By: Sharon Aron Baron
Back in 2012, when Coral Springs Talk was in its infancy, a young college graduate was making a bid at running for city commissioner.
I remember seeing Dan Daley’s flyers posted on the windows of every businesses at the Walk and around Coral Springs that year and thought two things:
- He looks young and energetic and
- He’s going to win with that catchy name.
Daley was only 21 years-old at the time, and after campaigning for 18 months straight, he won his seat with 57 percent of the vote. He was sworn in at the age of 22.
Daley is is a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and graduated from Florida State University in 2 1/2 years at the age of 20. Yes, in that short amount of time. I asked him why the rush? He said he enjoyed his years in college, but “had things I wanted to do.”
After he was elected to the commission, he started law school at Nova University and will soon graduate on December 13.
Daley brings youth and energy to the commission, and along with Larry Vignola, they have made a whole crop of younger residents interested in local government. And because he’s accessible on social media, he connects well with residents on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Like anyone young and old, Daley has matured over the years, and today he reflects back on his three years as a Coral Springs City Commissioner and shares a few lessons he has learned:
- Constituent service is priority number one. People ask why I advertise in the paper and on social media. It’s not because I’m running for something else, it’s because I want to try and be helpful whenever and wherever I can. That’s another reason I give out my cell phone number on all publications. If a constituent has an issue, they should be able to reach their elected official directly.
- You can’t please everyone. If you can, you’re probably not doing the job correctly. I have had the opportunity to make some tough decisions over the last 3 years and expect to make more before my time is through. I do so each time in a way that I truly feel will benefit the city and as many residents as possible. Sometimes those decisions infuriate a vocal minority, but at the end of the day I can feel like I voted my conscience.
- Elected officials aren’t special. They’re regular people and have flaws all the same. Anyone that tells you they’re perfect and that they always made the right decision are lying to themselves. At the end of the day elected officials are, on the most part, concerned citizens that just wanted to make a difference. Because you voted for them, doesn’t give you carte blanche to be rude, disrespectful, or vile when we may disagree on an issue. Disagreements are common and healthy, but should remain civil and above personal attacks and conspiracy theories. At the end of the day we may disagree on this one issue, but work together on another issue the very next day. Remember that.
- It’s a privilege to get up every day and represent the people of Coral Springs. There is no better opportunity than to work each day to make your community better, even if it’s in a minor way.
- See number 1.
Daley was reelected unopposed in 2014. His term is up in 2018.