By: Jen Russon
For the past four years, Commissioner Debra Placko has served Tamarac’s District 4 covering Woodmont, Sunflower and Heathgate, however, this election year she faces a challenger with Doug Maesk, a licensed mental health counselor and president of Maesk Group Counseling in Ft. Lauderdale.
If elected, Maesk will be Tamarac’s first openly gay city commissioner. Both Placko and Maesk have pledged to bring great things to the city they live in and love.
Maesk was born and raised in New Hampshire and moved to Florida in 2002. A graduate of New Hampshire College and the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he earned a master’s degree in psychology, Maesk said he loves living in the Sunshine State.
“I settled in Tamarac due to its upbeat, positive community and relaxed lifestyle. Not a day goes by without me thinking how lucky I am to live in such a fantastic little corner of Florida,” Maesk said, adding that he and his husband, Noel Serra, a professional photographer, will mark their tenth anniversary this December.
Maesk hopes to bring a new generation of progressive leadership to Tamarac, with a focus on smart growth, efficient government and building community.
“I will bring my proven track record of business success to the citizens of Tamarac,” Maesk said, citing that one of his key goals is to reign in spending of city officials.
“$80,000 was budgeted for the city commissioners and mayor for trips and seminars in 2017. That is outrageous, and I will work tirelessly to eliminate wasteful spending such as this.”
Maesk would like to remind his neighbors and potential voters that the city is changing.
“As we look around, we see Tamarac changing. It’s getting younger and more diverse. We need to do more work to make our city attractive for this new generation,” Maesk said.
Voters can find his campaign website at DougMaesk2018.com.
Elected commissioner in 2014, Placko is hoping for another four years of successful leadership in her community. Her campaign website gives an ambitious list of renovation and development projects that she feels everyone wants to see come to fruition. These include sites like Woodmont, Fire Station 36, Waters Edge Park and adoption of a signage program throughout District 4.
Placko welcomes more art into the city as well, hoping that in her next term, several new art sculptures will be added to the Tamarac landscape. As a public servant, she believes part of her job as commissioner is to insure citywide beautification programs, and help modify code requirements that meet the needs of her constituents.
In 2016, she spearheaded a food drive that provided the necessities for Tamarac’s needy families. In 2017, the drive was extended to include all the city’s districts.
Placko is also known for her compassion toward U.S. veterans. Her late husband was a Vietnam veteran who lost his life in the line of duty.
“Any issue that involves a Veteran is always a priority to me. The need for a safer drop off crossing at the VA Clinic, on Commercial Boulevard, was definitely just that.”
For a complete bio on Placko that includes work history, community service and public works, go to DebraPlacko.com.
Vote this November
Tamarac’s municipal elections will take place on November 6, 2018, with local voters deciding who will fill available seats in districts 2, 4 and Mayor-At-Large. Voting precinct and registration information can be found online at Broward County Supervisor of Elections. Read more on Tamarac Talk on other candidates.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.