Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Preparing a credible “Opening State-
ment” is crucially important when running for a seat on City Commission.

As you probably know by now, the Qualifying Period to be on the ballot for the March 2018 elections began last Tuesday (Nov. 28th) and ends on December 12th at noon. To learn more click on this link and see the Public Notice published in The Lake Worth Herald as well.

If one is considering getting into the race, you need to get your “ducks in a row” starting right away and begin preparing for the debate(s) at the Lake Worth Playhouse in early January and the neighborhood debates to follow. The Playhouse debates can be your “breakout” moment or sink your campaign for good and never fully recover.

The elections to be held on March 13th, 2018 are much more significant given that those elected will be serving 3-year terms as opposed to two-year terms as it’s been in the past due to the referendum that passed in March 2017.

Now back to the importance of an “Opening Statement” at the upcoming Playhouse and neighborhood debates.

Case example: 2011 race between then-citizen Andy Amoroso and then-District 3 commissioner, JoAnn Golden.

Note: The videos of Amoroso and Golden taken at that Playhouse debate are below for reference and future study.

JoAnn Golden’s poor performance at the Playhouse debate was likely a contributing factor in
that election loss back in 2011.
But it can also be said that now-District 3 Commissioner Amoroso’s confidence and knowledge of the issues gave him a big boost and likely the election win as well.

Briefly, one of the biggest issues back in 2011 was the “hot-button” topic of a fire assessment and in the video below you’ll hear Golden’s incredulous statement, “We need to tweak it next year.” Golden voted for the fire assessment and called it “fair and equitable” although most of the burden would fall on the business community driving the Downtown occupancy rate even lower and discourage other businesses from relocating or opening up in the City.

Another ‘fact’ thrown out by Golden, and wildly false, was about the City of Lake Worth’s “90% occupancy rate in the Downtown”. One of the public in attendance was quick to point the actual occupancy rate was a bit lower: 33%.

Also note it is customary and a sign of respect to
remain standing at a public debate.

Now to the opening statement by then-citizen
Andy Amoroso:

Notice how Amoroso starts off his opening statement: By thanking the Neighborhood Assoc. Presidents’ Council (NAPC) for hosting the debate, encouraging more public participation and that the NAPC is “doing great things in your city.”

He goes on to list the positive things that had happened as co-Chair of the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the NSP-2 program, community involvement, and other items including he is (and remains to this day) a Downtown business owner.

At the end of this video note the tremendous applause from the public in attendance:

Stay tuned for more videos of public debates from previous elections on what to do and what to say, and just as importantly, what not to do and what not to say. The debates at the Lake Worth Playhouse are very important. But so are the debates at neighborhood meetings as well.

One again. The Qualifying Period to get ones name on the ballot ends on December 12th at noon. Three weeks later, following the New Year 2018, the scheduling of debates will begin.

If one is planning on running for a seat on the City Commission, for mayor or commissioner in Districts 1 and 3, there’s not much time left. So start practicing and find a good coach if you think you need one.

Your “Opening Statement” sets the stage for the entire campaign going forward.