By Agrippina Fadel
The Tamarac municipal election results are in: Michelle Gomez, Morey Wright, and Kicia Daniel are the winners.
Incumbent Michelle Gomez has won the mayoral race with 12,735 or 55.79% votes. Her challenger Mike Gelin received 10,091 votes — 11.58% less than Gomez. A current commissioner, Gelin, withdrew from the District 2 race to join the run for the mayor and, with this defeat, will leave the city commission.
Gomez served as the commissioner of District 2 from 2010 to 2012 and from 2013 to 2018 before being elected as mayor in 2018. She holds a law degree (J.D.) from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and a Master of Arts in Public Communication from the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C.
Gomez is licensed to practice law in Florida, the District of Columbia, and New York and is a Court Approved Arbitrator and a Certified Mediator. She is the president of Saunders, Curtis, Ginestra & Gore and has been with the company since 2000.
“I think I bring to the table a sincere love and dedication to the city. I am completely invested in Tamarac’s success,” said Gomez.
Morey Wright won the commissioner seat with 1,737 votes — or 32.41%. Stuart Michelson came second, with 1,374 votes (25.63%), and Alexandra Alvarez third, with 1,108 votes (20.67%), leaving the other two candidates, Joseph Lanouette and Tyneka Rene, far behind.
Wright is a Managing Director at Innocreative Solutions, a digital strategy, business processes, and technology consulting company with a Pak Mail address in Pembroke Pines. He received his master’s of arts in Business Administration and Government from Johns Hopkins University. While in graduate school, he earned a Congressional Fellowship, during which he advised U.S Congressional Leaders on digital technology.
There seems to be some confusion about how long Wright had lived in Tamarac. In 2020, when Wright ran for House District 104, he listed his address in Weston. He also often says he grew up in Woodlands and recently told Sun Sentinel during the endorsement interview that he moved back to Tamarac “a couple of months ago.”
The son of Caribbean parents, Wright said he spent his time between Woodlands, living with his dad, and the Virgin Islands, staying with his mom.
“My dad bought his first house in Tamarac in 1998, and I grew up living there. When I moved back, I lived in the greater Tamarac area, right on the border where Tamarac, North Lauderdale, and Pompano intercept,” he explained.
Wright added that after graduating from John Hopkins, he lived with his mother in Weston and cared for her during her cancer recovery.
“I moved back to Tamarac about 15 months ago. I am a Spectra resident and the only renter on the ballot,” Wright said.
He added that his education and experience make him a good fit for the job, saying that seeing how much Tamarac had changed over the years allows him to bring new ideas to the city commission.
“I have ideas on how to lower the cost of living and plans for seniors and veterans,” said Wright.
School principal Kicia Daniel won with 2,153 votes or 44.14%. Carol Mendelson came second with 1,624 votes (33.29%), and David Mountford came third with 1,101 votes (22.57%).
A school principal for Broward County Public Schools for the past 23 years and current principal of Pinewood Elementary School in North Lauderdale, Daniel stated she is a results-driven public servant. When she believes in something, she “gives it her all.”
She has experience in taking on public schools with low ratings and improving them quickly, from D to A, in one case and from F to B in another.
Daniel is married and has two sons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Florida A&M University and a Master’s and Doctor of Education in Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Daniel said her professional experience, the results she had shown as an administrator, and the work she has done with her church Faith Center, where she has been for 22 years, make her a perfect candidate for District 4.
“I have been serving others in the community for years and have been on mission trips. I love to help people to do better and get better,” she said, adding that she is good at strategy and resource alignment and would like to bring this skill to the city she loves.
“No one has the experience that I have. I may not be a politician, but I am a public servant, and that is what any politician should be,” Daniel said.
Tamarac Charter Questions
Tamarac residents also had to decide on seven referendum questions on their ballots.
- Official City Map and Boundaries
The city charter requires Tamarac to maintain an official city map and set the city’s boundaries. Residents are asked to decide if the charter should be amended to include a legal description of the city as part of that official map.
The residents voted yes, with 63.63% (13,735 votes).
- Removal of the City Manager
Voters were asked to decide if the removal of the city manager should require a supermajority vote (four votes out of five) of the city commission or if the current simple majority rule (three votes out of five) should remain in place.
The residents voted no in a close race (51.15% or 11,145 votes against 48.85% or 10,645 votes).
- City Manager’s Authority
According to the current charter rules, Tamarac’s city manager appoints and supervises assistant city managers, department heads, and the city clerk — but with the city commission’s approval. Voters could give the city manager complete authority over these appointments without the commission’s approval.
The residents voted no, with 65.05% (14,055 votes).
- Candidate Residency Requirement
Currently, the city charter does not have a minimum residency requirement to qualify as a candidate for the office of mayor and commissioner. Voters can pass a one-year residency requirement.
The residents overwhelmingly voted yes, with 73.45% (16,154 votes).
- Procurement Procedures
The city charter’s procedures for procuring an independent auditor and certain professional services are inconsistent with State law. Voters could decide if sections of the charter need to be amended to comply with Florida laws and make certain city agreements and contracts for goods and services subject to annual appropriation of funds.
The residents supported the amendment with 64.18% or 13,598 votes.
- Removal of the City Attorney
Like the city manager removal procedure, voters could decide if the removal of the city attorney should require a supermajority vote (four out of five) of the city commission or if the current simple majority rule (three votes out of five) should remain in place.
The residents voted to keep the simple majority rule with 51.56% or 11,066 votes.
- Clarification and Update of the City Charter
In its current state, the city charter has multiple obsolete sections. Voters could decide to make extensive necessary changes to it, including edits made for style, clarity, consistency, and gender neutrality, deleting obsolete provisions, providing new definitions, updating the charter to conform with State law provisions, and removing matters covered by city ordinances.
The residents voted to amend the city charter as described, with 61.82% or 13,240 votes.
Close to 23.000 Tamarac residents voted in the election.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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