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By: Sharon Aron Baron
Residents had a chance to find out what’s going on in the City and in their community during the annual Neighborhood Meetings for each of the four districts in Tamarac during March and April.
Each year representatives from the City along with a City Commissioner travels into the community for the annual meetings which gives residents a chance to ask City staff member’s questions. The agenda consists of an update on projects in the district, upcoming events, and an interactive Q & A session on topics.
Unfortunately, due to vacation, I was unable to cover the District One meeting which took place in the Mainlands 1 a& 2 Clubhouse on March 24 where an estimated 97 residents turned up. The District Two meeting held on April 15 at Millennium Middle School had 83 residents in attendance. The District Three meeting which was originally set to be held at Westwood 24 Clubhouse, changed that week to the Tamarac Community Center because the City must have realized the facility would never hold the amount of Kings Point residents anticipated. Although I didn’t get a head count, I’m guessing 300-400 were there. Same with the District Four meeting on April 22, also held at the Tamarac Community Center. It was another packed house and City workers were pulling out extra chairs to accommodate residents.
At all three meetings there were several questions about issues in the district, especially the conditions of the roadways and asphalt issues that several residents felt were poorly done. But the main issue was the charter school that is being proposed for the Sports Complex and this was a chance for residents to ask questions and be heard. Thankfully, City Manager Michael Cernech did answer questions and he did a thorough job at it. But the mayor and the commissioners sat mutely which made me believe they had been coached to do so. But the most reprehensible part was listening to Mayor Dressler outright mislead the citizens of Kings Point who supported him during his election just months before and tell them it was illegal for him to discuss the charter school with them. “…There is no way I or any of my colleagues can legally comment on something that’s not a deal yet. It may never be a deal.”
So basically, at no time ever will a constituent be able to discuss the charter issue with their Tamarac elected officials and find out where they stand based on this logic. But wait a minute: Academica and Doral Academy representatives and lobbyists can sign in, have meetings with the mayor or any of the commissioners, and have discussions with them. They are even planning a tour of school in Doral.
Welcome to the City of Transparency.