The City of Tamarac Car Allowance perk has gained attention since at least 2017 when Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton became a champion AGAINST it. Julie Fishman lost her election when Bolton supported Villalobos over the incumbent, claiming Fishman rode a Bike to City Hall, whilst receiving an allowance for a Car.
Some residents have criticized the use of taxpayer funds for this perk, arguing that Commissioners should use their own personal vehicles or receive mileage reimbursement for official duties. Others argue that the car allowance is necessary for Commissioners to effectively carry out their duties and attend meetings and events throughout the city.
The controversy surrounding the car allowance perk has led to discussions and debates during city meetings, and thanks to Mayor Michelle Gomez, the conversation is not going away. Rob Alphonso, a Tamarac District 3 resident, calls the allowance “unfair,” he urged Commissioners to repeal the long-debated and controversial allowance during the meeting. “Tamarac is a 12 square-mile city, It’s not that big,” he said.
Vice Mayor Bolton wanted to cancel the car allowance right away, but Mayor Michelle Gomez insisted that staff research options before making a decision, effectively stalling the process indefinitely.
Some options presented include repealing the allowance, replacing it with a mileage reimbursement or city-owned vehicle, reducing it, or allowing Commissioners to opt-out if they do not need it. The item will be brought back for further exploration at a future workshop. “While we wait for justice for our residents, I will continue to donate mine to charity for the benefit of our residents” Bolton said.