By Tom Lauder
On Wednesday morning, Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin wanted his fellow commissioners to approve a $300,000 deal to conduct a “disparity study” of Tamarac’s business dealings.
One of these consultants is the niece of former Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, a Gelin ally. Gelin also failed to disclose his wife Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin pushed for disparity studies in Broward County and its thirty-one municipalities since at least 2020.
REDBROWARD obtained an August 2020 video where Shaheewa Jarret Gelin, founder of the Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce, bragged how the studies would help her affiliates get a piece of the 41 million dollars spent by the City Of Tamarac.
The 2020 interview was conducted by one of the consultants seeking the $300K deal with Tamarac.
“THEY SPEND A LOT OF MONEY”
According to the City of Tamarac, “A Disparity Study determines whether a government entity, either in the past or currently, engages in exclusionary practices in the solicitation and award of contracts to minority, and women-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises….”
Under questioning by commissioners, Tamarac staff stated there are no legal issues with how the City conducts its business.
But in her 2020 interview with Ann Marie Sorrell of The Mosaic Group, Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin claimed disparity studies were needed because white government and businesses believed there is no reason to share with black businesses. “You’re getting money, they’re making money, they’re fine,” Jarrett Gelin said.
Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin said her group needed a disparity study to, “Understand if [government’s] vendor base is diverse if not, we can do something to correct the disparity study.”
In addition to County and municipalities, Jarrett Gelin wanted to target disparity studies at big “anchors” such as Broward College, Broward Health, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“How can we partner with you to ensure public monies are being spent equitably with black companies,” Jarret Gelin told Sorrell.
Then, Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin brought up the City of Tamarac:
“I always give this example. An unexpected example of the City of Tamarac. Last year when we took a tour on getting certified, their procurement director announced that they in spent $41 million dollars last year.”
Ann Marie Sorrell had a one-word reply, “wow.”
Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin stated, “We need to get in on that!”
Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin wants to “get in on” the multi-million dollar budget of the City her husband represents?
Was the $300K contract with Miller 3 Consulting and Ann Marie Sorrell a way to “get in on that?”
Why did Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin fail to disclose his wife’s strong advocacy of a disparity study in the City of Tamarac?
Luckily for taxpayers, the contract was not approved.
But if it had been approved, what would have stopped Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin and the Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce from coming in to “correct the disparity study?”
Tamarac taxpayers deserve answers, right?
Originally reprinted with permission from RedBroward.com.
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