Happy New Year! I welcome you to join me in bringing in 2014 and making it a great year for Broward County residents. I am excited to bring attention to local small businesses. At each Commission meeting this year, I plan to highlight a local business that has been doing business in Broward County. I hope this brings inspiration to future entrepreneurs and gets residents to support our small businesses which bring a boost to the local economy.
My first two months as Mayor of Broward County serving as your District 8 Commissioner has been very busy, fast paced but exciting! I have enjoyed attending many wonderful events in the District and throughout Broward County. I had the pleasure of attending the 1st Annual “Broward’s Got Talent” youth talents showcase at the Southwest Regional Library in Pembroke Pines. I was blown away by the rich talent right here in South Florida and I cannot wait for next year’s program. The Parkway Academy youth choir and orchestra did a fantastic job at the tree topping ceremony for Rose Miniaci Arts and Education Center for youth in Broward County. Through a partnership with Pembroke Pines and Broward County I was proud to attend the grand opening of The River Grass Arts Park & Susan B Katz Theater in Pembroke Pines. The art work on the outside of the building is just as spectacular as the talent show cased inside. The ceramic tile public art project “All the Worlds a Stage” by artist Suzi K. Edwards. I encourage you to see this artwork in person, it is amazing! Last month, the BB&T Center in Sunrise announced record breaking ticket sales for Billy Joel – over 40,000 tickets were sold for the two night engagement – as a representative of Broward County I presented the Key to Broward County to Mr. Billy Joel. The venue improvements draw top rated artist to Broward County and boost ticket sales at future events which bring more culture (and fun) to South Florida.
Broward County was recently awarded its third triple-A rating when Standard & Poor's raised the County's general obligation bonds to AAA from AA+ based on the County's strong economy and "very strong" budget profile. S&P cited the County's strong economy and "very strong" budgetary flexibility with fiscal 2012 audited reserves at 25.6 percent of expenditures and adequate budgetary performance due to a proactive management team that has cut expenditures in response to declines in revenue.
January brings the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and February is African-American/Black History Month. I encourage you to participate in the many events around the county and take a moment to delve into the rich history of America.
I welcome your comments. You can call my office at 954-357-7008, or send an e-mail to me at email@example.com. Check out the Barbara Sharief Facebook page at or on Twitter @bestmom.
I hope all of you have a happy and healthy 2014!