By Agrippina Fadel
With the November election right around the corner, candidates shared why they are running and why they would be the best choice for the city.
Commissioner Debra Placko is not running for reelection, leaving an open seat. Three candidates in the race include school principal Kicia Daniel, retired Broward County School Board administrator Carol Mendelson, and retirement consulting professional David Witman Mountford.
A Tamarac resident for over ten years, Daniel has been a school principal for Broward County Public Schools for the last 23 years and is the current principal of Pinewood Elementary in North Lauderdale.
She is a results-driven public servant. When she believes in something, she “gives it her all.”
Daniel has experience in taking on public schools with low ratings and improving them in a very short time, one from a D to an A and another from an F to a B.
Born in Jamaica, Daniel is a graduate of Plantation High School. She is married with two sons and has a bachelor of arts in elementary education from Florida A&M University and a master’s and doctorate of education in leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Her professional experience, the results she has shown as an administrator, and the work she has done with her church Faith Center, where she has been for 22 years, make her a perfect candidate for District 4.
“I have been serving others in the community for years and have been on mission trips. I love to help people to do better and get better,” she said, adding that she is good at strategy and resource alignment and would like to bring this skill to the city she loves.
“No one has the experience that I have. I may not be a politician, but I am a public servant, and that is what any politician should be,” Daniel said.
A retired Broward County school board administrator, Mendelson grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Staten Island before moving to Florida. A Tamarac resident for over 20 years, she is divorced, has a son and daughter, and three grandchildren.
Running for a commission seat was never on her bucket list, but after taking classes with Tamarac University, she was inspired and began attending city commission meetings.
In her career, Mendelson has been on the other side of the dais and has sat on numerous boards, including in Coral Springs, where she once lived.
She has a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s in speech from Brooklyn College, and a master’s in education leadership from Nova Southeastern University. With her background, she helped facilitate several fundraisers in Broward County, one of which helped build nine schools in Kenya.
Mendelson said she has the integrity and the work ethic to do the job.
“I love this city, and I cannot sit back and do nothing,” stating the current turmoil and disrespect at the commission meetings was one reason she decided to run.
“I am the only candidate in this district who can devote 100% of the time to this position. This is a big responsibility, and I know I am absolutely the right person for the job,” said Mendelson.
David Witman Mountford
A retirement consulting professional with Wall Street experience, Mountford says he always wanted to get involved with local government and is finally at a stage of his life when he can run for office and do the job effectively.
Mountford grew up in Plantation, then lived all over the east coast before returning to Tamarac in 2004. He and his wife of 27 years, Marsha, live in Woodmont Estates.
A high school graduate, Mountford considers himself a “self-made man.” He began working at 15 after his father passed away. His first career choice was aviation, with a dream of becoming a commercial pilot. He worked on planes and flew privately before a serious eye accident made it impossible.
He then went into the financial industry, working on Wall Street before moving to a retirement wholesale business. Mountford formed his pension consulting firm, Witman Pension Consulting, L.L.C., located in Coral Springs.
A Tamarac University graduate, Mountford sits on the city’s Police Pension Fund Board as a trustee and formerly served on the Planning Board. He works closely with Rotary Clubs, local charities, and youth organizations.
Mountford said his leadership abilities, integrity, and commitment to the office make him the best fit for the job.
“From that standpoint, my background in finance and charitable work makes me a perfect candidate. My experience leading sales teams and bringing multimillion-dollar business will also help me serve Tamarac well,” he said, adding that he is confident about the commission seat and understands all the aspects of what it takes to create and approve a budget and manage a large entity.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, and polling locations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- 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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