By: Sharon Aron Baron
In a tale of two school board candidates, each confronted with unflattering legal matters in their past, one kept their cool, while another threatened legal action.
Both Tennille Doe-Decoste and Michael Kottler are running for School Board District 4 which covers Coral Springs, Parkland, Tamarac and parts of North Lauderdale and Margate. Lori Alhadeff is also a candidate for this race.
Michael Kottler, who is not actively fundraising, is walking door to door to garner votes. He works for Terminex Pest Control and has been a Coral Springs resident for 13 years.
He got into the race after his son received a concussion playing basketball and the coach had him continue playing. He felt the school was inactive, including Superintendent Robert Runcie who agreed with his issue, however, in the end, did nothing.
Kottler said that he could do better and decided to run.
When asked, Kottler was forthcoming on the legal items on public records including an issue for a domestic violence dispute. He said that back in 2012, he got into a dispute with a roofing contractor where he had to eventually file a restraining order.
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“He said he’s going to pay me $5,000 if I could get him another customer. So I got my next door neighbor.”
Kotter needed repairs done on his roof as well as his $5,000 referral fee, and couldn’t get the roofer to respond. The roofer then made statements over the phone threatening his wife and kids, so Kottler filed a restraining order against him.
Kottler also had a foreclosure in 2012 after he had lost his job in 2010.
“I tried to do the modification thing. Bank of America bought my mortgage from Countrywide and I did this thing and I immediately go into foreclosure because they don’t tell you that.”
Since he was underwater on home mortgage, he did a short-sell on his home and moved.
“Probably should have stayed with it and I probably could have gotten the house for free. But I didn’t have the right advice for that. So I lost my job and I was kinda hurting at the time.”
Doe-Decoste, a Coral Springs resident, is an assistant director of parks and recreation for the city of Miramar. She has publicly stated that she manages million and billion dollar budgets, so we inquired about the nine cases for tenant evictions from 2004 through 2017 under her name.
“I know the only reason I’m being focused on is because of the color of my skin color.” It’s only Parkland attacking me. Coral Springs, Tamarac, North Lauderdale Margate, they’re not attacking me. It’s only you guys,” she said.
She asked why no one was “picking” on Ryan Petty or anybody else.
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“They can do whatever they have to do. I know why they’re doing it. Obviously I’m a threat, and I understand. There are court docs on my other opponent.”
Doe-Decoste insisted that the cases for tenant removal were “not an issue” because no one had asked her about them before. She stated that one address was her daughter’s home and during that time, she was in Georgia. However, according to public records, the nine evictions have her name on it.
“People assume instead of asking. My previous one, the 7447, if you look at the docket, you would see there is mold in the house. My daughter passed out twice and was hospitalized because she’s allergic to mold. I’m actually in the process of suing the landlord because now my daughter has to get autoimmune shots every week for $960 because of mold in that house. Nobody seems to ask those questions. You’re asking the questions because Parkland is pressuring you to ask these questions.”
“Tennille, I’m a reporter.”
“Well, you’re the only one reporting this. Sun Sentinel’s not reporting this. Who else? What’s another major one? No one is reporting this but Parkland people. Not one person.”
“I’m just asking the questions, I would like some explanation.”
“Scott Travis (Sun Sentinel) told me he doesn’t want to help or hurt any of the candidates, and only wants to write important stuff,” said Doe-Decoste. “You, on the other hand, are only coming to me because you are getting pressure from Parkland people and they’re pressuring you to do a story. Do what you have to do and my attorney will do what he has to do. That’s all I”m going to say. “
She would not elaborate on her 14 ticket infractions – including expired tags for more than six months, license suspension without knowledge, and failure to pay tolls.
Lori Alhadeff is also running for this race and has one ticket infraction for speeding in 2016.