after the police budget (we shouldn't pay for officers to take cruisers home, he says, especially since 85 percent of them live outside the city), fire departments (we paid for ten fire stations, but only two have been built), and meter maids (Why are they driving SUVs? They should walk!).
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Unfortunately, not being in office or anything, there's little Rynerson can do about any of this except urge his neighbors to hound the City Commission. But will we keep an eye on him? You betcha.