By: Sharon Aron Baron
Tamarac residents need to compare the cost of a special election to the salary and benefits of a commissioner who is required to remain in office until 2014 who literally works less than five hours a week.
Many residents believe that Patte Atkins-Grad’s attorney’s defense that she was “dumber than a rock” may have won her acquittal, but didn’t excuse her from taking a bribe for a down payment for a BMW and victory party while voting for a land deal.
Now that she has been reinstated back in office, she currently makes an estimated $44,970 a year in salary, car allowance and benefits for doing little work as a City Commissioner. A recent check of her calendar has revealed in February, she worked only 18 hours the entire month. Sadly, because of recent public outbursts, no one is booking Atkins-Grad for public appearances.
If a special election was held this year to replace Atkins-Grad, Interim City Clerk Pat Teufel, who inquired with Dr. Brenda Snipes’s office, estimates costs to be around $61,000, not the $200,000 that Patte Atkins-Grad has been distributing on flyers and on her website. A special election would only be held if the recall efforts are successful which means the 1,468 signatures, which are 20 percent more than needed, are certified by the Supervisor of Elections. Volunteers would then need to collect a second set of signatures which could include the same names to have a successful recall.
If Atkins-Grad stays in her current position until 2014, taxpayers would have paid her over $89,940 in salary and benefits.
All for doing very little work.
In March, Atkins-Grad’s calendar shows her working 20 backbreaking hours which includes city and community events. Most part-time workers may work 20 hours a week, but Atkins-Grad makes a monthly salary of $3,747.00 including benefits for working only 20 hours the entire month.
This amounts to $187 an hour.
With this much pay and those few hours, it is no wonder why Atkins-Grad is hanging on to this job. Not for her constituents whom she says she cares so much about, but her windfall from the taxpayers.
“With Patte Atkins-Grad it was always, and still is, all about the money.” Said District Two resident George Stroker.
Will the cost of electing a competent and honest commissioner to serve District Two in Tamarac be an investment well-spent for the taxpayers of Tamarac?
Atkins-Grad Salary is as follows:
Current Salary: $29,200/annual
Car Allowance: $700/mo.
Cell Phone Allowance: $50/mo.
PDA Allowance: $35/mo.
457 Plan Contribution: $400/mo.
Benefit Options: $1,550/annual
Life & Long Term Disability Insurance. She also receives Pension, Health Insurance, Dental Insurance.