The face of the Broward County Commission is changing with three new Commissioners and two incumbent Commissioners sworn in to office on Tuesday. The Board also selected a new Mayor and Vice Mayor.
District 8 Commissioner and Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief was chosen to serve as Broward County Mayor and District 6 Commissioner Beam Furr will serve as Vice Mayor.
This is the second time Commissioner Sharief has lead the County as Mayor. She plans to continue her “Broward Means Business” initiative which focuses on developing and assisting small businesses. Mayor Sharief announced plans to host a series of small business seminars over the course of this year and will regularly recognize small business owners at Commission meetings. Mayor Sharief was elected to the Commission in 2010 and became the first female African American woman to serve as Mayor in 2012. She previously served on the Miramar City Commission. “Thank you to my colleagues for bestowing this honor upon me for a second time and to everyone who has supported me,” said Mayor Sharief.
Commissioner Beam Furr was selected by his colleagues on the Commission to serve as Broward County Vice Mayor. Furr was elected to represent District 6 in 2014. He previously served for 12 years as a City Commissioner for district 2 in Hollywood.
Three new Commissioners and two incumbent Commissioners were officially sworn in to office on Tuesday.
District 1 Commissioner Nan H. Rich served in the State Senate from 2004 until she was term limited in 2012. She was the first woman to be elected Senate Democratic Leader in 2010. She also served two terms in the Florida House of Representatives. “I feel quite fortunate to use the years of experience that I’ve had in the Florida legislature and in the community. We have these wonderful economic engines but we have a lot of needs for children in the child welfare system, for seniors, and for veterans. Other critical issues are affordable workforce housing and the environment, all of which I plan on working on in this capacity,” said Commissioner Rich. District 1 includes portions of the cities of Davie, Lauderhill, Plantation, Sunrise, Tamarac and Weston.
District 3 Commissioner Michael Udine served as Parkland City Mayor for ten years until he ran for his Broward County Commission seat. He was first elected to the Parkland City Commission in 2003 and served as Mayor beginning in 2006. “I believe that public service is just that, service to the public. I look forward to serving you each and every day I’m up here. I’m an easily accessible person and I’m always available to my constituents and to help anyone with any issues that affect their lives,” said Udine. Commission District 3 encompasses all of Parkland and portions of Coral Springs, Tamarac and North Lauderdale.
District 5 Commissioner Steve Geller served as a Florida State Senator from 1998 to 2008 and as a Florida State Representative from 1988 to 1998. He was the Senate Democratic Leader from 2006 to 2008. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in Broward County since I was first elected to the legislature 28 years ago. One thing that hasn’t changed is the desire of the citizens to be heard by their elected officials. I’m very concerned about income inequality in Broward. I believe the best way to fix this is by creating more high paying jobs. We’re unique in the southeastern United States by having an airport, seaport, railroad and interstate in such close proximity to each other and to deep water. I believe that we can do more and create high paying jobs in this mega zone,” said Geller. District 5 includes the cities of Southwest Ranches and Cooper City and portions of Davie, Plantation, Sunrise and Weston.
Incumbent Commissioners Tim Ryan and Dale V.C. Holness were also sworn in as they begin their second terms as County Commissioners.
A lifelong resident of Broward County, District 7 Commissioner Tim Ryan was elected in November 2012. He was selected to serve as Mayor in November 2014, after serving as Vice Mayor the previous year. Tim also spent eight years in the Florida House of Representatives before leaving due to term limits in 2006. We here on this dais, we share with you the excitement and the enthusiasm that this day brings. As we move forward, let’s focus and listen. Let’s ask questions and be respectful. With that, success lies ahead,” said Commissioner Tim Ryan. District 7 includes the cities of Dania Beach, Lazy Lake and Wilton Manors, parts of Davie, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, and the Broadview Park neighborhood in unincorporated Broward County.
District 9 Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness was sworn in by U. S. Senator Alcee Hastings today. Holness was first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. “There is still a lot of work to do because there are pockets of poverty and high unemployment within Broward County. We need to invest more capital in people. That’s what it will take to move these communities that have been left behind, investing and ensuring that we have apprenticeship programs, training programs, mentorship programs for youths and our young people so that we can grow our workforce and be competitive with the rest of the world,” said Commissioner Holness. District 9 includes portions of the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac and Plantation.
The Broward County Charter stipulates that Commissioners, elected from single member districts, vote annually in November for the position of Mayor and Vice Mayor.