BREAKING NEWS: Top City Officials Receive Performance Reviews. New Parking Meters Downtown.

City Manager, Dr. Wazir Ishmael and CRA Director Jorge Camejo received performance reviews from the City Commission. Both were deemed to have performed well in 2017.

Parking meters have been installed downtown and became effective December 4.  Rates are $1.50 per hour on the street and $1.00 in the two downtown parking garages. No changes on the beach.

BUILDING HOLLYWOOD’S FUTURE

Regular readers will remember that I have pointed out Hollywood’s economic development and increased property values do not provide enough revenue to do much more than pay for next year’s operations (payroll, materials, etc.).  That means we cannot fix all the sidewalks, pave all the streets and alleys, build new parks, etc. To accomplish these and many other projects, municipalities must acquire funding and the best way to do that is with general obligation bonds, or put more simply: debt financing.

That concept is understood by the Commission and senior staff and that led us to a very significant workshop November 15. The opening salvo:

  • What is our wish list?
  • What are the financing options to best accomplish every item on that list?
  • What will it cost?
  • How do we present this plan to the public for their input and support?

This process will take time and a lot more discussion, especially including the public’s involvement. I am excited and encouraged by City Staff’s preparation and the consultants who also contributed their thoughts at that meeting. I think the city is going to offer a surprisingly good and comprehensive package to voters, who will have their say on a referendum in either in 2018 or 2020.

BUT, before you start saving nickels and dimes….

The last General Obligation Bond was passed in 2004. That $50 million bond added $38.91 to my tax bill each month and this year that amount actually goes down to $30. You will be hearing much more about this as we go forward.

Commission Actions

In the last report, I highlighted our November 1st meeting actions. Here’s a review of some of our November 15 decisions.

  • Approved $150,000 for maintenance of police and fire telecommunications equipment
  • Appointed a five-member board of directors for the Emerald Hills Safety Enhancement District. It took over a year to create the district and get this moving.
  • Approved street name changes:
    • Forrest becomes Freedom
    • Hood becomes Hope
    • Lee becomes Love
  • Changed zoning of property at Griffin Road and 441. The development will include 150 rental apartment units, a Wawa super convenience store, a Wendy’s and a small storage building. Hopefully, this will encourage development running south of Griffin, stimulated not just by this project but also by the incredible developments at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
  • Acting as the CRA Board, approved roughly $4.5 million for beach re-nourishment. Sand will be trucked in from mines in LaBelle, FL, the same process as the last time we did this.

Commission Comments

I received a favorable nod from my colleagues for the following.

  • Established term limits for the Commission appointment to the Police Pension Board. All members will now have limits.
  • There are 40 small Assisted Living Facilities, six beds or less, in the City. None of the State legislature initiatives regarding generators, etc., apply to these small homes where there was one death. I have asked to adopt the Town of Davie Ordinance, which would require these facilities to have generators, giving us some additional assurance that residents will be safe.

DECEMBER 20

THIS AND THAT

  • Attended an Active Shooter Class to create awareness of how to react in the event someone tries to penetrate a venue where you might be.
  • Back to reading again. I seem to be stuck reading about how people strive to get out of poverty. The Last Ballad is a powerful book about North Carolina textile mills in the late 1920’s and how white and black workers were mired in horrible working and living conditions (pay: $9 a week) while attempting to organize unions. This is historical fiction, meaning it is based on real people set in reconstructed events. I can only think how far we have come.
  • Still plowing through 11,000 pages of Hue, a Viet Nam Story. Can only read in spurts because it makes me so angry to learn (reinforce) how poorly our politicians and generals acted. But many of you already knew that.
  • Former Hollywood Commissioner and a good friend Beam Furr is the newly appointed Broward County Mayor. He will be excellent.

 

PS:  our only December Commission meeting is December 6.

If I don’t see you before, have a lovely holiday season.