By: Sharon Aron Baron
The applicants to fill the seat of Patti Atkins-Grad, who resigned just weeks before a recall election was to take place, are in.
Eight applicants have applied, and the city commissioners will begin interviewing five of them at city hall at 9 a.m on Monday and three more on Tuesday.
The person that is appointed will complete Atkins-Grad’s term until the November 2014 election.
The following is a list of the applicants. Tamarac Talk tried to find as much information on them as possible, but some had more public information than others:
As a technology administrator, Gregory Beckno Works for the City of Oakland Park and lives in the Landings, a townhouse community in district two. A University of Phoenix Graduate in 2007, which is primarily an online college, Beckno also graduated from St. George’s College in Kingston, Jamaica. He has lived in his current home since 2005. Beckno signed the petition to remove Atkins-Grad in the third and final round.
Mike Gelin is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist with CBIZ Benefit and Insurance Services. He is responsible for business development and client management, including strategic planning, financial monitoring, underwriting, market negotiations. Gelin has a BA from Morris Brown College in Business Administration. He has lived in Hampton Hills townhomes in district two since 2006. Gelin is also a Tamarac University Graduate. NOTE: He did not sign the petition during the three different rounds, which should make you wonder why he’s suddenly so interested in this seat now. Where was he when district two needed him?
Larry Goehrig is an Operations Administrator for the Huizenga School of Business at Nova Southeastern University. He has lived in the Wedgewood condos since 2005. NOTE: He did not sign the petition during the three different rounds, which should make you wonder why he’s suddenly so interested in this seat now. Where was Gelin when District two needed him?
Michelle Gomez, an attorney, is President at Saunders, Curtis, Ginestra, and Gore, P.A. was appointed to fill Atkin-Grad’s seat in 2010 during her two-year suspension from office. Gomez is the no-brainer for this position as she hasn’t missed a beat since Atkins-Grad was reinstated back in 2012. Gomez has been attending meetings and watching every commission meeting, and keeping up with city events. Two things may be against her: One, some very qualified candidates could bring in some new expertise to the dais that the commission badly needs. Two: Gomez is a Republican. Commissioner Diane Glasser will more than likely vote no to Gomez because she is on the Democrat Executive Committee and is a former State Committeewoman. Rumor has it that DEC Chair Mitch Ceasar has been calling the Mayor and commissioners. Who knows what he is asking, but I’m sure it emphasizes that they should appoint a Democrat. Yes, Gomez is a Republican, but it doesn’t matter because municipal elections are nonpartisan.
Gomez received her law degree from NSU – Shepard Broad Law Center and her undergraduate from American University. She holds both a Masters in Public Communication and a BA in the combined: Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government. She is a graduate of Tamarac University, and her family and herself have been a resident of the Woodlands Country Club for many years, where she is a homeowner. NOTE: Gomez signed the petition to remove Atkins-Grad all three rounds.
Leonard Hixon is a Licensed Independent Insurance Broker who studied at Los Angeles Southwest College. Hixon has been a resident of the Woodlands Country Club since 1994 and can be seen attending many meetings community meetings. Hixon more than likely will not be considered given that he was a big opponent to the creation of the Woodlands District and overseen by the City. He was one of a few disgruntled residents who petitioned to have the city dissolve the district before it was underway. He is a thorn in the side of district members during meetings. Hixon did not sign the petition all three rounds: It’s also curious why Hixon, a supporter of Atkin-Grad’s, would not sign the petition to remove her yet now wants her vacated seat.
Robert Larrick is a vice president at Akar Capital Management, Inc., an investment firm. Larrick graduated from NSU with an MBA and Florida State University with a BS, and Larrick has been a resident of Plum Harbor since 2011. He did not sign the petition during the three different rounds, which should make you wonder why he’s suddenly so interested in this seat now. Where was he when district two needed him?
Felicia Yvonne Meadows is a professor for Paralegal and legal studies at Keiser University’s online campus. She is also a divorce attorney. Meadows graduated with her law degree from Howard University and received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M. She is truly a local. She is also a graduate of Boyd Anderson High School, district two’s local High School. Meadows is a resident of Tuscany Townhomes. Meadows signed the petition to remove Atkins-Grad, the third and final round.
Stewart Jackson Webster has been a Management and Taxation Consultant since 2011, and before that, he was a licensed realtor. Webster was a volunteer in the recall effort for Atkins-Grad. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University and a BA from Bernarch M. Baruch College. Webster has lived in a condo in Versailles Gardens since 2003. Webster signed the petition to remove Atkins-Grad in the first and third rounds, plus worked hard to get signatures during all rounds.
Interviews may be web streamed live and recorded. Please check www.Tamarac.org on Monday.