As we embark upon a new year, I hope that everyone enjoyed a peaceful holiday season with family and friends. I look forward to a positive and productive 2018. Let’s work together to make District 3 and Broward County the best it can be.
“Tis the season” means so much to so many. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or simply being together with friends and family, it is a time of peace and joy. It was wonderful participating in this year’s holiday events, from the Coral Springs Tropical Parade, to the Annual Tamarac Holiday Lighting, and Parkland’s celebrations of the season. Although North Lauderdale’s Christmas parade was cancelled due to Mother Nature, we were all there in spirit. My wife Stacey and I once again had a great time getting into the holiday spirit with the children and families at Family Central. As we close out the year, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy 2018.
Anthony Rizzo Day in Broward County
Anthony is a longtime resident and community patriot in District 3. Since 2012, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation has raised millions of dollars in the fight against cancer. Anthony is dedicated to serving his community and giving back. This past November, Anthony “lit up” the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Stadium through his foundation’s generosity. By providing a new lighting system, teams will be able to practice and play during evening hours. I was proud to present Anthony and his family with a proclamation and key to Broward County for the great work he has done in our community.
Cypress Creek Greenway
The Cypress Creek Greenway in Broward County is now complete. This is especially great news for residents of Northwest Broward as the greenway runs right through District 3! The 23.2 mile trail stretches from the west end of Atlantic Boulevard and the Sawgrass Expressway east towards the Atlantic Ocean. The hiking and biking trail promotes outdoor activity for the whole family and even connects to several County parks along the way. From sawgrass to seagrass, this is a wonderful addition for both residents and visitors to enjoy our natural South Florida landscape.
NatureScape Emerald Awards
Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 NatureScape Emerald Awards. This annual County program recognizes homeowners, governments, schools and other groups that have demonstrated extraordinary efforts at promoting or implementing environmentally friendly programs and/or principles. NatureScape yards are designed to improve the environment and conserve water by: reducing lawn areas and using native and Florida-friendly plants; providing food, water and shelter for wildlife; using integrated pest control practices; reducing storm-water contaminated by pesticides and fertilizers; and recycling yard waste into mulch and compost.
Applications are due by Friday, January 12th, 2018. Qualifying yards must be recognized as a Florida-Friendly Landscape through the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program, and/or be certified as a Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. Winners will be selected in February and recognized at an awards ceremony March 10th during Water Matters Day. For an application or more information, contact Rose Bechard Butman at 954-519-0317 or visit Broward.org/Naturescape.
Luanne Betz and David Thompson of Coral Springs were winners of last year’s Emerald Award in District 3.
Student Awareness Day
It was an honor to address the students participating in Broward County Student Awareness Day as they learn about the Holocaust. This event gives high school students from all over the County the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust firsthand through the stories of survivors. Meeting and speaking with those who have lived through the unspeakable events of the Holocaust leaves an impact on the students that they will never forget. The program also asks students to make a lifelong commitment to standing up to prejudice and bullying when they see it. I am proud to support the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center for the amazing work they do.
Meet District 3’s First Volunteer Intern
I am pleased to announce that my office is instituting a volunteer intern program. Meet our volunteer intern Nathan Douglas. He will be volunteering once a week with our office to learn about the workings of county government as well as public service and giving back to the community. He is currently a freshman at Millennium Collegiate Academy in Tamarac. The collegiate program puts students on an accelerated track to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two-year associates degree. We look forward to working with Nathan and updating you on his progress as we go along!
Nathan and his proud parents Greg and Kamala.
The TOPS (Transportation OPtionS) paratransit program for eligible seniors, veterans, and those in need of transportation assistance in Broward County is a big asset. We recently voted to expand the vehicle fleet to serve more Broward County residents which increases the number of vehicles for those who qualify. TOPS is necessary in South Florida because many residents have a functional disability, are transportation disadvantaged and/or are financially disadvantaged and cannot travel on the BCT fixed-route bus service independently. This means they cannot, for example, run daily errands or a go to the doctor. The TOPS program in Broward County is a priority that I strongly believe in and will continue to advocate for so it is available for our community.
I was honored to speak at the recent 2017 Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit that took place in Broward County. Protecting our environment is not just a local issue, it is a global issue. Living in South Florida, we are acutely aware of the challenges we face dealing with this complex issue. Even credit rating agencies, such as Moody’s, take into account climate change issues. Broward County is committed to protecting our environment. For example, the planning of the C51 reservoir will guarantee our water supply against salt water intrusion in the future. Without these proactive measures in the years to come, negative impacts will be felt by the community. For South Florida’s future, we must employ the brightest minds, utilize the latest technology and execute the best strategic plans to combat climate change. Planning now will ensure our community’s ability to succeed tomorrow.
The U.S. Federal Tax Policy is in flux and potentially changing to exclude a local option of pre-refunding outstanding municipal bonds. Add to that, sequestration potentially eliminating the existing cost-saving Federal subsidy and incentives on Build America Bonds, it is more important than ever that local governments be financially nimble and fiscally astute. In December, the County Commission authorized our finance department to quickly refund some preexisting debt which will lead to enormous cost savings to resident taxpayers. Great work by Broward’s Finance Department and CFO! This will lead to real documented savings of at least $10 million dollars on local infrastructure projects.
As always, our office is available to assist you. Feel free to contact us at 954-357-7003 or mudine@Broward.org
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