The LaMarca Letter

 March 2012

Broward County Community Leaders Announce Launch of Six Pillars Process

Broward County business, civic and government leaders have announced the launch of the Six Pillars™ Strategic Planning process for Broward County. The Six Pillars process is being led by The Florida Chamber Foundation at the state level, and is meant to help communities throughout the state of Florida prosper and create high paying jobs by creating a visioning process which looks to a 20-year horizon. Six Pillars will be addressing these topics which have been deemed critical to economic success in the future:

(1) Talent Supply & Education
(2) Innovation & Economic Development
(3) Infrastructure & Growth Leadership
(4) Business Climate & Competitiveness
(5) Civic & Governance Systems
(6) Quality of Life & Quality Places

Named as co-chairs of Broward County’s Six Pillars process are: J. David Armstrong, Jr., president of Broward College and chairman of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance; Charles Caulkins, managing partner of the Fort Lauderdale office of Fisher and Phillips LLP and vice chair of The Broward Workshop; Lori Chevy, Broward market president of Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca; and James Murley, executive director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council.

“Our goal is to bring as many stakeholders as possible into Broward’s Six Pillars planning process,” said David Armstrong, one of the Six Pillars co-chairs and president of Broward College. “Members of our community will have an opportunity to jointly agree on priorities for our County, make decisions that prompt action, measure progress, and make periodic adjustments to the Plan when appropriate.” To learn more about the Six Pillars process or to volunteer to become involved, please contact Ron Drew, vice president of marketing and communications for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance at 954-627-0130 or at More...

25 Local Women Being Honored During National Women's History Month

The Broward County Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will celebrate National Women’s History Month March 1 – 31, by honoring 25 women leaders from across the County who exemplify the theme of this year’s national observance: “Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment.”

The honorees are featured in an exhibit in the lobby of the Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, in March. They represent a wide array of diverse women throughout the County and from many fields of work, including education, health, business, government, community service, environment and social services. These women will also be honored at the March 27, County Commission Board meeting, when the Board presents a proclamation recognizing National Women’s History Month and the women achievers in our community.

The CSW serves in an advisory capacity to the Broward County Commission and the community in matters pertaining to the status of women. It identifies and helps resolve economic health, social and other issues through education and advocacy.

Plants and Pets Don't Always Mix!

Florida is home to a wonderful variety of plants and vegetation all year long; however, not all of these plants are “pet friendly.”

“Many people do not realize that many plants, even houseplants, can be toxic to your dog and cat. That’s why it is important to research the type of plant you bring into your home or the types of flowers and shrubbery you have in your yard, since it does not take much for your pet to get sick or even die from ingesting parts of plants that may be poisonous to dogs and cats,” said Dr. Tim Johnston, veterinarian, Broward County Animal Care and Adoption.

Of major concern are popular plants like the Cardboard and Sago Palm, which can be found throughout South Florida. Landscapers and homeowners often plant the Sago because it is attractive and requires little water and care. However, all parts of the plant, including the seed pods, are toxic to both dogs and cats and can cause vomiting, liver failure and even death.

Information regarding toxic plants and flowers is available on Animal Care’s website along with a link to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' website. This site provides a comprehensive listing of plants and foliage, including symptoms and a poison control number to call.

Broward County Receives Top Ratings on New Bond Issue

New Offering Will Save Taxpayers $11 Million in Interest Costs

Broward County has received ratings of AAA, Aaa, and AA+ from Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, respectively, for the upcoming issuance of its General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2012 (Parks and Land Preservation project). The AAA from Fitch and Aaa from Moody’s represent the highest possible rating assigned to bonds issued by a municipality, and are an indication to investors of an extremely high degree of creditworthiness and low risk of default. The impact to Broward County taxpayers is a lower cost of borrowing money – which in today’s market for this bond issuance equates to approximately $11 million in savings over the life of the refunding bonds.

Examples of key credit strengths cited by the rating agencies include the County’s strong finances and reserves despite economic pressures, strong management and budgetary practices, modest debt levels, and a diverse local economy. Tourism sales and tourist development taxes, an important component of the Broward County local economy, are returning to pre-recessionary collection levels. More...

Greater Fort Lauderdale Shines with 26 Consecutive Months of Tourism Growth

Despite the challenges facing the national economy, Greater Fort Lauderdale's tourism industry is surging forward fueled by 11.1 million visitors from around the world spending $9.06 billion and continuing a 26-month growth rate to outdistance all other areas of Florida in occupancy and average daily rate.

The destination ended 2011 with a 1.1 million increase in visitors, the highest December and January hotel occupancy in the state. Greater Fort Lauderdale also saw an 8 percent increase international growth, with a 50 percent increase from Brazil, 10 percent by Canada and 4 percent out of Europe. More...

Contact Us:
Main Office
Broward County Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Ave.,
Room 410
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301


Chip LaMarca

District Director:
Kate Wesner

Administrative Coordinator:
Mary Pryde

Broward County Commission Meetings
The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

Phone: 954-357-7004 • Fax: 954-357-7798 •
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 410, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301
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