Rodstrom’s Liftoff To Nova Should Be A No-Go

26 May

Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom says he can do it.

The 59-year-old politician says he can oversee the county and it’s total $3.5 billion budget and at the same time he serves as chief operating officer of Nova Southeastern University, which has a growing campus and some 29,000 students. He says he began a physical transformation that began when he was 40, the same year he was elected to the commission that has brought his weight down from 210 to 185 pounds and his heart rate from 90 beats a minute to 55.  And he puts almost all his energy into his work.


“I have held two full-time jobs for 25 years,” says Rodstrom, who currently serves as a managing director at Sterne Agee, a municipal investment firm. “I’m a type-A personality. I’m at the gym at 5:15 in the morning five days a week. I don’t get home until 8 p.m. and sometimes I’m still on the phone when I walk in the door. I sleep less than most. I’m driven. I work all the time. I know how to manage my time and I don’t waste my time.”

Maybe so, but I think this idea of serving both the county and the heavily politically connected private university is dead on arrival. Even if he can do both jobs effectively — he collects a $92,000 salary from the county and would likely make about a quarter million dollars or more in the Nova job — the two positions conflict in such a way that if Rodstrom does get an offer from Nova, he would need to choose one of those masters, not both.

Rodstrom says he doesn’t see a conflict with the two jobs, but it was just such a conflict that forced him to announce that he was seeking the job at Tuesday’s commission meeting. The county was voting on whether or not to spend millions more on its partnership with Nova on a library on the campus. Rodstrom says he didn’t want to have to announce that he was seeking the job along with 200 other applicants, but he knew he was legally required to do so.

When I asked him about all the other conflicts his job would entail, Rodstrom said he believed the joint library was the only one. Not so. A quick bit of research showed that the county has facilitated at least $60 million in tax-exempt bonds for the heavily leveraged university, had contracted the university for various studies, and had given millions for a marine biology study. That’s just what I found in a 15 minutes.

The truth is that Nova has used its political connections and lobbyists to influence the county to help it on numerous occasions — and don’t expect that to change. Taxpayers need to be represented as fairly as possible in these decisions and having a veteran and savvy commissioner like Rodstrom on the Nova payroll, abstaining or not, doesn’t seem tenable. Bottom line: He should withdraw his name from consideration.

— Some quick housekeeping issues:

For some reason a few posts have been held up so far in the automatic moderation process that shouldn’t have been. This isn’t uncommon. My apologies to Truthseeker and the Steve the Strax fan — your comments are now up. Also please bear with the terrible design — we’re going to fix it as soon as possible, but it may take a while. As for our presence on Google, the blog is there but it’s going to take some time to raise its profile on the search engine. And finally, those of you who want to reach me can contact me on at, or if you prefer,


20 Responses to “Rodstrom’s Liftoff To Nova Should Be A No-Go”

  1. Holl May 26, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Can you get whoever set up this blog to use a darker color for the writing? The light gray words are a strain for those of us with vision impairment. Black would be a great color.

    Thank you.

    • brow May 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm #


  2. betterthananovel May 26, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Agree 100%. No go for Rodstrom.

  3. Christy May 26, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Pulp, Nice article. Conflict of interest there. I’d like to see a law put in place to protect the taxpayers. There must be qualified non-biased applicant out of the other 199 applicants.

  4. Truthseeker May 26, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Thanks Bob.

  5. Dead Conscience of Mitch Sleazer May 26, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    And speaking of big conflicts of interest, how come Mitch Ceasar wasn’t listed in Monday’s blog kickoff post as a likely subject of future Bob Norman articles?

  6. Anonomyte May 26, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Your the best source of real news Bob. Keep up the good work.

  7. Chick Little May 26, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Doesn’t look like Bob has gotten off to such a great start. Claiming a breaking story involving the arrests regarding Rothstein. There will be arrests and the IT people will charged along with SR but Bob needs to act like a real journalist or he will devalue Channel 10’s integrity.

    • anonymous May 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      They day 10 hired Bob they devalued their integrity.

  8. local10 May 26, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    The pending arrests were reported by more than one news outlet and I stand by the reporting. One thing I’ve learned about the feds is that they go by their own time frame.

    And Holl, I’ll see about darkening the newsprint.

  9. unowho!!! May 26, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Df3 I cant find the Granteed bashing was it taken off?…@Pulpsters I never thought I would see 0 comments on NTs BNB looks like the dysfunctional family has officially relocated and BTW “Its Rick” is not moi!!!

    • Virgil Starkwell May 26, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Nice avatar. You almost had tic tac toe.

  10. Virgil Starkwell May 26, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Instead of arresting the IT guys from RRA, I think we should offer them a pardon if they can teach my friends on this blog how to download a photo or image to use as their avatar.

    These Rorshach tests are giving me a headache.

  11. BNGroupie#69 May 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Rodstrom sure does think highly of himself. That is if being a Type A workaholic is something to be proud of.

  12. anonymous May 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    If someone wants to work two jobs, have at it! If they can’t do the government job, they will get voted out of office. As as far as conflict, I don’t see it. As long as anytime something comes up concerning NOVA he abstains from voting, it’s not an issue.

    • All That Glitters..... May 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

      We voted for a commissioner that can work full capacity and vote on all the issues that come before them. No issue of conflict should come into play.

      • That's Bullshit May 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

        You most certainly did not. All legislative positions in Florida are part time. It is incredible that such statements can be made and not challenged. County, city commissioners, state legislators all of them are part time positions and the vast majority hold full-time jobs. That is called a citizen legislator form of government and it has been in place in Florida forever. What are you talking about? Secondly there are imagined conflicts and actual ones. The laws say what is a conflict and how to address them. The fact that some reporter doesn’t like this or that doesn’t add up to shit in the larger scheme of things. There are laws that address what is ethical. Pay attention to facts and stop being manipulated by propaganda.

  13. unowho!!! May 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    With the unemployment situation I think its best someone qualified and really needing this job would be more appropriate!!!

  14. All That Glitters..... May 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Is the public to be hoodwinked again? Of course this a conflict. Rodstrom fits right into the category of Well connected and lobbyist. Do one or the other Mr. Rodstrom. You’ve lost my vote.

  15. Really? June 1, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    You all are retarded. As stated earlier our political system was designed so you could hold a full time job in addition to it. There are laws in place to prevent corruption and Rodstrom has a very strong ethical record which is known for his disclosures over things which sometime seem even trivial. Rodstrom is straight shooter with a great ethical background. And I believe a Ivy league education with a law degree from the very same school he is seeking work at make him more then qualified. Lastly I bet almost anything that he would step down from if he decided to accept a job at nova. Don’t forget his wife has been his prodigy for a couple of years now. I am sure she would run for his seat.

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