October has been one of the most productive months in the last year at the Broward County Commission. At the last Commission meeting, Broward County finalized the amendments to our motor carrier ordinance, which creates a working legal framework for Transportation Network Carriers, such as Uber and Lyft in Broward County. We also finalized the Living Wage extension to cover all workers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. What’s more, we expanded access to our domestic partnership program. Let us take a look at some of the other interesting things that are taking place throughout District 6 and the rest of the County.
Speaking to the Broward League of Cities on forming a Comprehensive Waste Policy
Discussing Waste with the Broward League of Cities
Several months ago my colleagues on the dais deputized me as the County Commission’s
King of Garbage, and in that capacity I began talks with the Broward League of Cities to
figure out a way for the Cities and the County to join forces once again, to create a regional approach to waste policy. As many of you may remember, I raised the alarm at
the May 19th Commission Meeting when my colleagues and I were asked to sign off on Waste Management’s sale of Wheelabrator Technologies to Energy Capital Partners.
I saw, that as part of Waste Management’s sale of its subsidiary company, Broward County stood to lose the North Broward Waste to Energy Plant, located at Monarch Hill.
Commissioner Beam Furr touring the North Waste To Energy Plant at Monarch Hill
While I don’t want to beat a dead horse, it bears repeating that the two Waste to Energy Plants in Broward County were built with taxpayer dollars. Then, once the bonds for
these assets were paid off, the taxpayers owned zero equity in either facility. Instead, Waste Management was left owning both plants, and they were operated by Waste
Management’s subsidiary company, Wheelabrator Technologies.
Source: Advanced Disposal
Today, the North Plant is about to be dismantled, and its parts will be sold off.
Energy Capital Partners owns the South Waste to Energy Plant as well as its operator, Wheelabrator Technologies.
Broward County was earning a ton of recycling credits from the state when our Inter-Local Agreement sent most of our waste to the two Waste-to-Energy plants to be burned
But now, we only have one remaining Waste-to-Energy plant in the County. This means that we, the residents of Broward County, now produce more waste than we can send to
That leaves us with limited options on how we can divert enough waste from the landfills to reach our 75% recycling goal by the year 2020.
What’s more, the landfill itself has a limited useful life.
If we do nothing to divert waste, we risk the possibility that we run out of local landfill space.
Then, we will find ourselves in the unfortunate position of having to spend considerable sums of taxpayer money to create new (read: expensive) disposal facilities.
I think we owe it to the future generations of Broward County to come up with a better model.
I believe that we need a
one County: one Policy approach to waste.
Let’s insist that we recycle and compost everything we can, burn what’s left and turn it into electricity.
Then we can take what little remains and put that in the landfill.
Broward County Libraries discussion on BECON TV’s Countyline
Commissioner Beam Furr, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, BECON TV host Frank Loconto, and
Director of Broward County Libraries Skye Patrick
Special thanks to Phyllis and Frank Loconto, the longtime producer and host of
BECON TV’s Countyline Program, for asking me to participate in a panel discussion on Broward
Having spent years working as a librarian in our Broward County Public Schools, I have a profound appreciation for the work that Director Skye Patrick has undertaken to
transform our Broward County Libraries into libraries without walls.
What’s more, our Creation Station pilot program at the Main Library, as well as the computer coding classes that we now offer to young students across the County, show what
amazing things that can happen when we keep pushing ourselves to do better.
If you would like to see this conversation in its entirety, you can view it here:
Mayor’s Chess Challenge and Revisiting Paul Tough’s
How Children Succeed
I want to give special thanks to Sunrise Mayor, Mike Ryan, for spearheading the Mayor’s Chess Challenge in support of scholastic chess.
The Mayor’s Chess Challenge helped to create a pilot program for Broward County’s elementary schools that will introduce 30,000 second- and third-graders to the game of chess.
Also, I saw a wonderful picture of Mayor Ryan facing off against my good friend, and Mayor of Hollywood, Peter Bober at the October 10th event at Sunrise City Hall.
Photo Credit: Studio 3 Webshots
I didn’t ask who won the match, but I wanted to use the Mayor’s Chess Challenge to illustrate a point from a book I recommended a few months ago called,
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough.
In Chapter Three of How Children Succeed, entitled,
"How to Think,” Tough conveys a David and Goliath story about the chess program at Intermediate School 318, a Title I (low income) school in Brooklyn.
Tough follows the chess teacher, Elizabeth Spiegel as she teaches her students the cognitive skills to compete against students in some of the most elite private schools in the nation.
Tough extrapolates that teaching chess to students is really a matter of teaching them how to employ two of the most important executive functions, which are cognitive flexibility and cognitive self-control.
Simply put, teaching chess is about teaching students the advanced levels of thinking.
Once again, if you would like to borrow How
Children Succeed by Paul Tough from the Broward County Library, you can do so
Note: Chess sets are now available to use at all of our Broward County Libraries.
To attend the next event for the Mayor’s Chess Challenge please see the flyer below:
Friends of the Broward County Library Week
Sunday October 18th to Saturday October 24th 2015 is hereby proclaimed
"Friends of the Broward County Library Week,” by the Board of Broward County Commissioners.
I was happy to request this proclamation on behalf of all 32 friends groups across the County, in acknowledgement of the great work that they do.
The Friends of Broward County Library, Inc. is an "umbrella" organization of 32 local chapters.
It has been instrumental in the growth of the library system since 1975.
It brings together the leaders of local Friends groups at meetings at the county, state and federal level; and helps to sustain county, state and federal funding for the library system.
Commissioner Beam Furr with members of the Friends of the Stirling Road Branch Library
You can become a Friend of the Library by contacting them at 954-357-7771 or you can e-mail them at
firstname.lastname@example.org to find the chapter nearest to you.
Broward Public Library Foundation Launches new Website
The Broward Public Library Foundation today has a fresh new look, a new website and a special offer for library-lovers.
The colorful logo is designed to convey a sense of place – sunny South Florida … and mission – supporting Broward County Library programs and services. The new website, at
www.bplfoundation.org, is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. It is also easier to donate online, with immediate processing of donations.
In District 6, the Library Foundation provides funding for Broward County Library’s Summer Reading Program, free computer classes and SAT/ACT Workshops for high school students, among other library programs.
To enter a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card, visit the website and sign up to receive the Library Foundation’s bimonthly e-newsletter. The drawing will be held in late October.
Happy 40th Anniversary to the Hollywood Art and Culture Center
This Sunday, October 25th the Hollywood Art and Culture Center is celebrating its 40th Anniversary.
In my many years as a resident of Hollywood, I have seen the Art and Culture Center grow to become the premier cultural landmark it is today.
Its exhibitions, performances and education programs continue to be of the highest quality. The City of Hollywood and Broward County are incredibly fortunate
to be the home of such an incredible institution. Special thanks and congratulations to Executive Director
Joy Satterlee, and her very capable staff.
Their tireless efforts truly make the center great.
The Hollywood Art and Culture Center helped to produce Broward 100 - Celebrating The Art Of Community: Hollywood Creatives. See if you recognize anyone.
For more information on the Hollywood Art and Culture Center’s 40th Anniversary, please visit:
Please Join us this Friday, October 23rd at Young at Art for the Solar Installation Groundbreaking
I’m looking forward to the unveiling of a permanent demonstration project of solar energy at the Young At Art Museum in Davie this Friday.
Below is a flyer with additional information so you can join us.
Raising Awareness for Breast Cancer with the South Broward High School Band Patrons Association
I was pleased to support the South Broward High School band members and the South Broward High School Band Patrons Association in wearing
my "Let's BAND Together To Find a Cure" T-Shirt at the October 13th Commission Meeting.
Special thanks to President Tonya Murray of the South Broward High School Band Patrons Association,
and South Broward High School Principal Olayemi Awofadeju for their work on this effort.
Hallandale Beach will Open their Newest Park on November 12th
I’m so pleased to see that the City of Hallandale Beach is going to open a new park. Please see the flyer below for details if you would like to attend the ribbon cutting.
RSVP Now for the October 27th Commission Meeting – Celebrating 100 Years
Since 1915, the Board of County Commissioners has played a pivotal role in building a better Broward for residents, businesses and visitors. As we turn the page on our Centennial year, the 2015 Board looks forward to a future of continued growth and prosperity. As your County Commissioner, please join me as we recognize and celebrate Broward County’s milestones in the last 100 years.
This will be Tuesday, October 27, 2015 2PM at the Broward County Governmental Center Room 422 115 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 33301. Email
RSVP@broward.org if you would like to attend.
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