YOUTH MOVEMENT: EX-COUNCILMAN’S GRANDSON, 17, SEEKS OFFICE
Kimberly Lifton, Staff Writer
This article was first published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel in 1985.
Glenn Greenwald, the 17-year-old grandson of former council member L.L. Greenwald, filed Wednesday to challenge three incumbents for a seat on the City Council.
“Age should not be a factor,” said Glenn Greenwald, a senior at Nova High School. “But I expect it to be a main issue in the terms of my candidacy,” said the teen-ager who is the youngest person in Broward County to file for a council seat in the upcoming municipal elections.
His grandfather, 80, said the issues are clear-cut.
“The council is getting a little old. They act as a social club and get very little done,” said L.L. Greenwald, who served on the council from 1976 to 1979. “It (the council) needs new blood,” the grandfather said. “This is a big thing because it’s youth vs. the senior citizens on the council.”
If the teen-ager wins a Lauderdale Lakes City Council seat, he might be the youngest elected official ever to take office in Broward County. Glenn Greenwald will turn 18 on March 6, six days before the election.
He wasn’t sure the city clerk would accept his candidacy since he won’t be a registered voter before next Wednesday’s filing deadline. He said he tried to file Tuesday, but City Clerk Audrey Tolle told him she needed to confer with the city attorney.
On Wednesday, she allowed him to fill out stacks of papers and accepted his $180 filing fee. Glenn Greenwald said he doesn’t expect anyone to challenge his credentials.
Since he will be a registered voter by the election, he said, “No one has a basis for a challenge.”
“I wouldn’t have considered running if I had no chance,” Greenwald said. “It will be difficult without a doubt.”
Three council seats are open. So far, the young challenger will face incumbents Harry Rosenkrantz, 67, Morris “Mac” Klein, 72 and Lou Tenner, 73.
The three top vote getters will join Jerome Cohan, 80, Samuel Goldstein, 76 and Sol Rossman, 71, on the council.
When contacted, Rosenkrantz, Rossman and Tenner said they welcome Greenwald’s candidacy.
“I wish him luck,” said Rosencrantz. He said that the youngster’s candidacy is no threat to council incumbents. “He’s a nice, young fellow, but he’s not ready yet.”
“The more the merrier,” Tenner said.
“I wish there were 20 more of them,” Rossman added. “Let them come in and see what has to be done.”
Greenwald, a champion debater who holds a B+/A- grade-point-average, said he has not organized a campaign staff.
He said he will use family and friends to distribute leaflets and posters.
Greenwald’s father, Daniel Greenwald, of Plantation, called his son’s candidacy “absolutely fantastic.”
“It’s a great thing that he’s doing it at this age,” Daniel Greenwald said. “Realistically it will be tough. He needs to convince a lot of people that he’s perfectly serious.”
Greenwald, a Democrat, has about $280 in a campaign fund. He does not expect the campaign to be costly, but he has verbal commitments from family friends for donations.
The candidate said he is disappointed with the way in which council members have “mismanaged the city’s budget.”
The city, with a $4 million surplus in its budget, needs to put more money into police protection for the city, he said.
“They need to pay more attention to public works, too,” he added.
If he wins, the National Merit Scholarship finalist plans to attend the University of Miami. He will study pre-law and political science.
Previous experience for the young politician dates back to 1975, when he was appointed to the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board at age 8. At that time, he regularly attended meetings with his grandfather.
As a Little League baseball player he had been worried that the council wasn’t concerned about the city’s park.
Later, he started a political youth organization and recently completed a 4- year term on the Broward County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.