Thank you Naomi Parker.
Yesterday I was at the fundraiser for Joe Angelo for Mayor , Celeste Ellich for Commissioner and Steve Zollo for Commissioner - all for the City of Wilton Manors.
At least I think it was officially for those three...
But I am getting ahead of myself.
Every neighborhood has its share of Characters. Interesting people that make life better by their being there. I hadn't had the distinct PLEASURE (Get that? I can't stress it enough!) of meeting Naomi Parker before. She lives within walking distance of me, I've walked Mrs Dog past her house thinking that she's done nice work on her property, but I never knew that the beauty on the outside was outshone by the beauty of this warm woman's love and hospitality.
Naomi is one of those people that when you say you hadn't met her you hear "You mean you haven't Met NAOMI?" in tones of awe of the experience you will have as you get to know this gem of a person. Naomi is a warm and giving person who seems to be the "Earth Mother" of that side of the Central Neighborhood. One of those people who seems to know everyone and lives her life by making them feel cared for, Naomi opened her house to me and mine, and the political people last night.
Oh did I say she made some of the best Barbecue I've had and I'm making it my own personal quest to find some of the best. You know you're in for some good food when you spot that smoke from a block away and sniff that tang of a barbecue grill on the air. This thing was easily 10 feet long of grilling potential. Forget your Weber's folks, Naomi doesn't mess around!
The warmth of Naomi and her friends was apparent as people in the neighborhood floated past the house all evening. She started us off with the food and she'd introduce us to the neighbors, offer them some of her specialties, and set us on the right track.
That was a perfect analogy to the evening. Warmth and Inclusiveness.
For the entire time I was there, the yard was filled with friends and family. Everyone welcome, everyone enjoying themselves. I'm skipping a breakfast that I don't need because she had so much on the table that was so wonderful.
As the group grew to its peak, I was asked what I would write about in this posting. I looked around at the crowd and pointed out that I was looking at a group of people who are competitors in the current elections, at no point did the number of electoral hopefuls fall below 4 out of 7 for the municipal election. Every one of them were chatting like they were old friends.
As a Project Manager, I was looking at it from the "Team Building" angle. I realized if I were their boss, I would have had no work building the team. These people were all able to work together, talk, and not compete. It was an interesting view, as I pointed it out to the people gathered. Celeste Ellich had said that "that was the way we wanted it." For the most part, the City Commission does work together, fairly well. With some notable exceptions, the people on the Dais every two weeks are there to co-operate and not play schoolyard games.
I would say that the fundraiser was a success. It started at 4pm, and I left after 7pm which was it's official ending time. Despite being turned into a pincushion by hungry mosquitoes (this is South Florida after all), I didn't want to leave. There were good friends, good food and good times. I can't say enough good about the time.
The bottom line is that if you haven't voted, I can easily say that any of the people that were there last night were deserving of your vote.
The list would be as follows:
For Mayor - Joe Angelo
For the 4 Year Commission Seats - Pick 2 of 3
Ted Galatis, Scott Newton, and Steve Zollo
For the 2 Year Commission Seat - Celeste Ellich
Thank you again Naomi!