By Sherry Nabbie-Singh
A Tamarac commissioner has once again come under fire after texting residents to support a proposal of his hours before it would be discussed at the city commission meeting.
On May 25, resident Rich Bobker took to the social media platform, Nextdoor posting an image of a text message sent from City Commissioner Mike Gelin about the proposed track.
“This is Commissioner Mike Gelin. The Tamarac City Commission is considering a vote to add a soft rubberized track in the Tamarac Sports Complex. This new addition would give our community’s seniors and youth a softer surface to exercise and play. Would you like to see a track added to our sports complex?”
The message omitted pertinent details about the type of track being considered, including the cost, and many residents described it as “disingenuous and deceitful.”
On May 5, Gelin proposed building a 10,000 seat IAAF-certified track at the Sports Complex at an estimated cost of $3.5 million, however, provided no plans on how he would pay for it.
A high turnout at the first in-person city commission meeting since the pandemic saw residents patiently waiting for the chance to voice their concerns.
While texts and emails to Commissioner Gelin about his text messages went unanswered, he used his five-minute allotted discussion time during the meeting to share the many positive responses he received.
The topic came under debate between both city officials and residents, where one-by-one, residents took to the podium and called in to express their opposition to the track being built.
Vice Mayor Elvin Villalobos requested an agenda item to eliminate the Tamarac Sports Complex as the site for the IAAF certified track, closed discussions saying, “the residents come first.”
The item was voted 4-1 to eliminate the site, with Commissioner Gelin being the only one who opposed it.
The audience, inside and outside the chambers watching, erupted in loud cheers and clapping.
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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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