BY BUDDY NEVINS
The embattled Tamarac Commissioner has Patte Atkins-Grad struck back at her critics on Monday.
In a news release, Atkins-Grad posed questions that appear to be the centerpiece of her defense:
- What will a recall election cost taxpayers? This is of interest since her term is up next year anyway.
- Why isn’t Mayor Beth Talabisco also being recalled? Talabisco’s campaign accepted gifts from the same developer that gave money and favors to Atkins-Grad.
- Who is really behind the recall?
A leading Democrat told Browardbeat.com last week that many of the recall folks are Republicans seeking to capture a commission seat in the heart of the D-dominated West Broward. It sounded the like political paranoia to me.
Then I realized who is quoted in the media as the recall’s spokesman — Alvin Entin. He is a Tamarac resident, but he is also the former chief lawyer for both the Miami-Dade and Broward Republican organizations. A coincidence? Probably.
So before we jump to a conspiracy theory, we need to be fair. Let’s find out who’s helping Atkins-Grad fight the recall.
Here is Atkins-Grad’s news release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Until further notice, please be advised that Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad will no longer be making any public commentary at City Commission meetings or elsewhere in relation to the attempted recall election in an effort to curtail the lies, distortions and untruths being spread by Vice-Mayor Dressler, Commissioner Bushnell and the members of the recall committee. As she has already stated, she has no intentions of steeping down from office.
Commissioner Atkins-Grad takes the position that while she respects the legal right of those to seek a recall election; she is of the belief that continuing to discuss same from the dais only serves to distract her and her colleagues from doing their duty as City Officials. She would respectfully ask her colleagues to refrain from commenting any further from the dais on the recall effort and she will do same. The focus of the Mayor and Commission should be on dealing with the day to day business of the City of Tamarac in a civil manner. Unfortunately, the City has failed to curtail the uncivil behavior of some of her colleagues and members of the recall committee.
Commissioner Atkins-Grad is saddened and appalled by the comments of one of the leaders of the recall effort who is quoted in the Sun Sentinel as having said the recall effort is “coming on like a heart attack.” Commissioner Atkins-Grad who knows many who suffer from or have died from heart disease find this reference sickening. Furthermore it further emphasizes the “win at all cost”, bullying tactics by those who have been involved in this recall effort.
Accusations have been made as to whether our estimated cost of the recall election was inaccurate. The figure was estimated on the cost of the recent Special Election in Fort Lauderdale, with some reduction. The City has estimated the cost at lesser amount. No one will accurately know the cost of the election until the amount is announced by the Broward Supervisors of Elections Office. However, there are still costs above and beyond the advertisement requirements, the simple cost for printing ballots and the operational costs involved in holding a special election.
One issue that should be acknowledged by the recall committee, any amount of money spent on this election is an unfunded mandate. Additionally, it has to be agreed that whatever amount is paid by the City for this unfunded mandate, the funds will have to be diverted from other projects beneficial to all residents. Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad has acknowledged these two issues. Unfortunately, the members of the recall committee and some of her colleagues continue to either purposely mislead the public or have their heads in the sand.
It has come to our attention that while procuring their petitions, those supporting the recall were consistently asked two important questions;
1) What will be the cost of the election?
2) Why is Mayor Talabisco not being recalled?
One thing that the organizers of the current recall effort cannot guarantee the residents of Tamarac is whether there will be a future effort to recall Mayor Talabisco. If the recall effort against Commissioner Atkins-Grad is successful, this could start a domino effect leading to a recall effort to remove Mayor Talibisco resulting in another recall election paid for by the residents of Tamarac. Vice-Mayor Dressler took campaign donations from the Chait family, Commissioner Glasser and Mayor Talibisco also had “dealings” with the Chait family. Because of this, a real possibility exists that all three of these elected officials could be subject to recall elections. If true, this could result in the majority of the Commission being recalled and replaced.
This begs the question? Do we know who is really behind the recall effort other than those who have declared so publicly? Could there be special interests looking to ultimately replace the majority of the Commission? Are there potential candidates financing this effort to force an election before Commissioner Atkins-Grad’s term expires? This is important, because it would remain unknown that said potential candidate(s) pushed for recall at the expense of Tamarac residents all because they did want to wait until the next election cycle.
Please continue to monitor www.tamaractruth.com, as we will continue to address the questions that those behind the recall effort do not want to address.
“Paid political advertisement paid for personally and approved by Patte Atkins-Grad, 5903 Blue Beech Place, Tamarac , Florida 33319 independently of any candidate or committee .”