Leadership coach Norby Belz to challenge Fort Lauderdale Commissioner in District 1

Norby Belz
‘It’s time for a government by locals, for locals that focuses on solving the challenges impacting residents’ lives.’

Small-business owner Norby Belz has worked for nearly two decades to improve the operations and management of universities, schools, businesses and individuals. He now wants to bring his expertise to the Fort Lauderdale Commission.

Belz is mounting a challenge against freshman Commissioner John Herbst, who won his District 1 seat by a 17-percentage-point margin in 2022.

Belz vows to support and attract local businesses, improve public safety, combat homelessness, fight coastal flooding, keep living costs down and back responsible development while preserving community integrity.

“I’m ready to step up and ensure city leadership is focused on the issues that matter most to us — the residents,” Belz said in a statement Tuesday after submitting his campaign paperwork.

“I am deeply committed to serving the residents of Fort Lauderdale and addressing the critical issues facing our city with compassion, integrity, innovation, and fiscal responsibility.”

A philosophy professor-turned-motivational speaker, Belz is the founder and CEO of Seva Learning, a business and career coaching company he’s operated in the city for six years.

He spent most of his career at his alma mater, the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he earned a philosophy doctorate and worked as an educator, director and Chair, according to his LinkedIn page.

A press note from his campaign said he serves today as Vice President of a local business association and has participated on the city’s Parks, Recreation and Beaches Board.

“More than ever before, Fort Lauderdale’s District 1 needs a thoughtful yet compassionate leader with practical solutions to build a stronger, more resilient city for the next generation,” he said. “It’s time for a government by locals, for locals that focuses on solving the challenges impacting residents’ lives.”

So far, Belz is the only person challenging Herbst, Fort Lauderdale’s longtime city auditor whom Fort Lauderdale Commissioners fired nine months before he trounced three opponents to win a seat alongside them.

Herbst’s ouster came after Commissioners accused him of acting outside his authority by opening an investigation into former Police Chief Larry Scirotto’s second job as a NCAA basketball referee.

Mayor Dean Trantalis said Herbst erred by not informing the Commission about the probe, which Herbst opened after receiving an anonymous tip that Scirotto was working his side gig on city time.

Herbst, who previously worked as the finance director for both Neptune Beach and several Jacksonville agencies, quickly filed to run for the District 1 seat and won with 40% of the vote.

District 1 covers the northernmost portion of Fort Lauderdale, with parts abutting the city’s western boundary and others containing beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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