District 1 Newsletter
March 2013

My name is Martin David Kiar and I am honored to be your Broward County Commissioner for District 1. In an effort to keep our community informed, I will be sending out an e-newsletter on some of the ordinances and resolutions being considered by the Broward County Commission, updates on Broward County projects and activities for you and your family. Also, if you visit broward.org you can learn about Broward County services such as our parks and libraries. It is an honor to serve as your Broward County Commissioner. If I can help you, please email me at mkiar@broward.org or call me at 954-357-7001.

Martin David Kiar

New Ordinances and County Commission Actions

Animal Care Ordinances
The County Commission recently enacted substantial changes to the Animal Care section of the Broward County Code of Ordinances. The changes included, but were not limited to, requiring that the tethering of dogs be done in a safe manner consistent with animal protection, increasing penalties for people found guilty of animal abuse, increasing penalties for people who train their dogs to fight, and ensuring as well that guard dogs for hire be kept in humane conditions. Here is a Local 10 news story link concerning Broward County’s passage of its changes to the Animal Care section of the Broward County Code of Ordinances.

Emergency 911 Dispatch Services and Commissioner Kiar
Currently, the emergency 911 dispatch system is not operated as a consolidated system in Broward County. The Broward Sheriff’s Office provides 911 dispatch services to many of our cities and other cities such as Plantation and Coral Springs operate their own 911 dispatch system. Since the 911 dispatch system is not consolidated, many significant problems arise. For example, a person making an emergency call in Sunrise can have their call misdirected to Pembroke Pines. The Pembroke Pines dispatch would then have to send the call back to Sunrise and these misdirected calls can add precious minutes that can lengthen the time for police officers, firefighters and paramedics to respond to an emergency. The County Commission passed a measure aimed at consolidating the County’s 911 system. The County Commission voted to create a Municipal Services Taxing Unit, which, if joined by Broward County’s cites, will allow the county and our cities to create and pay for a consolidated 911 system. If joined by most or all of our cities, the system will help ensure that emergency calls to 911 will not be misdirected and will dispatch public safety personnel located nearest to the emergency.

Climate Change
The Broward County Commission took a big step forward in protecting communities by adopting a Climate Change Element as part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  Southeast Florida is extremely vulnerable to sea level rise which is one of the effects of climate change. Scientific consensus is that a significant cause of climate change is due to greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels. Broward County has made it a priority to reduce carbon emissions, to identify and address vulnerabilities, to consider these hazards prior to making infrastructure investments, and to prepare residents, businesses and natural resources for a changing environment. The Commission’s adoption of a Climate Change Element will bring Broward closer to building a sustainable, resource-efficient and climate resilient community.

Community Activities

Municipal Elections - On March 12, 2013, nine Broward County municipalities have elections for municipal officials. The municipalities voting are Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Oakland Park, Parkland, Plantation, Pompano Beach, and Sunrise. Oakland Park voters will also be voting on referenda questions.  For more information regarding the municipal elections and the candidates running, please contact the City Clerk’s office of your city.  For information on voter registration, ballots, and polling places, visit the Broward County Supervisor of Elections at browardsoe.org or phone 954-357-7050.

Guardian ad Litem Volunteer - The 17th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program is in need of volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. The volunteers are trained and appointed by the dependency court to advocate for the best interest of the children. Guardian ad Litem volunteers spend time communicating with the adults in a child’s life such as teachers, therapists, caregivers, and family members, but most importantly they spend time with the child.  During the court proceedings, the volunteer provides the judge with vital information about the child, and provides an understanding of the child’s wishes.   It takes an average of about 10 – 20 hours of your time per month to change a child’s life forever.  Training and staff support is provided free of charge.  If you have some time, and you are looking to make a difference in your community, please call Hal Tannenbaum at (954) 831-7590 to learn more about becoming a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer.

Water Conservation Event - “Preserve. Protect. Conserve" is the theme of the 11th Annual Broward Water Matters Day event to be celebrated on Saturday, March 9, at Tree Tops Park in Davie. Water Matters Day is Broward County's signature water conservation event where residents can learn about local and regional water resources, how water is managed and how Broward County is planning for future water needs.

Storm Spotting - The Broward County Emergency Management Division is sponsoring a SKYWARN Storm Spotters training class to be hosted by the City of Sunrise on Saturday, March 9, at the Public Safety Building, 10440 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise. The class is intended for those interested in becoming a Storm Spotter or current spotters who want to sharpen their skills.

Again, it is an honor to serve as your Broward County Commissioner. If I can ever assist you, then please email me at mkiar@broward.org or call me at 954-357-7001.