By Mayor Joy Cooper
Hallandale Beach - Great weekend for Hallandale Beach does not mask the many problems that continue -
This past weekend was a wonderful tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It started out with a delightful scholarship breakfast on Saturday, hosted by the Civic Association. The food, entertainment and inspirational speech by Dr. Rosalind Osgood was marvelous.
On Monday, we held the annual MLK Parade and Festival. I want to thank the Civic Association Board of Directors - all of the volunteers and our City staff that worked to make it a great weekend.
DIANA DRIVE PARKING
Last week, I held a discussion about Diana Drive parking. I want to thank all of the concerned citizens that attended the meeting at City Hall. There will be an agenda item on February 21 in the evening to go over the plan and hopefully, the residents can convince at least one more commissioner to see the benefits.
It is terrible that the situation over the loss of parking spaces must come to citizens versus some of the commissioners, but hopefully with a team effort, we can work towards ensuring that the parking spots for the condos along the road are preserved.
Commissioner Taub and I are supporting the residents. There is truly no need to remove these spots. Our engineers had delivered a plan before that, needs to change slightly, due to business access on the north side that precludes sidewalks there. The reality is we can deliver more parking on the street - while preserving the existing space. Residents made it loud and clear that they do not want a designated bike lane. The new trend - since cities have limited area to expand roadways - is to do a share lane. This is what Golden Beach and we have done, in many areas. Freeing up this space would provide sidewalks and parking.
I have and will continue to tell residents that elections have consequences and this is one of them. Regretfully, the same two commissioners have shared that this policy will be implemented on Atlantic Shores, too. Most of the spots on Atlantic are also on the right of way. This will have a horrible impact on the quality of life of the residents, living there as well as property values. It was great to see former Vice Mayor Bill Julian attend the meeting. He supported the preservation of the spots and still does. It is so beneficial that he is running again. He is certainly someone that knows this community and has been instrumental over the years, in making life much better for the residents.
BE SMART AND DON’T LISTEN TO NEGATIVES
As the election heats up, every voter needs to be reminded that Bill Julian, who is always about making the City better, was cleared of any wrong doing. What is worse, is we are uncovering something, found by the State Attorney and in his report, that the entire plot was cooked by a commissioner and a campaign manager. It was a means to deliberately discredit Vice Mayor Julian, who has done as much for this community as anyone - and it isn’t close. I too, have been a target of negative politics. It needs to stop and with the residents watching their community, it will!
In other business, the City Commission did not pass an updated policy for our City Grants. I have always supported our partnerships with organizations that supplement our services. Our City is great, but we cannot be all things. We have given grants to non-profits, including food pantries, educational programs for all age students - including at risk, matching grants to area aging and other children services and direct grants to our schools. By helping those in need, we strengthen our social net.
I could not support the new plan, as it totally excludes input from our residents. There is a trend now of some commissioners to sunset many boards. This smacks directly on the face of resident engagement and transparency. I requested that the new model include a resident appointment from each commission seat and an appointment from our schools. Who better to know what is needed than our residents and individuals in the trenches working with our seniors and students.
It is a real shame that we have been deadlocked on these types of philolosophical differences. Government “for the people by the people.” It is so funny that some say the words, but their actions do not show they mean them. I believe that more involvement and input, the better!
As always, please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions/concerns and ideas at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my cell/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I also welcome the opportunity to come to your next meeting to review your budget and other City issues, anytime. Call the above number to schedule an appointment.