Seat-Gate: Tamarac City Commissioners Locked in Late-Night Meeting Over Musical Chairs Mix-Up

By Agrippina Fadel

In Tamarac city hall,

A meeting took place late,

It wasn’t budget concerns,

But a chair debate.

Stephanie Franco

The new vice mayor,

Was upset and perplexed,

He saw a colleague switch seats,

He found it vexed.

“It’s wrong and disrespectful,”

He said with dismay,

“You don’t just take someone’s seat,

It’s like stealing lunch away.”

He compared it to taking an office,

But the mayor said “Oh no,

You don’t own the seat,

It’s not assigned to go.”

The commissioner in question,

Wasn’t trying to be rude,

He just wanted to sit next to the mayor,

It wasn’t meant to be crude.

In the end, the matter was resolved,

The commissioners all agreed,

They’ll sit wherever they please,

No more chair greed.

It wasn’t the budget concerns or the large development projects that kept the Tamarac city commissioners on the dais till 2 a.m. at the Dec. 14 meeting, but a game of musical chairs gone wrong.

One of the very last items on the agenda was the proposal by the newly-selected Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton to give the commission power to decide where each member sits and enforce it on those who dare to take someone else’s chair.

Bolton said he was happy to see commissioners Kicia Daniels and Morey Wright “proudly take their seats on the dais” the day they got sworn in. Both took the seats of their respective predecessors in Districts 2 and 4.

However, Commissioner Elvin Villalobos sat next to the mayor in the seat formerly occupied by Mike Gelin, which triggered Bolton into one of his long, slow monologues.

“It seems, without commission approval, commissioner Villalobos has decided to switch seats,” said Bolton, adding that he found it “wrong and disrespectful.”

If someone has a seat, he said you don’t just take it. “It’s like going to school with lunch and somebody stealing it.”

He said the commission should decide where everyone sits and reminded his colleagues that if it is a question of seniority, he has been on the dais longer than Villalobos and “never asked to switch his seat.”

Bolton then compared taking a colleague’s seat with trying to take away their office, adding he wouldn’t use his seniority to demand Villalobos gives up his.

Mayor Michelle Gomez reminded her colleagues that the commission does not vote on seats or offices determined by the city’s administrative staff.

“For historical knowledge and purposes, the seating on the dais, besides that mayoral seat, had switched around multiple times,” Gomez said and added that Villalobos asked the city manager to move his name plaque and seat before the new commissioners were sworn in. However, because Debra Placko and Gelin were present at the swearing-in, they kept their seats, and the new commissioners then took over.

“You don’t own the seat. They are not assigned to specific districts,” said Gomez.

Commissioner Wright added, “I had no objection to the seat change.”

“I appreciate it,” said Gomez. “Seeing that there is no problem on the dais for people who were affected by it, I believe this conversation is over.” Bolton did not object.

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Agrippina Fadel
Agrippina Fadel
Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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