By: Sharon Aron Baron
I received my September issue of Money Magazine the other day and on the front cover was “Best Places to Live 2013.” As I was flipping through all the pages of ideal places to live around the country, I was hoping that Tamarac would one day be listed among them. That was before I took a drive down University and saw the red light ticket camera monstrosities being installed in our city today.
There’s no going back: Red light cameras are going up, and sadly, they are so aesthetically unappealing.
The Mayor and Commissioners voted yes to these back in 2012 after hearing the pitch from American Traffic Solutions. In 2010, the city commission in Coral Springs voted on the cameras as well and went with Affiliated Computer Systems (ACS). ACS’s cameras were at least more aesthetically pleasing, blending in a little better with the roadway instead of standing out.
I’ve looked at both types, and American Traffic Solutions are the ugliest of the two – the company the Tamarac City Commission chose.
Do looks matter in Tamarac anyway?
This is the city that has a Public Art Committee, but no beautification committee. That would be like “putting lipstick on a pig” as we would say in Texas, before Sarah Palin made the phrase famous.
Our City Manager Michael Cernech praises Tamarac as a “great place to raise a family” in the 50th Anniversary video that came out this spring, however, before being promoted from Deputy City Manager to City Manager in 2009, he set his sights outside the “City for your Life” and moved his family into a $570,000 home in Parkland, Florida.
Financial Services Director Mark Mason who led the project for the red light cameras, doesn’t live in Tamarac as well. In 2010 after working as the Financial Director for the City of Cape Coral, he was hired by the City of Tamarac and moved to Coral Springs.
The question really isn’t why they moved to those cities, but why didn’t they choose to live in Tamarac?
How are we going to ever be one of Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live if those that are making decisions that affect the aesthetics of our city don’t even want to live here?
If you are going to be making decisions that sets precedent in our city, then please do a better job of making our community look like the neighborhood that you live in before the “City for your Life” becomes more like “Run for your life.”
Just don’t run through those red lights though, or that will be $158.