Tamarac resident Patti Lynn although not as visible as she was a few years ago is still committed as ever to making Tamarac a better place to live.
Despite two unsuccessful bids for city commissioner, as well as being passed over by the Mayor and Commissioners to replace Patti Atkins-Grad after her arrest in 2010, Lynn still loves her city but believes things can be better.
Originally from New Jersey and living in Broward County since 1963, Patti Lynn has been a resident of the Mainlands’ Section Eight for 11 years. Formerly on the Tamarac Police Pension Board, she was let go of her volunteer position after she lost her first bid for the commissioner position. After she lost the election, someone else was selected to replace her who was hand-picked by Atkins-Grad.
I sat down for coffee with Patti Lynn and spoke to her about the things she likes about Tamarac and some of the things that she would change. One of the things she likes is the city staff:
“99.9% of the city staff in city hall is very involved in serving their community. When someone comes in and has a question no matter where they go, they are very helpful. I don’t know an instance where someone has been turned away. They will always find the answer for them.”
Lynn feels one of the biggest problem the City of Tamarac has is communicating with its residents.
“The Tamagram comes out very rarely and it is slanted towards what the city has done and accomplished. There is no means of letting the residents know what’s happening on a daily basis, unless they have internet access. I would say 70% of our residents don’t have internet access. They don’t want it and don’t know anything about it so they’re not as informed unless we tell them in our newsletter and I can’t possibly tell them everything the city is doing and where they can get assistance.”
Lynn believes that the Tamarac Parks and Recreation department does a great job in communicating with the residents.
“They put out their newsletter every month with information for the seniors, and social services for low income seniors. I pick up 350 every month for our Mainlands residents and we put them in our newsletters and hand deliver them to their homes.”
Televising City Commission Meetings
Lynn attends many of the city commission meetings and follows them closely. She says she has been asking the city to televise or “stream” the commission meetings but they tell her that it’s too expensive.
“The City of Oakland Park have been broadcasting their meetings for 18 years” she said. “Residents should see what is going on at commission meetings. They get anything that they want passed because the general public has no idea what is going on.”
Lynn says that televising the meetings will allow those that cannot drive to the commission meetings to be able to watch them from their homes.
The East vs West
Lynn discussed how she felt that Tamarac is not spending nearly the same amount of city funds on its east side as it is on the west.
“I don’t see a large amount of city funds spent east of University Drive. We had a park on NW 61st and University that’s been in development for maybe for 5 years. For a while the city used that park as storage for the projects they were doing on Pine Island Road. They were dumping the trash, the concrete and parking equipment there right in the middle of a residential area because it was a good place to put it.
Now they’ve gotten that out, but it’s still fenced off and they haven’t done item one to develop it as a park and they’re talking about items at the Sports Complex and the Monterey Park. The Monterey Park doesn’t need to be developed until they finish the ones they have. There are no parks here for people in this area. None. You have Caporella park at Prospect Road, and that serves a big area. There is nothing that serves 441 to University Drive for the people here.”
Public Works and Security
Two years ago the City of Tamarac stopped mowing the swales behind her neighbor’s properties on the NW 57th Street areas. This was an area that is owned by the city that they previously maintained.
“The city has put a burden on the Mainlands Eight Homeowners Association. It’s costing my association an extra $3,000 a year to get those mowed. That’s a burden. Now our residents are being cited for the trees that they didn’t even plant along the street. Trees that either the city or the county planted. Now they are responsible for cutting them down.
We would also want a fence there, a beautification fence to keep people from running through there, committing their little crimes and running out. They need to do something to make the older people feel more secure.”
Besides a privacy wall for security, Lynn suggests that her area needs more BSO presence as well.
2014 Commission Seat
I asked Lynn if she will run again in 2014.
“As long as the District 2 commissioner is doing a good job there would be no reason to run against someone doing a good job. If someone isn’t doing a good job and a change is needed, then you run.”
Luckily, the residents of the Mainlands Eight have someone as involved as Lynn looking out for their interests. It’s unfortunate the city hasn’t found a place where her input is valued.