The City of Tamarac held it’s District 2 Neighborhood Meeting on April 6th at the Tamarac Community Center. District 2 falls under newly appointed Vice Mayor Michelle Gomez, whose district stretches west from the Sawgrass Expressway east to Rock Island Road.
First to speak was Ray Gagnon, Director of Utilities, who discussed water conservation in our community. He said that in February, there was no rainfall and that Lake Okeechobee was down 2 1/2 feet. Currently, Broward County is under permanent water restrictions where lawn watering is only allowed twice a week. His department will start sending out warnings for violators and then future citations.
Gagnon gave residents tips on saving water:
- Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth or rinsing vegetables
- Sing shorter songs in the shower
- Install low-flow toilets and shower heads
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket
- Repair all leaky faucets
Chief Marc Duguay with the Broward Sheriff’s Office wanted to remind residents about a couple of programs: First, is the free home security survey given by a certified crime prevention specialist. Deputies that have been trained in this area will come to your home and look for potential security issues. Second, is the Cyber Visor alerts from BSO where residents can receive alerts about criminal activity, traffic information, upcoming events, security issues and safety information. Go to www.sheriff.org/cybervisor and register for text messages or email alerts.
Director of Information Technology, Levent Sucuoglu reminded residents that they can pay their utility bills online. In the city’s effort to “go green,” residents can now have their utility bills emailed to them which will save on paper and postage. Go to www.tamarac.org for more information.
After the City Commissioners and department heads spoke, the meeting opened up to questions from the audience. One of the more hotly discussed issues was parking. Many residents said there are too many people parking on the streets at night or even parking on their lawns. City Manager Michael Cernech stressed that many of the homes in Tamarac were built when people only had one or two cars. As times have changed and more people are living under one roof, these homes have as many as 4 cars each. He said that there is nothing the city can do about limiting the amount of cars people own. Chief Mark Duguay said BSO can possibly warn or even cite homeowners that park in the streets.
Steve Culotta with Ambassador Management brought up the issue of code enforcement and how it isn’t as strict in Tamarac compared to the Woodlands. Cernech explained that many years ago the homeowners of the Woodlands came forward with their own code rules which are referred to as the “Woodlands Overlays.” The stricter code in the Woodlands has created extra code enforcement work for the city. This is why the Woodlands is seen by other communities as looking “better” than the rest of Tamarac. The city encourages other communities to come forward with their own rules and regulations and they will work with them as well.
One resident brought up the inevitable elephant in the room which was the recent arrests of the Mayor and a Commissioner. The resident wanted to know how the city was dealing with it and how they will keep corruption from taking place in the future. Cernech stressed that he believed all parties are innocent until proven guilty and said that the only accused corruption took place over the Sabal Palm land deal. He assured the audience that no corruption had taken place in the city before this time.
Several people brought up pit bulls living in their community. Tamarac requires that all pit bull owners must register their dogs with the city, keep them on a leash, and prove that they have a one million dollar insurance policy on the dog. So far, there are only 4 pit bulls that are registered at the city.