By Agrippina Fadel
Commissioner Mike Gelin was selected as Tamarac’s new vice mayor.
His appointment did not go without some tension on the dais after Commissioner Marlon Bolton used the occasion to boast, then criticize Vice Mayor Elvin Villalobos and Mayor Michelle Gomez.
Bolton praised Gelin, calling him a consummate professional who “commands every room he walks into.”
“I remember being vice mayor during COVID, not to toot my horn…was one of the most visible vice mayors ever.” Then referring to Villalobos’s selection as vice mayor, adding, “obviously, things went down the hill, but now they are looking up again.”
During his time as vice mayor, Bolton got into hot water with a leaked budget amendment memo that included hundreds of thousands of dollars in perks for himself and the rest of the commission.
He denied any wrongdoing, blaming everyone else, including Gomez, former city manager Michael Cernech and even Gelin. The Broward Office of the Inspector General issued an ethics investigation into the matter.
As vice mayor, Bolton was also accused of bullying the staff, firefighters, and residents and creating a hostile working environment. The accusations were serious enough for the city to commission an investigation, which found that all the complaints had merit.
In a way, Bolton was one of the most visible vice mayors in the history of Tamarac, but not for the reasons he believes.
“I am so grateful that Gelin will lead this city in the absence of our mayor, who is generally absent,” said Bolton, adding that he is proud of Gelin and can’t wait to call him a vice mayor.
Mayor Michelle Gomez, visibly irritated, had a few words to say after Bolton’s speech.
“Considering this mayor did not even miss a meeting during her 16 rounds of chemo and 30 rounds of radiation, I can’t really say how I’ve been absent, but on that note, if I should need any assistance, I am sure the vice mayor will step up and do what is needed.”
Gelin represents District 2 and has served on the city commission since 2018. He is a member of the Broward League of Cities and the Tamarac North Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Haitian American, and Miramar Pembroke Pines Chambers of Commerce.
He is also a member of the Broward Association of Health Underwriters. For many years, Gelin was an active member of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the Miami Beacon Council, and the Palm Beach Business Development Board.
A graduate of Morris Brown College, Gelin studied abroad at the University of Ghana in West Africa and the American InterContinental University in London, England.
Gelin made national news in September 2019 when he publicly criticized a BSO Deputy during the Officer of the Month awards ceremony and called him a “bad police officer” who did not deserve to be awarded. Deputy Joshua Gallardo had arrested Gelin four years prior. However, no charges were pressed at that time.
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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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