Oakland Park City Hall was officially opened in the 1963 and the City Commission Chambers were named in honor of longtime City Clerk Darleen Mitchell in 1992.
About Darleen Mitchell (1926-2016) Darleen began working for the City of Oakland Park in 1958 typing the City’s tax rolls and water bills for $1 an hour. Her history with the City dates back prior to the official naming of Oakland Park.
In 1926, Darleen became the first resident born in the town of Floranada which later was named Oakland Park and attended Oakland Park Elementary School. The family home was a small house at the corner of NE 34th Court and N. Dixie Highway (current location of the City’s Art Park). Her grandfather served on the first City Council in 1929 and in later years her father also served on the City Council.
Prior to going to work at City Hall, Darleen worked in a law office, was an active member of the PTA, Women of the Moose, the Firemen Auxiliary and the Oakland Park Methodist Church where she taught Sunday school.
Darleen became Oakland Park City Clerk in 1969. Her responsibilities included preserving City records, advertising proposed City Ordinances, keeping council minutes and updating the City’s Code Manual. She also served as president of the Florida Association of City Clerks.
“I think it’s important the city clerk know as much as she can about the city and about her job,” she explained in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.
A founding member and past president of the Oakland Park Historical Society, Darleen enjoyed telling folks that until the mid-1940’s, the only telephone in town was in the FEC train depot on NE 34th Court and NE 12th Avenue (current Oakland Park Main Street).
Note:This information was compiled with assistance from the Oakland Park Historical Society, the Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library research desk and public records.