By Chris – Mainlands Resident
Question: Why has the City of Tamarac allowed itself to deteriorate while the surrounding cities have made improvements?
This remains an unanswered question due to the lack of response from city officials and/or their inadequate responses to the public. The city has been having community meetings with question and answer periods for the citizens, yet many citizens walk away feeling they’ve gotten nowhere with the issues they raise. Either excuses or no real responses are given by the Mayor, Council, or city staff. Several citizens asked why the city is allowing overnight parking on the streets when the ordinance states that it is illegal to park on the street after 2 am. The BSO Chief and city officials admitted that they look the other way, and don’t enforce the law because many homes have inadequate parking for the large families that have moved into small homes with small lots. Are laws and standards being ignored by those that are to elected and hired to enforce them, causing the devaluation of the properties of the people that follow the laws and don’t buy a home with parking for 2 cars when they have 5 cars? It’s evident that this is what is happening. Our neighborhoods are in poor shape due to a lack of proper codes, and the codes we have are not always being enforced because officials are abandoning their fiduciary duties.
Recently the city stated that they were citing those that have air conditioner units that can be see from the street, and that they must be hidden. Yet, if you want to paint your house purple and lime green with pink polka dots, it’s OK! Right now there are no codes for those that park on their lawns. Go through some of our neighborhoods at night or on weekends and some of the homes look like used car dealerships, or as if we were in unincorporated Broward with vehicles parked across the entire lawn right up to the front door. This might be the norm in a third world nation, but it has no place in our city. Making it a priority to hide an air conditioner of a house that has five cars parked on the lawn doesn’t make sense.
Why aren’t there codes against these things? Maybe it’s because it isn’t happening next door to the City Manager since he doesn’t live in Tamarac, or the Vice Mayor because she lives in a part of Tamarac (Woodlands) that has “special codes” voted upon by two former city officials who live in the same neighborhood, and they made sure they got special codes for themselves. These special codes don’t allow parking on the grass, or a house to be painted florescent colors. The city has a color palette just for that neighborhood. There is no logical reason why their part of the city should be favored and deserve more codes and enforcement than the rest of the city. Don’t they know that the values at the Woodlands are affected by the look of the surrounding neighborhoods? When asked these questions, the city has no logical reply, other than they think it may be too much a burden in these economic times. Well, paint costs the same no matter what color it is, and those of us that have lived here for years don’t want to look at the hillbilly haven of vehicles parked all over the lawns. How about the burden of our property values going down?
Other cities have created Safe Neighborhood Districts to improve areas and have supplied the project funds up front so the neighborhoods could be revitalized. Tamarac has created a special Safe Neighborhood District for the Woodlands but then left them in the dark by not funding it, leaving it helpless.
Look at the improvements that have been made in Lauderhill with nice walls, entrance signs, landscaping, etc. They have made tremendous strides to improve their city which has a lower household income than Tamarac, yet our city has not done any of these improvements. Take a look at the architecture of new buildings in Lauderhill, Sunrise, Coral Springs, etc. For example, look at new a Walgreens in those cities and a new Walgreens in Tamarac on Commercial Blvd and State Road 7. It’s a square box with no architectural appeal. Walgreens and all other new buildings must meet a higher level of architectural standards in surrounding cities than they do in Tamarac. Our standards appear to be four walls making a box, and theirs have fine architectural details.
Why is this?
Does all of this come down to the type of people we elect, and the type of people hired to conduct city business? Obviously, with our past indicted officials it makes you wonder what dealings were made to lower the standards so any square box could be built. Those elected officials are the same that sold us out with the Sabal Palm golf course, and purchased a revenue generating gas station lot on Pine Island road to turn it into a non tax generating lot just so they could develop a now defunct downtown “Mainstreet” with upscale homes, restaurants, and businesses. The current administration is continuing with these ideas. Who are they kidding? Tamarac is not and will never be a destination where those from other areas will flock to for upscale shopping and dining. Millions of taxpayer dollars have gone to this dream project, yet the city complains about shortfalls, and cuts to services.
Ever wonder how much it costs the city to produce and mail out that slick yearly notice of how safe our drinking water is? Why do weed need such an expensive notice when it should just be part of the Tam-a-gram? What are the costs of car allowances and pensions to our city officials? Are they unreasonable? The new proposed budgets for the city include $335,000 for new signs to the Woodmont Neighborhood. Why? No other neighborhoods are getting signage. Just a few more questions to ponder!