Our Endorsements for Pompano Beach

For the past nearly two years, our Committee has spent untold hours discussing and debating the decisions made by City leadership.

Although we continue to believe that Pompano Beach is heading in the right general direction, we have not always been happy with the path our city commission has taken. In the spirit of understanding where the candidates stand, and what they see as the most pressing issues facing our city and their proposed solutions, we recently requested that all candidates complete a candidate questionnaire.

Across the city, there are 15 candidates in this November’s Mayor and Commission seats. Unfortunately, several of the challengers, and one of the incumbents, chose not to respond to the questionnaire.

In order for voters to make the best choice for themselves, we are providing the responses from all of the candidates who chose to respond below.

Our Committee believes that the city is still headed in the right general direction. However, we share some of our residents’ and businesses’ frustration with current City leadership. We are distressed by the confrontational tone that has emerged at several Commission meetings, and by a general sense that our leaders sometimes appear out of touch with the needs of their constituents.

In addition, the global pandemic has made the evaluation of many elected officials – at every level – more complex. This is an unprecedented time and it is difficult if not impossible to imagine how things might be different in terms of our city’s plans had the pandemic not occurred.

Despite our concerns with the current commission, with the exception of Carmen Jones in District 4, we have not seen candidates emerge who we believe would be better for the city than the current mayor and commissioners in the other districts.

Therefore, we are endorsing the following candidates.

For Mayor

MAYOR: Rex Hardin (Incumbent)

While we would like to be able to share more about Mayor Hardin’s challengers – Todd Hennen and Joseph Wells – neither took the time to respond to our repeated requests for information. We believe that Mayor Hardin has the city’s best interests at heart, has grown into the job of mayor and has continued the balanced redevelopment of the city.  We hope and expect that Mr. Hardin’s naming of a campaign treasurer other than himself will ensure that he avoids a repetition of previous campaign finance rule violations.  In his next term should he be reelected, we would hope he would continue the balanced redevelopment of the city and continue to move the city in the direction of inclusion of residents in all districts.

For District 1

Andrea McGee for District 1 Commissioner

DISTRICT 1: Andrea McGee (Incumbent)

In her first term, Commissioner McGee has shown herself to be an independent thinker, and her love for her hometown is evident. John Cavanaugh, the only District 1 challenger who responded to the questionnaire, also ran in 2016 and 2018. While his responses to our questions are clear, they are not particularly detailed, and we are concerned about his lack of experience on City boards or evidence of broader civic engagement. If re-elected, we hope that Commissioner McGee will become more aware of, and responsive to, her constituents’ feelings about development proposals in their neighborhoods.

For District 2

Rhonda Eaton for District 2 Commissioner

DISTRICT 2: Rhonda Eaton (Incumbent)

Commissioner Eaton, a first-term Commissioner, was the only District 2 candidate to respond to our questionnaire. She has demonstrated concern and was able to get a number of things underway for the residents of her District and the City during her tenure, and her responses to the questionnaire show that she has a good grasp of the issues facing the city. However, her demeanor at several City meetings is of concern. Nevertheless, we recommend a vote for Commissioner Eaton with the expectation that she will become more respectful in her demeanor and continue to be a powerful voice for her constituents.

For District 3

Tom McMahon for District 3 Commissioner

DISTRICT 3: Tom McMahon (Incumbent)

Commissioner McMahon has shown very good judgment and maturity in his first term as a city commissioner. The responses from Daniel Caradonna, his challenger, demonstrate an unfortunate tone of unfounded accusations rather than a cooperative approach. By contrast, Commissioner McMahon has been unfailingly professional, shows his concern for residents across the city, and continues to communicate with residents and businesses on a variety of platforms.  In his second term should he be reelected, we would hope he would continue his quest for traffic calming in Old Pompano and continue his avid participation in community meetings.

For District 4

DISTRICT 4: Carmen Jones (Challenger)

Both Carmen Jones and Ed Phillips responded to our questionnaire; the current commissioner, Beverly Perkins, did not. However, the tone of Commissioner Perkins’s first two terms has, in our opinion, been combative and often unproductive. She has the unfortunate tendency of alienating the very people she needs to help her accomplish her goals. Ed Phillips has long served this city, but we believe that Carmen Jones’ fresh voice is what is needed now, as there is much to be accomplished in District #4 and Ms. Jones’ thoughtful and collaborative approach is what we believe is needed.

For District 5

Barry Moss for District 5 Commissioner

DISTRICT 5: Barry Moss (Incumbent)

Commissioner Moss was the only District 5 candidate to respond. His responses, and his time on the Commission, demonstrate a thorough understanding of the issues facing the city.  He has been both deeply involved and has marshalled community participation in the Live Resorts and casino project, ‘the’ major redevelopment project of Southwest Pompano. However, Commissioner Moss has allowed his frustrations to show through during several City meetings. Despite this, we believe that District 5 will be well-served by re-electing Commissioner Moss, and we hope that he will be more controlled in his responses to negative feedback in his next term.

JOIN US TO KEEP IT GOING! — DONATE

Of course, the national and statewide races for the November election will attract the most attention. But, since we are Citizens for a Better Pompano Beach, our goal will be to help our endorsed city candidates for Mayor and Commissioner get the voter consideration they need and deserve.

We will do this via social media and email as before. But, in these pandemic times, in-person meet-and-greet events and fundraising events are not feasible. This makes mail pieces and newspaper/TV ads more important than ever – but these are quite expensive!

So, if you are one of the many city residents who are pleased with the progress our city has made over the past decade, now is the time for you to pitch in to help Keep It Going! You can donate here.

We welcome your feedback and input. Please feel free to leave us a comment or drop us an email.

Thanks so much for your support.

As a reminder, you can contact our City Commissioners and Mayor on the City’s “Commission” page, at http://pompanobeachfl.gov/pages/commission.

Thanks again for your support. Let’s keep it going!

Below is the list of CBPB endorsements followed by the answers to the CBPB Questionnaire from all the city candidates who responded to us.

Candidate Responses

District Candidate Responded to Candidate Questionnaire Committee Decision
Mayor Rex Hardin (I) Yes Endorse
Mayor Todd Hennen No
Mayor Joseph Wells No
1 John Cavanaugh Yes
1 Tom Drum No
1 Andrea McGee (I) Yes Endorse
2 Rhonda Eaton (I) Yes Endorse
2 Tom Terwilliger No
3 Daniel Caradonna Yes
3 Tom McMahon (I) Yes Endorse
4 Carmen Jones Yes Endorse
4 Beverly Perkins (I) No
4 Ed Phillips Yes
5 Cyndy Floyd No
5 Barry Moss (I) Yes Endorse

 

Here are the full candidate responses. (Note: The responses have been lightly edited for clarity.)

   

Question 1: Why are you running for office?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin I hope to continue to foster the positive redevelopment of our community while enhancing the quality of life for the residents and visitors to our City.
John Cavanaugh I love the City of Pompano Beach and evangelize living or visiting here to anyone who will listen.
Andrea McGee Pompano Beach is my hometown and I’ve had the honor and privilege of working as a commissioner for the past two years in making Pompano Beach the best place to be in South Florida. We are in the middle of a Renaissance here with a lot of very exciting pieces still coming into place and I want to be able to continue the great work we have started. For me, it’s about creating the right balance throughout the entire city of home choice for families, work and job opportunities, transportation options, and of activity and entertainment options to create a sense of community and belonging that make full time and seasonal residents, as well as visitors, feel at home.
Rhonda Eaton I am running for re-election to continue producing results for my district and for the city as a whole.  I am keenly aware of the needs and desires of District 2 residents and have been successful in addressing two of our major issues:  bulk pick up and streetlights.  Having proven that I am a dedicated and effective advocate for my district, I want to continue achieving results and reaching the goals we’ve set.  Still outstanding is the implementation of traffic calming measures and the creation of Safe Neighborhood Improvement Districts in accordance with Chapter 163 Part IV of the Florida Statutes.  These are initiatives that can also be implemented in other areas of the city plagued by the same problems.  I’m happy to share what knowledge and research I have learned regarding this to help other areas in the city.

I believe the city is moving in the right direction, but it is important as well to ensure that our individual communities are not neglected as we move forward with more successes.

Daniel Caradonna The corruption in Pompano has gotten out of hand and citizens are being ignored.
Tom McMahon I was raised in Pompano Beach. The love I have for this City is the reason I want to continue to be a part of its positive growth while protecting it from over-development. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the amazing residents of District 3 these last 18 months.
Carmen Jones I am running to assist the city of Pompano Beach in developing District 4 and all the people of the city in acquiring a better quality of life which encompasses Economic Development, Cultural Arts and Historical Preservation and Education.
Ed Phillips TO AID IN A POSITIVE AN PRODUCTIVE GROWTH OF THE NW AND CITY
Barry Moss To continue the work that I and my colleagues have begun to put Pompano Beach on the map.

 

Question 2: Do you believe Pompano Beach is headed in the right direction?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin Yes
John Cavanaugh Yes
Andrea McGee Yes
Rhonda Eaton Yes
Daniel Caradonna No
Tom McMahon Yes
Carmen Jones Yes
Ed Phillips Yes
Barry Moss Yes

 

Question 3: Why or why not?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin The positive recognition from the residents about the redevelopment that has taken place in our community.
John Cavanaugh In the 17-years I have lived here the city has worked diligently to better itself in all facets of life.
Andrea McGee Growing up in Pompano, it was a super sleepy town. We have a great beach, but for anything else we were driving to Fort Lauderdale or Boca. We didn’t know at the time but waiting to develop was the best thing we could have done. We learned from the good and not so good decisions other cities made. We used that info to create our own Pompano version of paradise and we are on a great track. The beach has come alive and the activity has drawn attention to developing the central and west. Career opportunities are on the horizon, we are working to be modern in our transportation options and there is more and more to do. It is truly an exciting time to be in Pompano!
Rhonda Eaton With all the activity that is happening throughout the city: on the beach with the Pier, the parking garage and new restaurants on the beach, Atlantic and Old Town and the opportunities that the new ETOC flexible zoning district provides, in the NW, the Innovation District and the Isle Casino projects moving forward, with all the park, public safety and street beautification and improvement projects throughout the city that are being funded by the GO Bonds, a lot of very exciting things are happening in Pompano Beach, and  I believe great things are on the horizon.
Daniel Caradonna Look around – huge sums of money being spent and community quality being destroyed.  The City is run by special interests and it needs to stop and stop now.
Tom McMahon The progress in Pompano Beach over the past 10 years has been great to see. Access to large retail and an abundance of restaurants make it a place that residents can enjoy. It’s nice to be able to spend our money in our community and not have to go to neighboring cities for groceries and good eats.
Carmen Jones Creating a downtown on Martin Luther King Blvd. is a recreation of its rich history economically, culturally, and historically.
Ed Phillips I WAS A PART OF A NUMBER OF EFFORTS OF THIS CITY  UNDER GROUND CABLE FOR NW ST  ALSO THE CITY S BOND EFFORTS IVE BEEN A PART OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE /AND KNOW AND ARE AWARE OF A NUMBER OF THE MORE ACTIVE BUSINESS IN THIS COMMUNITY–IN SHORT I’VE BEEN INVOLVED.
Barry Moss I believe that, although there are some very vocal opponents to the change that is taking place in our City, I feel the majority of our citizens are very pleased with the progress that we have made in Pompano.  The only constant in this world is change and it will happen whether or not we want it to.  What is critical is to plan for the kind of growth that will benefit the most people.  I believe that we have done and are doing that.

 

Question 4: Please list, in order of importance, the three most important issues you plan to address and how you plan to address them.
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin I am listing 3 important issues although I am not assigning a greater importance to any one over the others. As Mayor it is important to deliver on multiple fronts throughout our City.
1) Economic development in the NW part of the City. Focus on our Innovation District and get it started to deliver on the promised of expanded redevelopment throughout our City.
2) Issues surrounding systemic racism including policing reform. Gather ideas (already happening) and facilitate discussions where all those involved can be heard and work together to reform and monitor the way we police our community.
3) Economic development in our community. This involves everything from monitoring and ensuring completion of our G.O. Bond projects, to encouraging and working with the development community on things like the Live! Resorts Pompano project and the Innovation District and various development projects throughout our City and ensuring that Pompano Beach stays competitive in the job expansion market by positioning us as the place to do business and locate a business.
John Cavanaugh I believe the City of Pompano Beach is too reliant on the construction and hospitality industries, even though there is a good mix of small, medium, and large businesses headquartered within its boundaries.  They city needs to promote and attract business that will diversify the tax base.  We need to anticipate and execute on strategies that will allow the city to weather the effects of a rapidly changing economy and climate change that stress our current competencies.  We would be particularly suited for Logistics and Technology, given the geographic location and abundant quality of life benefits offered to working professionals and families.

The residents of Pompano Beach continue to stress homelessness and vagrancy as a top concern.  These are not issues to be fixed, but rather, managed.  The BSO is ill equipped to solely address some of the reasons that have a correlation to this problem of mental health and substance abuse issues.  The City Commission, other public and private entities need to coalesce to develop a long-term plan to assist in remediating the problem.  That includes clearing defining the end-goal and consistently measuring progress towards achieving it.

Andrea McGee Continued smart development. It is important to keep the big picture in mind of creating quality housing and job opportunities throughout the city as well as entertainment, cultural and quality of life options as we weigh each project that comes into the city. I personally take the time to meet with developers to discuss their projects and try to get each project to be the best it can be for our city and our residents.

Transportation is a huge issue of importance. As we grow, more people need to get around. I have been working with city, county, state, and federal level officials to try to develop and expand our mass transportation options. Pompano Beach is very exciting in this respect geographically. The way in which our city is laid out more readily lends itself to mass transportation than many others. I look excitedly forward to making the day to day use of mass transportation and pedestrian options commonplace here in Pompano Beach.

The environment is always an issue close to my heart. Growing up on the beaches here, the ocean is in my soul. We’ve done some great work with our dune restoration program for maintaining our coast lines, we are at the top of the list for Beach Renourishment by the Army Corps of Engineers at the north end of our beach and Shipwreck Park has put our reef system on the map for scuba divers. Taking care of our beaches will be an important issue for me for as long as I walk this earth.

Rhonda Eaton Public safety is a priority for me.  Our residents and visitors must be assured that our streets and neighborhoods are safe.  I support our Park Ranger, CORE Team and Ambassador Program and their expansion if needed.

Economic development is a vital element for a sustainable community.  I support the creation of an environment that fosters new businesses to choose Pompano Beach as their base of operations.  I feel it is crucial to provide your residents and opportunity for well-paying employment within our city, thus providing for a better quality of life.

Quality housing, workforce housing and subsidized housing.  I feel there is a lack of housing as people are choosing to relocate to South Florida, thus creating high costs for our long-time residents.  Looking at the issue from a balanced perspective, we need growth that provides mixed use and mixed income development to provide safe, secure, and quality housing for all the residents in Pompano Beach.

Daniel Caradonna Bastardizing of community identity and quality of suburban bedroom community feel, mis-spent and grossly over-raised tax money to enrich special interests and ignoring the will of the citizens – all must and will be stopped.  The way to do that is to require community consensus and investigate and prosecute criminal and civil wrongdoing that has laundered taxpayer money into special interests hands, including those of the family and friends of my opponent, and stop over-development in its tracks before even more harm can come to our citizens.
Tom McMahon Economic Recovery- working with money received from the federal government to assist small businesses.

Homeless outreach – additional oversight in the county’s homeless shelter operations. Seeking programs done in other cities that have had good results.

Increased Police presence- Over the past year we have added more officers than we have in 10 years. By continuing to keep them patrolling and holding BSO accountable for services being provided.

Carmen Jones 1. Economics- Small business creation and funding opportunities
2. Housing- Affordable home ownership opportunities. “Senior housing for the “Retired”
3. Education- Promote creative partnerships for better local schools
Ed Phillips 1 GROWTH&DEVELOPMENT 2 (INNOVATION ZONE) (COMMUNITY POLICING)
Barry Moss (1)  Smart development including the Isle Casino/Cordish project.
(2) Continued improvements to the Collier City neighborhood.
(3) Crime and the homelessness issues.

 

Question 5: What do you see as the MOST important issue facing residents in the District you are running in?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin The current COVID-19 pandemic. I have been engaged in this issue like none other since I began my time as an elected official. This is a challenge that does not simply impact people’s pocketbook but actually can take their lives. Everything else is secondary to this issue but as I stated earlier, as Mayor I have to stay focused on many fronts.
John Cavanaugh Development continues to be the topic I hear most about from my fellow citizens.
Andrea McGee Transportation. As we continue to develop and attract more people to Pompano, making sure that people can still get around easily is a huge quality of life concern. Walkability is great unless it is 98 degrees and/or raining and you need groceries. I have been focused on figuring out alternative transportation options to not only get around District 1 but then to also link the business/entertainment districts throughout Pompano. People living in South Florida will always need their cars but if they have the options to choose to not take them out daily, I believe that would be a huge win.
Rhonda Eaton In my district, crime, unsafe streets, lack of lighting and visual blight are the major problems.

District 2 is primarily made up of single family residential properties, not unlike other areas of the city except for the fact that over 40% of the properties are not owner occupied; they are rentals.  People don’t move out on weekdays – they move out on the weekends.  The visual blight created by numerous piles of trash sitting out all week until Friday has contributed to the dismay and anger of the residents.  Moving our pickup day back to Tuesdays will greatly improve the look and reputation of the district and will further advance the aims, goals, and objectives of the city as a whole.

The new streetlights I fought for will not only make our streets safer, they will beautify the entire district in one fell swoop further adding to my goal to improve that quality of life for the residents of District 2.

My goal for District 2 really applies to many other areas of the city.  The outmoded and out-dated grid layout that facilitates cut-through speeding traffic, which contributes to crime and unsafe streets, is a problem that needs to be remedied.  I led an initiative to create a “Safe Neighborhood Improvement District Traffic Calming Pilot Program” that provided for traffic calming and beautification for the roadways of the district, but it was stalled by the pandemic.  It is an initiative that I want to continue pursuing, not just for District 2, but throughout the city

Daniel Caradonna Corruption
Tom McMahon Crime & vagrancy
Carmen Jones Job opportunities
Ed Phillips THE SPIRIT OF INCLUSION
Barry Moss   In Collier City it is to work with the CRA to continue the many improvements that have taken place in that neighborhood.  Much has been done, much is scheduled to be done yet much remains undone.  I’m proud of how I have worked with the residents of that neighborhood to make the improvements become a reality.
South of Atlantic Blvd. we need to make sure that the development that is coming to the Isle Casino is the type of development that makes the area more safe and appealing.  The increased traffic that will accompany a project of this magnitude needs to be studied and addressed so that the SW corner of our City does not become an urban jungle.

 

Question 6: Please share your opinion about redevelopment in Pompano Beach.
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin I support the redevelopment of our community. I think we have reasonable guidelines laid out for many areas of the City that will help to guide the redevelopment that is coming. We still need to be vigilant that we don’t let the development community, by a series of small steps, turn Pompano Beach into a City that does not reflect the desires of the residents that live here.

Fort Lauderdale set their vision many years ago how they wanted redevelopment to transform their community but that is not the vision that the residents of Pompano Beach want.

John Cavanaugh Redevelopment has certainly been a vitalizing factor in the evolution of the city.  I think most residents have benefited from it, although I would not say evenly across the districts.  Continued development across the districts is necessary for the city to continue down the path of prosperity.  However, I do not subscribe to the notion of maximum density.  There is a correct mix to development that allows for the benefits (increased property values, quality-of-life projects/access, safe and secure neighborhoods for all, affordable housing, etc.) without the negative impacts brought by poor civic planning and over-development.
Andrea McGee I think what we have done has been amazing. We have hit an amazing balance that is inviting and exciting for developers to come and invest in our city but at the same time we hold them to a level to bring us their best work.
Rhonda Eaton The NWCRA, designed to eliminate blight and spur redevelopment and economic prosperity, unfortunately has taken a very long time to achieve its goal, however, the proposed plan for the Innovation District bears seeds of hope in my opinion.  I believe it will create prosperity, as sense of community and beautification for the City of Pompano Beach and all its residents.  I look forward to supporting it.

Even with its natural amenities of ocean and the beach, the ECRA has also been impacted by economic down turns and delays, but overall, it has been a success.  When I moved here in 1989, there were some places to go on the island, but as years went by through the ’90’s, the attraction became Las Olas and Mizner Park.  Pompano Beach restaurants and businesses pulled out or went under.  Now it is becoming more vibrant than ever.  Someone just moving here from a high tax state in the Northeast might say it is perfect, “don’t change a thing”, but in my opinion, there are just a few more pieces of the puzzle that need to be realized.  Housing.  I ask you, who wouldn’t want to live in the paradise that is Pompano Beach?  The trends are changing; for example, baby boomers prefer to rent because they don’t want the headache of ownership, they want to enjoy the fruits of their labor and they want the flexibility to move other places and experience different locales.  As well, I hear the concerns raised about traffic and congestion, but the models of employment have changed significantly with the effects of the pandemic.  More people are working from home, so now more than ever, we need walkable and sustainable communities with residents to live in them.

Daniel Caradonna Totally out of control, and opposite to the wishes and well-being of our citizens
Tom McMahon The redevelopment in Pompano Beach has taken our once sleepy beach town and turned it into a destination for businesses, residents & tourists. By continuing smart growth, we will continue to see our city blossom.
Carmen Jones I think the proper redevelopment is vital to the survival on District 4
Ed Phillips WE NEED BETTER COMMUNICATION AND EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP ABOUT ALL MATTER INVOLVING DISTRICT FOR WHICH INCLUDE REDEVELOPEMENT
Barry Moss I’m proud to have been a part of the team that is making all the wonderful things that are happening here.  Redevelopment plans were started before I joined the Commission, but I am pleased that I have been able to be a part of the progress that we are making.

 

Question 7: On a 1 to 5 scale, where 1 is “not important at all” and 5 is “extremely important,” to what degree do you believe public safety is an important function of government?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin 5
John Cavanaugh 5
Andrea McGee 5
Rhonda Eaton 5
Daniel Caradonna 5
Tom McMahon 5
Carmen Jones 5
Ed Phillips 5
Barry Moss 5

 

Question 8: Do you believe that the city’s current public safety functions need reform and/or oversight?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin Yes
John Cavanaugh Yes
Andrea McGee No
Rhonda Eaton Yes
Daniel Caradonna Yes
Tom McMahon Yes
Carmen Jones Yes
Ed Phillips Yes
Barry Moss Yes

 

Question 9: If you answered “YES”, what specific kinds of reform and/or oversight would you support to enhance the city’s current public safety functions? If you answered “NO,” just write “no” in the box below.
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin The focus that has been brought about by the death of George Floyd has presented us an opportunity to reimagine policing and take a look at policing reform and how that could look for Pompano Beach. There are models across the Country that we should be looking at to find some road forward to start talking about reforms. This should not be a discussion about “bad” police but about “policing reform” so that we can have our Deputies focused more on real crime issues instead of social issues that should have been handled by other types of agencies for many years. To start with, embracing the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign and the “Obama Pledge” are useful symbols to show that the issues that face our community are being taken seriously. This should not simply be a “Defund the Police” initiative as that is not a realistic proposition and risks pitting those that support the Police against those that seek to reform our policing. The mere fact that someone wants to reform our policing should not be an indication that they are criticizing our law enforcement officers.

While public safety reform is an important topic, it is really just a part of a larger topic that we need to keep at the front of our mind. The larger topic is the overall systemic racism that has existed in our Country for generations and how we can work to lessen the impacts on our residents. None of us can simply snap our fingers and do away with systemic racism, but by acknowledging it and talking about it we can start to make progress to change our society to become more just.

While what happened to George Floyd is a tragedy, it is an event that can lead to great change hopefully for the better.

John Cavanaugh I think reform and oversight are greater than what a single candidate can propose.  There is a subjective nature to public safety that differs by geography, socioeconomic status, race, etc. A community needs to be just that, with a mandate for reform and oversight that is built around the experiences and desires of all of the residents of Pompano Beach.
Andrea McGee No
Rhonda Eaton We must insure that the residents of Pompano Beach have complete confidence in our public safety personnel and that they are acting fairly and in the best interest of all residents while continuing to keep us all safe by providing top quality law enforcement to the city.  Initiatives that I feel are important are: body cam usage, more Community Policing, a review of the use of force and de-escalation training.

As with any entity with whom the City of Pompano Beach enters into a contract, it is explicit that the obligation of the contractor (BSO) reflects the values and social mores of the majority vote of the City Commission and therefore, the residents they represent.  I believe oversight is always necessary.  A thoughtful and thorough review of all aspects of race relation in Pompano Beach, that is, police practices, staff relation with minority residents, etc. should be on going and when there is room for improvement, reform is necessary.  Pompano Beach is a very diverse community made up of people of all cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds.  In fact, District 2 is the most diverse district within the city – making this an extremely important issue for the residents of my district and for me.  It is essential that we all feel comfortable that our city government and public safety practices reflect a complete understanding of the needs and concerns of all our residents and visitors.

Daniel Caradonna The Sheriff’s office and State Attorney must be told and directed how Pompano Beach wants it’s criminal justice to operate, or the Sheriff’s contract cancelled and Pompano once again have its own police department, the City Attorney must aggressively fight not stop assisting public corruption, and the city must institute many many tools to assure our schools, facilities, and streets are safe and all perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Businesses and citizens must be freed from City harassment.  I have many specific proposals I will be introducing, – many utilizing new electronic technology.
Tom McMahon We have made strides in the past year by adding additional officers, homeless outreach team and a core team.
Carmen Jones To begin to adequately address the current and future public safety issues and changes facing not only our city but, the country as well. One of my suggestions are the city should consider forming a local oversight committee or counsel comprised of the Chief of our city Broward Sheriff Office, local citizens and or stakeholders.
Ed Phillips STILL GATHERING INPUT FROM COMMUNITY
Barry Moss I believe that our public safety functions are quite good, and that the City has a good relationship with the police and fire departments.  Our award-winning fire department is among the best in the country.  That said, nothing is perfect and continuing to engage with those departments and our citizens about how a good thing can be made better is the responsibility of all elected officials and City staff.

 

Question 10: Do you believe that Pompano Beach has a homelessness problem?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin Yes
John Cavanaugh Yes
Andrea McGee Yes
Rhonda Eaton Yes
Daniel Caradonna Yes
Tom McMahon Yes
Carmen Jones Yes
Ed Phillips Yes
Barry Moss Yes

 

Question 11: If you answered “YES”, what solutions would you propose? If you answered “NO,” just write “no” in the box below.
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin I think it is time to begin a discussion about investing in mental health professionals to help with the homeless issue at the City level. Homelessness is not a crime and simply hiring additional BSO Deputies has not been shown to be effective at addressing the problem.
John Cavanaugh Please see above.
Andrea McGee It’s been very difficult these past few months with the COVID-19 limiting facilities and access to help for the homeless. I believe moving forward if we can help expand the services and availability of the homeless shelter on Blount Road. Also expand the community outreach to try and help those struggling help themselves by taking advantage of what the shelter has to offer.
Rhonda Eaton As many other cities also experience a problem with homelessness, Pompano has taken a pro-active approach; we do and I will continue to support our partnership with Broward County in their efforts to provide compassionate assistance and treatment for individuals who find themselves living on the streets.  We recently reinstated the Ambassadors Program in the ECRA and enacted legislation prohibiting lodging and storage on public lands.  The city has also revised our public solicitation codes in the interest of safety on our public thoroughfares.
Daniel Caradonna The first is to get them off the streets, and not into mass holding facilities that are havens for drug dealing and usage.  The City needs to take properties that are in need of restoration and house them there and utilize them to do the rehabbing so they can recover their self-esteem and dignity, make money, and rehabilitate themselves.  The current politicians have allowed them, and even encouraged them, to stay unproductive members of society and used them as political pawns.
Ask a homeless person what opportunity they have now and they will answer “NONE.” I will change that to “ENOUGH SO I CAN CLIMB OUT OF WHERE I AM.”
Tom McMahon Providing additional oversight of the county’s homeless shelter operations. Work with professional consultants to find programs that have worked in other areas of the country. Finding and implementing additional programs on a city level.
Carmen Jones Establish a continual collaborative with all necessary entities needed to bring lasting effective solutions such as Law Enforcement, Social Services, Veteran Affairs just to name a few.
Ed Phillips 1 SOME SORT OF OUTREACH 2 LIST OF DRUG REHAB PROGRAMS 3 LIST OF SOCIAL SERVICES THAT CURRENTLY THAT ADDRESS THESE ISSUES
Barry Moss It goes without saying that this is a very complex problem that has no easy answer.  Because we are a beach community and because we have several homeless shelters and feeding facilities here makes the issue more prevalent in Pompano than in other cities of our size.  Homelessness is very much a product of drug or alcohol addiction and we need to partner with other cities, the county and charitable agencies to take a more regional approach to the problem.  We have had some modest success in instituting changes to some of our ordinances that have helped keep homeless people from soliciting in the middle of busy intersections.  That, however, is only a first step.

 

Question 12: Do you believe city government should play a role in education and local schools?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin Yes
John Cavanaugh Yes
Andrea McGee Yes
Rhonda Eaton Yes
Daniel Caradonna Yes
Tom McMahon Yes
Carmen Jones Yes
Ed Phillips Yes
Barry Moss Yes

 

Question 13: Why or why not?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin It is apparent that the Broward County School System is unable to deliver “A” rated schools for the vast majority of Pompano Beach students.
John Cavanaugh It is not hard to quantify how important the role of education is to the economics of the City of Pompano Beach. A solid foundation of public/private elementary and middle school offerings attract families who settle and make a decades long investment in the community. They purchase homes, relocate, or establish new businesses, fill local houses of worship, volunteer in community organizations and patronize local businesses. While the city does not have direct oversight over the public and private schools that reside in it, it is essential that the Commission, Vice Mayor and Mayor develop and maintain relationships that allow for the maximum amount of positive influence they can exert with respect to education.

Similarly, the presence of undergraduate/graduate institutions provide businesses with access to a quality candidate pool from which they can obtain high caliber talent. Emerging students with an entrepreneurial spirit push the envelope of innovation. With the proper encouragement, economic incentives, and investment incubation they establish and grow small businesses – the lifeblood of any community.

Andrea McGee Broward is a huge county. I believe that more local government involvement can help identify local needs and work with the county school board to the benefit of the families.
Rhonda Eaton I support the establishment of a city sponsored charter school, because I believe that parents and students should have an alternative educational opportunity when they feel that their current school is not serving their educational needs.  As of this writing, the city’s application for a municipal charter school has been approved.  In this endeavor, I am committed to a program that will provide the best opportunity for the successful education of our students, hire certified teachers and foster family involvement in our students’ education.  In addition, the city should remain involved in school safety efforts.
Daniel Caradonna School age people need to know they are cared for, valued, and engaged.  The current state of mass protests shows how much energy they have – we need to engage and interact with them by making them participants, not future participants.
Tom McMahon This past year we voted to open Pompano Beach’s first charter school. This new school will provide our residents the opportunity to give their children a first-class education.
Carmen Jones City of Pompano is unique in its ability to have 2 high schools, 2 middle schools, 4 elementary schools. The city has the opportunity to help ensure these learning institutes has the support and resources needed to ensure success in creating and attracting future residents and business. it also has the ability to influence and develop the type of future adults it would like as residents.
Ed Phillips WHERE AND WHEN POSSIBLE–WE SHOULD BE ACTIVE IN PRESSING THE SCHOOL BD FOR OUR CONCERNS IN IMPROVING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AN SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN
Barry Moss The Broward County School Board is too big, too bureaucratic, and too far away from the county’s disparate neighborhoods.  It does not have a grasp on the unique issues that face the different areas of the county.  I believe that municipalities had more input when the Board had a level of administrative management that was broken down by district.  The administrators in each area had a better understanding of what the particular issues were in a given community.
I am so proud and happy that the School Board has recently approved Pompano Beach’s request to establish a MUNICIPAL charter school which will be publicly funded and free to all residents of our City.   This will enable our community to have a greater level of control over the school and will enable us to focus on our particular needs.

 

Question 14: Please explain how you would modify the City’s budget.
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin Budget has been presented which I agree with. Will be finalized in September.
John Cavanaugh The question and answer are greater than what can be put into a form.
Andrea McGee Continued trimming. We have invested in our city’s development and we are starting to see the returns of our investment. Still we need to be sure that we keep our taxes low and our government tight.
Rhonda Eaton I have and will continue to push for more resources to be spent in District 2.  My area of the city has seen very little in the way of city projects and improvements; almost nothing until recently with the advent of the Burrie Center, GO bond-funded 33rd street beautification and North Pompano Park improvements.  We are finally getting streetlights that I have been fighting for in neighborhoods that heretofore had none at all or very few – a major public safety issue.  We need more streetscape projects and need to look for funding from the transportation surtax fund.  We can do this by promoting the idea that streets within neighborhoods must be considered as important for the betterment of the community as a whole, when competing with other large transportation projects. I have requested that NE 3rd Avenue (the spine of the North Kendall Green/Crystal Lake Middle School neighborhood) be slated for beautification and traffic calming as the residents there tell me that it is a veritable raceway.  I also believe it is money well spent for the expansion of cameras within the city as an aid to Law Enforcement, as a deterrent to crime and as a way of insuring a safer community for our residents.
Daniel Caradonna First by starting with making public where our current budget is going and who is getting enriched and in what ways.  There are two categories of where our money goes 1) into the hands of City employees, and 2) into the hands of City contractors.
Our employees are paid very well, we should set standards for them as to what we expect from them and oversee them, helping make their jobs easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient for we citizens. City contractors know our City is a push-over, over-inflate our costs and profiteer off the taxpayers with the help of current city government and our elected and appointed officials. Wrongdoing has made Pompano Beach the laughingstock of Florida. We are literally stuffing money into the pockets of political cronies.  It needs to be revealed and stopped.  The entire way our City passes taxpayer money around, and the manner and expenditures being made must be brought into citizen oversight and approval.  Right now, Pompano Beach residents are getting what a handful of people want and a handful are profiting handsomely from it.  Pompano money needs to stay in Pompano and only used for what the CITIZENS want and will benefit from, and we do NOT want over-development-to-the-street-overcrowding to benefit insiders, like our former Mayor who had the audacity to name an over spent, crammed ocean front development after his family name, or a former commissioner building to the street with her name prominently on it, both with over-spending and under-parking.  Our library is a total waste of space both as to its positioning on the lot and inside where people obviously see huge wasted open air instead of people-usable space, which air cost taxpayers way too much money. Pompano does not need a new City Hall and those proposing it must be removed from office.  We also do not need huge developments belonging in big cities scattered helter-skelter happenstance randomly throughout our city, and tax-increment financing should be sparingly used. What is being spent on CRA administration and projects must be redirected to helping people in their own homes, such as safety remodeling for health purposes, not to stuff more taxpayer money into developers’ bank accounts.  The City budget must be modified to serve individual citizens, not special interest insiders as it is now.
Tom McMahon With current events impacting city revenues we will need to look closely at how and where money is being spent. Making cuts while also trying to help out small business in our community.
Carmen Jones I believe a Commissioner has the responsibility to assist the city manager in its role in overseeing and allocating a sustainable, practical, responsible budget.
Ed Phillips CURRENTLY REVIEWING AS THE COMMISSION NOW THEMSELVES DEVELOPING
Barry Moss We are currently in the process of reviewing the budget for 2021 and I think that our staff does a very good job of considering the needs of a growing city.
We are proud of the fact that our Finance Department has been the recipient of numerous awards for effective budget management and that the tax burden to our citizens is among the lowest in Broward County.

 

Question 15: What are your thoughts on how the City should govern post-COVID?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin It is expected that there will be larger budget challenges next year as the fallout from COVID-19 is realized. Hopefully, we will have a vaccine by late 2020 or early 2021 so that the economy can begin to get back to normal. Aggressively going after all federal dollars that are available will help offset the hit to revenues that are expected.
John Cavanaugh I don’t believe we are far enough through the COVID experience that I can formulate comprehensive thoughts about what governing changes can/should be made.
Andrea McGee I believe we work to return back to normal (pre-virus normal) as soon as safely possible and that we take a leadership role in encouraging the county to do the same.
Rhonda Eaton Now more than ever, fiscal responsibility is paramount.  We must now be more aware of and prepared for pandemics as we plan for the future.  We should also do as much as we can to assist our residents with relief whenever, wherever and however needed so we can all work towards recovery both financially and emotionally.
Daniel Caradonna The City needs to aggressively help every Pompano business get back and fully on its feet and hire as many Pompano Beach residents as possible.  Ask any Pompano Beach businessperson what their experience has been, and they will tell you they feel oppressed and not impressed.  The first goal needs to be devoted to making businesses and residents prosperous and there are many many ways the City will be able tom assist if we have a changing of the guard on the City Commission. Also, our elderly must continue to be protected in every conceivable way both financially and health-wise, so ongoing standards must be set to accomplish that, such as requiring special “at risk” business hours, home delivery, and a close monitoring of the health of the entire Pompano community.  Lastly the City needs to have rescue and prevention programs in place to prevent new outbreaks or other public health issues, including from rising ocean levels. Monitoring is key and programs that benefit individuals suited to their special circumstances put in place.
City government should and must, and will if I’m elected, be concerned with citizens first and foremost, not special interests and special interests profits.
Current City government has it backwards right now, and that’s why I want to serve on the City Commission and replace the current Commissioner.
Tom McMahon Small businesses are struggling. Now more than ever we need to ease restrictions and be small business friendly in order to help them succeed.
Carmen Jones I think the city should actively engage in following CDC, County, State and Federal guidelines that are prudent and reasonable for our city.
Ed Phillips KEEP COMMUNICATING AND FOLLOWING GUIDELINES
Barry Moss That, of course, will depend on what conditions are like post-COVID.  Municipalities have few tools in their toolboxes which enable them to exert much control over issues of public health.  It is my feeling that we have been ill-served by our State and Federal governments.  County and municipal leaders need to be more vocal about how government has failed our citizens and search for answers as to how to strengthen local control over these types of situations.

 

Question 16: What have you done in the past to demonstrate your commitment to Pompano Beach?
Candidate Response
Rex Hardin My past years of service as City Commissioner and Mayor as well as various community organizations.
John Cavanaugh I purchased a house in Pompano Beach many years ago.  A house I intended to stay in through job changes, life changes, children, etc.  I am about half-way through keeping that commitment.  There are too many to list beyond that.
Andrea McGee I grew up here, then I left home to see the world. I lived and worked in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC. What I realized is that Pompano Beach is awesome! So, I came back here to start my business, was elected to the commission and bought my first home. Pompano Beach is in my blood and always will be. Have a BEAUTIFUL day!
Rhonda Eaton Shortly after moving here in 1989, became a volunteer board member on my neighborhood association in Hillsboro Shores and later president for many years.  During that time, I walked the neighborhood with various petitions: some for development, some against and some for the preservation of our public access on the Inlet.

I was an activist in matters pertaining to the ECRA and redevelopment in the area: petitioning both the city and the county is support of it; attending the city commission meetings nearly four years straight; chairing the CRA Citizens Advisory Committee; and then serving a Vice-Chair.  In addition, I studied New Urbanism, public administration, and urban design in effort to provide the best possible input for the success of the CRA and the city -attending and participating in many charrettes. Recently, having served as president of the Cresthaven Civic Association  for two terms and as a board member since 2014 where I continue to serve, I led the effort to apply for a LEEPS grant for entryway signage in Cresthaven and helped plant the plants under the sign.  In addition, my civic association experience got me involved as a volunteer advocate in support for our successful GO bond initiative.

In further service to my community I served on the Planning and Zoning Board and was elected Vice Chair.  I have always been civic in my nature and look towards finding solutions to problems where they exist.

Daniel Caradonna I am a lifelong Pompanian, a homeowner who take pride in homeownership and a successful Pompano Beach business owner.  I have thought of moving my business to a more business friendly City but my devotion to Pompano and belief that it can be turned around has kept me here, As a homeowner and business owner in Pompano Beach, I have the motivation to make Pompano Beach a far better place to live, be in business in, and work in, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen, including listening to my fellow residents and business owners on what they would like to see to enhance their enjoyment of their community, increase their property value (not lower it with out of place over-development), and want to expand their businesses and hire more Pompano Beach residents.  I have worked hard to mobilize people to bring about voter turnout to keep Pompano from being further overrun by self-serving special interests who got away with three huge unneeded special interest bond issues and attempted to dilute voter participation by making the current Commissions even more entrenched, which the vast majority of Pompano residents saw through and told them no. I am willing to get involved and be my districts spokesperson with close interaction with my neighbors so our City can reflect the will of the people, not the special interest profiteers who would pull the wool over people’s eyes and fleece their pockets.  I live and work here in District 3; my opponent has a business in another District.  I have the commitment to do all that can be done for my neighbors and fellow business people, all of whom are having a rough time of it right now and can use all the help they can get.
Tom McMahon I have taken this part time position and gave it my full-time attention. I work more hours in my office at city Hall than I do in my own busines. I communicate with my residents from first email or phone call to the follow up on the issues discussed. I attended the majority of advisory board meetings in an effort to familiarize myself with the needs that they have as well as weekly meetings with our city manager both for updates and to update him.
Carmen Jones A. Currently Servicing:
1. Current Pompano Beach Housing Authority Board of Commissioners
(2nd 4-year term)
2. Current Census Count Committee Pompano Beach
3. Kiwanis Club Pompano BeachB. Previous Service:
1. Pompano Beach Educational Advisory Board
2.Pompano Beach Economic Development Board
3. Pompano Beach Budget Review Committee
4. Pompano Beach Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Founder
5. Chairperson Tiger Trail Festival’s First Gala and Gospel Concert
Ed Phillips I DID NOT GO AWAY I STAYED ENGAGED–
Barry Moss Since moving here in 2006 I have been actively involved in my community.  I am the representative for my 59-unit condo. building; the Vice President of my 382-unit condo. association; on the Executive Board of Palm Aire United and the President of one of the Palm Aire political clubs.  I have also been a tutor for several years at the Pompano Beach Elementary School and currently volunteer the Collier City Public Library to help children from the Charles Drew Elementary School with their homework and with reading exercises.  I am a pledging member of the Episcopal Church and volunteer there as well.

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