By: Sharon Aron Baron
Former City Commissioner Michelle Gomez, who served for two and a half years after Patte Atkins-Grad’s arrest and subsequent trial and acquittal has never been outspoken publicly.
On Wednesday evening, Gomez stood in front of the Mayor and the city commission to address the attacks that Atkins-Grad has made regarding her the website Tamarac Truth. Gomez and others who have been attacked by Atkins-Grad have been left with little choice but to respond publicly.
From Michelle Gomez:
Originally, I was attending today to listen to the wonderful State of the City, show support, and thank you, the Commission, for treating me so well when I served with you.
Unfortunately, something occurred recently to make me stand before you now. To all here tonight and tuning in via the live stream, I appreciate your time and the opportunity to express myself in this open forum.
When I was needed, I stepped up. I was honored to serve my Community and believe I served honorably. When my services were no longer needed, I left honorably. Then, needlessly, my honor was attacked.
To begin, I have never stated I was in exile. Since the Commission returned from the winter holidays, some events I have attended are:
- Three P.A.R.O.T. Board meetings and a fundraiser
- Two Relay For Life Fundraisers
- Kiwanis Meetings, Adopt-A-Street Clean-up, and Key Club Car Wash
- Mainlands Park Ground Breaking
- The Fabulons Concert with Food Trucks
- Four (Tamarac Chamber of Commerce Events including the Health Expo, and
- The Tamarac Garage Sale
As for the current District 2 Commissioner’s attendance, I know of two: The Mainlands Park Ground Breaking and the Woodlands Stakeholders’ meeting.
My not appearing at Workshops and Commission Meetings has been out of respect for the Commission, the City Staff and the City. I did not want to add to the already incendiary atmosphere. With the use of technology, I have read all the agendas and watched all the Workshops and Commission Meetings live by way of my computer.
Ms. Atkins-Grad states that she is remaining on the Commission “because my constituents need me.” Can you advise us today Ms. Atkins-Grad, right now, without asking someone, the answers to the following questions:
- What are the concerns or needs of Mainlands 9, Greenhaven, Fairhaven, Vanguard Village, or Concord Village?
- What is the purpose behind the Stakeholders’ meetings? What is the purpose of the WNID meetings?
- What businesses have opened or closed in District 2?
Ms. Atkins-Grad, if you want to attack me, attack me on matters concerning my work on behalf of the City and to my face, not on a blog. Do not attack me personally as I never attacked you.
Ms. Atkins-Grad’s website falsely accuses me of advising residents that l believe the District 2 seat is rightfully mine and assure them I “will be back in office very soon.” I have never said that and I have always said that my term was temporary.
Now, to one of the most laughable titles that I have ever been given, which Ms. Atkins-Grad bestowed upon me through her paid advertisement:
“Hebrew National Heiress Gomez.”
I am not, nor have I ever been, in blood-line to anyone owning Hebrew National. If anyone would have checked the history of the company, they would have learned that my grandfather sold Hebrew National in 1968, long before he married my grandmother. Further, if anyone would have checked, they would also learn that I was not in my grandfather’s will. Even if I had been, what relevance does that have to my time as Commissioner?
The paid advertisement goes on to accuse me of funding the Recall effort. I unequivocally deny that I funded the Recall in any manner and I find it to be libelous. The rumor that I funded the Recall was first published on your blog, Patte. One could certainly assume that you are the originator of that rumor.
To my knowledge, the costs of the Recall efforts have been borne by the volunteers of the Recall Committee.
To the Recall Committee, all the volunteers and people who signed the petition: Thank you for being part of the governmental process and standing up for what you believe is just and right.
Ms. Atkins-Grad’s desperation shows further with her attack on me and attempt to ruin my credibility alleging I lied in the January 26th Sun-Sentinel article because I eventually signed the petition. I did sign when asked directly by the co-organizer, Alvin Entin, after the Woodlands Homeowners Association meeting on February 12th, and the events that transpired there. As it turns out, with the complexity of the process, my vote was, in fact, needed.
To the media, thank you for your coverage. Despite some of the negative comments made by others on your sites, maybe it will bring people to Tamarac to see this beautiful and well-run city, as stated by our mayor earlier this evening.
I have always stated that I was given an honor to serve District 2 and the marvelous City of Tamarac. While I did not expect the pleasure to last for two and a half years as Ms. Atkins-Grad made her competency an issue in her criminal trial, I proudly served.
I took my appointment to serve the community very seriously. Working for the City of Tamarac’s public-good is not a joke, nor is it a game. It is a shame that it seems Ms. Atkins-Grad felt so threatened by the many people who have asked me to serve again that just prior to the results of the petition being announced, she had to attack me with untruths.
To all of you who have expressed your kind words to me, I wholeheartedly thank you.
To Ms. Atkins-Grad, the City of Tamarac will remain the excellent city it is, and will strive to excel despite your presence. The Commission is a terrific collegiate body and we have superb staff and employees that run our city. Government is bigger than one person. While one person can be a detractor, our city will overcome your being a Commissioner.
Thank you all for your time, and allowing me to publicly respond to the baseless personal attacks against me. On behalf of myself, and I believe all listening, I want to congratulate the City for all of their hard work. Always know I am here to support this wonderful City in any way I can.Thank you again. Michelle Gomez