By Sallie James
Civility, fiscal responsibility, and a genuine desire to move city business forward are qualities that are hard to find on the Tamarac Commission.
Looking for a circus? No Big Top or elephants are needed here. The clown car unloads at Tamarac City Hall every other week when Commissioners take their seats on the dais, and the nasty sniping begins. And always, city business takes a backseat to a sideshow that becomes the news of the day.
Residents with a stake in scheduled agenda items wait hours on end while our elected officials’ grandstand, backstab, squabble, and argue. Mayor Michelle Gomez does her best to move the Commission agendas forward, but it’s hard to make progress when your colleagues constantly interrupt, disrupt and disrespect.
We must restore authenticity and professionalism to the Commission to elevate Tamarac’s credibility. I believe Tamarac residents can help repair the city’s reputation by re-electing Gomez as Mayor and putting Carol Mendelson into the District 4 Commission seat. Voters in District 2 must choose between Stuart Michelson, Tyneka Rene, and Joseph Lanouette. Do your homework before casting your vote.
Talk is cheap, but both these sincere candidates show dedication through action. A candidate’s real qualifications are not defined by slick campaign literature or fat bank accounts fueled by special interests but by their ability to connect with people and work with the city to find solutions that make a difference. Both continually attend city events to listen to residents and ensure they are heard.
Gomez has already proved her worth by striving to maintain a semblance of sanity on a Commission peppered with critics who argue for the sake of arguing. Mendelson, a career teacher and administrator with nearly 30 years of experience will be an excellent representative for District 4 and has already demonstrated her commitment by showing up at Commission meetings and city events. They are both articulate, thoughtful, and engaged. Both are endorsed by the Metro-Broward Professional Firefighters Local 3080 and Tamarac Commissioner Elvin Villalobos.
We have a chance to effect change on Nov. 8 by voting. As a 25-year resident and homeowner in District 4, please choose carefully. Your tax dollars and the long-term reputation of our city are at stake.
City banners proclaim Tamarac as “The City for Your Life,” but the petty sniping in City Hall probably spurs businesses to run for their lives when it comes to the prospect of locating here.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
As voters, it’s up to us to make changes. Vote with care and shut down the Funhouse. Don’t send in the clowns. It’s time for Tamarac’s circus tent to fold.
Sallie James has been a Tamarac homeowner since 1997 and is a former Sun Sentinel reporter who occasionally freelances.