By Rob Alfonso
Car allowances are a hot topic once again concerning the Tamarac city commission. Currently, the five city commissioners each receive a monthly lump payment of $700 as a car allowance.
This money is provided monthly to the city commissioners without proper checks and balances, such as no mileage verification. The $700 monthly payment each commissioner receives in their pay each month is a no-questions payment.
Reasonable people know that no substantial amount of driving is being done for city business by our city commissioners, let alone $700 worth of driving each month. Commissioners may drive to an official event within the city’s 12 square miles from time to time, or they may drive to the airport from time to time, but let’s be frank, this driving does not remotely justify a $700 per month lump payment.
This car allowance costs the city of Tamarac taxpayers $42,000 annually. Imagine what the city could do with that money instead of funding cars for our commissioners. We could improve our roads which are riddled with potholes, we could fund more food pantries for residents that are in need, or we could simply reduce Tamarac residents’ city taxes by $42,000.
It is past time that this irresponsible and disrespectful allowance is withdrawn. Instead, each commissioner simply submits a mileage reimbursement report including destination details each month using the current IRS mileage allowance, currently 62.5 cents per mile.
Tamarac is a working-class community, and our representatives should represent us, not take from us. Commissioner Elvin Villalobos has correctly committed that he supports stripping this $700 monthly car allowance from the next city budget; however, he needs two more votes to make this change on the commission.
As you can imagine, the commissioners will be very reluctant to give up their personal car allowances. It is incumbent on each Tamarac resident to contact your city commissioner by phone or email and insist they support stripping this monthly $700 car allowance from the next budget.
I intend to stay committed to this change until it becomes a reality. Below are the contact details for each commissioner.
Rob Alfonso owns a web development company which specializes in logistical solutions. He has been a homeowner in Westwood 24 since 2015. He is married, has three dogs, and speaks fluent German.
Mayor Michelle Gomez – michelle.Gomez@tamarac.org – 954-597-3462
Commissioner Mike Gelin – mike.Gelin@Tamarac.org – 954-597-3460
Commissioner Marlon Bolton – marlon.Bolton@tamarac.org – 954-597-3460 or Cell 954-275-3850
Commissioner Elvin Vilalobos – elvin.Villalobos@Tamarac.org – 954-597-3460
Commissioner Debra Placko – debra.Placko@tamarac.org – 954-597-3460
All opinions are welcome. Send it to Tamarac Talk.