Get to Know Your City Commission Candidates at Public Forum Set for Mon., Sept. 24

Hollywood residents in Districts 1, 3 and 5 are encouraged to attend a City Commission Candidate Forum on Monday, Sept. 24 from 7-9 p.m.  This is an opportunity to meet and hear from your candidates in order to make an informed decision prior to voting in the November 2018 election. Each candidate will speak for two minutes then the moderator will ask prepared questions. The forum will be held at the David Park Community Center (108 N. 33rd Court Hollywood, Fl 33021).commission races hollywood fl

District 1 Candidates

Itzack Feldman, candidate for District One is a “watchdog” of local municipal government who has lived in Hollywood for 22 years and runs a video production company. Frequently outspoken at city commission meetings and community events, this is Feldman’s second time running for the District One Commission seat. An avid ping-pong enthusiast, he developed a ping pong program for senior residents of Hollywood.

Joseph Kaplan is a write-in candidate for District One and believes his extensive experience on municipal boards would benefit the city. He has worked in housing management and has been a Hollywood resident for nearly 18 years. If elected, Kaplan would make sure a reputable management company is watching over the city’s pension system, and he would take heed of whatever recommendations they may have for improvements. Kaplan wrote that this will ensure the pension fund is properly managed “so the taxpayers don’t have to keep bailing it out.” If necessary, Kaplan is prepared to support a citywide financial emergency like the one Mayor Peter Bober declared several years ago to help the pension.

Luis Prada, a candidate for District One for the second time, is a retired airplane pilot and has lived in Hollywood for many years. For the last 20 years, he has been the president and board manager for the Trafalgar Towers II Association. Prada said the commission needs strong leaders and more concern for school safety. “If elected, I will make balancing the City Budget my highest priority,” said Prada.

Endorsed by Vice Mayor Debra Case, Caryl Shuham is running for office “to help our city meet modern day challenges including flooding, beach erosion, and traffic,” according to her website. She believes the city is financially unstable and her experience as an engineer and attorney will help her understand the complex contracts the city is involved in. Caryl and her husband have been married for more than 30 years and they have a law practice, Shuham and Shuham in Hollywood. She is a graduate of Leadership Hollywood and has been involved in the city as a volunteer.

A forum specifically for District One Candidates is set for October 19 from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm at the Championship Academy of Distinction (1101 Hillcrest Dr., Hollywood, FL 33021). The meet and greet will run from 6:30 – 7 p.m. and the program will be moderated by the Broward Women’s League of Voters. For information, email

District 3 Candidates

Commissioner Traci Callari is running as an incumbent for District Three. Hollywood resident since 1984, Callari is a Trauma/ICU Nurse, mother of three, and is married to James Callari, a Hollywood Police officer. In addition to beautification and focusing on a safe, family-friendly community, Commissioner Callari implemented the first Youth Ambassador Program in Hollywood which focuses on developing youth leadership. She believes there is no greater gift than the gift of service to others.

Callari is running against Thomas R. Ungleich, a retired attorney for the U.S. Army and a community volunteer. A Hollywood resident since 1979, Ungleich is against the proposed $150 million general obligation bond issue that is likely to appear on a special election ballot in March of 2019. “If elected, I will make balancing the City Budget my highest priority, realizing that pension plan benefits make up a substantial portion of the total budget,” said Ungleich.

District 5 Candidates

Incumbent Kevin Biederman is running for his second term on the commission. Commissioner Biederman has been a resident of Hollywood, both in Boulevard Heights and Driftwood, for the past 33 years.  He and his wife, Donna, have a daughter, Ciara, who attends the University of Central Florida. He believes it is important to attract business to Hollywood and owns a successful pest control business.  Biederman says the biggest issue in Hollywood is to make sure that the city’s employees and first responders feel valued, they are compensated fairly and their benefits are fair.   He would like to sunset the Beach CRA in 2027. “We can’t just end it tomorrow. Projects are underway and it would be irresponsible to end the CRA now,” said Biederman.

Jack Anthony Izzo is running for District Five. He is an electrical engineer with years of experience and has a background in the construction industry. Izzo is concerned that city money is going toward large businesses and little help is going to smaller businesses.  He is not in favor of the proposed general obligation bond, noting the last bond Hollywood residents are paying from 2004 isn’t set to mature until 2030. On his campaign website, Izzo describes City of Hollywood’s CRA, as “a luxury that we clearly cannot afford.”

Francisco Vargas is also running for District Five. He has been a middle school math teacher at Driftwood Middle School for 14 years and is currently a Union Steward for the Broward Teachers Union (BTU).  “As I look back on my childhood I fondly remember seeing my father share his crops and help other farmers sell their produce,” said Vargas. “As well as seeing my mother give an education to the children of the countryside in the Dominican Republic. The values that they instilled in me are the driving force behind my desire to make a difference in my community.”


Early Voting for the General Election October 22 Through November 4

Early voting for the General Election will take place in Hollywood at the Broward County Library – Hollywood Branch, located at City Hall Circle, 2600 Hollywood Boulevard, October 22 through November 4th from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.

Unlike Election Day when a voter must vote in his or her designated polling place, a voter can vote at any Early Voting Center location in Broward County. Voters will need to present a photo and signature ID. If you are unable to provide a photo and signature ID, you will be issued a provisional ballot.

There are three other sites in neighboring cities that may also be convenient to Hollywood voters:

In Pembroke Pines:
• South Regional Library/Broward College, 7300 Pines Boulevard
• Southwest Regional Library, 16835 Sheridan Street

In Hallandale Beach:
• Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center, 410 SE 3rd Street

For additional Early Voting locations in Broward County, please visit the Supervisors of Elections website at


Picture of Author: Amanda Jones
Author: Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones specializes in social media marketing. She holds a Master's degree in Social Media Management from the University of Florida and a Social Media Professional Certificate from the University of Miami.


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