Endorsement: In Deerfield Beach’s only competitive race, stick with Bernie Parness

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·2 min read

Deerfield Beach voters had three seats on their city commission up for election this year, but Mayor Bill Ganz and City Commissioner Todd Drosky drew no competitors in their quests for re-election. And so, voters are left to choose between City Commissioner Bernie Parness and former City Commissioner Richard Rosenzweig for Seat 3 on the Deerfield Beach City Commission.

There aren’t a lot of differences between the two candidates. Both are retired. Both moved to South Florida after careers in the northeast. Both live in the sprawling retirement community of Century Village. Both are committed Democrats; Parness is even an organizer for Democrats in Century Village, a bastion of retired northeast liberalism that, in its heyday, could produce thousands of votes for Democratic politicians and wielded outsized clout in the Broward County party machine.

That was a long time ago, but Century Village still plays a major role in Deerfield politics, and either candidate would make a good representative for their constituents. We give the edge to incumbent candidate Parness because of his familiarity with the issues.

An example is the Sawgrass extension to I-95, a major project still in the planning stages that is adamantly opposed by most Century Village residents, and many throughout Deerfield Beach, especially in the affected corridor. In an interview with the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, Rosenzweig suggested the city contact “Elon Tesla,” by which he meant Elon Musk, CEO of both the Tesla electric car company and SpaceX, the space transportation service.

Musk also owns a tunnel-making venture called the Boring Company that Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis has floated as the potential builder of a tunnel under the New River. Rosenzweig suggested the company could do the same for Deerfield Beach.

But Parness knew that the Florida Department of Transportation had already ruled out a tunnel as a solution because it would be too expensive.

Parness also took Rosenzweig to task for several votes he took as a commissioner, including a vote to develop over an old African-American cemetery. The cemetery, though, was little-known among much of the city’s white population, and construction stopped when archaeologists found remains. The state appropriated $1 million to buy the site from a developer, and it is now a park and memorial.

Because Parness appears to have a better grasp of the issues as they currently stand, rather than as they were when Rosenzweig served on the commission in 2013-2017, when he lost to Parness by 31 votes, the Sun Sentinel endorses Parness for re-election to the Deerfield Beach City Commission.

Editorials are the opinion of the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board and written by one of its members or a designee. The Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Rosemary O’Hara, Dan Sweeney, Steve Bousquet and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson.