By: Sharon Aron Baron
Despite finding out the truth about the real cost of a recall election, Patte Atkins-Grad continued to mislead residents on her new website www.TamaracTruth.com in which she says the amount was $200,000.
Atkins-Grad distributed flyers with the same information at a recent homeowners association meeting. Meanwhile, 1,468 resident’s signatures are currently being certified at the Supervisor of Elections office.
Last Wednesday, the $200,000 amount was publicly disputed by Interim City Clerk Pat Teufel at the City Commission meeting when she said the cost was around $61,000.
“This was a perceptive lie,” said resident George Stroker, “The approximate cost of a recall election is $61,000 as confirmed by the City Clerk the very next day.”
Stroker continued, “By the way, the cost of her resignation would be zero dollars.”
Recall Chair and Defense Attorney Alvin Entin says the $60,000 election cost is a lot of money, but the alternative for the city and its residents to allow an unabashedly corrupt public official to continue to sit on the commission making financial calls on issues is ten times more expensive than the recall.
“How can we as taxpayers take any comfort in the fact that Atkins-Grad, who doesn’t deny taking the money the last time, will vote without conflict this time?”
In the latest twist, Atkins-Grad’s website asks why wasn’t Mayor Beth Talabisco being recalled and whether there will be a future effort to recall her? She says that if the recall effort against Commissioner Atkins-Grad is successful, this could start a domino effect leading to a recall effort to remove the Mayor, resulting in another recall election paid for by the residents of Tamarac.
Alvin Entin, who answered publicly on BrowardBeat.com, said, “We are not going after the Mayor because, unlike Atkins-Grad, she did nothing objectively wrong. Her lawyer, Larry Davis, filed and won a C4 motion where the truth of all the facts known to the State we conceded as true and Judge Cindy Imperato, one of the very best we have, found, as a matter of law there was no crime committed and the Mayor did no wrong. That was good enough for the (Recall) Committee.”
Since the commissioner has proven to be a time-bomb, recently telling Commissioner Pam Bushnell, “Shut up, you bitch” and yelling at a resident at a public event, no organization or business is clamoring to schedule Atkins-Grad at any public event.
Therefore, with no events on her agenda, she only has to show up for two-morning workshops and two city commission meetings each month as part of her salary.
However, Atkins-Grad can’t accomplish this without drama, choosing to conveniently stroll out of last Wednesday’s City Commission meeting without proper protocol by informing the Mayor or even the audience members before doing so. She chose the exact moment to “bail” before residents had a chance to express their concerns about her.
More importantly, she left before one crucial vote: The Firefighters Pension Plan Amendment.
The Firefighters Pension Plan Amendment locked the sustainability of our Tamarac Firefighters and savings to the City of more than $660,000. It represented hundreds of hours and months of cooperative negotiations between our Firefighters and the City Staff.
Not only did she thumb her nose up at residents at Wednesday night’s City Commission Meeting, but she also strolled out without supporting our Firefighters with her important vote.
Tamarac Resident Patti Lynn believes that the residents in District Two deserve a commissioner that can properly represent them.
“Let’s face it; she’s reaping $5,000 per month in salary and benefits. She’ll hang on until the last possible moment. If she truly cared about the residents of District Two and not her own pocketbook, she’d resign.”