A Better Way Forward, Together
By Chip LaMarca
In today's political climate where divisive and rancorous rhetoric drowns out effective governing nationwide, Broward County has proven to be just as divisive and rancorous. The relationships between the cities and the county have been anything but congenial lately, with litigation from the Regional E911 consolidation to the disbursement of the county waste system's assets and liabilities.
Rather than engage in meaningful compromise, potentially saving the taxpayers millions of dollars, the cities have chosen to engage in a bitter legal battle where attorneys are the only winners in the end. It is time for us to choose more pragmatic solutions to our disputes, in which minor differences are put aside and the interests of the residents of Broward County are brought to the forefront.
Most recently, there was a dispute regarding the language in a permit issued from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for our beach renourishment project. In lieu of taking the more litigious route and risk creating an even stricter bureaucratic process, I decided to head to Tallahassee with county staff to find a more practical solution.
As a result, we were able to resolve the disagreement over the language, streamline the state process and send our permit to Washington, D.C. Had we decided to fight the state's process, we may have set a precedent that could further delay future projects for not only Broward, but Florida's 66 other counties.
As a former city commissioner, I understand the unique challenges of municipalities seeking additional funding, but engaging in long and expensive legal battles is not in the best interest of our residents. There is always a better way to resolve our differences without creating additional layers of bureaucracy that affect our ability to serve the people.
It is my belief that communication is the key to cooperation. As I have done in the past, I would like to invite the eight mayors of my district to a Mayors Summit to discuss the important issues that impact our residents so that we can work together to find common ground and sensible solutions.
At the end of the day, the residents are the ones who are most affected by the decisions that we make.