By: Sharon Aron Baron
After a long and tedious election process, a new mayor and two commissioners were sworn-in on Tuesday morning at the City of Tamarac.
Former commissioner Michelle Gomez was sworn-in as the next mayor. Gomez, who has sat on the commission since 2010 narrowly won against unknown challenger Elvin Villalobos by 395 votes. Gomez thanked her supporters, but stated there were difficult times during her campaign.
“I was attacked for being a woman. I was attacked for being white. I was attacked for being Jewish. I was attacked for being adopted by my father. I was attacked for being experienced and having the pleasure of serving this city for the past eight years. I was attacked with lies, deceptive advertising, malicious attacks and false media and I was attacked by people that I’m supposed to work with and respect.”
She thanked the Democrats for understanding that this was a nonpartisan race, and who selected her to be her choice. She also thanked the Republican Club for their support and encouraging her.
“We are one city with one goal and we should be proud of where we live.”
Gomez, a practicing attorney who makes her home in The Woodlands Country Club, works at Saunders, Curtis, Ginestra & Gore, P.A. – a firm she took over in 2010.
Also sworn-in was city commissioner Mike Gelin who will represent Gomez’ former District 2 seat. Gelin won against challengers Larry Goehrig and Bill Mei with 65 percent of the voters.
Gelin thanked friends, family, and said most importantly, he wanted to thank the voters of District 2.
He said that throughout the campaign he walked in a variety of communities including Lime Bay, Plum Bay, Tamarac Gardens, Hampton Hills, and the Woodlands Country Club.
“There were many residents who welcomed me into their home. Offered me water, snacks, iced tea, lemonade, you name it. We had extended conversations and many offers to help me with the campaign by passing out flyers, collecting yard signs and just spreading the word. In fact there was one individual who told me not to walk the block, that he had the whole block on lockdown for me.”
Gelin said that people are much kinder than we believe. “…and they also open the door to strangers which I was taught never to do.”
Gelin, who is the president of Gelin Benefits Group, LLC., said he wanted to work hard everyday to represent residents and look out for their best interests.
Reelected to serve another four years representing residents in District 4 is Debra Placko. Placko won easily with 68 percent votes against challenger Doug Maesk.
Placko, who lives in Woodmont’s Palm Ridge community, said she was very honored to be sitting in the seat for a second term.
She thanked her supporters and friends who walked the communities with her in the heat and never complained, and was thankful to District 4 residents who came out and voted.