By: Sharon Aron Baron
After Christine Hunschofsky announced she would resign from her seat as Parkland Mayor to run for House Seat 96, there were whispers online as to who would take her place.
On Thursday, City Commissioner Stacy Kagan confirmed that she is jumping into the race, and has filed forms with the city. However, until Hunschofsky officially resigns — which would give the city a definite qualifying period in June, Kagan is holding on to her seat.
“I feel like I’m the right candidate at the right time and have had the right experience,” said Kagan. “I care about the community, and I’m not done yet,” she said.
Kagan was born in Queens, New York, and moved to South Florida in 1970. She has lived in Parkland since 2004 and recently sold her Allstate Insurance Agency business in Coral Springs, which has given her more time to dedicate to constituents.
Kagan was first elected to Parkland city commission Seat 1 after running unopposed in a special election in 2013. In 2014 and 2018, she was re-elected unopposed. She lives in Heron Bay’s The Greens with her husband, Richard, and their daughter Brittani, who graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 2007, now lives in Los Angeles.
Kagan is proud of the things she has accomplished over the years. Since her background was insurance, safety was one of her top concerns.
“I was one of the first people who discussed the dangers of texting and driving,” she said. She also was responsible for getting the traffic light at the Heron Bay north entrance installed on Nob Hill Road.
She said the intersection was dangerous in the mornings, and the county wasn’t moving quickly enough to get a traffic light. Some mornings she would take photos of the chaos, and one day she was there with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and there was an accident. She brought the situation forward to the commission, where they pushed the county to get it installed.
“We were able to get it done early. I pushed very hard for that to happen.”
She also helped place signage at the intersection so residents from Heron Bay would not drive through Parkland Reserve to drop-off or pick-up their children from Heron Heights Elementary.
“[They were] cutting through the community, parking in front of people’s homes on their lawn, dropping their kids off, so they didn’t have to go through the proper drop-off line. It was a safety issue for children and residents.”
Kagan has also been a strong supporter of Coral Springs and Parkland Fire.
“Watching them train and seeing what they do is very important — and nothing is more important than the safety of our community,” she said.
After she brought forward the need for an additional fire truck for the station off Parkside Drive at a strategic planning meeting, the commission agreed.
When Heron Bay and Watercrest residents were having mold issues, Kagan said she was inundated with calls and had to do something about it. She coordinated a meeting with the builder, WCI, and their representative, Dennis Mele, and the affected residents.
“That helped a lot of people because people were not getting responses,” she said. “I really very strongly fought for that to happen.”
“When residents have an issue, they can call me, and I return their call. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll put them in touch with someone they need.”
After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, Kagan tried to bring the community together.
“I’ll never forget that night at the Marriott when I sat with Rabbi Shuey Biston and Rabbi Mendy Gutnick. They said, ‘Stacy, we need to do something’ we didn’t even have the answers yet. We were literally waiting in the ballroom for the worst possible news.”
She picked up the phone, called the city manager and said, ‘It’s a mess here.’
“I was the only commissioner in the room, and I told him, ‘tomorrow is not going to be a good day. Do you think we can do something at the amphitheater?’ I told him to call everyone — and we showed up the next morning and put the visuals together.”
The vigil was supposed to start at 5 pm. and students came at 2 pm. She felt it was essential to have the clergy present and believes it was a very pivotal time in Parkland that brought out so many good things in the city, but unfortunately, the school shooting was such a terrible thing.
One of Kagan’s beliefs is planning for the distance, not a sprint. She is keen about planning for safety — whether it is in a hurricane or flood, and their job is to do whatever they can, to the best of their ability to protect citizens.
“I feel like I’m the right person to see the city through the current landscape of what we’ve been through and the things we can do in the future with the experience I have. I am the right person at the right time.”
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