One year ago, I had the honor and privilege of being sworn in as your County Commissioner.
It's hard to believe that a year has gone by. I am grateful for your continued trust in me to represent the needs of our community on the Broward County Commission.
I want to thank outgoing Mayor Tim Ryan for guiding the Commission through some tough issues this past year.
Congratulations to Broward's new Mayor, Marty Kiar.
He has decided that this
year's theme will be “The
Year of Good News."
November also marks the 90th Anniversary of the City of Hollywood.
If you would like to learn more about the history of Hollywood, please visit the
Hollywood Historical Society
I highly recommend their self-guided tour of downtown Hollywood.
Pulling Together All of the Major Partners in Florida's Fight Against Climate Change
Commissioner Beam Furr gives the opening remarks at a Southeastern Universities Research Alliance workshop (whose members participate in the Florida Climate Institute) hosted by Broward County.
Partnerships have been very important in Southeast Florida's Regional fight against Climate Change. At our November 3rd Commission meeting,
Broward County took the bold step of passing a resolution to officially partner the
Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact with the
Florida Climate Institute.
Aligning one coalition of local government with another coalition of colleges and universities might not seem like a big deal but, this partnership will finally
unite most of the major institutions across Florida that want to deal with this threat before it's too late.
The Compact is a voluntary collaboration among Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties to further our shared climate mitigation and adaptation objectives.
Over the years, it has expanded to include municipalities, the South Florida Water Management District and the South Florida Regional Planning Council
The purpose of the Florida Climate Institute is to advance national and international research and engagement on climate change.
Today, the Florida Climate Institute has expanded to include nine member universities: including FAMU, FAU, FIU, Florida International University, UCF, the University of Miami, and USF.
Over 200 affiliates have joined Florida Climate Institute, representing researchers, government officials and industry leaders.
Academic partners have made notable contributions to the Compact's initiatives as well, serving as valuable technical resources in the development of the
Compact's Unified Sea Level Rise Projection in 2012, and the subsequent 2015 Update, and as contributors in successfully hosting the South Florida Resilient Redesign Workshop in 2014.
The Neighborhood of Hollywood Lakes was identified by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact as an Adaptation Action Area
However, the Compact never built a formal partnership with the Florida Climate Institute, and this led to an inconsistent relationship.
The lack of cooperation created an unnecessary competition for grant dollars during a period when the overall pool of money was shrinking.
Right now, we need all of our talent in the areas of climate research and resiliency planning for southeast Florida.
As Chair of the Broward County Climate Change Task Force, I want to see Broward County build on these collaborative efforts.
I hope that in 2016 we can work to establish a Florida Climate Institute hub, where all of the regional partners can plan and coordinate joint efforts.
This way we can collectively choose which projects are most urgently needed in the region, and our best minds can find new and creative solutions to the problems that we all share.
When we work together, we do it better.
Dune Planting in Hollywood's North Beach
I want to thank Lee Gottlieb of the Youth Environmental Alliance, John Passalaqua of the
Hollywood North Beach Association, and countless others who put this project together.
On November 1st volunteers worked to plant dunes along Hollywood's North Beach. Beach dunes help to anchor sand on the beach, which goes a long way to ensure the long term
success of our beach renourishment projects, as well as to give our residents the best possible protection from hurricanes and storm surge.
PACE Disclosure Requirements Passed by Broward County
The Florida State Supreme Court recently issued a ruling stating that Property Assessed Clean Energy assessment loans were NOT unconstitutional.
I know that many of us in Broward County were waiting for a long time for this ruling. I am very supportive of the PACE program and its goals.
I felt, however, it was important for Broward County to pass disclosure requirements for PACE lenders to protect citizens.
PACE assessment loans are different from typical loans for home improvement projects, because the lien follows the property, not the borrower.
That is, if I were to take out a traditional $30,000 loan from a bank to do work on my house, then sold you my house I would still be responsible for paying back the loan.
If I had gotten a PACE assessment loan instead, the buyer of my house would continue paying back the remainder of the loan, plus the agreed upon interest.
Now, in Broward County, PACE lenders will have to disclose the following to all potential borrowers:
(1) the full legal description of the property subject to any PACE assessment, (2) the total amount of the debt, including interest,
(3) the maximum annual assessment, (4) the assessment will appear on the property owner's tax bill, (5) there is no discount for early payment,
(6) failure to pay the assessment may cause a tax certificate to be issued against the property, which may result in a loss of the property, and
(7) the property improvements and the assessment may or may not affect the overall value of the property.
Broward County Commission Welcomes the Commission Alumni
On October 27th the Broward County Commission welcomed back all former Commissioners as our 100th Anniversary came to a close.
Front Row from Left to Right Ed Kennedy, Robert Huebner, Nicki Grossman, Jack Moss, Ben Graber, Sue Gunzburger, George Platt, Ilene Lieberman, Howard Forman, Albert Jones.
TutorMate Partners with Broward County to Tutor Students Remotely
On November 10th I brought a resolution before my colleagues on the Broward County Commission that established a partnership with TutorMate.
This resolution allows Broward County government to actively recruit volunteer tutors among its employees.
In addition, the resolution allows Broward County to encourage any external organization that does business with the County to consider recruiting
volunteer tutors for first grade students in our community who may be struggling with reading.
In a previous issue of this newsletter I reported that 43% of Broward County's students are not reading at grade level when they reach third grade.
It is important to understand that by the time a child is in the third grade there have been a lot of experiences or lack of them, that have led to their ability to read proficiently, or not.
The research tells us that from that pool of 43% of students struggling to read at third grade level, 74% are likely to drop out of high school.
This situation has serious implications for our economic future. It will take a community-wide effort to turn this around.
You have an important role to play in creating a culture of reading in Broward County. If you are able to tutor a student face-to-face, I encourage you to do so.
If your schedule does not allow for that to happen, you can volunteer to tutor a student from your office, at home, or wherever there is Internet access.
Look around at your workplace, is there an opportunity to bring together a team of at least 10 co-workers who can devote just 30 minutes per week to reading
with a child at a time and location convenient for each individual on that team? Think about it. You can help.
If you know anyone at your place of business who would like to participate, please let us know, or reach out directly to Kim Whitten of Innovations for Learning at
South Broward High School Band Takes London
South Broward High School
was invited to attend the 2018 London New Year's Day Parade. I was happy to attend the formal parade invitational event on October 22nd.
The invitation was delivered in person by Robert Bone, Event Director for London's New Year's Day Parade as well as Roger Bramble, Esq.
Principal Patron for London's New Year's Day Parade. 8,500 people from 23 countries participate in the parade.
South Broward High School
and Cooper City High School are the only two schools in the entire country to have been invited to participate.
650,000 people were in attendance at last year's New Year's Day parade. Plus, 3 million people watch this parade on TV across 550 stations.
The most popular part of the parade is the marching band, as this is not something that is common in the United Kingdom.
South Broward High School has two years to raise the funds for all the students in band to travel to London for the parade.
I think this will be the experience of a lifetime. They are currently fundraising for this trip. We know that through the generosity of parents,
business partners and the wider community, these hard working students can have that opportunity.
State's Attorney's Office Holds a Workshop on How to Expunge Your Records Thursday December 10th
Hallandale Beach is closing NE 4th Street at Federal Highway to make way for Art Square.
Plans for the Art Square Mixed Use Development in Hallandale Beach
Beginning, Friday, Nov. 20, NE 4 Street from North Federal Highway to NE 4 Avenue and NE 4 Avenue from NE 3 Street to NE 4 Street will no longer be public access roads. These roads were vacated by the city of Hallandale Beach back in April 2008. They are now part of the new Art Square mixed use development. Road signage will be installed to assist the residents in finding an alternate route.
Please note that as part of the construction of the Art Square project there will be significant public roadway improvements which will cause road closure.
We will keep you informed in advance when these road closures will occur. For any additional questions, please contact The City of Hallandale Beach's Public Works Office at 954-457-1620.
Pembroke Pines Hosts Veterans Day Ceremony and Hollywood hosts a Veterans Day Barbeque.
I was happy to attend the Pembroke Pines Veterans Day Ceremony at Pembroke Pines City Hall and the
Hollywood Veterans Day Barbeque at TY Park.
Thank you again to all of our active and former service men and women.
I want to express my condolences on the passing of Maria Oliveri, wife of former Hollywood Mayor Sal Oliveri and my friend Guy Roper,
former Hollywood City Commissioner and owner of Stratford's on Hollywood Blvd. We will miss both of them.
In closing, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
P.S. – Don't burn the bird!
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 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
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 954-357-7006/7790 or send me an email at