Community Update - A monthly Newsletter for Broward County Residents

December 2011

Broward Selects New Mayor and Vice Mayor

On November 15, 2011, the Board of County Commissioners chose District 7 Commissioner John E. Rodstrom, Jr. to serve as the mayor of Broward County and District 2 Commissioner Kristin Jacobs to serve as vice mayor for Fiscal Year 2012.

Mayor Rodstrom was elected to the Commission in 1992 and served as vice mayor in 2010. He has also served as chair and co-chair. Vice Mayor Jacobs was elected to the Commission in 1998, and served as Broward County mayor in 2005 and as vice mayor in 2004.

Outgoing Mayor and District 6 Commissioner Sue Gunzburger delivered the 2011 State of the County address. Highlights included:

  • The Fiscal Year 2012 budget kept property taxes flat with the majority of residents receiving property tax reductions.
  • Six regional libraries were reopened on Sundays, and regional parks were reopened on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There were no reductions in mass transit or human services.
  • The Commission passed a landmark County/City Code of Ethics ordinance and created the Office of Inspector General.
  • A Pain Management Clinic ordinance was passed placing stringent restrictions on "pill mills" operating in Broward County. Commissioners also amended an ordinance that prohibits selling tobacco smoking products to minors.
  • An ordinance was enacted requiring contractors seeking county contracts to provide health insurance benefits to domestic partners on the same basis as benefits for employees' spouses.

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Committee to Make Recommendations on 9-1-1 System

The Broward County Commission and the Broward County League of Cities established a Broward County Consolidated Communications Committee and set March 1, 2012 as the deadline to recommend a solution to the decades-long struggle to consolidate emergency 9-1-1 call taking and dispatch.

Three task forces were established: the Governance Task Force will examine the legal structure, management and governing board membership of a consolidated operation; the Operations Task Force will develop performance metrics, operational policies and procedures and address technical issues; and the Funding Task Force will review alternative funding mechanisms including cost sharing and budget development. Recommendations are due January 16, 2012.

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Airport Celebrates Season With Performances by Broward County School Children

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will host its 23rd Annual Winter Festival of Music December 12-16, 2011. Approximately 1,200 children in 28 groups from Broward County elementary, middle, and high schools will perform throughout the airport terminals. Passengers will be entertained through song and dance. This annual event helps make travel more enjoyable for passengers during the busy holiday season. Passengers often dance and sing along with the performers. Consult the schedule for specific dates, times, performers and performance locations.

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Broward County Library --- WoW

The Libraries Division introduces "BCL WoW" (Broward County Library Without Walls.) Did you know you can download free e-books (over 15,000 titles) and great music that never expires? The virtual library also offers homework assistance, a mobile application where you can learn 80 different languages and even live expert job coaching and resume writing assistance. It is truly amazing where technology is taking us. Some services require a free Broward County Library card. More...

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Free Downloadable Books Now Available at Airport

Broward County Library and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport have partnered to offer Airport visitors the opportunity to download free books from Broward County Library. Visitors to the Airport can now access over 15,000 free book titles in the Library's collection by scanning the quick response (QR) codes displayed on LCD screens in the Airport's baggage claim area with their smart phone or e-Book reader. It is not necessary to have a County Library card to access the free downloadable books and the book titles never expire. For updates about new airport passenger programs and services, follow Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on twitter@FLLFlyer or visit broward.org/Airport. More...

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2011 Property Tax Bills Have Been Mailed

Broward County Records, Taxes and Treasury Division has mailed more than 422,000 property tax bills for 2011. Property taxes must be paid no later than April 2, 2012, to pay without penalty and avoid delinquency. A three percent discount applies to taxes paid in December, followed by a two percent discount in January and one percent in February. Property owners without mortgages, or those who do not make use of an escrow arrangement, may pay their taxes in a variety of ways. More...

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Final Redistricting Public Hearing is December 13

The Broward County Board of County Commissioners will hold the final public hearing on County redistricting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13, in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The Public Hearing will be televised and webcast live. The County Commission is preparing a new Commission District map based upon 2010 census data. For more information and to view map alternatives, visit broward.org/redistricting.

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Coastal Cleanup Removes 2 Tons of Trash from County Beaches

During the recent 26th Annual International Coastal Cleanup, more than 2,300 volunteers removed more than 4,500 pounds of trash from Broward County beaches. Broward County staff worked with local municipalities to collect the trash that ranged from food wrappers to an inflatable boat. More than 72,000 individual pieces of trash were collected with the largest category being cigarette butts and smoking related items, with 35,000 removed from the beaches and coastal areas. More...
 

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Light Up Your Life at Tradewinds Park

For the fourth year in a row, Holiday Fantasy of Lights returns to Tradewinds Park, 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek. The drive-through light show runs through Sunday, January 1, and is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 per vehicle Mondays through Wednesdays, $13 per vehicle Thursdays through Sundays (cost is for 20 or fewer passengers), and $35 per bus (15-plus capacity). For more information, visit www.holidaylightsdrivethru.com.

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New Clean Diesel Equipment at Port Provides $17 Million Benefit

A $1.32 million investment, stemming from a diesel emissions reduction grant awarded to Broward County's Port Everglades from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), has resulted in the replacement of heavy equipment and service vehicles, and pilot boats being repowered with clean diesel technology that is translating into a $17 million environmental and health benefit for the community. More...

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Pompano Beach and Broward County Lead Florida in National Wildlife Habitats

Five boutique lodgings in Pompano Beach are among the National Wildlife Federation's newest Certified Wildlife Habitats. Broward County and the City of Pompano Beach lead the state for creating places where people, plants and animals can all flourish. Newly certified properties include: Pineapple Place, Pelican Place, Cottages by the Ocean, Sunny Place and Bahama Beach Club. To be certified, properties must provide native wildlife with the right combination of food, shelter, water and places to raise young. There are now 363 businesses, schools, parks and homes that are Certified Wildlife Habitats in Pompano Beach, a number that surpasses any other city in the state. More...

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During Manatee Season Boaters Urged to Use Caution

The manatee season in South Florida began November 15, marking the time when manatees move south toward warm water refuges and seasonal speed limits go into effect. Broward County's Natural Resources Planning and Management Division cautions boaters to look for greater numbers of manatees moving into the County's waterways and to note changes to boating speed zones. To report an injured or dead manatee, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. For more information about manatees, visit www.broward.org/manatees. More...

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Residents Encouraged to Properly Dispose of FROG

The holidays have many families preparing special foods to serve throughout the season. Residents are reminded to think "No FROG. No Clog." and are encouraged to properly dispose of FROG -Fats, Rags, Oil and Grease. Large amounts of fats, oils and grease, such as those used in deep-frying a turkey, can be disposed of at one of the County's Household Hazardous Waste Collection sites each Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Pompano Beach - 2780 N. Powerline Road and West Park - 5601 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd. More...

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Broward Water Partnership Awarded Water Conservation Grant

The Broward Water Partnership, a partnership between Broward County's Natural Resources Planning and Management Division and 16 utility and municipal partners, was awarded $50,000 from the South Florida Water Management District's Water Savings Incentive Program. The funds will be used to provide $100 rebates to up to 500 Broward residents who replace an older toilet with a high efficiency toilet. The Water Savings Incentive Program funds are being matched by an additional 1,500 toilet rebates funded by the Partnership. Further information about the program or rebate eligibility is available. More...

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Twitter @FLLFlyer

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Community Update, a monthly newsletter from the Board of County Commissioners, is produced by the Office of Public Communications. Address questions concerning articles to 954-357-6990. To receive Community Update electronically, send an email to publicinfo@broward.org. Please include your first and last name and email address. Hearing impaired residents can call the TTY line at 954-831-3940 for additional information.

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