Over the past month, Broward County has continued to show its resolve. As we recover from the heartbreaking tragedy in Parkland, I have seen our community come together as one and lift each other up, as we move past our collective grief and turn to action. Spring is in the air and many exciting things are coming to Broward County. However, as we move forward, we will continue to hold the memories of those we lost in our thoughts.
State of the County
As Mayor, I had the opportunity to deliver the State of the County address to more than one thousand people at an event organized by the Broward Workshop. It was inspiring to see students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the State of the County affair and I know how much everyone in the audience appreciated their strength. Their talent and their courage will be the new currency that attracts investment in our county. The State of Broward County is strong and getting stronger. I look forward to working with these young leaders for years to come as we all join together as one to lead Broward County toward brighter days.
I was honored to give the State of the County Message. Thank you to the Broward Workshop!
At the State of the County gathering, I introduced our new
Broward County Dashboard which tells more about what the County does. I envision that this website will tell our story – how we are doing, what we have done, and how we can improve. It tracks metrics in real-time, showing you exactly how Broward County is progressing toward our goals. Whether you are curious on the economic development at the Port, or if you want to see how many library books have been checked out, this information is now available for you to see and interact with. The website is still undergoing changes, but I encourage you to
check it out and learn a little bit more of our Broward County story!
These are some of the areas you may explore on our new Dashboard.
Wednesday, March 14th marked one month since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In response, thousands of students across the country participated in National School Walkout Day to advocate for safer gun laws. The March for Our Lives, organized by Parkland students and families, drew millions of people all over the world in one of the largest mass demonstrations in history
– including thousands in Parkland and more than 800,000 in Washington, D.C. These brave students are proving that the next generation is one of incredible talent and courage. Where once there was inaction, there is now movement and dialogue.
We should be proud that the students leading the charge for other young people across America are from Broward County. These students have found their voice, and they are speaking loud and clear. We owe it to them to listen.
Large crowds marched in Parkland and Pembroke Pines for March for our Lives.
New Animal Care Director
Congratulations to Lauralei Combs on being selected as the new Animal Care and Adoption Director for Broward County! Combs comes to us from Austin, Texas.
She was part of the senior leadership team at the Austin Animal Center, which is the largest no kill municipal facility in the country, sheltering more than 18,000 animals each year. The facility reports a 96 percent live release rate, one of the highest in the nation. Lauralei developed and managed volunteer driven lifesaving programs at the Austin Animal Center and oversaw a staff of 50 volunteers. Combs brings years of dedicated experience and a wealth of knowledge to Broward County as we work on our no-kill goal and provide the best care for our animals. We are very fortunate to have her!
Welcome aboard, Lauralei!
Retreat/Local Option Plan
March marked the annual Board Retreat for the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. Held at beautiful Treetops Park, this was an opportunity for the Board to discuss some of the most important issues facing our County and decide what our strategic goals are for the next year. We also got to hear from advisory boards that we don’t often hear from on issues ranging from affordable housing to cultural initiatives. These discussions and presentations are a critical launching pad as we begin thinking about our upcoming budget.
One of the most important things we discussed at the retreat was the future of transportation in Broward County.
We saw a presentation on our Local Option Transportation Plan. This plan features extensive improvements to our roadways, including light synchronization, fiber optics, and better traffic flow. It also features many new transit options including new bus routes and light rail.
To learn more about the plan,
Proposals for major improvements being considered to improve Broward County’s transportation system.
Chamber of Commerce
It was an honor for me to speak at the annual Hollywood Chamber of Commerce installation luncheon this month.
Congratulations to Sara Lavenka on her election as the new President of the Hollywood Chamber, and thank you to Ed Walls for his terrific service as President over the past year.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is an important part of our community, and is essential to attracting new businesses to Hollywood with good jobs and good wages. The past few weeks have shown that Broward County has as much young, unbridled talent as anywhere in the country. I know our business community will benefit from this incredible talent as they step up to fill various job opportunities.
Congratulations to the new President and Board of Directors!
Water Matters Day
One of my favorite events every year in Broward County is Water Matters Day.
Water Matters Day is an all-day event featuring activities and discussions that focus on water conservation. This year’s Water Matters Day was held at beautiful Tree Tops Park in Davie. It was a gorgeous day, and I enjoyed learning more about what we can do to preserve our precious water supply through the theme
“Water Matters…and Conversation Pays.” At Water Matters Day, we also recognize our annual Emerald Award winners that include homeowners, businesses and municipalities participating in our
NatureScape Program. Some of the landscape management techniques are incredible – you can really turn your home into an oasis! Each one of us can make a difference for the environment when we turn our home into a sustainable NatureScape,
so I encourage you to
check out the website and participate in the program!
Commissioner Udine and I enjoyed congratulating all the winners on Water Matters Day!
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Top of the morning to ya! It is always such a great time participating in Hollywood’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year was an extra special treat because I was riding right behind the beautiful Clydesdale horses! I had a great time throwing out treats to residents lining the thriving area of Downtown Hollywood. Thank you to city staff and event organizers who put together another great parade!
Throwing out some goodies as we went down Hollywood Boulevard!
Public Relations Society – Emergency Response
Preparing for the next storm or tragedy is never easy, but it is critical that we prepare early so that we can communicate the best response. This is what I spoke about when I talked to Public Relations Society of America members about emergency preparedness and crisis communication this month. I enjoyed the chance to speak to these esteemed professionals on what Broward County does to alert residents before a storm, communicate with media about emergency operations, and get people in the loop after a hurricane strikes. As always, we continue to work to improve how we communicate and get ready for the 2018 storm season.
It was an interesting dialogue speaking to these PR professionals on emergency preparedness.
Cafecito with the Mayor
I had a wonderful time at my first “Cafecito with the Commissioner” event this month in Pembroke Pines. Over coffee, I had the chance to speak with residents about the needs of their community. It’s always great to speak to people who might not have been involved before, or who were too nervous to speak up in a traditional setting. These monthly events present a relaxed atmosphere, where residents can talk about anything they want while enjoying the comfort of excellent pastelitos. Thank you to the Broward County Latin Entrepreneurs. I hope you will join us for our next event on
Wednesday, April 25th at 7:30 AM.
Thanks to the Latin American Grille for hosting “Cafecito with the Mayor.”
Leadership Hollywood is a one-day crash course in leadership and political affairs for ambitious, passionate Hollywood residents. This year’s event gave the 2018 Leadership Hollywood class invaluable insight into how our County works, and what they can do in their community to make an impact. I spoke a little about how I got my start in politics, organizing my neighborhood in Hollywood to plant trees and make it a safer place to live. Thank you to those who organized this event including
Marie Suarez, Adam Geller, Ed O’Sheehan, and
Leadership Hollywood offers a great window to see the way local government works!
Congratulations to the new and returning Commissioners in Pembroke Pines and Hallandale Beach. On March 13th, municipal elections were held for certain seats in these cities. Congratulations to Tom Good on his election as the new Pembroke Pines District One Commissioner and to Angelo Castillo on being re-elected as District Four’s Commissioner. Pembroke Pines is quite fortunate to have them. In Hallandale Beach, Mike Butler was elected to fill the open seat in District One. It’s indeed an asset for Pembroke Pines and Hallandale Beach to have such intelligent, talented people representing them!
I was proud to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Angelo Castillo and Tom Good in Pembroke Pines!
As Mayor of Broward County, I serve on the Canvassing Board, which makes sure that every vote is counted properly and fairly! It is always an interesting experience working with the Supervisor of Election and judges to ensure that everything is done right. This election cycle, we had to dismiss 222 mail-in ballots because the person forgot to sign their name! Other votes did not count because the name signed did not match the name on the ballot, or because the person signing printed their name or signed a different person’s ballot. So, with more elections coming up this year, make sure your vote counts. Check that signature line and follow the directions!
Checking ballots with Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and the Honorable Deborah Carpenter-Toye.
Campaign for Grade Level Reading
Promoting childhood literacy, to ensure every student in Broward can read at grade-level at an early age, is one of my key goals as Mayor. There’s good news on this front: 21 of 31 municipalities in Broward have made a commitment and passed resolutions to be actively engaged in activities that promote childhood literacy. This month, I spoke with representatives from several of the cities about specific solutions on how child care centers in their cities could become nationally accredited. I look forward to continuing our work to make sure every student in Broward County has the fundamental reading skills needed to succeed.
A spirited conversation on how we can improve childhood literacy in Broward County.
Women’s History Month
March marks Women’s History Month in Broward County and throughout the country. Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on the immense contributions women make, and understand that there is still so much that needs to be done from equal pay to non-discrimination laws in the workplace. New conversations have been opened because of the #Me Too movement. It is inspiring to see so many finding their voice and running for office!
We presented this proclamation for Women’s History Month to the
Broward County Commission on the Status of Women!
Happy Easter and Happy Passover
I want to wish all our residents a very Happy Easter and Happy Passover! I hope you have a wonderful day spending time with family and eating lots of great food. Have fun searching for Easter Eggs or the Afikoman!
Our District office is conveniently located in the lobby of the Hollywood Branch of the Broward County Public Library at
2600 Hollywood Blvd, next to Hollywood City Hall. This office is open for your convenience Monday through Friday from 10AM to 4PM.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, or you have a great idea, suggestion or an issue that needs my attention, feel free to call
me at 954-357-7790 / 7006 or send me an email at
Beam Furr District 6
Broward County Commission | 115 S. Andrews Ave. Room 412
| Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
BFurr@Broward.org | Website -
Broward.org | Phone: 954-357-7006