By Sherry Nabbie-Singh
At Wednesday’s city commission meeting, the vice mayor addressed an unofficial poll about the running track posted on social media, leading to heated discussions, multiple calls for decorum, and petty name-calling.
Despite the 4-1 vote to eliminate the running track at the Sports Complex at the May 26 meeting, Commissioner Mike Gelin posted an image of an unofficial poll about a rubberized track on June 7, showing he is not taking no for an answer as he tries to assert the overwhelming support he received.
However, he failed to include in his poll all of the pertinent information about the track, nor did he provide all of the responses obtained from his survey.
Gelin stated in the post that he would not stop advocating for improvements to the city despite not having the support from the rest of the commission members or the 1,000 residents who signed a petition to stop the track.
Although the item was not listed on the agenda, Commissioner Elvin Villalobos addressed this issue during his time of privilege. However, Gelin interrupted the presentation multiple times and even motioned to table the subject with support from Commissioner Marlon Bolton.
When the motion failed 3-2, Villalobos accused Gelin of first lying, but he had to quickly change his verbiage to “misleading” the residents. Mayor Michelle Gomez directed City Attorney John Herin to reiterate the rules and remind the members on the daïs about their code of conduct.
During a point of order appeal, Bolton asked the vice mayor to lead by example because members cannot speak directly to or in disdain of another member.
However, he may not have remembered just earlier he rudely told Mayor Michelle Gomez:
“I have access to the city attorney at any point during the meeting. It’s not time for a rebuttal. You are not in the courthouse.”
Also, at the May 26 meeting, Bolton called Villalobos “money-hungry.” And when Gomez asked him to let her finish speaking, he said, “Trust me, of five years of dealing with you, I have a lot of patience.”
The disregard for decorum continued during his presentation, where Villalobos again addressed Gelin directly despite calls from Mayor Gomez to avoid doing so.
“Mind your comment, sir,” prompting Gelin to call the vice mayor “clueless.”
Things escalated when Gelin tried to explain the process of presenting a proposal. Villalobos interrupted, asking how he voted on the item. Gelin responded, “I don’t talk to puppets.”
Gelin’s retort produced a gasp of alarm from members of the audience to which an undaunted Villalobos snapped that he’s glad he’s not one.
Mayor Gomez maintained her composure, calling on both commissioners to behave appropriately before announcing that they were moving on to the last item on the agenda.
View the entire meeting here.
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- A self-published author and professional makeup artist who has resided in Tamarac since 2011. Originally from Trinidad, Sherry graduated from the University of the West Indies with a bachelor of arts in literature in English.
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