Opinion: Tamarac’s Building Department Makes it Too Difficult for Contractors to Do Work in the City

Tamarac’s Building Department

By: Marie Gutierrez

Four years ago, a Tamarac Chamber of Commerce meeting was held at City Furniture discussing bringing new business to the city when the subject of the electronic permitting system became a topic of discussion. We were promised that it was supposed to simplify permitting and be innovative, as we were the first city in Broward to do it.

Guess what has transpired?

The system was easily adopted by many other cities, and used successfully throughout Broward County, however, Tamarac has completely complicated it, and micromanaged by adding too many cooks in the pot so that it’s not efficient by any means.

Initially when the infrastructure was adopted, the permit clerks were helpful and knowledgeable. You see, it’s not them. It the processes in place, and their hands are being tied.

I have voiced my discourse on the provided paper on the counter for suggestions at the building department numerous times.

I have received no response.

We have provided feedback and then buck gets passed to the next individual.

There is absolutely no accountability at the inspector level. I have even voiced my concern with a permit specialist who agreed.

After voicing it on social media, I learned that almost all contractors who have done business with Tamarac said they feel the same.

I have learned from homeowners/customers that finding reputable contractors to do work on their homes in the city legitimately are scarce. As many have stopped taking new business in the city as it tarnishes their reputation.

As a city, our homes are only going to get older and in need of many repairs specific due to new insurance requirements of visual inspections for renewals and continued coverage, which ultimately will cause homeowners to turn to either unlicensed an handyman, or a select few of the building department cronies in the business.

Fixed income seniors simply cannot afford to repair, thereby foregoing insurance or selling and passing the buck to the new homeowner who may just hire unlicensed handyman.

Coming from a Fortune 500 corporate structure I am appalled at the level of chaotic favoritism and unaccountability that continues to occur within and feel the best option is to host an open forum either via social media and or conference to get the proper feedback, then taking action case-by-case. Remove the power of the system manager as it’s truly a “job security” type of strong hold.

Along with the empowerment of the current building officials comes the most expensive permits in the entire tri-county area.

When a business can pull the same permit in two cities for two similar jobs and pay double the fees consistently, there is a problem.

More permit clerks and an assistant which is the face of the city need to be hired to welcome and assist all who enter, like the City of Sunrise. This will save the customer/homeowner/business time and energy.

To sit for over an hour on a busy day to find out you need additional paperwork, or just to find out how to complete something simple is simply inefficient.

Pompano beach adopted the system beautifully and manages their inspections simply.

Think “mystery shopper” to gain insight.

Marie Gutierrez has been a Tamarac resident for 19 years, and has successfully run an electrical contracting business for 10 years in the city while raising a family.  All opinions are welcome. To submit yours, go to Submit News.