By: Sharon Aron Baron
In a ceremony held last Thursday, the Florida League of Cities recognized Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky with a 2019 Home Rule Hero Award.
Hunschofsky was given an award for her outspoken advocacy for municipal home rule leading up to and during the 2019 legislative session. She also worked with elected officials and staff throughout the county and state to help protect the right to address local concerns with local solutions.
Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, both elected and nonelected, who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the legislature and help give a local perspective to an issue.
“It is important as municipal elected officials that we continue to advocate for the protection of Home Rule as it affects so many aspects in our city, such as vacation rentals, placement of microcell towers in public rights of way as well as many other issues,” said Hunschofsky.
She first became interested in politics during the ten year period she covered city commission meetings for Parkland Life Magazine. In 2013, after spending seven years on the Parkland Education Advisory Board, and several committees, she won a seat on the city commission. In 2016, she ran and won the election for mayor after Michael Udine resigned to run for an open seat on the Broward County Commission. In 2018, she was reelected again, uncontested.
Hunschofsky also serves on the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Broward County School Board Oversight committee. She is also a member of the Parkland Friends of the Library, Broward Pap Corps, Broward League of Cities, School and Community Public Safety Task Force, and serves on the advisory board for In Jacob’s Shoes.
Other Broward County Home Rule recipients include: Cooper City Mayor Greg Ross; Coral Springs City Commissioner Joshua Simmons; Hollywood City Commissioner Traci L. Callari; Tamarac City Commissioner Julie Fishman; Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank C. Ortis; Sunrise Mayor Michael J. Ryan; Weston Mayor Daniel J. Stermer; Weston Assistant City Manager Darrel Thomas; and Coconut Creek City Manager Mary Blasi.
Scott Dudley, legislative director of the Florida League of Cities, said the dedication and effort of local officials during the 2019 legislative session was extraordinary.
“These are some of our biggest advocates for municipal issues, and they’re shining examples of local advocacy in action. On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we’re proud to recognize each and every one of them and thank them for their service.”