commissioner_jacobs_newsletter_masthead.jpg

Commissioner Kristin Jacobs Update

Second Quarter 2011

Links

Giving Back to Our Veterans. 2

Broward Cracks Down on Pill Mills. 2

Helping Broward County’s Businesses Grow. 2

Home and Garden Series Continues at Secret Woods. 2

Hurricane Season: Time to Get Ready, Set, Safe. 2

Did you know that Broward County is home to nearly 127,000 veterans and their families, including communities like Wynmoor, Century Village, Palm Aire, Township and others? Sorting out, applying for and receiving veterans benefits and services can be a timely, confusing process, especially for elderly veterans or those suffering from health problems. For that reason, Broward County’s Veterans Services Section is here to serve them.

The County’s eight Veterans Services Officers actually meet with veterans in person. They personally help them complete the endless forms, gather documentation, prepare and submit appeals and advocate on their behalf for veterans benefits and entitlements. It can be an overwhelming task, but our veterans deserve all the support we can give.

All Veterans Services Officers are veterans themselves, trained and certified to assist other veterans. Veterans and their family members who need assistance with determining eligibility for and applying for benefits can call the Broward County Elderly and Veterans Services Division at 954-357-6622, visit one of seven office locations throughout Broward County or visit www.broward.org/ElderVets and click Veterans Services.

By now, you have likely heard much about the terrible effects that pain management clinics or “pill mills” are having on our community. Up to eleven people die every day in Florida due to these clinics trafficking in highly-addictive prescription drugs. While this is a statewide problem, we had to take action here at the local level.

Last year, the Broward County Commission twice passed a moratorium I sponsored to keep new pill mills from opening. And just last month, thanks to your calls, emails and vocal support at the public hearings, the County Commission unanimously passed a tough new ordinance that goes much further towards cracking down on pill mills. Some of the new measures include banning pill mills within 1,200 feet of schools, churches and daycares, preventing felons from owning, operating or working at pill mills and restrictive new zoning requirements.

Now we face a new challenge: each of Broward County’s 31 cities needs to pass the same pill mill ordinance in order to ensure no safe havens for these “drug dealers with degrees.” You can be a critical part of that effort by contacting your local City Commissioners and asking them to pass the ordinance! Not sure who to call? Contact my office at 954-357-7002 for help locating your City Commissioners or Council members.

Are you a Broward County business owner? Then you’ll be interested to know that the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development has launched a new initiative, GrowBROWARD, to attract, retain and expand local business and create jobs.  We’ve also teamed with the South Florida Manufacturing Association (SFMA) to provide services directly to Broward’s manufacturers. To schedule one-on-one business assistance or for additional information, call 954-357-6400 or visit www.broward.org/EconDev.

If you’re a homeowner who would like to add to the beauty of your home through landscaping, then Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach has just the ticket for you: the Summer Home Landscape Series, which consists of 10 free lectures. The program runs from 3 to 5 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays, now through September 1. Participants will learn ways to save money on their cooling and water bills, increase property values through improved landscaping, and preservation of native plants, flowers and trees. For more information, call Secret Woods Nature Center, 954-357-8884.

Six years ago, Hurricane Wilma became the worst hurricane to strike Broward County in 55 years, knocking out power to 98 percent of the county and destroying over 5,500 homes. In the time since then, South Florida has seen no major storms. While Broward County has improved its emergency resources and procedures since 2005, we all have probably let our guard down a little – and that’s a perfect recipe for disaster.

There are several important steps for you and your family to take well in advance of a storm approaching. Perhaps the most important is your family’s hurricane plan and kit, including having a three-to-five day supply of fresh water, non-perishable food, medicine and more. Make sure other family and friends have a copy of your hurricane plan and will know where to find you. And if you are elderly, disabled or have health issues or special needs, make sure to sign up for our Vulnerable Population Registry by calling 311 or visiting www.broward.org/AtRisk.

When natural disasters strike, we have to be ready to take care of ourselves. Now is the time to prepare for the storm season ahead – not in the days before a hurricane arrives. For hurricane plan tips, evacuation shelter information and more, visit www.broward.org/Hurricane. And be sure to check out my new online Web video about hurricane preparedness on my Web Site at www.broward.org/Jacobs.

 

Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs

954-357-7002

www.broward.org/jacobs

 

·      Kristin Jacobs’ Web Site

 

·      White House National Ocean Council

 

·      GrowBROWARD

 

·      At Risk

 

·      Hurricane Preparedness