The School Board Mafia Backs New Soldier

It's almost a given you've never heard of Rick Saltrick. I never had, but found out he's an engineer with Hazen & Sawyer who lives in Hollywood. He has little political experience and is so far unproven to the public.

But he's an instant frontrunner to become a Broward County School Board member, overseeing the sixth-largest school district in the country with a budget exceeding $2 billion. He's running for the District 1 seat being vacated by Eleanor Sobel.

Why is Saltrick, who lives in Hollywood, the favorite? Because the syndicate currently running the school board -- led by lobbyists Neil Sterling and Barbara Miller -- are backing him. He is their newest annointed one. And that means cash. Big cash.

Tonight, at Sterling's posh Fort Lauderdale home, Saltrick will be showered with the green stuff during a campaign fundraiser. Donating the maximum $500 to his campaign will be Sterling's clients, including school builder Jim Pirtle and architect/consultant Bernard Zyscovich. Politically connect engineer Tom McDonald will be there, as will be land baron Austin Forman and Forman's Man Friday, Jim Kane. Ethically suspect lobbyist Russ Klenet will be sauntering about at tonight's political indoctrination as well.

All Saltrick will be expected to do in return for all that money and attention is surrender his soul to the Sterling-Miller Mafia. He will be expected to vote for their clients without fail, just as other Sterling-Miller board members do (Bev Gallagher, Robin Bartleman, and Jennifer Gottleib cheif among them). When Sterling or his clients get caught doing something wrong, he'll be expected to ignore it.

We may still not know who Rick Saltrick is, but it's all too clear by the high-rolling company he's now keeping who he will be.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman