By: Sharon Aron Baron
Parkland City Commissioner Christine Hunschofsky recently filed to become the next Mayor of Parkland.
Elected to her commission seat in 2013 with a record 84 percent vote, she will be running to fill the last two years of Mayor Michael Udine seat after he filing to run for Broward County Commission last week.
“I feel that I am in a good position to continue on with the positive path the city is on,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of growth, and I would like to make sure that any development we have is compatible with Parkland’s lifestyle.”
Hunschofsky has been a hands-on commissioner, attending school board meetings making it a priority to keep schools in Parkland the best in the County. So when a boundary proposal from a school board member split children up who attend Parkland school – bussing some of them across the county, she made sure the students, even those from Coral Springs, were not displaced elsewhere.
For three years, Hunschofsky has been the working force behind the street light program on Loxahatchee Road – and soon on Nob Hill and University Drive. She was also involved with getting the 24 classroom additions for Riverglades Elementary School.
“You can decide to do something and wait for it to happen or you can do something and make it happen. I am the ‘make it happen’ type,” she said.
Although her children do not attend public schools, Hunschofsky served on the Educational Advisory Board for seven years prior to being elected. It was on this committee where she spoke in front of the school board in favor of building Heron Heights Elementary. She also helped bring forward scholarships to high school students and wifi to Stoneman Douglas High School, all while she was covering school events for Parkland Life magazine.
“Whether or not you have kids in public schools, the success of our schools is so important to our city and our property values,” she said.
Before she was elected, there were proclamations at city commission meetings, but not nearly as much as there are now. Thanks to Hunschofsky, she makes sure that city staff acknowledges the volunteers, PTA members, bands, teams, principals and students.
A first-generation American born and raised in Boston, Hunschofsky, whose maiden name is McGuire, is half Irish, half Austrian. She double majored in both business administration and philosophy from Boston University. She loved studying philosophy which required critical thinking and logic.
“The term philosophy comes from philo and sophia, meaning love of wisdom, so people who are philosophers are always questioning and trying to come up with the best answers. I’m very data driven. I try not to form any opinions until I have all my facts – just because someone said it, doesn’t make it true.”
Hunschofsky went on to earn her MBA from Babson College and is also a recipient of the Ernst and Young Accounting Award.
“I’m a very well-educated stay-at-home-mom,” she laughed. “I always wanted to stay at home with my kids. For me, I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to stay at home with my kids. The way I used the skills that I acquired throughout my life was through my volunteer work.”
Both she and her husband Hannes, Chief Operating Officer for Hoerbiger Compression Technology, moved to Florida 16 years ago and decided on Parkland because they believed it was a beautiful and safe city that was very family-oriented.
She enrolled her first child in a preschool program at Mary Help of Christians where she liked it so much, she ended up enrolling her children there for school.
“We don’t have any family down here, so when we moved here, I needed to put him in preschool. I was pregnant with my second child at the time, so Mary Help became like our family.”
Within a month of moving to Parkland, she joined the Parkland/Coconut Creek MOMS Club so that she could meet some people from the area, and today she’s still friends with those same mothers that she met the first month she moved here.
“That’s a testament to the type of community Parkland is.”
Her long term goals for the city are continuing to have a relationship with the Broward County School Board along with the schools and doing everything she can to support education as well as seeing that Loxahatchee Road is completed sooner rather than later. This includes a median, bike lanes and a sidewalk. One of the issues is that the road west of Parkside belongs to the County, and to the east belongs to the City. This joint program also involves the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which she serves on, as well as State funding.
“This isn’t just a Parkland project,” she said. “This is a multi-governmental project that all has to be coordinated.”
Hunschofsky doesn’t like the term politician and doesn’t see herself as one. She sees herself as a public servant and says it’s her job to do the best she can for the residents.
No election date is set at this time until the current mayor resigns.