Commissioners’ Power Grab Is Costing The Public





Tamarac, once one of Broward County’s best run city halls, is degenerating into a honey pot for City Commissioners. 

Commissioners are raiding city coffers while Tamarac is still coping with the unknown fiscal impact of the covid virus and its job recession. 

The money grab approved by commissioners includes: 


  • Allowing each commissioner to hire up to three paid “community engagement liaisons.” 
  • Handing commissioners $15,000 apiece for “travel expenses”, which they can use for anything because they don’t have to show receipts. The new “travel expenses” could be increased in the future to match inflation. There is additional money for trips farther than 100 miles from the city. 
  • Giving each commissioner a $25,000 slush fund to be spent without taking competitive bids, as long as the vague goal of economic development is met.


Got complaints about commissioners feeding at the public trough? Too bad. Tough luck.

Part of the new law allows commissioners to limit the time the public can speak at meetings. They can also toss from meetings anyone who makes “disruptive(,) impertinent or slanderous remarks or who shall become boisterous while addressing the City Commission.” 

What exactly is impertinent, disruptive, or slanderous? How do they define boisterous? The definition of those terms is left to commissioners…at the meetings.

This is plainly a naked power grab. 

It is aimed at Mayor Michelle Gomez. Some commissioners have been feuding with her.


Michelle Gomez


Commissioners were aided by controversial Miami-Dade County Attorney Hans Ottinot Sr., who was hired late last year. Although formally holding the title of interim city attorney, Ottinot apparently has lost no time in helping to remake Tamarac’s government by drafting these new laws. 

Some of the changes are plainly petty, such as removing the provision that allows the mayor to vote last.  One other could impact on future development in Broward, which is deadly serious. 

(Call me cynical, but when I see commissioners messing around in potential development I get very, very suspicious.)

This new law would potentially prevent Mayor Gomez from voting on developments at the Broward Planning Council. Hmmmm.

Ottinot, who has worked in the development industry in the past according to the Miami Herald, already is embroiled in another City Commission battle in North Miami Beach. Hired at almost the exact same time by that Miami-Dade city,  the city’s mayor is now calling for an investigation of the hiring for Sunshine Law violations.


Hans Ottinot Sr.



What’s going on in Tamarac is sad. 

These government changes — including the money bonanza for commissioners — were rushed through at a virtual meeting.

Governments should never be refashioned based on personalities of the moment.

Electeds change. The government changes made in haste will remain regardless of whether they make sense in the future.

The actions of Tamarac commissioners is symptomatic of an attitude. That attitude is entitlement.

They arrogantly believe because they were elected that they are entitled to more. And more. And more.

They have the votes so commissioners can pass anything they want. They have the votes so they believe they can do what they want.

Tamarac commissioners are right about the math. But they are ethically wrong.

Unfortunately, the public will be paying for their mistake. And paying. And paying.   


21 Responses to “Commissioners’ Power Grab Is Costing The Public”

  1. City activist Robert walsh says:

    Its these type of policy change is concerning .This is why the county comm.needs to decide and negotiate policy across the board in each of the 31 municipalities. Basically what they want is absolutely no oversight.Then the limiting of the public speaking time and if they don’t like what the speaker ( public) they can just throw them out of the meeting.Yes,the county comm.needs to adopt policy what they can and can not do in all 31 cities.This is very troubling.

  2. Kevin Tynan says:

    Well stated. Kevin Tynan

  3. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    South Florida municipal raising of Commission benefits n cutting off citizen input started with David Dermer’s victory as Mayor of Miami Beach in I think ’98 n and incidents in North Bay Village n Golden Beach where Police were used to by Mayors (as Dermer did in 2005) to harass citizens. It spread to changes in Ft Lauderdale in recent years. In all cases Mayors n Commissioners were added to their salarirs benefits n staffing

  4. MacAdder says:

    No resident of Tamarac should be surprised by this when one of those power-grabbing commissioners (Marlon Bolton) is literally a greedy wannabe televangelist of the worst kind (

  5. Patti gox says:

    So is there a way the public can stop this and let the county know that we demand oversight of our commissioners?

  6. Patti Lynn says:

    The uninformed voter is to blame. They elect the Mayor & Commissioners. District 1 Commissioner Marlon Bolton overspent his travel account in his first term of office. Did this concern his constituents? Evidently not. He has dabbled in evangelism, has considered rejecting the Christian religion and converting to Judaism, (I don’t know where he is in this process. Has there been a bris?). Re-electing Marlon Bolton was a mistake. He attacked Sam Goren, the City’s Attorney of Record, and made some terrible accusations. Tamarac is now without the wisdom and expertise of Samuel Goren, Esq.
    But they are still saddled with Marlon Bolton, duly elected by the residents of District One. Electing a diverse commission is desired, Tamarac is a very diverse City. My neighbors are from Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Jamaica, Haiti, the deep south and the liberal north. I don’t vote for an individual because they are black, white, or any other race or ethnicity. I vote for the person who appears to be willing to do a good job for our City, not him, or her self. Looking at the seated Commissioners, I see that in some, and not others. That being said a MAJORITY of the Commissioners voted for these new measures. Look at the voting record. Hold those folks accountable. DON’T FORGET…especially those recently elected who will not face the voters for FOUR more years. The others, who will face voters in 2022, will be easily remembered. As Tamarac residents, DEMAND District wide Zoom meetings. Have YOUR Commissioner explain him, or her, self. Don’t let them get too comfortable.

  7. A reader says:

    The new buzz word with some politicians is “systemic”. Perhaps applied in this case: Politicians have a systemic disregard for their constituency.
    Advice to members of all towns and cities in Broward: Vote, attend commission meetings, be unafraid, state your opinions. There are always egotistical politicians but they are temporary until the next one comes along. You can remain true to your values. Don’t back down. They will run over you if you allow it.

  8. Zachary says:

    This is ridiculous. The citizens of Tamarac need to come together and voice their concerns with this commission. There is no need to hire liaisons for a commissioner, they chose the position and the workload that comes with it. There is also no need to have a 15k vacation expense per commissioner. All of these items will do nothing but raise our taxes and put more money into the commissions pockets. Even the fact that they want to control how we speak our concerns is uncalled for and should raise red flags to the citizens of Tamarac.

  9. Michael Finesilver says:

    A budget! As with your family, pay largest bills first, save 10%, and put it into an emergency fund,

  10. Sam the Sham says:

    To get the county involved is like going from the frying pan into the fire.

    I think your best redress is the ballot box, the courts and state government.

  11. Michael Brown says:

    Mayor Gomez has done an outstanding job. You may want to tell the public the players who are behind those who have been attacking the Mayor.

  12. Truth seeker says:

    Prior to all of what you read, they recently voted to double their salary. It is a clown show!!
    Wait and see how they won’t give employee raises and site the pandemic, after they doubled their
    Salary. Three community liaisons??
    Really, they are part-time commissioners.

  13. Sad for Tamarac says:

    The video is very enlightening. Bolton found a way easier than Televangelism to make cash.
    What a phony.

  14. Colleen Champion says:

    Very disheartening. I have not followed up on these issues. You can bet I will now and vote accordingly

  15. City activist Robert walsh says:

    There needs to be more oversight.The county should hire like the OIG but not w/ subpoena power.If the hired county watch dog finds suspect of illicit activity then can simply had over to OIG.Better yet the OIG should be given the task to hire the watch dog to just his/ her position would solely to examine how these commissioners r spending your month folks. Oh I have seen alot from these area cities.Its 10g for fancy office furniture, to trips abroad to attend Gay parades,to hiring assistants for the comm. Assistants Its like hiring an assistant fir the assistant. And paying these assistants 50g w/ benefits. I have seen non- essisential city employees being paid 100% of their pay to sut home during the shelter in place .I have seen city managers hire ast city man over 200g to when being questions by me telling me his pay was none of my business ( it is) and that he was worth every dime,meanwhile I have first yr.surgical residents making half what he is receiving.Stated he was worth it,meanwhile my Md.surgical dr.getting pittens but could and would save your life.So u see folks spending other people’s money in Broward county cities is worth the hire…

  16. Rico Petrocelli says:

    This is beginning to become the norm for now with some city elected officials. Buddy, you’ve written before Councilmembers, Commissioners taking advantage of the residents and their $$$$…

    Let’s be honest, 3 part time “ Community “ whatever’s are basically 3 people to show up at community events in the name of YOUR COUNCILMEMBER, & get Votes! It’s strictly PR.

    Buddy, you’re a Plantation resident, I think you would have been all over our council about this, our councilmembers receive, rounding up $30k per year, insurance. No staff, No office at City Hall. I was elected in 2005, same benefits, $28k per year. Our packets were delivered on the Friday before our Wednesday Council Meeting, giving us the weekend to read the agenda and included paperwork. This was delivered thru the city clerk with a city courier. I was Honored to represent the people, we all knew the salary, wasn’t in decision to run, nor should it be!

    It’s NOT supposed to be about the $$$… Assistants to collect votes year round, like Seinfeld would say: Not Good…

    Elections have Consequences…….

    Rico Petrocelli
    Plantation Councilman 2005-2009

  17. Nick Sortal says:

    Tamarac voters put themselves in this position when they failed to re-elect Julie Fishman. She had experience in many facets of government, was level-headed and ethical and those of us electeds with less experience regarded her as the smartest person in the room. A political alliance, the one taking over city hall, barely defeated her.

  18. Vote The Rascals Out says:

    The saddest thing to see was when Marlon Bolton actually got re-elected to his commission seat. From the very start of his first term he was only interested in what was in it for him. After some of his shenanigans on the dais and on You Tube I was sure the good citizens of District 1 would see through this charlatan’s act but never underestimate the apathy of the electorate. Since he was re-elected the citizens of Tamarac only hope to bring some sanity back to the commission is if the District 2 voters defeat Mike Gelin in the next election. The new majority of the commission can then rescind these ridiculous perks that the Bolton/Gelin/Villalobos have voted to give themselves.

  19. Just one vote says:

    Sadly this Commission will approve about 400 single family homes to be shoved between the existing ones on the Woodlands abandoned golf course. There is no end in what these electeds will inflict on the residents. When will we learn elections have consequences?

  20. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The LACK of planning n THOUGHT across the board in Florida is highlighted by #19’s reference to a Golf Course. GOLF is DYING in Florida n with it Golf Courses UNLESS PEOPLE invent NEW USES OTHER THAN MORE LUXURY HOUSES. Absent NEW USES #19 n everyone will see ‘Woodland’ AGAIN n AGAIN

  21. Vicki Taylor says:

    The corruption and voter suppression just since I have returned home aug1 2020 during my divorce of 20 yrs .specifically at the time Vice Mayor Mr Bolton and use of his position to intimidate his opponent running against him Michelle Jones for commissioner of District 1. Is reminiscent of a page right out of trump / government officials using those voted positions to line their pockets and not care about the residence in his district nor the city of Tamarac. Since my family has lived 50 years next to Caporella park. The dead end neighborhood of NW 52nd court.