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EXCERPTS FROM STATE OF THE COUNTY FY2018

The County Annual Report is a yearly progress report of accomplishments, services provided, goals achieved, and strides made on behalf of the people of Broward County. It’s based on the current Mayor’s agenda and the Board of County Commissioner’s Vision, Values, and Goals.

Beam Furr

Beam Furr Broward County Mayor

This was a year to remember representing the people of Broward. I thank my colleagues for their trust and support, and all the administration and staff that worked tirelessly on behalf of the citizenry of this county.

Every year, the outgoing Mayor is tasked with delivering a State of the County. Broward is doing great, and improving in every single important metric, which is a testament to the great team we have here.

My theme for this last year was Broward Teams Up! Frankly, we needed each other – to get through not only the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, but then even more to get through the tragedy at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. We normally have to deal with pain and grief a little bit at a time, but this was a full assault on the senses and the psyche of Broward.

During these tragedies and throughout the entire year, Broward County proved that it can team up together and come out stronger. We used that attitude to accomplish big things this year.

  • We have the lowest unemployment rate in recent history, and one of the lowest of any major county in America. That’s important because that also helps drive wages up and reduces the number of people below the poverty line. We are on the verge of adopting a new, higher living wage which will provide a benchmark for the rest of Broward businesses. A lot of that is due to our economic engines running on all cylinders.
  • Our airport and seaport are enjoying record years with investments that are constantly improving the passenger experience. Our tourism industry announced new innovative strategies that will continue to attract people from around the world to enjoy this place we call home. We revamped the way we administer our Tourist Development Challenge Grants to make better use of these funds.
  • At the National Association of Counties, we won more awards than any county in the US – out of 3,007 counties, we were number one! It was a year where we revamped our website and tried to make it easier for our citizens to connect with their government.
  • It’s a year where we rethought how we did procurements and made government more efficient. We also made sure that a bigger slice of the economic pie will go to small businesses with our renewed commitment to County Business Enterprise (CBEs).
  • We adopted the Adult Civil Citation Program, banned conversion therapy and fracking, and sued the state on our right to gun reform. We took a stand on big issues.
  • We took on the drug companies regarding the misuse of opioid prescriptions and led a landmark lawsuit. We cut the ribbon for the new Broward Addiction and Recovery Center - bringing help to those in need.
  • It’s a year where we teamed up with our neighboring counties and signed Climate Compact 2.0, and the Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding. We teamed up with our seven neighboring counties to create and pass the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area, stretching from Martin County to the Keys – literally a landmark deal – that will pave the way to saving the reefs just off our shore.
  • It was a year when we got serious about affordable housing, putting some money on the table to help now and creating a lockbox for future developments in the Affordable Housing Trust. We reached agreements with both Pompano and Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs) that provide a good model for affordable housing in the future.
  • We teamed up with the Broward School Board and signed agreements that will help coordinate and staff our hurricane shelters. We teamed up with Florida Power & Light (FPL) to proactively deal with hardening issues, overgrown trees and hurricanes.
  • Sixty thousand students opted to use our library resources through the Digital Direct Library Card. It was a year where those born in this County became card-carrying members for life of the Broward County Library, regardless of where they move in the world. We are showing our priorities and our values when we encourage an educated and informed citizenry.
  • We passed the Gold Seal Quality Care Initiative, which officially made quality the goal for 900 child care centers in this County. We opened the Gulfstream Childcare Center of Excellence in Hallandale Beach that will help create Master Child Care Teachers through professional development which will help produce quality child care centers. These are investments that will produce tremendous return for Broward County’s future, and for those efforts we were declared a PACESETTER in the United States by the Campaign for Grade Level Reading after our fourth straight year of significant increases in early literacy scores.
  • We teamed with the Broward League of Cities for the School and Community Safety Taskforce, which will provide invaluable safety recommendations to prevent future tragedies. We are on track to have our new public safety radio and dispatch system in place by November 2019.
  • In 2018, we teamed up with Fort Lauderdale, United Way, the Broward Workshop, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and numerous businesses to end homelessness in the County as we know it. The Homeless Collaborative in Broward started working with residents camping at the Main Library in downtown Fort Lauderdale, interviewing them and assessing their needs in an effort to get them “Home for the Holidays.”
  • And, we passed the largest transportation plan in the United States this year!

I have no hesitation in saying the state of county is solid and strong, caring and compassionate and well-positioned for the future. It has been truly an honor to serve as your mayor.