By: Sharon Aron Baron
On Veteran’s Day, the vets are the VIP’s, especially at the crowded ceremony in Tamarac which attracts men and women from WWII to active duty members. But once again, the Tamarac city manager, mayor and commissioners think the day is about them and get reserved parking in a cordoned off area – yes, a VIP parking area set aside for them.
On Saturday, I watched veterans cross the street, parking far away from the ceremony, while parking spaces that should have been for heroes were used by zeros: the city commission. You would think that at this one event they would give up the pretenses and turn over the spaces to those who deserved it. No, not in our city.
Now I want to be clear that those who had handicap placards were able to park up close. So if a veteran had a disability – and a parking permit, they were free to park in the area. But this excluded most everyone else.
This year, following Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine’s lead, several city commissioners actually came out from behind the big top and shook the hands of the veterans in the half-hour prior to the ceremony. I’ve watched for many years as they stood and mingled among themselves ignoring them. This year, Mayor Harry Dressler, Vice Mayor Debra Placko and Commissioner Marlon Bolton shook the hands of all the vets which was a real delight to those in attendance. Commissioners Michelle Gomez and Julie Fishman did not step out into the crowd, and I’m not certain if they they got over their shyness after the ceremony because I typically have to leave halfway through the ceremony to cover Coral Springs.
Back to the parking. The level of importance the city manager and these local representatives have that they are more important than hundreds of their own constituents baffles me, and should infuriate you. Again, they show how out of touch they are, especially when our country’s heroes the truly the VIPs.