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IN MY OPINION


Hallandale Beach

Mayor Joy Cooper

Joy@mayorcooper.com

@mayorcooper 


Residents starting to notice 'changes' in Hallandale Beach

Hallandale Beach - Hallandale Beach: To appreciate the future - you need to understand the past

By Mayor Joy Cooper
Hallandale Beach - Last week, I covered part of the workshop on our advisory boards. The last board that was covered in my opinion, turned out to be the worst moment in our City’s history. Our Vice Mayor recommended and two commissioners agreed to sunset our Historic Committee. James Curci, a family member of one of our founding families was present and called for a recall. It is my understanding that one member of the advisory board broke down in tears after leaving our meeting.

I personally pleaded with the board not to move to sunset. This board, along with all other boards and their members, volunteer for our City. Their service is selfless and free to the community. To me, our history is very important and deserves to be preserved. More importantly, volunteerism should be celebrated. These volunteers give of their time leading tours of the Curci House and the Old-School house on Saturdays. To find out more about the tours, you can call our Parks Department. They also host the annual Pumpkin Patch and the Pioneer Celebration.

We have a national treasure at our Curci Village, the original Curci House. The board has worked with our county historical commission to have this home nationally registered. I have written about the Moffitt House recently and that its history also needs to be preserved.

It is true that these preservation efforts cost taxpayer dollars, but what is the cost, if this history is lost? These city assets will still have to be preserved. They will need to be painted, have the grass cut, update the electric, so they do not become neighborhood eyesores. We are also not sure, if we will be at any fault to the National Historic Society, if they are not maintained.

There is also, the restored 1910 wooden schoolhouse that is open for tours at 648 Northwest 2nd Street, Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009. Come see where our pioneer children went to school. Saturday March 18th from 12 PM to 3 PM. This tour is free.

Another board that was cut, was the Code Board. This board was set up to work on evaluating our codes and adapting new codes to fit our changing community. They were also supposed to work with our staff to educate the public on the code enforcement process. In the past, the board also held code enforcement hearings. We moved to a special magistrate system years ago, to ensure impartiality when neighbors had to decide the fate of their own neighbors, when it came to violations.
I am very happy that at this workshop, no formal action was taken, but it seems that the efforts of the commission will be to sunset boards and reduce the number of members. I think that is the exact opposite, of what we need to do as elected officials. In every city, these boards are part of a democratic process and are the fabric of our community.

We will continue to review every board in the City, we only have 10 left. The City Manager, plans to do 5 boards at the next two workshops and come back with his recommendations. It is a fact, that the average amount of boards, in the several cities in Broward County, is 10. There are cities that have no boards and Advisory Boards are just that, they are advisors, they advise the staff and the commission of their ideas and opinions, to make our City better. The one cost, is staff time, which ironically, the same volunteers pay the staff’s time.

In other news, the Southwest Drainage project is moving forward. In July, the design bid was awarded. This week, crews are out performing soil testing and geotechnical work. The work includes a truck mounted drill that will take samples from areas along Southwest 8th Street, South Dixie Highway, Southwest 2nd Avenue and Southwest 3rd Street. This part of the design phase, is at the 60% point.

Analysis will continue through April, with a goal of 90% designed. The next milestone, will be in September, when the project will be 100% designed and then released for construction bids. The overall project, is to take 5 years including construction.

On March 5th, The Hallandale Beach Fire Department’s Benevolent Association along with myself and the Rotary, we will be hosting the Annual Pancake Breakfast. For only $6, you will enjoy breakfast, while supporting these two worthwhile organizations. The breakfast will be served from 8 am to 12 noon at the Main Station located at 121 Southwest 3rd Street.

This Friday, the Hallandale Beach Area Chamber Of Commerce, will be hosting the Annual State of the City Address Luncheon from 11:30 am to 1 pm at our Community Cultural Center.

One of our local neighbors, is conducting a donation drive for her humanitarian trip to Cuba in March. Diane Cappelli will be placing a box at our Cultural Center and is looking for donations of baseballs, tennis balls, baseball gloves, dolls, miniature cars, gently used shoes, lightweight clothing all sizes, soap, lotions, shampoo, combs, brushes, toothbrushes(wrapped) toothpaste, hair clips, scunchies, pens, pencils, Band-Aids, pain medication (not expired) and Mosquito repellant. As you can see, simple basic items will mean a lot to those in need. For more information, you can reach out to her at: dianecapelli@gmail.com.

I want to thank all of you that attended. Please stay involved and I encourage you, if you do not agree with these changes to speak up and make your thoughts and ideas heard.

Please visit our City web-site at: www.cohb.org for more information on all of our meetings and meeting agenda materials.

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions/concerns and ideas at my office: (954) 457-1318 office. On my cell/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or e-mail me at: joy@mayorjoycoper.com
I also welcome the opportunity to come to your next meeting to review our budget and other City issues, anytime. Call the above number to schedule an appointment.