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Big Mouths Need Not Apply

Date posted: January 21, 2012


The City of Tamarac is presently seeking residents to voluntarily serve on their advisory boards and committees.  Apply only if you don’t publicly disagree with how your officials run your city.

Failure to do so will result in termination of your volunteer position.

Back in 2010, I wanted to make a difference and serve on a committee. The seat was for the Metropolitan Planning Committee’s (MPO) Community Involvement Roundtable (CIR).

I had been concerned with issues involving transportation. Namely our city’s lack of bike lanes, turn lanes and most importantly, how we needed more bus shelters.  Driving through cities like Coral Springs and Weston, I couldn’t help but wonder why they had beautiful matching shelters throughout their cities.  Their city streets not only looked better, but residents had a place to sit while protected from the elements on rainy days.

I spoke to Tamarac commissioner Harry Dressler about how we could get more bus shelters for our city.  He said that transportation issues such as these fell under the MPO in which he was the delegate.  I then contacted the MPO and found out that Tamarac had an open seat on its Community Involvement Roundtable that had been open for some time, so I asked to be appointed.  The city commission appointed me back in the fall of 2010.

The Community Involvement Roundtable is a committee comprised of members of the public who are interested in participating in the transportation planning process here in Broward County. The members of the CIR represent a broad cross section of our population including members from our cities and community organizations.   For over a year I represented Tamarac at the CIR meetings as the voice of public opinion on transportation issues.  This seat had been open for some time and sitting members from other cities had been serving in their seats for many years and were very familiar with the workings of the MPO.

I found the meetings informative and got first hand knowledge of upcoming bikeways, road work, signal coordination, traffic studies in Tamarac and around Broward County.  The Community Involvement Roundtable is also a great watchdog committee to see how state and county tax dollars go towards keeping our cities up.

My volunteer service as the Tamarac representative was going well, however I believe the nail in the coffin for my service was back in October of 2011, when I publicly disagreed with the city’s proposal to spend $3 million of our reserve funds to buy the Colony West Golf Course.   I wrote about this on this blog which upset a few people at the city that were in favor of it, including Harry Dressler.

I’m sure this and other articles I wrote about beautification, park closures on Mondays and how city officials don’t want to live in our city probably miffed him as well.

In November, I received a letter from Dressler removing me from my volunteer position:

“Thank you for serving at the City of Tamarac Representative to the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Community Involvement Roundtable.  We appreciate your commitment to improve transportation opportunities in Tamarac….The City Commission traditionally appoints new members to committees on an annual basis.  I feel it is important to afford other citizens the opportunity to serve on this important committee.”

The CIR has members from other cities sit on it for years and suddenly Tamarac wants to rotate a position that had been an open seat for years.

It’s unfortunate that Commissioner Dressler has no need for anyone who disagrees with him or the city.

So go ahead and accept those city volunteer positions, but I will guarantee that you will be swiftly replaced if you make too much noise.

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  • Patti Lynn

    Unfortunate. I thought that this kind of stuff stopped a couple of years ago. A majority of the Tamarac Commission is not participating in that type of retaliatory behavior. It is important for all representatives of the City of Tamarac to espouse the collective view of the Commission, but, you wind up with “Yes People,” if only those who agree with you are permitted to serve on volunteer boards.
    The MPO is important. I have attended several of their public meetings, and I hope that you will attend those also.
    Have you talked to Commissioner Dressler about your removal? Perhaps he might reconsider. Finding common ground with MPO issues may alter the perception that each of you have about the other. Activism is the way that issues are brought to the attention of the public. The City of Tamarac is very open to community participation, so this is difficult to understand.

  • woody72

    OMG, are you saying things haven’t changed in Tamarac. I think the first clue was when they started replacing all the corrupt politicians with more insiders. This town was born with the stench corruption. And in the end, will most likely die from it.

  • Karen Fernandez

    Unbelievable. I can’t believe they let this commissioner get away with this and no one said anything to him? Doesn’t he know he works for us the taxpayers and is not for himself? When is his term up I hope he isn’t re elected!!! Good for you for exposing this as its probably not the first. My opinion!!!

  • Judith Jagoda

    This seems to be the pattern for our city council. Get rid of anyone who doesn’t agree with them and ignore the wishes of the people who live in this community.. vis-a-vie the “Woodlands Neighborhood Improvement District”. the majority of the homeowners have expressed via a petition, their objection to this committee and the city council has chosen to continue to aid the minority in jamming it down everyone’s throat. They ignore statutes, laws, conflicts of interest, etc. They forget that they were elected by us, the residents of Tamarac and Woodlands Country Club, in particular and it is their job to do as we wish, not as they please… So I’m not surprised that a volunteer that voices an opposite view is removed.. Shame on them!!! Government corruption at any level can not be tolerated. Vote them all out of office as soon as possible.

  • Francie Allagreen

    What a shame…I will be certain NOT to vote for Commissioner Dressler…