By: Sharon Aron Baron
Need a bachelor’s degree? Fuhgeddaboudit. You can learn more in far less time at Tamarac University, an eight-week interactive program that provides citizens the opportunity to visit city facilities and learn from elected officials, department directors, and other city staff about the role of local government and public service.
I signed up for the class a few years ago because I thought it would delve into the secret world of city government, which would be suitable for this publication. After all, as the creator of this site, I became Tamarac University’s most illustrious graduate.
However, city officials would never admit that.
The eight-week class meets one weekday evening a week with a different department head to learn more about what they do to make our city function. A couple of my friends were in the class, so the instructor separated us for laughing so much. After all, this was TU, and there would be no funny business. I found the most interesting topics were: the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Tamarac Fire, and Utilities Departments. The least interesting was Finance.
Now you may find finance mind-blowing. I didn’t. But there is no doubt balancing the city budget is one of the essential functions of the city.
As part of learning about BSO, we had to have a background check before being accepted into the class. One of the highlights was receiving a tour of the jail they use to hold suspects before transporting them to the main jail downtown. After the jail tour, we had a chance to aim radar guns at drivers along Pine Island Road and see how fast they were going, but once they saw our class on the side of the road, they slowed down any way. At the end of that evening, we were rewarded in the BSO break room with Dunkin’ Donuts.
I found the Utilities Department’s information fascinating. It showed how our city water was purified and kept to pristine levels. I also believe our tap water tastes very good.
Registration for the Class of 2019 will be accepted through January 31, 2019, at 5 p.m. Applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of city staff and notified of their acceptance by phone or e-mail after that time. Apply here at Tamarac University.