Michelle Gomez, Gerald Heller and Elvin Villalobos
By: Jen Russon
Three candidates are vying for Tamarac Mayor Harry Dressler’s seat after announcing last March he would not be seeking reelection: Michelle J. Gomez, Gerald Heller and Elvin Villalobos. Another candidate, Claudia M. Gomez, dropped out this month.
In Tamarac, the mayor leads the meetings and their vote will just be one of a five-member city commission.
We have a snapshot of each candidate, and what their political convictions are.
Michelle J. Gomez
Gomez is a practicing attorney who makes her home in The Woodlands Country Club. She earned her bachelor’s degree from The American University and graduated from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, where she earned her law degree. Gomez has been a city commissioner of District 2 for eight years. Four years appointed, and one-term elected. As mayor, she will continue to handle legal matters at Saunders, Curtis, Ginestra & Gore, P.A., the firm she took over in 2010.
“If elected mayor, I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the city grows and thrives through the completion of projects already underway, and implementation of new ones to meet the evolving needs of Tamarac,” said Gomez.
She added that her focus will include redevelopment of shopping plazas, maintenance of infrastructure, working with stakeholders for better school ratings, and creation of additional parks and programs to keep our community active.
Gomez has raised $46,135.10 to date.
Read more about Gomez at Michelle J Gomez.
Heller may be older than his two opponents, but said he will bring forty years of business leadership to the seat. Married to his wife Francine, Heller is a resident of Kings Point and is the former director of development at JAS Interconnect Solutions.
He stressed there was a need to replace the city’s defunct property with start-up tech companies, and added that the cost of commercial property in his city is modest, and would make a great opportunity to build.
“I want to take Tamarac out of the shadow of Coral Springs and Sunrise – bring us into the light and make Tamarac a city of excellence,” said Heller.
Heller would like his voters to know that he has a proven leadership track record. He said he excels at bringing in volunteers to help with his campaign, adding that volunteerism is twenty times as valuable as opponents with big monetary donations.
So far Heller has raised $3,651.49
Heller said the pillars of his platform are providing safety, security, prosperity and ethical leadership. Read more about him at Gerald Heller 2018.
A newcomer to politics, Villalobos is only 33 years old, and already a small business owner of Elko Filtering.
The father of two is married to Jacqueline Acevedo. He is originally from Nicaragua, lived in Miami, then settled in Tamarac three years ago. He earned a bachelors of arts degree in political science and business administration from Keiser University. He is currently the homeowner’s association president for the Banyan Lakes Community. When he’s not campaigning, Villalobos manages five employees from his home office.
Villalobos said he has knocked on many doors and by introducing himself to residents throughout his city’s four districts, he hopes to bring name recognition to the ballot this November.
Villalobos has no finite goal in what he hopes to carry out in Tamarac if elected.
“When I look at my precious children, a reflection of all the children in our community; and when I look at my parents and grandparents, a reflection of our senior community, I have the desire to ensure that on one side [the children] begin life well; while simultaneously the other side [senior community] end life well.”
Villalobos added that he is the best choice for ensuring a high quality of life for all who live in Tamarac. He believes residents are in dismay that their elected officials are more concerned about pet projects than the needs of the community.
He said that providing a better Station 36 for the brave firefighters of Tamarac is one of his top priorities.
“My vision is to unite our community – to be one city, with one voice – to be one Tamarac,” said Villalobos.
To date, Villalobos has raised $50, 529.55.
To learn more about Villalobos’s vision go to Elvin Villalobos.com.
Vote on November 6, 2018
Resident’s precinct information can be found at Broward County Supervisor of Elections. In addition to voting for the next mayor of the city of Tamarac, voters will also choose city commissioners for Districts 2 and 4.
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.