By: Sharon Aron Baron
Commissioner Marlon Bolton made a surprising motion on Wednesday morning at the Tamarac City Commission: drop the $700 monthly car allowances.
According to several sources, Commissioner Julie Fishman who represents Kings Point allegedly had her new Kia Sorrento repossessed and has been riding a bicycle to work – all while continuing to accept her monthly car allowance. We contacted Fishman, and she replied that her engine blew out. When pressed to find out where it was being serviced, she would not answer.
“I would like to understand more about the compensation process. If we cannot justify our pay checks or why car allowances are necessary, I therefore here and now ask that rescind receiving them.” – Commissioner Marlon Bolton
Before Bolton proposed removing the car allowance, he first expressed disappointment that both Gomez and Fishman voted not to allow local high school Boyd Anderson to become one of the city’s charitably entities. Boyd Anderson high school is on the east part of Tamarac and students from both Bolton’s and Gomez’s district attend the school.
“It is sad that the commission did not see it fit to add Boyd Anderson High School to its list of charities today. We certainly see things differently. Our community is changing, especially on the east side. Three communities: Hidden Trails, Manor Parc and Central Parc are going in and will undoubtedly change our community.”
He said that one of two things would happen: new families would converge on the community and they will be shocked to find out that their child will be assigned to Boyd Anderson High school, a school that has true potential but presently rated with a less than stellar grade or; families will choose not to buy in these communities out of fear that their child will not have a choice at a great school.
“It is true that when families are purchasing property, a part of their decision-making is based on whether or not that district is assigned to good rating schools,” said Bolton.
He asked who will give a lending hand to schools such as Boyd Anderson to change. “The teachers? principal? The school board? The parents? No, all of us, including the commissioners and community leaders. We are a community of parents and not just that, we were elected to lead and effect change.”
He said this led him to another issue, and that was with their car allowances.
“Our yearly salary here is over $42,000, including a $700 per month car allowance. This does not include added benefits including health insurance and life insurance. How many days are we obligated to be here each month? Once, twice?”
Bolton said that he couldn’t make a determination for each of the commissioners that the pay grade is too high or too low, but what he has noticed, is that at least one commissioner, Julie Fishman, is receiving a car allowance but does not actually own a car…rather a pink bicycle that does not need gas.
“I would like to understand more about the compensation process. If we cannot justify our pay checks or why car allowances are necessary, I therefore here and now ask that rescind receiving them. If we cannot do this here, I make a motion to have the topic work-shopped, where I can make alternative recommendations after hearing what staff and the commission has presented.”
Vice Mayor Placko and commissioners Gomez and Fishman were silent and no one seconded his motion to discuss it further.
Mayor Dressler, was not in attendance and is currently studying at Harvard’s Kennedy Center.