By: Sharon Aron Baron
Very special people deserve very special accommodations. Take for example, the mayor and commissioners in the City of Tamarac. Besides their lucrative monthly car allowances, they get their own cordoned off parking spaces. Not just their reserved spots at city hall, but at all off-site city events. So while the rest of us commoners must hunt down our own spots, they never have to walk too far from their car.
That’s because we’re not VSPs – or very special people.
Doesn’t matter that four out of five commissioners are very capable of walking from any parking space or area to an event, and the fifth commissioner has a handicap placard which affords her accommodations up front anyway.
These desirable spaces are blocked off by city staff who are directed by someone in charge. I asked one employee about this at an event, and I won’t give his department because he didn’t want to go on record, but he just shook his head and laughed. They realize it’s pompous, but there is nothing they can do, and it’s certainly not worth risking their jobs questioning.
But do other nearby city commissioners get these cordoned off parking spaces as one of their perks?
“Typically not,” said Coral Springs Commissioner Joy Carter. “In my one year, it happened once here and once in Coconut Creek of which I totally missed anyway.”
“If it’s available sometimes we do, but it’s not just for us,” said Coral Springs City Commissioner Dan Daley. “Usually [for] any dignitaries, so if people need to get in and out quickly they can. Certain events, we don’t have the space to accommodate.”
Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan said if they block off spots at events, they aren’t blocked off with names and it’s for staff to use as well.
“I don’t reserve spots for my Jazz or Tribute Concerts as an example, and probably won’t for the opening of our new Fire Station later this week. We didn’t at the opening of our Cultural Museum awhile back. At Saturday night cricket, soccer and netball games in the winter, an area at the Sports Park is blocked off for staff that we can park in. When we had our July 4th event, some spots were also blocked off for staff and us.”
Events that get the VSP treatment: Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Taste of Tamarac, all Neighborhood meetings, city commission meetings, Independence Day, the Easter Egg Roll and other special events.
These blocked off parking spaces are ridiculous and pretentious, and these able-bodied representatives should be shamed from this behavior that gives the perception that they are better than the people that voted for them.