Dear Broward County Residents,
As your Broward County Commissioner, I would like to update you on issues facing Broward County.
In April, Broward County Commissioners approved an ordinance that prioritized public safety and allowed transportation network companies (TNCs) to legally operate in Broward County. The action followed months of debate, public comment and input from companies and individuals who provide transportation services. The ordinance requires that TNCs be licensed by Broward County and requires drivers to undergo a national and state background check, carry state mandated insurance and have their vehicles inspected by a licensed mechanic. The Commission did not set limitations on the number of transportation network company vehicles operating in the County or regulate TNC fares.
Last Monday, one transportation network company, Uber, issued a media announcement stating that the company would suspend operations as of July 31st in Broward County. Shortly after on July 9th, Lyft, another TNC, announced they would suspend operations in Broward County as well. In June, Broward County Commissioners established fines and civil penalties for all for hire vehicle operators who violate county laws. The fines range from $250 for first time offenders and incrementally increase up to $1,000 for four or more violations. I voted against these over-reaching punitive penalties. Commissioners also authorized the County Attorney to file litigation, as and when appropriate, against TNCs that fail to comply with Broward County's regulations. I voted against taking legal action at this time.
Please read my statement below on the decision by TNCs to suspend operations in Broward County:
I have been supportive of Broward County residents and visitors having the opportunity to utilize all modes of transportation for hire. For me this has never been about politics — only public safety. Both the riders and drivers agreed that we should know who is driving our loved ones around. However, when regulations become so onerous that it appears as if government is looking to exact a punishment against those who look to make their lives better, then I have to break with the majority. I did that by voting against these over-reaching regulations. Our goal should be to bring back this ordinance and make the necessary changes that allow for open competition without jeopardizing public safety.
Residents 100 years or older join Centennial Celebration
Broward County's Centennial Citizens received special recognition from Broward Commissioners as the County celebrates its 100th birthday. Twenty-eight residents, all 100 years old or older attended a special reception and ceremony held in their honor at the Broward Governmental Center as part of the Broward 100-Celebrating the Art of the Community Centennial celebration.
Online Services for County Tax Receipts Now Available
The County's Records, Taxes and Treasury Division is enhancing services offered to County businesses as of Wednesday, July 1st. Broward County businesses can now file an application for a new Business Tax Receipt and/or change address information on an existing Business Tax Receipt online. All individuals and business entities that conduct business activities in Broward County are required to obtain a Business Tax Receipt. For the year 2015-16, the renewal period to obtain a Business Tax Receipt that is valid from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016 runs through Sept. 30, 2015. On Oct. 1, 2015, unpaid Business Tax Receipts for the 2015-16 year become delinquent and are subject to additional penalties and fees. For additional information and assistance, please call 954-357-6200. For more information on the Records, Taxes and Treasury Division, visit http://www.broward.org/recordstaxestreasury.
July Is Parks and Recreation Month
In 1985 the National Recreation and Park Association started a tradition that continues to this day, with July designated as Parks and Recreation Month annually. The Florida Recreation and Park Association supports the initiative.
Among the benefits of parks and recreation:
- Parks and recreation programs enhance our quality of life by contributing to a healthy lifestyle, increasing communication skills, building self-esteem, teaching life skills, and providing places for enjoyment.
- Parks and recreation programs boost the economy, enhance property values, attract new business, increase tourism, and reduce crime.
- Recreation builds family unity, strengthens neighborhood involvement, offers opportunity for social interaction, enhances education, develops creativity, and promotes cultural diversity.
- Our parks and trails ensure ecological beauty, provide space to enjoy nature, help maintain clean air and water, and preserve plant and animal wildlife.
- Recreation, therapeutic recreation, and leisure education are essential to the rehabilitation of individuals who have been ill or disabled.
In other words, “Find It All – At a Broward County Park.” Get out and enjoy. For more information on Broward County Parks, visit Broward.org/Parks.
National Safety Month: Car Crashes
Car crashes are a leading cause of preventable deaths. Nearly 100 people die every day on the nation's roadways in preventable car crashes. Alcohol, speeding, fatigue and distraction are the most common crash factors. Remember to stay alert while driving a vehicle, and always wear your seatbelt. Wearing your seatbelt can reduce your risk of dying in a traffic crash by 45 percent in a car and by as much as 60 percent in a truck or SUV.
Sign-up to take the National Safety Council’s 4-Hour Defensive Driving Course, free to County employees, on the Learning Center’s website. To request additional training information or general information from the Safety & Occupational Health Section of Risk Management Division, contact Consuelo Avila-Ramsey at 954-357-7207.
Keeping Your Pets Cool in the Summertime
Summertime, and the living is easy, right? Just because you’re enjoying sun and surf, however don’t neglect your pet’s summer needs.
Be aware of heat stress. Never take a pet with you in the car if it will be unattended for any length of time. An outdoor temperature of 85 degrees can translate to an interior temperature of 120 degrees in just 30 minutes. Even at home, supply drinking water and shade if your pet is to be left outside on hot days. And if you “strut your mutt” in one of our parks, early morning and after sundown are easier on the heat-sensitive pads of your dog’s paws. Remember that well-behaved dogs on six-foot leashes are welcome in our regional and neighborhood parks but not in our nature centers and natural areas.
Growing Successful Businesses in Broward
Have you identified the perfect solicitation for your firm but need help calculating costs? Register now for Broward County’s Office of Economic and Small Business Development Training Course on “How to do Bid Estimating,” Wednesday, July 29th, 3 to 5 PM, Broward County Government Center, 115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room A680, Fort Lauderdale. This course will assist business owners in the construction trade with project planning and scheduling, creating an effective cash flow and improving essential business operations. Register online or call the Community Relations and Outreach Section at 954-357-6400. To learn more about this and other business events visit our website.
The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can stay connected by subscribing to E-news and social media sites. Sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at email@example.com.
As always, it is my honor to serve you. Have a wonderful summer with family and friends.