By Sharon Aron Baron
Marlon Bolton has remained quiet about the budget amendment proposal leak but on Tuesday, one month after the Sun-Sentinel broke the story, he shared an email to his constituents blaming the city manager, mayor, and the former commission.
“Here is the truth, Friends! I absolutely requested budget amendment items, my friend, because the City of Tamarac priorities are in the wrong place.”
He wrote about the mayor voting to approve the Colony West Clubhouse to host “parties” — even though it takes a majority vote to pass an item.
“The same mayor who will not lower taxes year after year and the same mayor who voted against assistants but hired one afterward to the tune of $25,000 per year to boost her name ID on social media and blogs. The same mayor who voted against an additional $25,000 spending budget but then started to spend it on “Novelties” pens with her name on it?”
He wrote that none of this makes the news because he is an easier target.
“I believe the [city] manager and the mayor has used the media to taint my reputation so that when I speak out, I do not sound credible or genuine and they believe I will be running for the mayor’s seat in 2022.”
In the draft of a budget amendment leaked by an employee to the Sun-Sentinel, Bolton’s proposals rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in perks for the commission, including:
- Full health insurance: About $55,324 annually for the group to share “to provide city commission members with city-paid health insurance coverage at 100%.”
- Retirement: $87,500 annually to be shared for the commissioners’ retirement plans. The new retirement dollars would amount to $437,500 over five years. The commissioners currently get a city contribution of $4,800 per person per year.
- Furniture: $15,000 for “the purchase of furniture for City Hall commissioner’s office space.” Bolton’s Office.
- Technology: $30,000 for a “technology” stipend for the group to share. Details of what qualified as technology weren’t specified.
- Education: A $10,000 fund to reimburse commissioners as a group for education such as college classes.
City Manager Michael Cernech isn’t immune from the blame as well.
“The city manager of this city of only 65,000 people makes $498,648.52 per year (salary and benefits included). This is more than any US Congressman or US Senator‘s base salary, and the Manger’s [sic] salary and benefits package is on par with the base pay rate of the President of the United States.”
There’s a difference. Bolton is a part-time elected official, and Cernech oversees various departments, including 400 employees.
He writes how he wants to remove the $700 car allowance, the $35 per month PDA allowance, the $80 per month cellphone allowance, and replace that $815 package with a temporary $400 technology budget. While the technology stipend is in the budget amendment — removing the $700 car allowance is not.
He says that he wants to convince his colleagues to serve for free. This would save taxpayers $1,040,000 over a 4-year term.
“Before my plan could see the light of day and get to the dias [sic] for debate My Friend, the Sun-Sentinel got a hold of a memo, reported what things seemed to be and not what things would shape to be. So everything got lost in translation and the plans fell apart.”
In Bolton’s 2,000 word essay, he doesn’t reveal how that he did not come forward at the April 28 city commission when commissioners were wondering who requested the items. In the end, every commissioner, except the mayor, voted to move forward in hiring an independent investigator to find out who leaked the memo —which may cost taxpayers up to $50,000.
Bolton penned the email one month after the story, never once taking any ownership on the budget proposals that were determined to be his. Then he urges constituents to “join him on this journey.”
“Help me change our charter so that you hold the power once and for all. Write to your commissioners and tell them enough is enough.”
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- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk, and Parkland Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2011 to provide News for the residents of Tamarac and is the #1 News Source for Residents.