By Sharon Aron Baron
Parkland politics have been relatively controversy-free and respectful. That is, since the 2006 mayoral race when then-Commissioner Michael Udine ran against incumbent Bob Marks who was part of an ongoing Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation. His wife Carolyn Marks briefly entered the race to keep the “Marks” name in —-just in case.
That election attracted national attention, piquing the interest of Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, CNN, and The Washington Post.
It’s now 2020, and 14 years later, Parkland is seeing its civilized residents acting, well, a bit uncivilized.
In September, a resident accused mayoral candidate and Commissioner Stacy Kagan of defrauding her insurance company and paying little property taxes.
However, Kagan’s home was destroyed by black mold due to water damage after Hurricane Irma resulting in the loss of all her possessions and being displaced for most of the following year. Due to her home being uninhabitable, she applied to the Property Appraiser’s Office to temporarily lower her property taxes using their Catastrophic Structural Damage Report Form.
On Tuesday, incivility broke out between two neighbors in District 4 after a resident reported candidate Robert Brannen’s campaign signs to both the city manager and the supervisor of elections for missing a legal disclaimer under FL Statutes 106.143.
A legal disclaimer looks like this:
Political advertisement paid for by Robert Brannen, nonpartisan, for Parkland Commissioner District 4
In response, Valeria, Brannen’s wife, took to Facebook to share the name, email, and phone number of the neighbor.
Valaria defended her actions for calling out the resident maliciously — or “doxxing.”
“When you do those kinds of actions, you are exposed, and she should have thought twice,” said Valeria. “That’s what I teach my children. It can come back to you.”
She insisted she was speaking as an individual, not a candidate — therefore, she was free to call out the person who reported the campaign signs on social media.
In the complaint, the Pine Tree Estates neighbor advised Brannen’s campaign was displaying hundreds of signs without the required legal disclaimers. However, it would ultimately be up to the Florida Election Commission if any fines were imposed.
Valeria denied there were hundreds of signs.
“She lied in the letter. She said there were hundreds and hundreds.”
Valeria insisted there were only a few signs missing the disclaimers, which she blamed on the printer. Once the campaign noticed, they covered the missing information up with a sticker.
“We are all in Parkland and don’t need to be mean. It’s not necessary to do things — It’s hurting my nine children. Just with this action, she can hurt my children.”
Resident Steve Noyola, who tried to stay impartial, wrote, “I disagree with the approach taken by this homeowner, but I also strongly disagree with posting this person’s name and personal cellphone number — this could actually be a violation of [the] law. BTW, it is up to them [candidate] to make sure their signs are correct.”
Valeria, who believes they could be fined upwards of $1,000 per sign, insisted she was a good person, and this was different.
“This jeopardizes my family. This can hurt all my children.”
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