By: Sharon Aron Baron
Several more candidates are now running for office in Tamarac this election season, which now amounts to five candidates for three seats, and there’s still over six weeks until the qualification period begins, according to the City Clerk.
Newly appointed Mayor Harry Dressler, has opened a campaign account, according to City Clerk Pat Teufel, Dressler, self-employed, and a resident of Woodmont, won both elections as a City Commissioner in District Four in 2006 and 2009 unopposed. After former Mayor Beth Talabisco’s suspension, although Dressler was not Vice Mayor at the time, he was nominated as Mayor for the interim after Vice Mayor Gomez said she wanted to concentrate on the commitment she made to her own district.
Also confirmed, recently appointed Commissioner Debra Placko will be running for the District Four City Commission seat which covers Woodmont Country Club and the Sunflower-Heathgate area. Placko lives in Woodmont’s Palm Ridge community and is retired from working at JByrons after 15 years as Director of Communications and Point of Sales. She served as the Co-President of the Woodmont Property Owners Association which consists of 33 neighborhoods. She has lived in Woodmont for 10 years and served for eight on the board.
“I was really honored to be appointed,” said Placko, “There was tough competition, and the community support that I have gotten has been incredible. I want to continue to deserve their support by working hard.”
Also, running is Elberg “Mike” Gelin who is has opened a campaign account for the District Two seat which stretches from Commercial Blvd from the Sawgrass Expressway east to the Woodlands Country Club and north to McNab. He joins Michelle Gomez and Stewart Webster who have already announced they are running for office.
“This city has been good to me and has enriched my life in so many ways. Serving as a Commissioner is one way to give back and address the needs of our community,” said Gelin.
Gelin was a finalist for the open seat after Patte Atkins-Grad resigned rather than face a recall election. It was between him and Michelle Gomez and the votes were split on the commission. Commissioner Pam Bushnell decided to move her vote over to Gomez rather than face a deadlock.
Gelin is a Commercial Insurance Advisor and Employee Benefits Consultant. He advises medium and large size firms in developing health strategies and managing healthcare costs. He was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Broward County, Florida in the late 1980s with his family. He graduated from Plantation High School and went on to attend and graduate from Morris Brown College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. While there, he studied abroad at the University of Ghana in Ghana, West Africa and the American Continental University in London, England. After graduating, Mike continued his professional development and earned the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation. The CEBS designation is a joint program of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Stewart Webster, who is running for District Two, opened his campaign account in 2013. He is a Tax Preparer, who resides in Versailles Gardens Condominiums and has a long history of community involvement, including running for the school board back in 2010.
Michelle Gomez, an attorney, who resides in the Woodlands, is also running for District Two and is currently Vice Mayor of the City. Gomez already has a jumpstart in fundraising. According to her March treasurer’s report, she has raised over $11,000.
Candidates that are interested in running for these seats must open campaign accounts. Qualifying period is noon on June 16, 2014 to noon on June 20, 2014. To find out more, contact the City Clerk’s Office.