Mayor Bids Farewell, but Hopes to Serve as County Commissioner
By Phil Fishman / October 1, 2016
Michael Udine is well prepared for his next political challenge.
The ten-year Mayor of Parkland is the Democratic nominee for County Commission District 3- the area of Broward County that serves Parkland, Coral Springs, Tamara, and a slice of North Ft. Lauderdale.
He will resign as Mayor effective on November 4. Four days later, his name will appear on the same general ballot where voters will make their choice for the next President.
The decision to run for the county commission was a natural by-product of his commitment to serve the community.
"I have been mayor for 10 years in Parkland, and was in local government three years before that," Udine said. "I've been in District 3 my entire life. I want to continue serving the residents of Northwest Broward."
Parkland's growth and recognition as great place to live is a direct result of Udine's vision and dedication to serving his constituency.
"It's really been gratifying to see the results of your hard work," he said. "When I drive around the city of Parkland, I am so pleased to see the imprint of my service. We have a dog park, a veteran's park, we built out Pine Trails Park, and built two new schools. Heron Heights is the first green school in Broward County. The list goes on and on."
Parkland has received a slew of plaudits from around the state during Udine's decade long tenure as Mayor.
"We been rated the best city to raise a family, and the safest city in South Florida," he said. "We have done this using strict fiscal responsibility. We have no pension issues, no real long-term debt, and one of the lowest tax rates in the county. We've lowered our millage rate, and have a low Fire Service Fee. When I look at the city most of the buildings have my imprint on it. We've done it in a way that has helped the residents socially."
During his 13 years of public service, Udine served three years on the Parkland County Commission before being elected Mayor. He has seen school kids grow into adults. First and second graders, his children included, are now in college. One Parkland resident is even a well-known major leaguer.
"Antony Rizzo is an All-Star of the Cubs, he played on our little league fields. We have doctors and business owners who I have watched grow up and are successes in the real world," he said. "As my children grew up in this area, it was great to give back. All the decisions I have made revolved around the fact that I am just like most our residents. It's about young families with kids, and I wanted our community to be the best it could be."
Udine envisions his transition between local politics and county government will be a familiar one. "There's an overlap between county and city government. As I leave office there's a lot of things the county commission does that affect the cities of Parkland, Coral Springs, and Tamarac, including road issues and promoting small business," he said.
Udine will also be immersed issues indigenous to Broward County.
"Transportation in the county is a big issue, as well as traffic, the 10th Street connector, 911 emergencies, public safety, and funding. The good thing is, I hit the ground running. I worked on many of these issues from the city end. I see it, and can jump on it with hands-on experience," he said.
Udine's visibility and accessibility among voters has been an encouraging sign.
"I've received the endorsement of firefighters, police, realtors, and the AFL-CIO teachers union among others. The biggest endorsement I am looking for is from the voters on Election Day."