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Fisher Ascending

Former Pompano Beach mayor and current Broward County Commissioner and Vice Mayor Lamar Fisher will assume the role of Mayor of Broward County on November 29, 2022, the first Pompano Beach resident ever to do so. The position was created in 2013, and the term is one year. The other members of the commission elect the mayor.

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The resume

Lamar Fisher, Vice Mayor currently

Broward County Commission, District 4

District 4, which includes all or portions of Fort Lauderdale, Hillsboro Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Lazy Lake, Lighthouse Point, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach, Sea Ranch Lakes and Wilton Manors.

Elected 2018, unopposed for reelection in 2022

Pompano Beach Mayor, 2007-2018

Pompano Beach City Commissioner, 2002-2007

Broward County is the 17th-most populous county in the United States, with 1.94 million residents as of the 2020 census.

Fisher serves on several Boards appointed by the mayor, including the metropolitan planning organization, fire rescue council, school oversight committee, and the transportation management association. He holds the special appointment as the Broward County Commission Beach Renourishment Liaison and is a member of the Port Everglades Advocacy Team.

Fisher met me at the Lucky Fish restaurant, the new, open-air restaurant practically on the sand of the beach and immediately next to the now iconic sign announcing the “Pompano Beach Fisher Family Pier” which honors four generations of the Fisher family and their contributions to the city. Obviously, there is a bit of humor that the pier, primarily used for fishing, is now named for a family called Fisher, but they started in the area over 100 years ago in pursuit of farming, which was much more prominent then.

“Blew me away. It was a total surprise about the naming of the pier,” according to Fisher, visibly humbled by the honor. His great-grandfather was one of the signers of the articles of incorporation in 1908 and his father served as mayor starting in 1943 but Lamar is the star of the family that has served the greater city for decades.

But Fisher’s surprise belays the huge redevelopment that has transformed Pompano’s beachfront and other significant areas of the city over the last ten years. This magazine has published a steady stream of news about projects over the years as the CRA (Community Redevelopment Authority), the city and the county worked to create and execute a grand, new vision for Pompano Beach — and Lamar Fisher was leading the city for most of the time this work has been happening.

Clearly, Fisher’s family influenced him to be a community leader, but he credits his service club work as the foundation for his leadership development. “I really got my start with Kiwanis” Fisher said as he described his involvement with the elementary school students, his local club and his work at the state level with many clubs. He served as the Florida district president from 1998-99. “I learned from those experiences.”

The Broward County mayor represents the county at ceremonial functions and presides over the commission meetings but essentially has one vote like the other commissioners. As a distant observer over the years, the position is primarily ceremonial, and the county has a full team of administrative professionals to execute the commission’s policies. Still, the position is coveted and not given without deliberations among the commission’s nine members.

I asked Fisher to identify the biggest problems facing Broward County residents.

“Our ability to attract and retain workers relies on being able to house them economically,” explained Lamar. “The cost of housing for workers is too high, and it affects everything else.”

I asked Fisher what the county is doing about this problem.

“We have programs to help both landlords and workers,” he started. When a developer wants approval to build a certain number of luxury or market-price units, the county can require a portion of the units to be for workforce members of the community or the county will accept a fee that can be used to fund workforce units at other projects in the county.

Lamar Fisher with Joy and Lou Moshakos. “These people get a lot of credit. They believed in the vision,” Lamar said of Lou and Joy Moshakos, who were at Lucky Fish on Pompano Beach the day of the interview with Fisher. The Moshakos also own Oceanic Restaurant on Pompano Beach. Lou and Joy started their restaurant careers over 40 years ago in neighboring Deerfield Beach.

“Last year, we funded 1,200 units” in that program,” he said with a smile.

“And how many units did the commission need to fund?” I asked.
“40,000,” he replied.

From observing Pompano Beach’s growth under Fisher’s leadership, most people can see his continued results with workforce housing as an essential component of growth. With every luxury apartment tower on the beach, a small army of workers is needed to attend to those new residents. With every new hotel in the county, another apartment complex is needed to house the workers required to serve all the new tourists.

We discussed pension funding for county employees and the 31 municipalities in the county. Lamar assured me that funding is adequate.
Tourism is huge for Broward County, and Lamar clearly understands this. The day-to-day work of tourism is handled by the Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is funded and governed by Broward County, but tourism leadership is the responsibility of everyone in the region. We discussed the intensity of competition at state, national and international levels as travelers have more options than ever for travel experiences.

Fisher also has a day job and family life. He is president and CEO of Fisher Auction Company, headquartered in Pompano Beach. For over 30 years, Lamar has been active in all aspects of the auctioning industry.
Fisher is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife, Suzan, have two children, Patricia Fisher McGrath and Lamar “Paul” Fisher Jr., who also work at the Fisher Auction Company as in-house counsel and executive vice president of business development, making the business a four-generation family-run firm.

Lamar Fisher photographed at Lucky Fish on Pompano Beach

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Richard Rosser
Author: Richard Rosser

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