FACT AND FICTION:
DECIPHERING THE ISSUES IN SIB’S MAYORAL CAMPAIGN
By The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter
As we sift through the various mailers from both mayoral candidates, it may be difficult to discern fact from fiction. Below is a brief comparison that may help and demonstrate why we are endorsing George “Bud” Scholl for Mayor.
FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler served on the commission for nine years, and his voting record is replete with favors to developers, which created a skyline that did not conform to our City’s Comprehensive Plan. Thaler’s campaign chest is filled with hefty donations from grateful developers and their associates.
CONCLUSION: If elected mayor, Thaler will continue to favor developers over residents.
FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler has not sent a single mailer addressing Bud Scholl’s voting record or service as a seven year commissioner. He has, however, trolled through personal information about Bud Scholl’s children using school records, classmates.com, and résumés.
CONCLUSION: Thaler has no legitimate criticism of Bud Scholl’s seven year voting record or service as a City Commissioner, which is well-reasoned, independent (he was often the dissenting vote on 4-1 decisions), and in the best interest of our City and residents. For example, in the case of the historic Temple landmarking decision, had the rest of the commission (including Lew Thaler) followed Bud Scholl’s lone vote, it would have saved taxpayers over Two Million Dollars and an unnecessary lawsuit. Thaler cannot launch credible attacks at the things that matter. As a result, he stooped to new City campaign lows by attacking his opponent’s children.
FACT: Bud Scholl’s criticism of Lew Thaler is 100% factual and documented. These facts include:
1. Thaler and the mayor violated the Sunshine Law in a developer meeting and boasted about it publicly (pre 11/12/2010 vote);
2. Thaler supported a developer for an ill-fated aquarium to the tune of millions of dollars (11/12/2010 vote);
3. Thaler sponsored a measure to award himself $6,000 a year in expenses without having to provide documentation (9/20/2012 vote);
4. Thaler supported a $650,000 contract in a questionable bid process to a company tied to a convicted felon (9/20/2012 vote);
5. Thaler heavily lobbied to rename Heritage Park, primarily dedicated to our war veterans, after himself (9/20/2012 vote);
6. Thaler billed taxpayers for personal car repairs when he was no longer in office (City Finance Records check # 007887 issued to Thaler);
7. Thaler used city staff to run his personal errands while he spends summers in his second home in Connecticut (disclosure by former city manager).
** Wait a second… summers in Connecticut?! Would that actually make Thaler the part-time commissioner he has been claiming he was not?
CONCLUSION: Lew Thaler’s record as an elected official and thereafter (not that of his family or acquaintances) is a matter of serious concern for SIB voters. In fact, there are too many embarrassing Thaler votes to mention in campaign flyers, including Thaler’s vote to stop the feral cat feeding program. Thaler thought it would be a better idea just to let the cats starve. This was his ordinance on his last day in office, the same day he failed to get Heritage Park named after himself. It was an unfortunate “let them eat cake!” note with which to end his political career.
FACT: Despite running for office several times and having been a candidate for this particular race for over a year and a half, Lew Thaler has improperly used his campaign funds, which triggered a Florida Elections Commission investigation and shows Thaler’s ignorance and/or disregard for the most sensitive of campaign rules….the one relating to dollars.
CONCLUSION: Neither Thaler nor his close advisors are familiar with or care to respect campaign rules and procedures. We should be concerned by this amateur-hour performance from a supposed seasoned politician and his team.
FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler has every intention to ignore our City Charter, the City’s constitution, as well as our Comprehensive Plan. He has campaigned promising to be a full-time mayor when our City Charter requires a full-time professional City Manager and a part-time mayor and commission. For more on this point, please refer to our article at http://sibreporter.net/2014/09/in-%e2%80%9clew%e2%80%9d-of-quality-thaler-offers-quantity/. In fact, in a debate forum on October 22, 2014 at the Trump III, Thaler stated that he would not permit the City Manager to tell him how to implement public policy, and referred to the City Manager disrespectfully as a “hired gun” that needs to be watched over every single day.
CONCLUSION: Thaler is misleading voters and/or has no idea how our city is supposed to be run.
FACT: 77 year old Lewis J. Thaler accused Bud Scholl of missing all but one City Commission Workshop. What he fails to tell you is that Bud Scholl purposely does not attend these NON-MANDATORY “agenda” meetings because he believes it compromises Sunshine laws and deprives residents of the full discourse the Sunshine laws are intended to protect.
CONCLUSION: Thaler is trying to mislead voters and/or does not understand our Sunshine laws.
So, those are the facts and our conclusions. We hope this was helpful as you prepare to vote for the future of our City. The Sunny Isles Beach Reporter is privileged to recommend residents give their vote to Commissioner George “Bud” Scholl as our next Mayor of Sunny Isles Beach.