By Renee Herscher
Two years before Elvin Villalobos moved to Tamarac from Miami, he had a life-changing experience. He witnessed injustice occurring in his mother’s condominium development, which sent him on a lifelong journey of learning how best to serve others and fight for justice and representation for those whose voices were not heard.
This desire to serve followed Villalobos to Tamarac, where he and his family became residents, buying their first home in 2015. During the home-buying process, he realized there were many areas, such as miscommunication and other gaps in service, that he believed he could improve to help others. So, he decided to switch careers, pursuing his real estate license to make this dream a reality.
He obtained his real estate license in 2017 but put his new career on hold when he decided to run for mayor. At the time, Villalobos had no political experience. He simply wanted to serve his community – to make life the best it could be for every person in Tamarac – and to ensure city officials were paying attention to their residents’ needs, not just their own interests.
Despite it being his first political race in Tamarac, Villalobos only lost the 2018 mayoral election by 395 votes. Even in defeat, he gained invaluable experience by knocking on countless doors and listening to the concerns of Tamarac residents.
Shortly after the 2018 election, Villalobos met David Mohabir, then owner of RE/MAX InterAction Realty here in Tamarac. Mohabir became a mentor to Villalobos, and earlier this year, and sold the company to him. This purchase was a huge investment of time, energy, and financial resources into the health and growth of the City by Villalobos and his family. They believe in Tamarac so much that they not only maintain their primary office on Commercial Blvd. but have also opened a satellite office as a “Senior Plus” location at Point Plaza in the heart of District 3. As this area has a high concentration of senior adults, Villalobos, who has obtained the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation through the National Association of Realtors, believed it was important to open a location specially created to serve this vital group, as well as other third-generation residents in Kings Point and nearby communities.
Throughout Villalobos’ time in the real estate field, he has continually focused all his efforts on serving others, whether it be the agents working in his office, his clients, or his community. He and Mohabir, along with their RE/MAX InterAction Realty team, have continually invested in the community. They have organized food drives with local churches, donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, held annual Christmas toy drives, and hosted a donation drive for the Bahamas recovery effort after the 2019 Hurricane Dorian disaster.
As a Tamarac resident, Elvin Villalobos has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the community, not only through the aforementioned donation and relief efforts but also through serving on multiple boards and committees. In addition to being a member of the National Association of Realtors and serving as both president and vice president of his neighborhood Homeowner’s Association, Villalobos is also a trustee member of the Tamarac-North Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Tamarac Historical Society, as well as the Tamarac Census Ambassador Committee.
Elvin Villalobos is devoted to his city, with a continual desire to learn how to make it better for everyone. With this in mind, he completed Tamarac University, the bi-annual nine-week program in which participants get an in-depth look into the way our city works.
When you’re invested in your community to the level that Elvin Villalobos is, you see all the great things, as well as the things that need some improvement.
The COVID-19 crisis, in particular, brought into light areas where the people of Tamarac can be better served by their City leaders. Before he had even decided to run to become the Tamarac District 3 Commissioner at the beginning of the crisis, Elvin and his team were handing out hand sanitizer and masks to those who needed it.
Meanwhile, the incumbent, Julie Fishman, was nowhere to be found. It was on Fishman’s watch that the COVID-19 wing was allowed to operate out of the Tamarac Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center right here in District 3, causing illness and deaths to skyrocket among that facility’s residents. What did Fishman do about it? Basically, nothing of real action that made our community safer – except making a few calls to the state about the problem, as she herself has stated.
It was this failure in leadership that led Villalobos to decide to run for District 3 Commissioner. His platform, he says, comes simply, “from listening to people – from having knocked on thousands of doors during the mayoral race, and again during this race for a seat on the City Commission.” He wants to fight for what is most important to not only the people of District 3 but all of Tamarac.
In contrast, Fishman is disconnected from the majority of District 3 and the city as a whole and consistently votes with the mayor. She recently voted to increase the City Commissioners’ personal discretionary spending budgets by 300% while also voting against the roll-back that would have reduced our property taxes without compromising services. In Villalobos’ words, “This is irresponsible. As public servants, we are called to be prudent with our residents’ resources, not to spend without cause.”
Villalobos is not the only one who thinks it’s time for a change on the City Commission. Jodie-Ann Wright is the third candidate in the race for District 3 Commissioner. While she seems enthusiastic about serving, she is untested in the political arena and hasn’t lived in Tamarac long enough to understand its complexities and needs.
Elvin Villalobos is the Commissioner we need right now to represent District 3. He knows and understands Tamarac. He has the leadership experience and business acumen to bring fiscal responsibility back to the City. He is empathetic and caring, reaching out to truly listen to the needs of the residents – not to certain special interest groups who only care about themselves.
Villalobos will provide steady, consistent leadership on the City Commission. He has a reputation of integrity and has received endorsements from The Hispanic Vote, Realtor PAC, the Woodlands Defense Fund, and the Woodlands Tamarac Veterans. His platform focuses on several different areas of growth, including reducing tax mileage, cutting unnecessary spending, improving residents’ relationships with law enforcement, fixing Tamarac’s crumbling infrastructure, and investing in community programs. As Villalobos says, “My ‘wish list’ – my platform if you will, runs on the basis of living a life of quality. I ran with it in the race for Mayor and will always run on it, increasing its scope as needed.”
Elvin Villalobos believes city officials are elected to serve the people. He has the heart of a true servant. At the core of his desire to serve as Tamarac’s next Commissioner representing District 3 is, in his words, his belief that “I have a responsibility to my family, my friends, my neighbors, and loved ones – all of whom represent our neighborhoods and our city as a whole.”
If we truly want real change in Tamarac, then our best choice for Commissioner in District 3 is Elvin Villalobos – someone who cares, who understands, and who will lead us into the future.
Renee Herscher has been a resident of Tamarac for 23 years. Originally from New York, she has lived in Kings Point for 18 years, where she is a devoted grandmother and member of the Kings Point Culture Club. She works with Elvin Villalobos as a team leader at RE/MAX Interaction Realty’s satellite location in Point Plaza.
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