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Broward History

In addition to the State of Florida and the City of Fort Lauderdale, Galt Mile residents are subject to the jurisdictional regulations and standards of Broward County. Nine district County Commissioners take turns exercising Mayoral prerogative for rotating one-year terms. Charles "Chip" LaMarca ably represents the Galt Mile community on the County Commission. County government actions and intentions are monitored, evaluated and revealed here. Of course, a priority concern to Galt Mile residents is the value of their homes. Another county institution, the Broward County Property Appraiser’s office, determines the property values that serve as the basis for our tax obligation as well as our equity access. Appraiser Lori Parrish is hungry for input. She wants to know what’s on your mind. In the B.C.P.A. page, she answers queries by county residents about appraisals, “Save our Homes” amendment concerns and an assortment of important tax exemptions. If the answer to your question isn’t there, just Ask Lori!

Click to Broward County Web Site
BROWARD COUNTY
Comparable to the ecosystems blanketing South Florida, Broward County’s prehistory is remarkably rich. Skeletal remains of big-game hunters who lived 10,000 years ago have been found as near as Vero Beach on the east coast and Charlotte Harbor on the west. Indians designated by archaeologists as “Archaic”, Broward’s first permanent residents, turned to a diversified pattern of hunting and gathering from 4,000 to 2,000 years ago. The major village of Tequesta, near the mouth of Miami River, probably was not more than a couple of centuries old when the Spanish visited it in 1567. While the Tequesta and Calusa Indians successfully resisted European imperialistic agendas, they succumbed to the diseases with which they were “gifted” by the Spanish. When the Spanish ceded Florida to Great Britain at the end of the French and Indian War, the roughly 80 remaining Indians in southeast Florida left for Havana in 1763. Following the American Revolution, the British ceded the area back to Spain in the Treaty of Paris after holding sway for only 20 years.

Ohio Born Frank Stranahan
FRANK STRANAHAN
Enter - from the Bahamas - the Robbinses: Joseph, and his wife and daughter moved to the south side of the New River, possible just above the mouth of Tarpon River. Farming farther upstream were the Lewises: Surlie, Frankee and at least two children who, like Robbins, were British. Although the Spanish feared that they were a fifth column for a possible British reoccupation of the peninsula, in 1793 Spain was too preoccupied with preparing for war with France to evacuate the settlers. The United States obtained Florida from Spain in 1821. Colonel James Gadsden, who conducted the first survey in 1825 of today’s Broward County, was not impressed. A road would be impractical, he wrote, because “the population of the route will probably never be sufficient to contribute to [its maintenance], while the inducements to individuals to keep up the necessary ferries will scarcely ever be adequate.” ...not exactly a visionary.

Railroad Magnate Henry M. Flagler
HENRY M. FLAGLER
Resentful of being pushed southward by settlers who coveted their rich north Florida pastures, Seminole Indians attacked and killed Major Francis L. Dade and 104 of his 107 officers and men in an ambush north of Tampa that set off the Second Seminole War on December 28, 1835. After three years of skirmishes, a force of Tennessee Volunteers and army regulars, commanded by Major William Lauderdale, established a stockade on New river. Not surprisingly, he named it after himself, thus establishing Fort Lauderdale. After the war, Seminoles who had escaped “relocation” (internment) to Oklahoma had the area pretty much to themselves for the next 50 years, where they cultivated gardens in Pine Island, west of present-day Davie, and roamed the Everglades in search of game. By 1891, enough settlers arrived to justify a post office and the Bay Stage Line, operating over a shell-rock road between Hypoluxo at the south end of Lake Worth and Lemon City, now part of Miami. Passengers on the two-day trip stopped overnight at New River, where they stayed at an overnight camp run by an Ohioan named Frank Stranahan.

Former Florida Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
GOVERNOR NAPOLEON
BONAPARTE BROWARD
When Henry M. Flagler learned that Miami was unaffected by the great freeze of February 1895, he decided to extend his railroad south from Palm Beach, reaching the New River by February 22, 1896. Realizing that he needed to lure paying passengers to South Florida, Flagler’s land companies sought immigrants from both North and South. Swedes from the Northeast formed the nucleus of Hallandale, and Danes from the Midwest founded Dania. Southern farmers, lured by better land and milder winters, joined the Danes and Swedes and founded Pompano and Deerfield. Southern and Bahamian blacks did much of the fieldwork. Dania became the area’s first incorporated community in 1904, followed by Pompano in 1908 and Fort Lauderdale in 1911. Formed from portions of Dade and Palm Beach counties in 1915, Broward was named for a former Florida governor who drained the Everglades to open land for development, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. After World War I, the county’s population went from 5,135 to 14,242 between 1920 and 1925 for a gain of 9,107. This first land boom actualized the area’s value as a tourism destination.

Joseph Young - Architect of the City of Hollywood
JOSEPH W. YOUNG
In the 1920s, Joseph W. Young turned a low-lying tract between Hallandale and Dania into his dream city of Hollywood-by-the-Sea. The lakes, the broad boulevard, the eastern golf course and the traffic circle were all part of Young’s master plan. By 1925, charters were granted to Hollywood, Deerfield, Davie, and Floranada, north of Fort Lauderdale. Early in 1926 Hollywood absorbed both Dania and the unincorporated Hallandale community. To handle the transportation-dependent influx, the Seaboard Coast Line was extended southward toward Miami. Northern newspapers crashed the speculative market by painting a hurricane’s flattening of Hollywood as a world class disaster, predating the Depression by three years. In 1927 Dania regained its independence, Hallandale became a city and Floranada, shorn of much of its territory, was reincorporated as Oakland Park. On December 19, 1939, the British cruiser “Orion” chased the German freighter “Arauca” into Port Everglades, where she remained until 1941 when seized by the United States. As far as Broward’s future was concerned, however, the most significant thing about the war was the plethora of training bases that were established. Every airfield in the county, plus the future site of Broward Community College’s central campus became a World War II training facility.

1926 Hurricane Flattens Hollywood - Crushes Burgeoning Real Estate Market
1926 HURRICANE FLATTENS HOLLYWOOD
In the 30 years from 1940 to 1970, Fort Lauderdale’s population shot from 17,996 to 139,590. Hollywood went from 6,239 to 106,873; Pompano Beach from 4,427 to 38,587; and Hallandale from 1,827 to 23,849. Plantation, which was just getting started in 1950, had grown to 23,523 by 1970. Thousands of servicemen stationed in Broward were permanently infatuated by the fantasy lifestyle they tasted. Hillsboro Beach, Hacienda Village and Wilton Manors were added by 1947. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea was next in 1951, followed by Plantation and Lazy Lake in 1953; Margate and Miramar, 1955; Lighthouse Point, 1956; Pembroke Park, 1957; Lauderhill, Cooper City, Sea Ranch Lakes, and Pembroke Pines, 1959; Sunrise, Davie, and Lauderdale Lakes, 1961; North Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Parkland, and Tamarac, 1963; and Coconut Creek, 1967. In 1974, after the county’s population soared toward a million, the speculator-driven hot South Florida market again became the victim of a recession which swept the nation. In 1976, the market revived and the 50,000 unsold condominium units were finally absorbed. A new county charter gave Broward’s government broad powers to monitor and improve the quality of life and the environment. Passage of the 1977 Land Use Plan limited urban sprawl and helped insure that the area’s natural, economic and social resources would be balanced against growth. Following a twenty-year lull, growth exploded again after the Millenium. Fueled by dollars relocated from the deflated equities market and foreign investment due to the weak dollar, Broward’s current real estate boom has also been superheated by unrestrained speculation. Some industry consultants envision a “best case scenario” as one in which the current overdevelopment is reasonably absorbed in 2006. Some, however, don’t anticipate this “soft landing”. Broward’s 1.7 million residents anxiously await the conclusion of this chapter! So do I.

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Broward County Business

Chip LaMarca's December 2015 Galt Mile Update

Route 72 Bus Back on Galt Mile

Chip LaMarca's January 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's February 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's March 2016 Galt Mile Update

Calling For Help - Emergency 911 Still on Hold

Chip LaMarca's April 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's May 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's June 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's July 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's August 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's September 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's October 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's November 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's December 2016 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's January / February 2017 Galt Mile Update

Evolution of a Homeless Plan

Chip LaMarca's March / April 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's April 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's May 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's June 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's July 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's August 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's September 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's October 2017 Galt Mile Update



New Fire Safety Mandate



Beach Renourishment Project



Cleveland Clinic Emergency Room



City of Fort Lauderdale Page



Budget Crisis Page



Broward County Property Appraiser



Politics & Parlor Tricks in Tallahassee



AEDs - Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)



Calypso Deepwater Port and Pipeline



32nd Street Alley



Fort Lauderdale/Galt Mile Crime Statistics




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Click to Broward County Property Appraiser Web Site
B.C.Prop Appraiser Web Site

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BROWARD COUNTY Web Site


Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Beach $$$; FLL Expand; Digital Media; King Tides & Big Dogs

Commentary

Click to October 2017 LaMarca Letter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
November 11, 2017 - In his October 2017 constituent update, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca anticipates legislation that may provide a reliable funding source for renourishing eroded beaches and maintaining (and/or sand bypassing) coastal inlets - where 85% of the downdrift sand is lost to tidal erosion. LaMarca thanks FDOT for awarding Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) $27 million, half the $54 million pricetag of a planned five-gate remote terminal east of Terminal 4, reviews a plan by President and CEO Stacy Ritter of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau to increase the agency's investment in digital advertising while using predictive analytics to harvest consumer feedback, welcomes prospective pet owners to "Roll with the Big Dogs", an incentivized invitation to bring home a supersized pet pooch with a Hefty Bag of free supplies. Since the county finally awoke to the need for a regional plan to fortify infrastructure increasingly overwhelmed by rising sea levels, LaMarca closes by recruiting constituents to help document tidal flooding in their neighborhoods during the autumn King Tides - generating data useful for curtailing the local impacts.

Sand Bags and Rubber Boots

King Tide flooding
KING TIDE FLOODING
On October 5, 2017, when an adjacent lake and nearby canals overflowed, every front yard off Southeast Ninth Street in Fort Lauderdale was submerged in water within hours. At the same time, as picnic tables floated along a section of Dania Beach, a beach shower was carried out to sea. The next day, as rain intensified the massive King Tide flooding, about 20 feet of that beach also disappeared. On A1A, traffic was slow as vehicles immobilized by flooded engines were skirted by others risking the same fate. As cities and the County toy with anti-flooding tools and technologies to diminish how the seasonal floods impact low-lying neighborhoods, residents have learned to go “old school”, using sand bags and rubber boots to cope with the mess.

Click to King Tide Web Page Although the sea level here has risen between 8 and 10 inches over the past 100 years, Broward County natural resource planning officials claim that the rate is accelerating - anticipating that is will rise another 9 to 24 inches in the next 50 years. The King Tides provide a snapshot of our future, when these seasonal inundations will become daily events. King tides occur twice annually when the earth reaches a point in its rotation that aligns with the gravitational fields of the moon and sun to maximize gravitational pressure on the oceans, yielding monstrous high tides and lower low tides.

President Barack Obama 2014 UN Climate Change summit
OBAMA AT 2014 UN CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT
Over the last several decades, these tidal extremes have grown increasingly severe - exacerbated by rising sea levels, and the rate of rise is accelerating. In effect, these king tides provide us with a snapshot of daily coastal conditions in a few decades. At a 2014 UN Climate Change summit, President Barack Obama identified the South Florida coast as among the nation’s regions most vulnerable to flooding.

Click to Aquifer Florida’s vulnerability to tidal flooding is inflamed by its geological architecture. Since a thick layer of porous limestone sits under the Sunshine State, climate scientists and advocates have likened their challenge to “trying to control water with a wall of marbles.” During king tide flooding, saltwater can overrun seawalls or simply seep through the ground adjacent to canals, rivers or the ocean.

By backing up through the pipes that ordinarily discharge stormwater to the ocean, king tides regularly flood inland areas. Built a half century ago to drain the Everglades, the system of canals and flood control structures that cover much of South Florida only made matters worse - threatening infiltration of the Biscayne Aquifer - the primary source of water for Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Also at risk is the Floridan aquifer that provides 90% of central and north Florida's drinking water.

Sea Level Statute

Click to Fort Lauderdale’s 2015 Community Investment PlanIn 2011, the Florida State legislature passed sweeping change to Florida’s growth management laws by enacting the landmark Community Planning Act (“CPA”), enabling a local government with a Comprehensive Plan Coastal Management Element to add a plan for sea level rise impacts. Fort Lauderdale and Broward County have since completed pilot projects that entitle them to funding designated by statute for Adaptation Action Areas, sites subject to coastal flooding and/or adverse impacts from rising sea levels. In Fort Lauderdale’s 2015 Community Investment Plan, the City Identified 16 AAAs and secured funding for 38 projects.

Infrastructure Task Force Committee
INFRASTRUCTURE TASK FORCE COMMITTEE
Currently scrambling to design and implement long delayed plans to repair or replace the City’s eroding underpinnings, Fort Lauderdale appointed an Infrastructure Task Force Committee (ITFC) to identify, prioritize and explore funding options for Capital Projects required to effectively manage the growing strain on municipal infrastructure, while the County “crowdsources” data for ancillary or overlapping objectives.

Since it will take years to plan, fund and build these improvements, the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County could realize immediate relief in swamped neighborhoods by complementing Stormwater and Seawall Master Plans with a variety of stormwater control mechanisms and devices that cushion the local consequences of tidal flooding. The legislation includes resources to develop promising home-grown tools they may stumble across while fighting the floods.

Tidal Tools

Riviera Isles Flooding
RIVIERA ISLES FLOODING
Tidal valves used in the City were actually the brainchild of a local neighborhood association. Since high tides usually morphed Riviera Isles into a slop sink, in 2010, the Riviera Isles Homeowner's Association cut a deal with the City to test one-way tidal control valves manufactured by Tideflex. Having fronted the city most of the $176,000 cost for installing 17 valves as part of a pilot project, the City returned $144,399 in 2012, when staff confirmed that the valves performed as advertised. By adding $541,600 to a $700,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the program was expanded to Las Olas Isles, Venice Isles and Rio Vista Isles in 2014; when the City installed 44 tidal control valves.

Click To Tideflex website
Tidal Control Valves
TIDAL CONTROL VALVES
The valves serve as backflow preventers, allowing stormwater to flow through the drains, but slam shut as the water level rises, preventing seawater from entering the sewer system. Next, the valves were placed in Hendricks Isle and Victoria Park. As of last year, 133 valves had been installed, and another 17 are in the pipeline.

Recharge Drainage Well
RECHARGE DRAINAGE WELL
Other tools in the anti-flooding arsenal are Recharge Drainage Wells (which collect water from the stormwater system and pipes it directly to the aquifer), exfiltration trenches (sixteen miles of perforated pipes – French Drains – through which water soaks into the subsoil and the aquifer), Pumping Stations move rapidly accumulating water into adjacent waterways and pervious pavers and PaveDrain Systems (water seeps through pavered sidewalks into the soil and the aquifer instead of ponding and burdening stormdrains).

Click to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity In partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Emergency Management, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) established the Community Resiliency Initiative, which provides technical assistance to coastal communities pursuing innovative planning and development strategies that address current and future coastal flooding risks. The FDEO asked the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County to serve as the Project of Special Merit pilot for adaptation planning in Florida, ostensibly due to their extensive involvement with the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact.

Passing the Buck

Click to 6th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit Web Page SinceHowever, since State and local funding opportunities lack the scope and outreach required to roll back the dilemma’s worldwide root cause, absent federal resources, local governments are constrained to playing catch-up with Mother Nature. Ironically, instead of helping to bankroll their struggle with king tides, the FDEO recruited Fort Lauderdale and Broward County to serve as the State’s poster children for tidal flooding. While their elected officials hunt for resiliency, City and County residents in low-lying neighborhoods are wisely laying in a long-term supply of sand bags and rubber boots – as sea levels rise, the flooding spreads and their numbers grow. For Commissioner LaMarca’s October 2017 constituent newsletter, read on... – [editor]

 

October 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County.

Beach Preservation

Senator Jack Latvala
SENATOR JACK LATVALA
The 2017 Legislative Session resulted in a win for Florida’s beaches when the Legislature provided unprecedented annual funding of $50M, as well as recognizing and funding the top three ranked inlet management projects as part of the traditional beach management program. This included our Port Everglades Sand Bypass Project. While this was a great accomplishment for the beaches of Florida there is still much more that can be done. On August 18, 2017, Senator Jack Latvala filed Senate Bill 174 (SB 174) for consideration during the Florida Legislature's 2018 regular session. SB 174 updates the criteria for ranking and funding beach management, erosion control, and inlet management projects to consider (i) the environmental and economic importance of proposed projects, (ii) the use of regional sand management strategies to conserve sand and reduce project costs, (iii) the use of dune enhancement or restoration to reduce future upland storm damage costs, (iv) the use of environmental habitat enhancements, and (v) the overall readiness of the project. SB 174 also creates a three year work plan to help maximize federal and local funding matches and establishes a dedicated funding source from Amendment I revenue in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.

Click to King Tides I proposed a resolution in support of the passage of SB 174 and this resolution was passed unanimously by the Board of Broward County Commissioners. Passage of SB 174 would support the long-term planning and continued State funding necessary for the success of projects including the Broward County Shore Protection Projects. It is critical that we continue to advocate and support Florida's beaches as they provide both environmental and economic benefits, including a return on investment of $5.40 for each $1 spent on beach renourishment and erosion control. Furthermore, Broward's award winning beaches enhance the quality of life for residents and are vital for tour community’s tourism industry, while also providing protection to our infrastructure.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport Receives $27 Million

Terminal 4 at FLL
TERMINAL 4 AT FLL
The Florida Department of transportation (FDOT) has awarded Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) $27 million to build a five-gate remote terminal. This funding, in addition to a $27 million investment from airport funds, will support the design and construction of the terminal, estimated to cost $54 million. Tentative plans are to build the remote terminal to the east of Terminal 4. It will be accessible to passengers via buses from a new bus station at Terminal 4. Travelers will benefit from the additional gates by improving their travel experience, relieving congestion, and allowing airlines to offer additional service. The addition of these five gates is a cost effective way to meet FLL’s significant growth, with increased flights from several airlines.

For more information on FLL’s expansion please visit Broward.org/Airport.

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Unveils Digital Brand Initiatives

2018 Tourism Marketing Plan theme is Big Data
2018 TOURISM MARKETING PLAN THEME IS BIG DATA
Greater Fort Lauderdale increased its domestic market in 2016 by 4 percent with 12.27 million visitors and increased international visitation by 13 percent over 2015 with 1.01 million visitors while the rest of the country saw a 2.1 percent decrease in overseas visitors. Recently, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (GFLCVB) unveiled marketing initiatives which included an increased media spend of $5 million, 25 percent more than last year, with at least 60 percent of the total media budget in the digital space, including multi-lingual digital visitor collateral. Additionally, in order to overcome negative perceptions of the recent hurricane impact on South Florida, despite minimal damage to Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale, the GFLCVB pledged an early spend of $1 million to defend the winter high season and increase the destination’s presence in key feeder markets in the Northeast, Midwest, Texas and California on social media channels, radio, and television.

King Tides

Click to King Tides Low lying areas in Broward County are extremely vulnerable this time of year due to high tides. Flooding in low-lying areas is more likely with the close proximity of the moon, higher than average tides called King Tides, rising sea levels, and inclement weather conditions combine to intensify flooding risks. These often time occur during the fall (August-November) with the peak usually occurring the King Tide (Highest tide of year) in October.

Click to King Tides Broward County is calling all citizen scientists interested in helping document tidal flooding in the community. If you individually or you have a community group and want to "adopt" a site to monitor and report, download and read the King Tides Initiative Citizen Science Guidebook and then submit a Group Signup Form. Individuals do not need to sign up. You can participate by uploading photos of flooding you observe in your neighborhood or community.

To sign up and for additional information please visit Broward.org/NaturalResources.

Animal Care and Adoption Make an Offer

Roll with the Big Dogs
ROLL WITH THE BIG DOGS
This fall, from September 1 to November 17, adopt a Big Dog (40 lbs. or more) and receive free pet supplies! Adopters can name their own adoption fee for all dogs, additionally fees for cats continue to be waived. $20 non-refundable deposit applies to hold a stray/lost dog or cat. All adoptions include spaying/neutering, all necessary vaccinations, a Broward County Rabies Registration License tag and a microchip!

For additional information please visit Broward.org/Animal.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can stay connected by subscribing to E-news and social media sites. Sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Irma; Recovery Resources; Beach; Flying Pets; Disposal

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca September 2016 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
COMMISSIONER LAMARCA SEPTEMBER 2017 MESSAGE
October 19, 2017 - In his September 2017 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca inventories the impacts of Hurricane Irma, lists Recovery Resources that serve as a financial safety net for individuals, repairs damage to their homes, offsets Businesses losses, and provides low interest Small Business Administration Disaster loans that help return storm victims to solvency; lists important Telephone Numbers that help residents restore lost access to communications, protect against post-storm scams and report price gouging for survival necessities. He observes that the Segment 2 beach renourishment exceeded expectations as a bulwark against Storm Surge while protecting $billions in upland property; and describes how the County teamed with the Humane Society to rescue abandoned pets and rebuild their strength before boarding them on flights to shelters across the country.

Irma Impacts LaMarca closes with a constituent primer about the removal of storm debris, detailing how residents can either expedite or impair a critical recovery measure belabored by controversy. In short, after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma steamrolled Texas and Florida, the resulting shortage of recovery resources triggered a bidding war that spanned the southeastern states and impacted emergency waste contractors across the country. A more expansive exploration of how this issue fueled a regional epidemic of price gouging and actionable contract violations is forthcoming. For LaMarca’s entire September 2017 constituent message, Read on... – [editor]

 

September 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Response and Recovery Associated with Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Season Continues

Broward County Budget This month, our Florida community faced the wrath of Hurricane Irma, one of the largest and most destructive storms on record. Although the storm has passed, we must remain vigilant and remember that Hurricane season does not end until November 30th. As we continue to recover and get our community and our lives back in order, we can also learn from the events that occurred before, during and after Hurricane Irma. Residents are encouraged to continue to prepare by restocking supplies and making sure you have all emergency numbers readily available in case we face another natural disaster. Below are several helpful recovery resources as well as important numbers to know.

Recovery Resources

  • disasterassistance.gov Homeowners are enouraged to register early for FEMA Disaster Assistance, if you have damage or sustained impact you believe may result in future damage. Register either online at disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.

  • Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center Businesses can contact the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center for a Damage Assessment Survey form.

  • Broward Office of Economic Development Find out if you qualify for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program, the Internal Revenue Service tax relief for survivors of disasters, or Disaster Unemployment Assistance for individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted by visiting http://www.broward.org/EconDev

Important Numbers

For more information about hurricane preparation, please visit Broward.org/Hurricane or contact us at 954-765-4999.

Beach Efforts

Irma Tornado slams Broward Beach
IRMA TORNADO SLAMS BROWARD BEACH
Regarding to the Segment II Project area, the beach is narrower and at a lower elevation than pre-storm conditions. The County’s initial rough estimate is approximately 30 feet of average shoreline loss. We had our consultant conduct pre-storm and post-storm surveys every 3000’, and we should have that preliminary assessment within a couple of days. Additionally, Broward County put in a request for rehabilitatio assistance to the Corps of Engineers and is working with Purchasing for an emergency procurement to perform a full survey of both Segment II and III. This survey will be used to determine official losses.

Monday - the day after Irma
MONDAY - THE DAY AFTER IRMA
Although the beach experienced losses, the renourishment project did perform as intended and prevented damage to upland infrastructure. In areas where dunes were constructed, they prevented the water from advancing further. The City of Fort Lauderdale has started to remove the sand from A1A and estimates that it will be clear within 30 days. This includes initially removing the sand from the roads and then grading the sand back onto the beach.

Broward County Animal Care Helping Displaced Pets

'

Pets prepared for flight to San Francisco Shelter before Hurricane Irma
DOGS BOARD FLIGHT TO SAN FRANCISCO SHELTER
Prior to the hurricane's arrival, Broward County Animal Care partnered with the Humane Society of the United States; Humane Society of Broward County, and South Florida Wildlife to transport 109 cats and 24 dogs out of Hurricane Irma's path to shelters throughout the nation. The project helped to provide shelter space to house pets that would need sheltering after the storm. Currently, Animal Care is assisting residents find their lost pet, as well as admitting pets that are being brought into the shelter. Pets that have been abandoned will be assessed and placed into the adoption process or transferred to one of the many rescue shelters and organizations that partner with Animal Care to rescue, care for, and find a new home for an adoptable pet. After the storm, it is the goal of Animal Care staff to ensure that every dog or cat that is now in need can recover from the stress of their current situation, and do anything to either reunite a pet with their owner or pave a pathway to a new and loving home.

For more information on the efforts of the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption division please visit Broward.org/Animal.

Disaster Debris Removal

Mayor Jack Seiler and 300,000 Cubic Yards of Collected Debris
MAYOR JACK SEILER AND 300,000 CUBIC YARDS OF COLLECTED DEBRIS
Broward County and Solid Waste and Recycling Services (SWRS) play a major role in the cleanup efforts after hurricanes or other disasters that generate large amounts of debris. Below are several key points to keep in mind regarding disaster debris removal post Hurricane Irma.

Do:

  • Watch the news for information regarding the reinstatement of garbage and recycling services.

  • Understand that all services will resume as soon as possible after an emergency, although it may be several weeks before bulk waste collections are reinstated and hurricane debris is removed. The first priority will be to remove hurricane debris prior to reinstating bulk waste collection.

  • Keep waste separated at the curb for easier collection (household garbage, tree trimmings, and miscellaneous debris and trash).

  • Cut tree limbs into sections 4 feet in length and 50 pounds or less. Stack neatly at the curb.

  • Place all debris curbside. Collection contractors can only pick up debris from the curb. It may take several weeks to clear debris, even in the event of a weaker hurricane.

  • If FPL or AT&T cuts down branches or trees in your yard, it is your responsibility to properly prepare the debris for collection as indicated above.

Residents toss their garbage into the storm debris
RESIDENTS TOSS THEIR GARBAGE INTO THE STORM DEBRIS
Don’t:

  • Use garbage bags, plastic bags, paper bags or cardboard boxes for putting out household garbage.

  • Rely on County personnel and collection contractors to remove debris from locations other than curbsides or public roadways.

  • Risk property damage or personal injury by placing debris near a fence, mailbox, poles or on top of power line equipment.

  • Place garbage and recycling at the curb until an announcement has been made that these services have resumed.

  • Place items in front of vacant lots - they won’t be collected.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to eNews and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Budget Bump; Port Stats; FLL News; AlertBroward & Arts Challenge

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca August 2017 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
September 18, 2017 - In his August 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca regrets the Broward Board’s decision to decline a replay of the nominal FY 2017 millage reduction he successfully spearheaded last year; notes that WorldCity’s annual compilation of Port Everglades’ trade statistics heralds a rebound after several years of tentative growth; reviews the fast-growing number of new routes that contributed to FLL’s status as the fastest growing large hub airport in the country; advises constituents to enroll in AlertBroward, a new emergency notification system that provides subscribers with important information about an emergency; and closes by inviting Broward students to participate in the Mayor’s Art Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Broward Cultural Division.

Broward Budget Bump

Broward County Budget
Statehouse Speaker Richard Corcoran
STATEHOUSE SPEAKER RICHARD CORCORAN
Although last year’s increasing property values plumped revenues in the proposed FY 2018 Broward budget, LaMarca’s Commission peers feared how the Florida electorate’s likely approval of a Constitutional amendment placed by lawmakers on the November ballot would shrink County revenues. House Speaker Richard Corcoran configured a plan to neuter “Home Rule” and shift the regulation of local issues to State lawmakers. In preparation, Corcoran would first fiscally destabilize local governments sufficiently to prompt tax increases and/or service cuts, which he would use to disparage City and County governments as “wasteful, unaccountable and lazy.”

Click to Fiscally Constrained Counties Solely conceived to starve City and County governments, House Joint Resolution 7105 (HJR 7105) will place an amendment on the November ballot proposing a third $25,000 homestead exemption (on homes valued in excess of $100,000). When a Statehouse analysis of the amendment’s draconian fiscal impact concluded that it would wholly obliterate the local economies in 29 Florida Counties, lawmakers were forced to file a second bill (HB 7107) that would serve as a safety net – and replace the lost revenues in “fiscally constrained” counties.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief
BROWARD COUNTY MAYOR BARBARA SHARIEF
Of the estimated $645 million that would be lost to local governments across the State, a whopping $73.5 million would be stripped from Broward County, its special taxing districts and 31 municipalities. Upon returning from an unsuccessful lobbying effort to dilute or quash the measure in Tallahassee, Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief assured Broward taxpayers that County Commissioners will not address lost revenues with a tax increase. To avoid service cuts threatened by an estimated $32 million General Fund shortfall in FY 2020, an $11 million budget reserve (mentioned by LaMarca) will be repeated in the FY 2019 and FY 2020 spending plans, thereby mitigating the anticipated deficit.

WorldCity: Seaports Rebound as MIA Glows

Click to Worldcity Click to US Census Trade Data Reviewing how the newly released U.S. Census Bureau trade statistics were analyzed by WorldCity (a Coral Gables media and data research company), LaMarca laments a 12.19 percent drop in trade at Port Everglades in 2016, while anticipating a rebound in 2017. This is, in fact, among the rosier versions of the trade picture for the area’s most lucrative economic engines. WorldCity observations are derived in the US by crunching customs data at international trade hubs, about 450 of the nation’s busiest airports, seaports and border crossings.

Click to PortMiami In South Florida, where the “Miami Customs District” includes airports and seaports from Palm Beach County to Key West, the three major players include PortMiami (POM), Port Everglades (PEV), and Miami International Airport (MIA). 2016 was the fourth consecutive year that the US Customs Bureau reported a decline in South Florida’s trade with the world, slipping from $106.85 billion in 2015 to $104.5 billion last year - a 2.2 percent loss of trade value. Although the region’s collective exports decreased 4.23 percent last year, as imports gained .23 percent, the district still recorded a healthy 2016 trade surplus of $7.76 billion.

Click to PortMiami Observing how the 2016 trade statistics generated by each of the District’s three “Big Dogs” differ significantly, WorldCity notes that exports from Port Everglades tumbled 11.6 percent to $11.7 billion while total imports dropped 12.8 percent to $10.4 billion - comprising its trade total of $22.14 billion. The value of exports departing PortMiami decreased by 7.8 percent to $9.5 billion as imports fell 3.47 percent to $14.5 billion - a total of $24 billion in trade value. In contrast, exports from Miami International Airport increased .03 percent to $32.8 billion, and imports jumped 22.4 percent to $26.2 billion – adding an impressive $59 billion to the District’s total trade value.

Click to Port Everglades The WorldCity analysis attributed the declining value of trade in both seaports and the increased trade value in MIA to shifting commodity prices. While both seaports handle comparable inventories of cargo containers, the value of Port Everglades' imports has been additionally pummeled by plummeting oil and gas prices, given how the port provides petroleum, including jet fuel, to 12 counties in Florida. Roughly 20% of the State’s energy requirements are met by petroleum stored and distributed by companies located at Port Everglades.

WorldCity president Ken Roberts
WORLDCITY PRESIDENT KEN ROBERTS
WorldCity president Ken Roberts explained “Port Everglades depends on the prices of gas and oil. Lower fuel prices dropped the value of Port Everglades’ imports.” In 2016, Port Everglades’ imports of gasoline and other fuels fell a whopping 61.4 percent to $875.4 million.

Click to Miami International Airport In contrast, higher gold prices were largely responsible for the glowing trade stats at MIA. Miami has long been one of the nation’s major hubs of the gold trade. Since local gold entrepreneurs generally maintain a low profile and many gold-related firms are family businesses, Floridians were taken by surprise when the Census Bureau trade data revealed that gold was the Miami District’s top import and export in 2012 - most of which entered or departed the country via Miami International Airport.

Not surprisingly, gold was again MIA’s top imported commodity last year, with the value of gold imports increasing 7.54 percent to $4.55 billion. Gold exports were up 3.6 percent to $1.8 billion. Gold mined in Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia and Peru - or from the Curaçao-Multi Commodities Centre Worldwide (C-MCC) Free Trade Zone, are typically flown to Miami and then routed to Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and/or the Dominican Republic. MIA also benefitted from imports of plasma, vaccines and blood, which increased 191 percent to $1.4 billion.

What About the Steroidal Growth at FLL?

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Why isn’t Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) – the fastest growing large hub airport in the country – among the region’s top trading venues? Although separated by a mere 30 miles, the relative strengths of the international airports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale are a world apart.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport According to an American City Business Journals analysis of U.S. Department of Transportation statistics from 2010 to 2015, Miami International Airport is the No. 7 best-run airport in America, while Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is No. 52. The “best run” analysis weighs productivity and growth metrics. To mitigate size disparity, these include revenue per employee, operating income per employee and overall growth rate in the past five years.

MIA’s total operating revenue grew 39 percent during the five-year period – more than double the revenue growth rate of FLL – at only 16 percent. MIA also generated more revenue and operating income per employee than FLL, despite a 12 percent reduction of its workforce. MIA reduced its debt by 4 percent during the five-year period, while FLL debt skyrocketed 107 percent as the airport embarked on large scale Master Plan renovations.

FLL Terminal 1 Seating W/WiFi
GATE SEATING W/ USB OUTLETS & WiFi
In a separate ranking that measured the impact of amenities and conveniences, FLL took the brass ring, receiving a grade of B+, while MIA only rated a C+. FLL’s higher score was due to cheaper fees for parking and valet, and its proximity to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. FLL’s Free Wi-Fi, which MIA is planning to install, was also a major factor.

However, planned improvements are likely to enhance FLL’s trade standing in the near future. The analysis underscores how airports achieving the most growth and profitability are investing in modernization and an increasing inventory of retail and restaurants to better accommodate growing passenger traffic (as compared to larger, often outdated, air hubs).

Click to HMS Host Click to Delaware North In addition to undergoing comprehensive renovations, roughly 30 vendors are being replaced by 100 new food, beverage and retail locations in FLL’s four terminals. Following the 2013 expiration of a decades-long exclusive contract with an FLL vendor that provided food, beverage and retail options within the airport, new concession agreements were executed with HMS Host and Delaware North, which offer much more variety for travelers passing through the airport’s terminals. Between 2013 and 2016, the airport’s total food and beverage gross sales grew to $99.55 million – a 63 percent increase.

Yasmi Govin, director of the airport’s business and properties management division, explained “FLL has started to revamp its entire concession program in the past few years. Almost all of the food and beverage locations have been rebranded or refaced, with many of these locations to be completely replaced as we move through our terminal modernization project.” FLL is also contemplating plans to develop the adjacent property with a common use club and an affiliated hotel. In the next few years, FLL may pilfer some spotlight from its high profile transportation siblings. For LaMarca’s August 2017 message to District 4 constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

August 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Broward County Budget Update

Click to FY 2018 Broward Budget-in-Brief The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Broward County recommended budget will be discussed at the August 29th Final Budget Workshop. The total budget for FY18 is $4.83 billion, which encompasses all tax-supported and non-tax supported funds. The overall total budget increases by $48.5 million, with operation budgets higher by $128.7 million, debt services relatively unchanged and capital budgets $81.4 million lower than the budget for FY17. The tax roll for FY18 increases by 8.8 percent compared to the roll used for the adopted FY17 budget. The County has recommended a budget reserves of 11 million (about 1 percent of recurring General Fund revenues) in FY18 due to the potential reduction of $32 million in property tax revenues starting in FY20 if the legislative constitutional amendment to expand the homestead exemption passes in the fall of 2018.

Broward County FY 2018 Budget Data

Click to FY 2018 Broward Budget-in-Brief Homestead properties are expected to see increases in tax bills of 2.1 percent. Therefore, median valued homestead property owners will see an increase for FY17 - FY18 of $18. Based on the percent change in the average taxable value for all residential properties, other property owners will see an increase of $89. Last year in FY2017, I spearheaded a millage rate decrease and the County Commission was able to reduce the millage rate by 1 percent (from 5.723 in FY2016 to 5.669) which provided property tax relief with no increase for homestead residents with a home valued at the median property value.

Click to 'A Way Home' As your County Commissioner, I will continue to advocate for a decrease of the millage rate in order to cut your taxes and provide financial relief. It will require a $9.5 million reduction from property-tax supported budgets to reduce the millage rate by 1 percent, which will still support the necessary government services for the community. Unfortunately, my colleagues have not supported this initiative for FY18. However, you will have two opportunities to make your voices heard. The first Public Budget Hearing is scheduled for September 14th at 5:01PM and the second Public Budget Hearing is scheduled for September 26th at 5:01PM at the Broward County Governmental Center in the Commission Chambers, Room 422.

For more information on Broward County’s Budget, please visit Office of Management and Budget.

Port Everglades Trade Numbers

Click to Worldcity Port Everglades This year’s edition of WorldCity’s Port Everglades Trade Numbers provided interesting facts and figures about how Port Everglades (PEV) ranks nationally, the commodities traded through the port, imports and exports and where goods are coming from and going to. While this publication is completely independent, it does examine international trade through Broward County’s PEV based on data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection in calendar year 2016.

Click to Worldcity According to the publication, Broward County’s Port Everglades’ trade with the world totaled $22.14 billion in 2016. With exports of $11.70 billion and imports of $10.44 billion, PEV registered a $1.27 billion surplus its ninth year in a row. Although the port’s trade was down 12.19 percent in 2016, PEVs’ top 19 exports topped $100 million in value with the top outbound shipments, printers, topping $400 million. The publication also stated that while we are halfway through 2017, PEVs’ trade industry is shaping up to have a rebound year with a 2.32 percent increase in the port’s trade

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Update

Commissioner Chip LaMarca at British Airways inaugural landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

British Airways Inaugural Flight

British Airways inaugural landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Broward’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) continues to grow with the addition of British Airways’ inaugural flight from London’s Gatwick Airport this past July. This is the second international carrier to offer nonstop flights between Fort Lauderdale and London. Additional services coming to FLL include: Norwegian with flights to Barcelona in August and Martinique in October, JetBlue and Delta with flights to Salt Lake City in November and Allegiant with flights to Milwaukee and Norfolk in November.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Broward County’s FLL is the fastest growing large hub airport in the country. The total traffic for May 2017 was 2,629,156, which is up 9.9 percent over May 2016. Furthermore, domestic traffic was up 8.2 percent and international traffic was up 16.9 percent. May was the 38th consecutive month of growth in total traffic. It was also the 10th consecutive month of double digit growth in international passenger traffic. January to May 2017 traffic was up 11 percent.

New AlertBroward Emergency Notification System

Alert Broward Emergency Notification System

Alert Broward Emergency Notification System Broward County has activated a new emergency notification system called AlertBroward. This system enables the County to contact residents within seconds so they can receive important information about an emergency. Residents with landlines listed in the Yellow or White Pages have been automatically subscribed to alerts by phone, but AlertBroward also allows members of the public to self-register and provide additional contact information. Unlisted numbers are not provided. Residents are encouraged to register to begin receiving alerts. Sign up is quick, easy and secure on the AlertBroward website.

County Wide Arts Challenge for High School Students

Click to Mayor's Art Challenge Broward residents in grades 9-12 who attend public, private or home school are eligible to submit work for the Mayor's Art Challenge. All Broward County Commissioners will select one first place winner and one runner up from each of the nine districts in the County. The deadline for students to submit their application is Friday, September 8th and the application can be found on the Cultural Division’s Calls-for-Artists page. Students will need to submit their application with digital images of the artwork (up to two entries), a parental release form and indicate their County Commission District to llopez@broward.org.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to E-news and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Ft Laud Airport; Job Growth; Hurricane Preparations, Zika

Commentary

Click to New Broward TNC Law Web Info
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
August 8, 2017 - In his July 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca explores how improvements to Terminal 1 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) - jointly funded by the County and Southwest Airlines - benefitted both stakeholders and travelers; cites the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance for contributing to the County’s regional leadership in job growth; and warns constituents to prepare for the seasonal threat of hurricanes through November and the active transmission of Zika by mosquitoes that proliferate during South Florida’s May through October rainy season.

FLL & Southwest Terminal 1 Windfall

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Terminal 1
FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TERMINAL 1
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport LaMarca’s airport update welcomes a long overdue opening of the Concourse A passenger facility - a $200 million renovation project anchoring the $333 million modernization and expansion of Terminal 1 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). This springboard for air travelers will primarily serve Southwest Airlines ticket-holders aboard a panoply of new international flights scheduled by the airline this year.

Southwest Airlines These include daily nonstop flights to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Belize City, Belize; Cancun, Mexico and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands - which all began in June. On November 5, Southwest will begin new daily nonstop service to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos. Flights to San José, Costa Rica and to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic will commence on November 6.

Having scored only 18.3 percent of FLL’s passenger traffic in March, Southwest has persistently taken a back seat to front running carrier JetBlue Airways (24.6 percent) and was again nosed out by number 2 Spirit Airlines (18.4 percent) - begging the question, “Why did Broward County cough up a third of a $billion for improvements that uniquely benefit the airport’s number 3 airline?”

FLL CEO and Aviation Director Mark Gale
FLL CEO AND AVIATION DIRECTOR MARK GALE
On June 1, while escorting officials from Broward County and Southwest Airlines, the media, and a few tourism representatives from other countries on a tour of the upgraded facilities, FLL CEO and Aviation Director Mark Gale provided the fiscal context. By July, Southwest offered 21 percent of the scheduled available airline seats at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, a capacity increase of 41 percent from July 2016. While JetBlue is the nation’s number seven airline, and Spirit number 10, Southwest is the third largest carrier in North America – with more “Elusive Spondulix” than JetBlue and Spirit combined, so the Broward Board wisely selected their cookie jar for fiscal fondling. It worked.

Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly
SOUTHWEST CHAIRMAN AND CEO GARY KELLY
Gale observed, “That’s an incredible and enviable statistic for any airline to achieve.” In short, the investment re-ranked Southwest as the airport’s number two carrier and fueled a windfall dividend for FLL while significantly enhancing the region’s tourism economy – an industry four-bagger. Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly echoed Gale’s optimism, citing FLL as one of the Dallas-based airline’s five most important hubs, and announcing “We do want to grow in this market. I think Fort Lauderdale will continue to elevate itself in terms of the significance to the total Southwest network.” FLL is also Southwest’s largest international hub.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief
BROWARD COUNTY MAYOR BARBARA SHARIEF
In her choreographed response, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief presented Kelly with a proclamation declaring June 1, 2017 as “Southwest Appreciation Day”. Reading from the proclamation, Sharief said “Since Southwest began operations in Fort Lauderdale in January 1996, the airline has carried more than 55 million passengers on more than 500,000 flights to and from the airport.”

Tech on the Go on Concourse A
TECH ON THE GO - CONCOURSE A
During the preview tour, LaMarca focused on the facility’s connectivity, exclaiming “My favorite part is that it connects to the rest of Terminal 1 and ultimately Terminal 1 and 2 will connect, just like 3 and 4. So, once you get behind security, as a traveler you will be able to experience all the great restaurants and retail behind security.”

Terminal 1 Gate Area Seating W/USB Outlet
GATE SEATING W/ USB OUTLETS & CUP HOLDERS
Hungry passengers can dine at Burger Fi, La Familia Tacos & Tequila, or a super-sized Starbucks. New shops on the Concourse include 5th and Sunset, Tech on the Go (for overpriced electronics), Hudson Booksellers and a CNN newsstand. In his update, LaMarca neglected to mention a spectrum of new amenities at departure gate waiting areas, where each seat is equipped with an embedded USB electrical charging outlet for mobile devices, A/C and a cup holder.

Terminal 1 Pet Relief Area
TERMINAL 1 - PET RELIEF AREA
Baby Changing Area
TERMINAL 1 - BABY CHANGING AREA
Although an avid animal advocate, LaMarca also omitted how pets will get their own bathroom. As a growing number of travelers are accompanied by pets or service dogs, airports are increasingly adding pet relief areas to comply with Federal law. Artificial turf covers the floor of the pet relief room. Since pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets, don’t be surprised if an adjacent onsite merchant drops a $60 price tag on a $12 pooper scooper.

Dodging Zika

Click to Pan American Health Organization Zika warning list Mistakenly rumored as a mildly uncomfortable inconvenience, Zika is no joke. This mosquito-borne flavivirus is part of the same viral family as Yellow Fever, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus and Dengue fever. Spread through the bite of the Aedes aegypti species mosquito, symptoms include fever, rash, and joint pain.

Click to Zika Worldwide In April of last year, the CDC confirmed what had been suspected throughout the 2015 Zika epidemic in Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean - for the first time in history, a virus transmitted by a mosquito bite was found to cause birth defects (microcephaly), a condition that impedes growth of the baby’s head, and can only be diagnosed when the head’s size is two standard deviations below the average (less than the 3rd percentile). In other words, if the head is smaller than those of 97 newborns out of 100, the child is technically microcephalic.

The CDC has linked microcephaly to seizures, developmental delays (problems with speech, sitting, standing, and walking), intellectual disability (learning and functioning in daily life), problems with movement and balance, feeding problems (swallowing, etc.), hearing loss and vision problems - ranging from mild to severe and often spanning a lifetime.

Click to Zika and Pregnant Microcephaly may also develop because of a genetic problem, certain environmental exposures during pregnancy (severe malnutrition; harmful substances like alcohol, certain drugs and toxic chemicals while in utero; an interruption of the blood supply to the baby’s brain during development), or if the mother was infected with rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus (also called CMV, a type of herpes virus).

Click to Zika and microcephaly A very rare condition according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as state birth defects tracking systems have estimated that microcephaly ranges from 2 to 12 babies per 10,000 live births in the U.S. Even so, pregnant women should take particular care to avoid mosquito bites. The threat is complicated by the lack of observable symptoms in four out of five infected women. As a result, health officials assert that the infected population is roughly three or four times the number of confirmed cases – placing every pregnant woman at risk.

Click to Zap Zika Suspected cases of the virus are being monitored by the Mosquito Control Section of the Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division in conjunction with the Florida Health Department. While the virus has been confirmed in travelers who recently visited Latin America, there are currently no locally acquired cases in Broward County.

Click to Tip! Toss! Treat! The protective measures described by LaMarca are component to a program known as “Tip! Toss! Treat!” - tipping over vessels that ordinarily collect standing water, tossing out those that aren't needed, and treating those that can’t be tipped (i.e. bird baths, rain barrels) with larvicide. For those of us living in associations, these protocols should be incorporated into the daily maintenance regimen throughout the rainy season (May to October).

Mosquito Spray Truck
MOSQUITO SPRAY TRUCK
VectoBac WDG
VECTOBAC WDG
Broward County periodically dispatches trucks to known mosquito breeding sites – most at night - which spray a larvicide called VectoBac WDG about 100 feet into the air. This commercial product features impressive safety credentials. Its active ingredient – the AM65-52 strain of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) - is a naturally occurring, biodegradable bacterial mosquito larvicide which is not harmful to humans, pets, aquatic habitats or environmentally sensitive areas. Certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), registered for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency and listed by the World Health Organization as a recommended formulation for control of mosquito larvae, the product contains spores which produce toxins that specifically target mosquito, blackfly and fungus gnat larvae.

Click to Biomist for Browared Aerial Spraying Funded by a $801,900 grant, this year the County is distributing 5,000 to 10,000 surveillance traps throughout Broward. While killing mosquitoes without chemicals, the traps will feed back data about proliferation sites. In residential areas plagued by mosquitoes, homeowners can request an aerial (airplane) spraying with a CDC endorsed chemical called Biomist 3+15. The spraying must be approved by the Mosquito Control Manager after performing tests affirming compliance with state requirements. All residents are urged to protect themselves when outdoors by wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants, and/or using a mosquito repellent containing DEET, PICARIDIN OR IR3535, all of which are registered with the EPA and endorsed by the CDC. For information about spraying and other mosquito-related questions, call Broward County mosquito control at 954-765-4062. After all, you paid for this service. For LaMarca’s July 2017 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

July 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your county commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from Broward County.

FLL Update

Click to Southwest Airlines Broward County and Southwest Airlines partnered to bring a new world-class experience for passengers who use Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s Terminal 1 is now open. The new Concourse A facility is now open, bringing additional gates and the additional capacity of the world’s most modern international processing facility for air travelers. The preliminary construction began in June 2015 and ended at the end of June 2017. The final phase of Terminal 1 construction will be in the summer of 2017 and will be completed by the end of this year.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport - Terminal 1

Southwest Airlines in Terminal 1
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES IN TERMINAL 1
The overall major goal of the project is to improve the customer experience by offering a more modern terminal that offers more international and domestic destinations through additional gates. Some of the key features include a new Customs Inspection Facility with five gates that can handle both international and domestic flights. The new facility also provides connectors for all three concourses, A, B, and C - post security, which increases concession space both post security and pre security. This project also creates one centralized security checkpoint for all three concourses on the ticketing level, which enhances the existing restrooms and adds new restrooms near the new centralized security checkpoint. The new facilities will also provide improved and expanded seating areas near the gates in the new Concourse A.

Public Art in Terminal 1
PUBLIC ART IN TERMINAL 1
This $200 million, 307,000-square-foot concourse features moving walkways, new stores and restaurants, as well as public art installations including an interactive sculptural play area. The modernization and expansion plan will eventually connect all three concourses in Terminal 1 for a seamless and improved passenger experience.

Broward County Job Growth

Click to Broward County Flag Disposal Website Broward County continues to lead job growth in South Florida with 31,100 jobs created in a year and a ten-year-low 3.8 percent unemployment rate. May 2017 was the 82nd consecutive month with positive over-the-year job growth in Florida, indicating the great strength of our local and state economy. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate for May 2017 was 4.3 percent, which is 435,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 10,147,000. Florida’s unemployment rate is down 0.2 percentage point from 4.8 percent in April 2017, and down 0.6 percentage from a year ago. Additionally, the state gained 228,000 jobs over the year, an increase of 2.7 percent. Florida’s over-the-year job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate since May 2012.

An unknown fact is that there are over 350,000 unfilled jobs throughout the State of Florida and there is an effort by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and the business community to retrain and equip those in need of a job with the skills needed to fill these high-paying jobs. As a longtime member of the Alliance Board of Directors, this is a major effort that I have been involved with and will continue to stay involved until every willing member of our community is in a great job.

Click to Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance In Broward County, we see year over year job growth and continued improvement in the local economy. The major industry sectors that added jobs over the year in the Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield metro area were professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, construction, trade, transportation, and utilities and manufacturing. Broward County, with the assistance of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, continues to help companies create, expand and retain high-wage jobs, which in return help to develop more vibrant communities and improve the quality of life for our residents.

Hurricane Preparedness

Click to Eye of the Storm We are officially in hurricane season and now is the time to prepare. The Broward County Emergency Management Division is closely monitoring weather activities in the tropics and it is especially important that residents have their emergency plans in place. Individuals with special needs are also encouraged to make arrangements in advance, for sheltering and evacuation transportation, if needed. Following these 5 simple steps will help you in becoming prepared for this hurricane season.

Consider your shelter options and include information in your plan

  1. Pre-register for important services (Vulnerable Population Registry)

  2. Make arrangement for your pets (pet registration and shelter options)

  3. Prepare important documents

  4. Prepare equipment and collect supplies

For more information and tips on becoming prepared this hurricane season please visit Broward.org/Hurricane.

You can also check out this video for even more information on what to do before, during and after a hurricane strikes South Florida.

Zika: Mosquito Control

Click to Broward County Zika The rainy season has officially begun and that means more mosquitos. While there are no areas of ongoing active transmission of Zika by mosquitos in Florida, it is still important to remain vigilant about mosquito bite protection by draining all sources of standing water to keep mosquitoes from breeding and by always wearing bug repellent. The Broward County Mosquito Control Section of the Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division encourages community member to assist in keeping mosquitos from spreading the Zika virus. Besides draining, dumping standing water and covering any areas that may retain water, residents are encouraged to apply larvicide to keep mosquito larvae from developing into flying mosquitos that can bite.

If you need assistance identifying breeding habitats around your property, please contact the Broward County Mosquito Control Division at 954-765-4062, or visit Broward.org/ZapZika for more information.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to E-news and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


June LaMarca Letter Technical Errors

Typo I would like to take a moment to apologize for several technical errors that were published in the June LaMarca Letter. As you may have noticed, there were some inadvertent punctuation marks inserted when the file was sent out, but this did not take away from the message that I intended to convey regarding the fiscal year 2018 budget. I look forward to continuing to provide valuable information to the residents of District 4. I hope you’re having a great summer.


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Budget; Port Everglades; E-911 Radio; Online Vets

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca July 2016 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
COMMISSIONER LAMARCA JUNE 2017 MESSAGE
July 15, 2017 - In his June 2017 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca concludes that a significant increase in local property values should sufficiently enhance the County’s ad valorem revenues to cut taxes without impacting services; details competitive improvements to Port Everglades’ Southport Turning Notch, describes how a long-term agreement between the Port and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will mutually enhance revenues; observes how these improvements helped elevate the Fitch Rating outlook on Port bonds from “stable” to “positive”. LaMarca applauds a Broward County Libraries Division program that temporarily enables free internet access for veterans, active military members and their dependents; congratulates ten County departments for winning a record 16 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards; invites participation in the Broward Academy’s ten-week educational series that examines the panoply of County Government services; and verifies that a key County E-911 Dispatch upgrade was approved for installation - as 30-year old intermittently operational radios are recycled into bullets and bottle tops.

Tax Bill with a Poison Pill

The Florida Association of Counties After examining the County Budget process and the Property Appraiser’s rosy June 1, 2017 Estimate of Taxable Values, LaMarca suggests benchmarking survival of the recession with a celebratory tax cut. Armed with data drawn from the “FY 18 Tax Supported Funds Update” distributed at the June 6 Broward Budget Workshop, LaMarca shopped his concept to the other County Commissioners.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief
BROWARD COUNTY MAYOR BARBARA SHARIEF
Not surprisingly, LaMarca’s plan failed to resonate with his Commission peers at the June 15 Budget Workshop, where his millage reduction was unilaterally rejected. Undeterred, LaMarca aspires to recruit his District 4 constituents to assist with convincing the Broward Board to reconsider his proposal. His timing might have been better. A few days earlier, Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief returned from Tallahassee, where she lobbied Broward lawmakers to oppose a bill specifically designed by Senator Tom Lee for House Speaker Richard Corcoran to wreak fiscal havoc in Florida’s local governments.

Statehouse Speaker Richard Corcoran
STATEHOUSE SPEAKER RICHARD CORCORAN
House Joint Resolution 7105 (HJR 7105) will place an amendment on the November ballot proposing an additional $25,000 Homestead Exemption on properties valued from $100,000 to $125,000. When queried about his hardline support for the bill, Corcoran clarified that his real objective is to usurp the right of local officials to regulate local issues – maliciously characterizing City and County governments as “wasteful, unaccountable and lazy,” (see related commentary accompanying Bruce Roberts’ June / July 2017 newsletter).

Florida State Senator Tom Lee
FLORIDA STATE SENATOR TOM LEE
Corcoran has repeatedly stated that Florida legislators better represent the interests of constituents than local governments because “State lawmakers are more responsive to their concerns and less susceptible to special interests.” Notwithstanding whether this questionable epiphany was sourced from a California Psychic or some heritable polemic, Corcoran’s marginalization of Home Rule is largely anathematic to the Conservative Republican culture in Tallahassee.

When an analysis of the amendment’s fiscal impact revealed that it would wholly obliterate the local economies in 29 Florida Counties, lawmakers were forced to file a second bill (HB 7107) that would serve as a safety net – and replace the lost revenues in those counties. If the measure is approved by the electorate in November, of the estimated $645 million that would be lost to local governments across the State in 2019, a whopping $73.5 million would be stripped from Broward County and its 31 municipalities.

Click to June 2017 Tax DataAlthough LaMarca intimates that the 9.3% jump in property values will flesh out a substantial ad valorem dividend, the annual 3% “Save our Homes” tax cap on Homesteaded properties will sharply limit the resulting increase in tax revenues, and preclude local governments from monetizing recovering property values sufficiently to offset the looming deficit.

Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry
BROWARD ADMINISTRATOR BERTHA HENRY
Given the county’s intention to mitigate a shortage with spending cuts instead of a tax increase, Broward Administrator Bertha Henry has already advised the county’s constitutional officers to trim their respective budgets. The County Board will soon have to decide where else to drop the budget axe. Traditionally, it begins with programs scheduled to sunset followed by a selective hiring freeze that understandably exempts public safety job titles.

Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry
BROWARD ADMINISTRATOR BERTHA HENRY
Since one County Commissioner habitually recommends defunding resources in other Commissioners’ districts, Galt Mile residents may once again be forced to circle the wagons around the Galt Mile Library. A key destination site for thousands of local residents, this small rented site on a shoestring budget is the only resource provided to the neighborhood in exchange for being one of Broward’s largest annual contributors of tax revenue.

Currently working with the Galt Mile Community Association and local Library advocates on a long overdue expansion, LaMarca has helped shield the Library from similar budget-based threats in the past. Should the need arise; he vowed to do so again.

Port Everglades’ Largest Expansion Project

Click to Panama Canal Web Site
Post Panam=x Vessels Navigate Panama Canal
POST PANAM=X VESSELS NAVIGATE PANAMA CANAL
The Panama Canal expansion (completed on June 26, 2016) provided faster and cheaper shipping of goods between the United States and Asia while enabling American farmers and manufacturers to better compete with South American and European counterparts, including providers that currently benefit from cheap labor and primitive, low-maintenance infrastructure. The expansion triggered a frenzy of construction by East Coast seaports competing for a piece of the Post-Panamax Golden Goose. Managing the huge ocean going monsters that can now leapfrog between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is generating huge windfalls for the handful of east coast ports configured to accommodate the 50% wider, 25% longer vessels with 50-foot drafts (AKA post-Panamax).

Compare Panamax and Post-Panamax After 18 years of bumping up against foot-dragging Federal bureaucrats, Congressional gridlock and play for pay politicians while imploring the Army Corps of Engineers to undertake planned improvements, in March of 2015, the Corps finally released its Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for Port Everglades Harbor Navigation Study, a prerequisite for implementing three major Master Plan improvements. Click to Port Everglades Harbor Navigation Study The plan would deepen Port Everglades’ channel from 42 feet to 48 feet (plus two feet of allowable overdepth for a total of 50 feet), widen the channel entrance to allow entering and departing ships to safely skirt by vessels docked inside the Port, expand and deepen the Southport turning notch, build 5 new berths, replace any lost mangrove wetlands or coral and add an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility.

Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) opens an on-site Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF)
INTERMODAL CONTAINER TRANSFER FACILITY OPENS IN JULY 2014
Instead of hauling containers to and from off-port rail terminals, or bucking road traffic on the Turnpike or I-95, on July 14, 2014, a public-private partnership funded by the port and the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) opened an on-site Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) to enable the seamless transfer of international containers between ship and rail, trimming the time required for bringing goods to market - and vesting the port with a significant competitive advantage over other Florida East Coast ports (like Port Miami).

Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board approves Port Everglades Dredging
CIVIL WORKS REVIEW BOARD APPROVES DREDGING
In Washington D.C., the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board assesses whether locally approved projects provide national economic and environmental benefits - an eligibility prerequisite for Federal cost-sharing. On February 27, 2015, the Civil Works Review Board vetted the final environmental and economic feasibility studies before unanimously approving an appropriation of $190 million to the $374 million total cost of dredging the Port Everglades channel.

Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick of the Army Corps of Engineers signed the Chief of Engineers Report
LT. GENERAL THOMAS P. BOSTICK SIGNS CHIEFS REPORT
On June 26, 2015, Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick of the Army Corps of Engineers signed the Chief of Engineers Report for the Port Everglades improvements, certifying the project as environmentally sound and economically beneficial to the United States. The Chief’s Report was a prerequisite for including the project in the 2016 federal legislation authorizing water and navigation-related projects (WRDA 16).

President Barack Obama Signs WIIN Act
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SIGNS WIIN ACT
After hammering out a 2016 version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA 16) in September, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act on December 10, 2016. Signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 16, 2016, the Act provides for the needs of America’s harbors, locks, dams, flood protection, and other water resources infrastructure critical to the Nation’s economic growth, health, and competitive muscle.

Click to Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act While the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA 16) is incorporated into Title I of the WIIN Act, Title II includes improvements to drinking water infrastructure around the country and addresses control of coal combustion residuals, Title III improves water storage and delivery to drought-stricken communities, addresses federal dam maintenance backlogs, and approves water settlement agreements that benefit taxpayers and several Native American jurisdictions.

Click to Water Resources Development Act of 2016 Most importantly, the Act loosens the Congressional stranglehold on seaport funding, pumping nearly $16 billion into the Corps’ cookie jar for waterways projects. Specifically, the law authorizes 30 USACE “Chief Reports” submitted to Congress since the enactment of the WRDA 2014 bill. Since Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick filed his Chief of Engineers Report on June 26, 2015, Port Everglades is one of the eight new navigation projects that were recommended for funding.

Click to Turning Notch Info With the ICTF in full swing, Post-Panamax shippers have been flocking to Port Everglades like moths to a flame. As a result, Port Everglades has become berth constrained. Additional dock space for cargo ships is desperately needed, especially as the Port has become Florida's leader for containerized cargo volumes. As observed by LaMarca, the $437.5 million Southport Turning Notch Expansion (STNE) will lengthen the existing deepwater turn-around area for large cargo ships from 900 feet to 2,400 feet and allow the Port to berth and service five additional monster vessels.

Port Everglades Gantry Cranes
PORT EVERGLADES GANTRY CRANES
new Super Post-Panamax container gantry cranes
SUPER POST-PANAMAX CONTAINER GANTRY CRANES
To utilize the existing cranes, the gantry crane rails will be extended to the full length of the enlarged Turning Notch. A separate $41.4 million agreement to purchase three new Super Post-Panamax container gantry cranes at $13.8 million apiece, to be delivered in 2019, was approved by the Broward County Commission on June 6 – with an option to purchase three additional cranes during the next 5 years.

Click to Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. Due to the seaport's proximity to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), the three new cranes will be specially constructed by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. Inc. (ZPMC) to meet federal height restrictions. The new low-profile cranes will be capable of handling containers stacked eight units high while reaching across 22 containers on a ship's decks. Port Everglades' existing seven gantry cranes in the Southport area, where the majority of the Port's containerized cargo handling takes place, are limited to containers stacked five units high and can reach out across 16 containers on a ship's deck.

Chief Executive and Port Director Steve Cernak
CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND PORT DIRECTOR STEVE CERNAK
It was originally anticipated that deepening the channel would spur a sufficient increase in Post-Panamax traffic to warrant comparably enhanced berthing and cargo management capabilities. To clarify why the project was expedited, Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steve Cernak explained, “Cargo ships are getting larger and several shipping lines already coming to Port Everglades from Europe and South America need Super Post-Panamax cranes now. The longer we wait, the higher the price, in addition to increasing our chances of losing important business. We cannot afford to wait until our harbor deepening and widening project is completed because the cranes are needed now.” In short, the Port has become a victim of its own success.

Click to Moss/KiewitThis two-part expansion project is the most expensive capital improvement agreement awarded in Port Everglades’ history. “Moss/Kiewit” – a joint venture of Moss & Associates and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. has been named the managing general contractor for the STNE and Southport Crane Infrastructure Improvements project. The STNE is projected to yield a $10.7 billion annual increase in economic activity related to the Port, and create 2,227 construction jobs in the near term and 5,529 regional jobs by 2027 when it is expected to be fully utilized at its maximum capacity. For LaMarca’s entire June 2017 constituent message, Read on... – [editor]

 

June 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Preliminary Budget Forecast for Fiscal Year 2018

Broward County Budget As your Broward County Commissioner, a priority of mine has always been to advocate for the needs of our community. Broward County’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget is well underway, and discussions have already begun for the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. The County Commission began initial discussions in March and will proceed through a series of workshops that culminate with two public hearings in September. At that time, the Operating Budget, Capital Budget and Five-Year Capital Program will be adopted and the new fiscal year will begin in October 2017.

Broward County Commission
BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSION
One of the largest contributors to the County’s overall budget is ad valorem property taxes. The Broward County Property Appraiser establishes the value of property and exemptions and also prepares and certifies the tax roll. The Board of County Commissioners, and other taxing authorities, set the millage rates, which are the rates at which property is taxed. In order to calculate a property tax rate, you can multiply the taxable value of the property by the millage rate and divide by 1,000.

Broward County Property Appraiser In the month of June, the Broward County Property Appraiser was able to provide the Board of County Commissioners with preliminary numbers for the County’s taxable value. These numbers are then finalized in July. The preliminary June 1st estimate provided by the Property Appraiser for FY 2018 is $177.3 billion. After adjustments by the Value Adjustment Board, this is a 9.3 percent increase from FY 2017. appropriation increase of 6.3 percent The overall General Fund Outlook as of June 2017 is a maximum appropriation increase of 6.3 percent for operations if there is no millage rate reduction. However, as your County Commissioner, it has been my goal to cut your taxes. To do this I have always advocated for the need to reduce the millage rate for Broward County residents. Looking at the FY 2018 budget, it will require a $9.5 million reduction from property-tax supported budgets to reduce the millage rate by 1 percent. Providing I have the support of the rest of the County Commission, this reduction will still provide Broward County Government with sufficient funds to run the necessary services for our residents while also providing a financial relief for residents in Broward County.


UPDATE: At of our recent June 15th Budget Workshop, no other County Commissioner was willing to join me in reducing the millage rate even slightly as described above. There will be additional budget meetings when the County Commission comes back from summer recess. If you agree with me that we should reduce the impact of property taxes on Broward County property owners, then you may want to reach out to the other County Commissioners and let them know your concerns. Remember that we ALL represent you in local government.


Port Everglades Update

Port Everglades Turning Notch
PORT EVERGLADES TURNING NOTCH
The Broward County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a $437.5 million expansion project to add new berths for larger cargo ships and install crane rail infrastructure for new Super Post-Panamax Cranes. The Southport Turning Notch Expansion project will lengthen the existing deep water turn-around area for cargo ships from approximately 900 feet to 2,400 feet, which will allow for up to five new cargo ship berths. The existing gantry crane rails will be extended to the full length of the extended Turning Notch berth to utilize the existing cranes.

Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 25
PORT EVERGLADES CRUISE TERMINAL 25
The County Commission also recently approved a long-term agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) replacing the current RCCL agreement, which expires at the end of 2017 and continues through September 2026. The agreement includes the investment of more than $100 million for a complete makeover of Cruise Terminal 25, which is the preferential berth for RCCL. This will allow for the Port to build a facility that meets RCCL’s expectations for the new generations of larger cruise ships.

Click to Fitch Ratings for Broward Outlook In other Port related news, Fitch Ratings recently affirmed the ‘A’ rating on Broward County’s Port Everglades outstanding $167 million port facilities senior revenue and refunding bonds while also providing a revised Rating Outlook from Stable to Positive. This Positive Outlook is great news for Broward County as it reflects the expectation that the Port will continue to demonstrate strong financial performance in terms of coverage and leverage. Additionally, it reflects an anticipation that the Port will maintain its diverse maritime operations and increasing revenue growth.

For more updates and information please visit Port Everglades.

Emergency Radio Upgrade

Motorola P25 system Since consolidation of the new Regional 911 system in October 2014, Broward County has initiated many projects and system upgrades to improve and enhance the performance of public safety response in Broward County. Most recent, the Board of County Commissioners voted to invest nearly $60 million to replace a 30 year old public safety radio system. The system will be replaced in 2018 with one of the most advanced systems in the industry, a Motorola P25 system. The new system will improve communication between responding units during an emergency as well as with federal, state and regional agencies.

New Library Program Provides Free Wi-Fi Hotspots to Veterans

Veterans Connect Hot Spots
VETERANS CONNECT HOT SPOTS
The Broward County Libraries Division recently launched an innovative initiative in conjunction with T-Mobile that provides 450 free Wi-Fi hotspots to local veterans, active military members and their dependents. The Veterans Connect Hotspots Program provides unlimited access to T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network and increased access to information and technology for their users. The free hotspots will be loaned for one month to veterans, active military members and their dependents with valid military identification cards. Users then have the option to renew the loan three more times.

Broward Libraries Program for Veterans
BROWARD LIBRARIES PROGRAM FOR VETERANS
Many veterans have difficulty transitioning to civilian life. This program will now better assist veterans by encouraging education, self-development and career advancement through technology. In addition, the program encourages the use of Broward County Libraries’ vast resources and services by members of the military community. Veterans, active military members and their dependents interested in participating in the Veterans Connect Hotspot Program will be able to check out the free hotspots at nine Broward County Library locations valid military identification.

For more information, please call 954-357-7444 or visit Broward.org/Library/Veterans.

Broward County Receives Awards

National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently awarded Broward County with 16 Achievement Awards. The annual awards recognize innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents in a variety of areas. Several County divisions were recognized specifically for initiatives that promote environmental preservation and conservation, improvements in customer services, programs that help pets and persons experiencing homelessness, and internal activities relating to purchasing, risk management and employee communications. The award winning divisions are: the Human Resource Division, Libraries Division, Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division, Records, Taxes and Treasury Division, Enterprise Technology Services Division, Animal Care and Adoption Division, Purchasing Division, Public Works, Transportation Department and the Risk Management Division.

Broward County Academy

Click to Broward Academy Website Class VI of the Broward County Academy will begin in just a few months and applications are now being accepted. The goal of the Academy is to increase resident involvement in local government, improve communication with the community, inform the community on the role, structure and complexity of County government, encourage community participation in volunteer opportunities, and build potential community leaders. The 2017 Academy sessions will begin on Tuesday, September 12th followed by nine consecutive Thursdays from 6-9PM concluding with graduation ceremonies on November 16th. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 14th. Applications for the Broward County Academy are available by clicking the link below, by emailing BrowardAcademy@Broward.org, or calling the Broward County Office of Public Communications at 954-357-6990. For more information please visit Broward County Academy.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can stay connected by subscribing to E-news and social media sites. Sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor to serve you.


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Drug Deaths; Flag Etiquette; Hurricane Preparations, Beach Bud

Commentary

Click to New Broward TNC Law Web Info
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca at Segment II Staging Area
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
June 5, 2017 - In his May 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca details how to respectfully dispose of old, tattered and torn American flags that are no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, explaining how they should be properly folded before being placed in a specified retirement box at one of eight locations in Broward County; admonishes constituents to adequately prepare for the June 1 through November 30 Hurricane Season, and perhaps attend the annual “Eye of the Storm” event at the Museum of Discovery and Science; encourages those seeking a new pet to drop in on the special “Beach Bud” adoption event, which heavily incentivizes animal lovers to consider welcoming a larger dog into their families. LaMarca opens with a summary of measures taken by Broward County to combat a nationwide epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, a devastating scourge that's overwhelmed South Florida morgues, decimated thousands of families and claims a record number of victims each month. How the campaign to close Pill Mills helped catalyze this crisis will be posted in the Tallahassee section. For LaMarca’s May 2017 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

May 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your county commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from Broward County.

Opioid Epidemic in Broward County

Click to Executive Order 17-146 Our nation is in the middle of an unprecedented opioid epidemic with more deaths from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. And, the majority of drug overdose deaths (more than 6 out of 10) involved an opioid. The rate of overdose deaths in the nation has nearly quadrupled since 1999. The effects of this epidemic are on the rise in the State of Florida as well. Broward County has also seen staggering increases of drug overdoses. After compiling an extensive amount of data, Broward’s Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services has announced that 582 people lost their lives to drugs in Broward in 2016, more than double the amount in 2014, and up by 260 deaths from 2015.

Governor Rick Scott and Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip
GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT AND SURGEON GENERAL DR. CELESTE PHILIP
After several counties urged Governor Rick Scott to declare a Public Health Emergency in the State of Florida, on May 3rd following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declaring a national opioid epidemic, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 17-146 declaring a Public Health Emergency across the state. By signing the Emergency Order, it allows the state to immediately draw down on more than $27 million in federal grant funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services Opioid State Targeted Response Grant which was awarded to Florida on April 21st to provide prevention, treatment and recovery support services. In addition to declaring a Public Health Emergency, Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip issued a standing order for Naloxone, an emergency treatment for opioid overdose. This will ensure that first responders have immediate access to this lifesaving drug to respond to opioid overdoses.

With the rising numbers of overdoses in Broward County, I sponsored a resolution to extend our support for the Governor’s Executive Order declaring a Public Health Emergency for the State of Florida and the Board of County Commissioners unanimously supported this resolution. The Board also supported the efforts of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Justice, and the National City-County Task Force to curtail the overprescribing of opioids with more physician education and better risk assessment of patients. These are a few of the steps that Broward County is taking to ensure that we are doing everything possible to raise awareness, stop drug abuse and save lives.

Proper Flag Disposal

Click to Broward County Flag Disposal Website I was inspired when I heard about a program that the National Association of Counties was doing with the National Flag Foundation and the National Sheriff’s Association. When a flag is worn, tattered, ripped or soiled beyond repair, it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country and should be retired and disposed of properly. As part of the program, residents can now dispose of old, tattered and torn flags at Broward County Government Center locations and various other locations around Broward County. Flags deposited in designated boxes will be collected and disposed of properly and should be folded appropriately before being placed in the box. I am proud to have brought this resource to the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. This program is part of a national campaign to support flag etiquette, ensuring a dignified retirement for our U.S. Flag.

roward County Flag Disposal

Click to Broward County Flag Disposal Website Governmental Center East
115 S Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, 33301
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

Governmental Center West
1 N University Drive
Plantation, 33324
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm

Broward County Library Beach Branch
3250 NE 2 Street
Pompano Beach, 33062

Click to National Flag Foundation Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center
3403 Galt Ocean Drive
Fort Lauderdale, 33308

City of Deerfield Beach
BSO Substation
300 NE 2 Street
Deerfield Beach, 33441

City of Fort Lauderdale
100 N Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, 33301

Click to  National Sheriff’s Association Town of Hillsboro Beach
1210 Hillsboro Mile
Hillsboro Beach, 33062

Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
4501 Ocean Drive
Lauderdale by the Sea, 33308

Community Hurricane Preparedness Event

Click to Eye of the Storm Hurricane season is quickly approaching and preparations are now underway for the “Eye of the Storm” community hurricane preparedness event sponsored by the Florida International University Hurricane Research Center, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Broward County, City of Fort Lauderdale and the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS). This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, May 20th, from 10AM to 5PM at the educational MODS facility located at 401 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale, 33312.

Click to MODS Eye of the Storm event Activities include; interactive demonstrations with tropical weather briefing and hurricane hunters, presentations by hurricane experts, the opportunity to explore the museums storm center while meeting local TV meteorologists, and live theater shows for all ages. Free museum admission is granted for the event and this is a wonderful way to get the entire family to begin preparing for hurricane season which runs June 1st thru November 30th.

Be sure to visit Broward's Hurricane website for preparedness tips.

“Beach Bud “Adoption Event

Click to Broward County “Beach Bud” adoption event On May 20th from 11AM to 4PM, Broward County Animal Care and Adoption will host a special “Beach Bud” adoption event at the Animal Care Adoption Center located at 2400 Southwest 42nd street in Fort Lauderdale. In order to put the spotlight on big dogs that are typically not adopted as quickly as smaller dogs, a promotion of all adoption fees on larger–sized dogs (40lbs or more) will be waived. Additionally, adopters who select a big dog that day will receive a special keepsake “Beach Bud Bag” filled with items to help care for their new pet.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to E-news and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor to serve you.

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Convention Center; Port Deal; E-911 Tech & H2O Conservation

Commentary

Click to April 2017 LaMarca Letter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
May 10, 2017 - In his April 2017 constituent update, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca uses a pictorial roadmap to demonstrate how the Broward Convention Center will evolve into a full blown Exposition Community featuring a Headquarters Hotel surrounded by venues for entertainment, shopping, dining, and recreation - for both visitors and residents, announces the precursor to a lucrative long-term agreement between Port Everglades and Royal Caribbean Cruises, invites constituents to share in a rebate for promoting water conservation to friends and neighbors and details how a newly installed State-of-the-Art Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system will expedite emergency response times countywide - benchmarking one of the largest Emergency 911 consolidations in the nation.

Broward E-911 Runs a Gauntlet

Dispatch Center at Broward Sheriff's Office Communications Center
BSO COMMUNICATIONS DISPATCH CENTER
Office of Regional Communications and Technology
RICK CARPANI WALKS
Ever since the Broward County Office of Regional Communications and Technology (ORCAT) was empowered to install, oversee and govern the consolidated emergency 911 dispatch operated by the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO), the County Board and BSO have been locked in a struggle for control of the County-wide system. However, stakeholders and system advocates were perplexed by the County’s refusal to replace former ORCAT Director and Broward’s primary E-911 system architect Rick Carpani, who resigned in favor of the private sector on November 13, 2015, leaving subordinates and backup personnel to run an untested regional emergency dispatch operated by trainees who were admittedly poorly prepared.

Click Here to Fitch & Associates Click Here to Fitch & Associates While leaving a system necessary to the survival of both victims and responders in the hands of those who lacked the requisite E-911 training and/or experience, on January 5, 2016, the County Board hired consultant Fitch & Associates to examine the system, inspect the dispatch centers (AKA Public Safety Access Points or PSAPs) and identify the changes required to meet stakeholder expectations. Skull-blocked by the County decision to leave the system rudderless for months while awaiting the Consultant’s prognosis, municipalities that supported the consolidation suddenly threatened to withdraw - including Fort Lauderdale.

Bolting Stakeholders

Galt Mile Advisory Board
GALT MILE ADVISORY BOARD
City Commissioner Bruce Roberts
CITY COMMISSIONER BRUCE ROBERTS
On February 18, 2016, Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Bruce Roberts informed the Galt Mile Advisory Board that Fort Lauderdale was considering an independent emergency service. A few months earlier, when City Manager Lee Feldman expressed concern about “delays in dispatching, dispatching to the wrong addresses, dispatching with the wrong information.” a discouraged Roberts added, “I don’t think we can wait too much longer. We were assured we would not have any degradation of services.” Roberts told Galt Mile officials that Feldman had already begun laying the groundwork since the consolidated County plan had repeatedly failed to meet stakeholder expectations.

Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman
FORT LAUD. CITY MANAGER LEE FELDMAN
Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Jay Schwartz
PEMBROKE PINES CITY COMM. JAY SCHWARTZ
In his May 2016 Newsletter, Roberts reported that a team had been formed with “key members from Information Technology Services (ITS), Fire, Police, Human Resources, Public Works and the City Manager’s Office. The team meets weekly to discuss options regarding location, layout, technology needs, hiring and training of 911 staff, and project management.” Roberts said the team planned to hire “a consultant with expertise in developing, managing and operating a 911 Communications Center.” Fort Lauderdale officials claimed they no longer believed that the Broward Board either could - or would - fulfill its promise to build a countywide 911 Emergency System - and they weren’t alone. Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Jay Schwartz and other municipal stakeholders also threatened to cut bait.

Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan
SUNRISE MAYOR MIKE RYAN
Click Here to Broward Chiefs of Police Association Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan had consistently been one of the consolidation effort’s most vocal advocates. Like Roberts and Feldman, Ryan rationalized the steady stream of inaugural-year fiascos as growing pains. When Carpani skated, Ryan and other apprehensive municipal stakeholders began tracking a litany of dispatch failures attributable to the absence of expert oversight.

Click Here to Fire Chiefs of Broward Association Broward Fire and Police Chiefs Associations E911 Joint Statement Ryan bitterly complained that a system responsible for the lives of Broward residents was being mangled by inexperienced departmental subordinates who were unqualified to manage any E911 program, much less one of the largest and most complex emergency response consolidations ever attempted in the United States.

County Administrator Bertha Henry
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR BERTHA HENRY
Stonewalled by the county for months, Ryan was joined by the Broward County Chiefs of Police Association and the Fire Chiefs Association of Broward County, which crafted a Joint Position Statement detailing how County PSAPs were operating “in a vacuum devoid of experience and expertise.” Along with the Broward League of Cities, they collectively sent a letter to the County Commission, which they copied to the local media. They requested that the County Board or the Charter Review Commission create a new County Bureau to manage the Emergency 911 system. Calling it “The Office of the Director of Public Safety Communications,” Ryan insisted that the new agency remain “independent of the county administration’s office.”

With discontent and confusion spreading across the County and Stakeholders jumping ship, County Administrator Bertha Henry embarked on a “Hearts and Minds” tour of Broward municipalities. After plying the Fire and Police Chiefs Associations with assurances of heightened collaboration, improving statistical response and a skybox view of the project, Henry launched her PowerPoint presentation at whistle stops in Oakland Park, Pembroke Pines, West Park, Wilton Manors and other waffling municipalities.

Fitch Phase I

Click to Fitch & Associates E911 Report - Phase I Released on August 29, 2016, the first of two consecutive Fitch and Associates E-911 studies was contracted by County Administrator Bertha Henry to comparatively assess the system’s performance metrics against national best practices. Information was distilled from interviews with County and BSO officials, ORCAT senior management, PSAP site managers and supervisory personnel, surveys submitted by call takers and admittedly unreliable data harvested from erratic legacy systems.

Click Here to Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) Given the longstanding conflict between BSO and the County Commission, a study recommendation to better define stakeholder roles was hardly a revelation. Another suggestion to measure response performance of the PSAPs by collecting public feedback might have proven productive if every high profile screw-up hadn’t first been mulched into media fodder. Among its few contributive insights, the study confirmed that Stakeholder reservations about the County’s E-911 program may have been overstated (not exactly a ringing endorsement).

Click to Broward Emergency 911 In fact, Henry admitted that the issues addressed in the study were long known to stakeholders - and many were proactively corrected prior to the study’s release. Although it packaged rote observations with recommendations that appeared superficial – almost cosmetic, a more definitive analysis promised in the second phase convinced troubled stakeholders to postpone abandoning the system.

Fitch Phase II

Click to Fitch & Associates E911 Report - Phase II In contrast, the second Fitch report identified many of the issues that fueled stakeholder pessimism, and rolled out credible remedies. The Phase II assessment - published on December 22, 2016 - includes observational findings and 21 recommendations in four areas: Technology, Governance and Oversight, Performance Measures, and Effectiveness and Efficiency. When Fitch Phase II was released, raging criticism of the controversial consolidation cooled, as stakeholders anxiously awaited an indication that the County would act on this guidance.

Explaining that the recommendations will require significant organizational and cultural change, the Phase II Executive Summary underscores how carefully planning this change “is key to the System’s ultimate success.” Since the recommended improvements should only be introduced when they can be effectively assimilated, Fitch suggests implementing major changes sequentially rather than simultaneously.

Although the System utilizes emergency medical dispatching (EMD) software – a best practice for 911 centers, it lacks similar programs for fire or law enforcement call types. When BSO finally implements Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD), it should be executed to completion before additional changes are initiated, such as certifying operators for Emergency Police Dispatch (EPD). Each certification area provides structured call processing for the respective discipline. While specialized EFD and EPD certifications are also considered best practices, implementing them in a deliberate and measured manner will help insure that each is layered onto a stable base service.

Tweaking the Technology

computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system The report lists technological pitfalls that muddy any analysis of the system’s shortcomings. The absence of an effective link between the County’s PSAP phone system and Computer-Aided Dispatch system (CAD) impairs any comprehensive evaluation of System performance. Also, County staff is unable to directly access phone and radio system data. In roughly half the calls, an event in the CAD could not be linked to the unique Call Detail Record (CDR) that initiated the incident. The Phase II report states that linking the 911 phone records with the associated CAD incident records is “An absolute priority”.

Click Here to Premier One The report recognizes that many system limitations due to obsolete legacy technology would be resolved by the installation of new software and hardware, such as the PremierOne CAD and PremierOne Mobile systems that were recently installed and discussed by LaMarca. Other snags should be cured when the County dumps the archaic Public Safety Radio System in 2018, and replaces it with a $40 million APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) Project 25 trunked radio system.

APCO Project 25 trunked radio system
APCO PROJECT 25 TRUNKED RADIO SYSTEM
Acting Director Brett Bayag, Office of Regional Communications and Technology
ORCAT ACTING DIRECTOR BRETT BAYAG
In describing the upgraded CAD functionality, ORCAT Acting Director Brett Bayag said “This multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency, and multi-discipline CAD system interfaces with all Broward County Regional Consolidated E-911 systems vital to receiving, processing and implementing rapid response to 911 calls, and will greatly enhance service to people in Broward County during emergency situations.” Bayag leaked some butter, “Over the past three years the project team’s focused efforts included working collaboratively with professionals and experts in the fields of public safety technology, dispatch operations, law enforcement, and fire rescue, all of whom worked tirelessly to implement this new state-of-the-art system.” According to Fitch, Bayag’s “Kumbaya” working relationship is somewhat overstated, as public safety officials were often omitted from the loop.

Cooler Heads and Best Practices

Under “Governance and Oversight”, Phase II seeks to remedy the ongoing slugfest between ORCAT and BSO for control of the system. Since “Low levels of trust exist among major stakeholders,” the report recommends that “Operational Oversight (by BSO) and System Governance (by the County) should be redefined to strengthen the role of end-users,” referring to public safety officials whose input had been marginalized by the two Big Dogs.

Mobile Data Terminal (MDT)
MOBILE DATA TERMINAL (MDT)
Fitch disparages how the County commonly usurps operational decisions that should instead be determined by public safety officials. It cites the need to better balance “the logistical concerns of the Operator (BSO), and the financial and system governance responsibilities of Broward County.” To more productively use the airways, the report also recommends a reduction in radio traffic by both fire/EMS and law enforcement units that fail to effectively utilize mobile data terminals (MDTs) and mobile computing devices (MCDs).

Click Here to Apco International While the system is capable of closest unit response to life-threatening emergencies, which was demanded by Broward voters in 2002, response was still dictated by jurisdiction. Seemingly a holdover from when each of Broward’s eleven disjointed dispatch systems placed a higher priority on turf protection than on saving lives, officials in Plantation, Fort Lauderdale and Miramar have since expressed trepidations about subsidizing adjacent municipalities. From 2012 to 2014, Sunrise, Tamarac, Davie, North Lauderdale and Lauderhill used vehicle locaters in each of their fire-rescue fleets to dispatch the closest unit anywhere within the five cities. It worked like a charm.

Although Broward complied with a mandate to fund first unit response infrastructure, the charter doesn’t specifically require implementation, a semantic loophole exploited by foot-draggers. Fitch concluded that this had to go. Instead, a Phase II no-brainer directed fire-rescue agencies to develop, approve and implement countywide nearest unit response protocols irrespective of municipal boundaries.

Click Here to Broward Sheriff’s Office E-911 Budget This second report didn’t endear Fitch to system operator BSO. Blowing off a BSO request for an additional $2.3 million to hire more staff, Fitch retorts “In total, the current funding of the system is sufficient. There should be no need for further overall funding.” In fact, they consider BSO overstaffed in call taker and Fire Assignment positions. In stating “recommendations to increase resources in certain areas are balanced by recommendations intended to improve the overall efficiency of the System,” Fitch exhorts BSO to work smarter.

Click Here to Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) Click Here to Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) For example, BSO dispatchers filed a class action grievance over excessive mandatory overtime last August, as they are routinely forced to work three or four additional hours each day. The grievance states “BSO has failed to staff the communications operator’s classification, causing an unreasonable amount of mandatory overtime which is negatively affecting their professional and personal lives.” Fitch admonishes BSO that filling vacant positions expeditiously would reduce excessive mandatory overtime that could alternatively be used to maintain full staffing.

Click Here to Coral Springs Click Here to Plantation County call centers in Coconut Creek, Sunrise and Pembroke Pines service the North, central and South Broward regions. Except for Coral Springs and Plantation, which fund in-house dispatch services, Broward’s remaining 29 municipalities participate in the consolidated County system. The report prompts the County to warehouse revenues sufficient to complement the three PSAPs with two additional 911 facilities in the future.

Pieces Fall into Place

As the County began implementing actionable Phase II recommendations and response times plummeted, so did stakeholder concerns. In addition to a new system-wide Incident Management Tracking System and Quality Improvement Program, a tidal wave of new technology streamlined access to accurate performance data. The resulting scorecard meets best practices benchmarks and exceeds average nationwide response times.

While stakeholders haven’t yet recaptured their initial enthusiasm, the complaints have abated, and have often been replaced by accolades. For medical calls, EMDs now serve as first responders. Specially trained operators are certified to relay medical instructions in life-threatening situations, including CPR, relief from respiratory distress, labor/delivery protocols, stroke and seizure triage, and other life-saving medical interventions.

Originally, 911 calls routed to any of the three PSAPs could only be fielded by that center’s operators, whose geographical training was limited to the surrounding area. After ramping up a countywide geographical training program, the network installed an automatic call distributor. All incoming calls are now accessible to each of the three regional centers on a single queue, enabling operators in every PSAP to take calls from anywhere in Broward on a first in – first answered basis. This enhancement expedites response times while buffering the impact of regional staffing shortfalls.

Click Here to fire station alerting (FSA) system Fire Alert System The County used a $346,828 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to install a single site 700 MHz Overlay System that will strengthen back-up capability in the event that the primary system becomes impaired or overloaded and strengthen interoperable communications capabilities with other existing 700MHz interoperable systems.

Click Here to National Academy of Emergency Dispatch Click Here to International Academies of Emergency Dispatch A new fire station alerting (FSA) system is interfaced with the new CAD system, while an upgraded Alphanumeric Paging System (APS) provides fire rescue and other personnel alphanumeric pages of emergency dispatch calls for service. The System will be fully upgraded by next year, when the $40 million state-of-the-art radio system replaces the 30-year-old inherited clunker. On May 23, 2017, the Broward Board cut a deal with Motorola to install a new 700 MHz APCO Project 25 Phase II system (the most advanced system of its kind). In the interim, County staff will specify the final tower sites in Hollywood, Tamarac and Parkland.

Click Here to Control Communications Unfortunately, plans to install a new Local Government Radio System were delayed when Davie contractor and low-bidder Control Communications, Inc. – a dealer for Motorola – declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy before completing the project. The company’s cash-flow dilemma was fueled by the Broward Aviation Department’s failure to timely perform its part while installing of a new aviation system in Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport. The County has since embarked on a procurement process with a Motorola-authorized channel partner qualified to successfully complete the project by 2018.

Click Here to Accredited Center of Excellence Click Here to Commission on Law Enforcement Agencies The sloppy BSO training regimen that triggered the initial high-profile gaffes is now fully accredited – certified by the Commission on Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) and Project 33 certification from the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO). Medical dispatch is also certified for EMD by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), the gold standard for emergency dispatch centers and public safety agencies. Comparable certifications for fire-rescue (EFD) and law enforcement (EPD) are undergoing the arduous multi-year process required for Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE).

The beefed up training and improved employee discipline have immeasurably increased the productivity of caller interviews, enabling dispatch to better equip response units with accurate addresses, reliable descriptions of suspects and/or victims and otherwise relevant incident data. Bound by new management protocols that meet national best practice standards, supervisory personnel insure that the system exceeds a County requirement that 90% of the calls are answered within 10 seconds, after which the data is crunched and seamlessly forwarded to first responders.

Watch and Wait...

First Responders in Broward Fmergency 911 The steady stream of eerie blunders that reliably provided local media with a ghoulish libretto of slapstick anecdotes has dried up. The response times in Broward County are consistently among the fastest in the U.S. In short, if forced to rely on Emergency 911 in Broward County, your chances of getting out with your skin have never been better.

Smack Down That said, stakeholders are closely monitoring how ORCAT and BSO adhere to the Fitch script, which could determine if Broward’s E-911 Dispatch remains among the nation’s most effective emergency response networks. Specifically, stakeholders are leery about whether the County and BSO can refrain from reviving the smack down over control of the system, a conflict which Fitch blames for undermining their mutual objectives and alienating stakeholders – and a fast track back to square one. For Commissioner LaMarca’s April 2017 constituent newsletter, read on... – [editor]

 

April 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your county commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County.

Convention Center Expansion and Headquarters Hotel Update

The Broward County Commission initiated a landmark project to expand the existing Convention Center facility and add an on-site headquarters hotel. The vision for the project is to expand the Convention Center by 300,000 square feet and add a headquarters hotel with at least 800 rooms that takes full advantage of the services around this great location. The planned expansion and new on-site hotel at Broward County's Convention Center is expected to bring an immediate positive economic impact not only to the local community, but also throughout the state. This expansion can generate larger events, more meeting attendees and increased overnight stays. With larger events and more traveling conferences, there is also an expected increase in full time jobs available for residents of Broward County as well as increases in local and state tax revenues.

Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center Hotel Rendering

Broward County’s longtime vision of expansion and an on-site convention headquarters hotel will become a reality in the near future and while the current 600,000 square foot facility is already the core of a successful meeting and convention location, future growth is on the horizon to accommodate the numerous inquiries and needs of larger events. The economic impact analysis of the Convention Center expansion reported over 47 more events annually, an estimated 50 percent increase in new attendees, and more than 115,000 new annual overnight stays. The report also stated that new annual spending of $83.1 million (in 2013 dollars) can be made by delegates, exhibitors and event organizers, providing 721 permanent full-time jobs, more than $96 million in future annual tax revenues (in present value); more than $70 million to the State of Florida, $21 million to Broward County and $1.1 billion in recurring economic impacts over a 20-year period.

Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center Hotel Rendering

Recently, the Board of County Commissioners (Board) was presented with the conceptual design for the Convention Center Expansion and Headquarters Hotel Project. These conceptual drawings are based on feedback from the Board, the City of Fort Lauderdale and the County team (staff and consultants). Many of the features were discussed and incorporated in the conceptual design. These features include: creating a synergy between the meeting and event facilities of the Hotel and Convention Center expansion, connecting to existing facilities, adding a new event courtyard to create a center of activity on the Port Everglades waterfront, and maximizing economic return through flexibility. The location of the Hotel was also very important, therefore locating the Hotel on the current site of the Portside Yachting Center was critical to connect directly into the existing Convention Center. The County Commission unanimously agreed to acquire the Portside Yachting Center property to maximize the overall project area.

Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center Hotel Rendering

This creates a more efficient and sensible traffic flow and maximizes views of the waterfront for both the community and guests. Also included in the design is the creation of an iconic place that utilizes a campus approach and connects all facilities with a public open space system for community recreation and events and creates a pedestrian friendly environment that can be supported by retail and entertainment venues. Additionally, in order to encourage public transportation and significantly improve traffic flow, the location of the intermodal space will be located at the front door providing space for traffic to be on the property instead of on the street, efficient drop off and pick up access, and easy access to parking as well as the street.

Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center Hotel Rendering

An updated construction schedule was also provided that gives the community a good idea of the major components of the project. Ground breaking is expected for late fall 2018 and the entire facility is expected to be open to the public by late fall 2021. As your Broward County Commissioner, this is a project that I have been extremely excited about and I’m looking forward to seeing it come to fruition. This expansion and new headquarters hotel will not only create an iconic destination in Broward County, it will also provide residents with a beautiful public destination right in our own back yard.

Port Everglades Update

Click to  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Port Everglades and Royal Caribbean Cruises The Board of County Commissioners recently approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Broward County’s Port Everglades and Royal Caribbean Cruises. The MOU provides the framework for a new long-term business agreement that includes complete, customized renovations of Port Everglades’s Cruise Terminal 25, which is slated for completion by October 31, 2018. The MOU allows negotiations to move forward toward a final agreement that must be approved by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. The new agreement will be effective on January 1, 2018, and expire on Sept. 30, 2026 with options to extend the agreement for four years, followed by another five years. Royal Caribbean Cruises also announced that the newest Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Edge will be in Port Everglades beginning in the fall of 2018

State-of-the-Art 911 Technology

Click to Motorola Solutions' PremierOneTM Computer-Aided Dispatch Website Broward County’s Regional 911 Consolidated Dispatch Centers are now using Motorola Solutions' PremierOneTM Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to more rapidly and accurately communicate critical information with police, fire and other first responders to help residents, business owners and visitors during emergencies. The new CAD system is one element of Broward County's $113 million investment in emergency communication operations and system improvements, which have already resulted in Broward County having one of the fastest emergency response times in the nation.

Broward 911 Operator using PremierOne CAD
BROWARD 911 OPERATOR USING PREMIERONE CAD
Nearly 20,000 public safety professionals are impacted by this rollout along with Broward's residents. This is the largest PremierOne CAD cutover in the United States, involving 150 workstations, 31 interfaces and 3500 mobile units. Dispatchers use PremierOne CAD to capture and quickly communicate critical information with first responders. While on route to an incident, the new system gives first responders access to prioritize mission-critical information such as the nature of the emergency, and possible hazards or conditions at the location. 911 customers are encouraged to provide feedback on their call experience through an online feedback form, or by calling the Broward County Call Center at 311. Feedback will be used to enhance the 911 experience for future users.

April is Water Conservation Month

Click to Broward Water Partnership program Broward Water Partnerships is educating residents about the importance of saving water with an effort to reward those whose friends participate in a rebate program. Anyone who has already received a rebate for trading a water-guzzling toilet for a WaterSense® High Efficiency model or is in the application process, can win an extra $100 by convincing five friends to take advantage of the program. All rebates must be processed and completed by April 30, 2017.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can stay connected by subscribing to E-news and social media sites. Sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Beach Photo; Port Update; FLL Growth; Green Award & Cat Fix

Click to New Broward TNC Law Web Info
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca Supports Broward's Revenue Sources
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
April 6, 2017 - In his March / April 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca describes how a staged photo shoot of our recently widened beach will carry multiple messages to the State and Federal agencies charged with funding beach projects, including an expression of appreciation, a polite “past due” notice and a cordial reminder that their investment will yield a whopping tourism dividend, shield $billions in upland properties from storm surge, and save lives.

LaMarca also details how NEPA surveys mandated by the proposed navigational improvements at Port Everglades will safeguard the environment; notes how a Port pilot program to enhance turn times expedited its first shipment of perishable cargo (Chinese snow peas en route to Europe); welcomes Silversea Cruises' newest luxury cruise ship – Silver Muse – to its new winter homeport; explains how thousands of new parking spaces at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will accommodate FLL’s unprecedented growth in passenger traffic and a worldwide proliferation of destination sites; applauds recognition of Broward's green communities by “Keep America Beautiful”; and announces the expansion of an Animal Care and Adoption Division web portal that facilitates spay and neuter services for “community cats”.

FLL Busts a Move

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
FORT LAUD-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
LaMarca's March / April 2017 newsletter spins the white-hot growth of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). While FLL has always been one of the county's most productive economic enginesc, its January 2017 stats may foreshadow a banner year.

Airport Shooter Esteban Santiago
AIRPORT SHOOTER ESTEBAN SANTIAGO
In January 2016, 2,572,187 passengers arrived at or departed from FLL. In reporting this January’s 9.4% increase in total traffic over last January, LaMarca asserts that the 2,803,913 passengers who used the airport this January did so despite a murderous January 6 killing spree by 26-year old Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago that sent 6 people to the hospital and 5 to the morgue. While such brutal acts ordinarily deter air travel, the combination of FLL’s new services, new flights, new infrastructure and a new aviation director seems to have offset the incident’s impact.

Click to Emirates Airlines Featuring one of the world’s most formidable fleets, Emirates Airlines commenced a new daily service between FLL and Dubai International Airport on December 15, 2016. Fort Lauderdale was the 11th city in the United States serviced by Emirates Airlines and January was the carrier's first full month of service at FLL. The Emirates inbound load factor was 88 percent, averaging 234 inbound passengers and 197 departing passengers - an outbound load factor of slightly less at 74 percent.

Click to Azul Airlines Despite the ominous Zika virus, a recent outbreak of Yellow Fever and the unstable political / economic climate in Brazil, low cost Brazilian carrier Azul Airlines carried an average of 235 passengers in both directions for January, filling an impressive 87 percent of their seats. In fact, five of FLL’s ten busiest carriers saw double digit growth in January, topped by Norwegian’s huge 61% increase, Allegiant Air’s 24% growth and JetBlue Airways’ 19% jump in traffic. Passenger traffic on Spirit Airlines was up 16% and United Airlines jumped 12%.

On the Down Side

Click to Air Canada Click to Air Canada Canadian tourism to the region was adversely impacted by the exchange rate (1 Canadian dollar = $.75 US). While savvy Canadian snowbirds often segregate a float for their US dollars, most visiting tourists are getting clobbered. While load factors were in a healthy 80 percent range for the month, seat capacity dropped 9 percent – commensurate with traffic. Compared to last January, passenger traffic on Air Canada dropped by 4% - from 92,560 to 89,026. Westjet and Sunwing Airlines took much larger hits, with respective declines of 22% and 19%.

Click to JetBlue Hoping to exploit the first commercial flights to Cuba in more than 50 years, JetBlue, Silver, Southwest and Spirit Airlines offered flights to nine Cuban cities by the end of 2016. Since the anticipated monsoon of visitors to Cuba never materialized, carriers adjusted to the disappointing passenger demand. While maintaining the same number of daily flights to Cuba, JetBlue is using smaller aircraft. Beginning in May, the airline will trim their available seats by 25 percent.

Click to Silver Airways Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Silver Airways has reduced service to Cuba from an average of four daily departures to three and will go to two in August. Silver is re-evaluating its service, and has stopped selling Cuba flights in September. If Silver pulls out of Cuba, FLL will be down to 12 daily departures by September. However, FLL will still feature more flights to Cuba than any other airport, as competing Miami International Airport will only offer 11 daily departures in September.

FLL CEO Mark Gale hits the Ground Running

FLL CEO Mark Gale
FLL CEO MARK GALE
Last year, FLL CEO Mark Gale replaced retiring Kent George as the airport’s director of aviation. Looking ahead, Gale said “Based on projections we’ve done, at annual growth rates of between 4 - 7 percent the airport is poised to welcome 38 million passengers by 2020.” Gale characterized his growth estimate as “conservative”.

The new South Runway
THE NEW SOUTH RUNWAY
The short-term traffic outlook is even rosier. Based on scheduled available seats, total FLL traffic should increase by 6% in February, followed by monthly growth of 15% through August. FLL is currently ranked the 21st busiest airport in the U.S. To insure the airport’s continued growth, Gale said “We must balance four major components: airspace, airfield, terminals and landside facilities including roadways and parking.” Explaining how “The new South Runway addressed some of the airfield concerns,” Gale expects to now focus on the terminals, roadways, garages and “ultimately on how the airport connects to the outside world.”

Click to Philadelphia International Airport If Gale delivers, FLL could soon move up the chain, and elbow its way past LaGuardia Airport - currently the 20th busiest airport in the country. From Gale’s perspective, surpassing LaGuardia could be a stepping stone. Click to LaGuardia Airport Before taking the Broward job, Gale retired from Philadelphia International Airport after nearly 28 years, seven as its CEO. Since Philadelphia International Airport is currently ranked number 19, outshining his old stomping ground would earmark his career with a storybook milestone while pumping additional $millions into county coffers. FLL's continued growth should resonate with Broward taxpayers, since Enterprise Fund windfalls help cap the County’s Millage. For the rest of LaMarca’s March / April 2017 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

March / April 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your county commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County.

Beautiful Broward Beaches Thank You Photo Shoot

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca Watches Beach Renourishment
COMMISSIONERS ROBERTS, LAMARCA AND BROWN
FROM FORT LAUDERDALE, BROWARD COUNTY AND LBTS
With the recent completion of the Segment II Beach Renourishment and Shore Protection Project in January, many visitors and residents are appreciative of the investment and commitment from local, state and federal legislative partners. In early March, we brought together thankful residents from Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Pompano Beach including visitors, business owners, hospitality industry representatives and community leaders, for an aerial photo using drone photography. The photo was sent to show our appreciation and encourage continued dedicated funding to preserve and restore our beaches, save the shoreline and protect our environment.

Beautiful Broward Beaches Thank You Photo Shoot
Beautiful Broward Beaches Thank You Photo Shoot

Click to Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association WebsiteClick to Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association Website The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to reimburse approximately $30 million, more than half the cost of the overall project. The State of Florida has paid $11.4 million and Broward County and the three cities in the Segment II project will split the remaining 25 percent of the cost (67 percent county & 33 percent cities.) It's estimated that more than 60 percent of Broward County's visitors come to the beach during their stay, spending an estimated $13 billion dollars annually. Broward's award winning beaches enhance the quality of life for residents and are vital to our robust tourism industry. Watch this video to learn more about Broward County’s beach renourishment efforts.

Port Everglades Update

Click to Army Corps of Engineers Meeting Info Click to NEPA Process The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently held two public meetings to update and revise the analysis conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the Port Everglades Navigation Improvement Projects. Broward County's Port Everglades supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ ongoing efforts to both continue additional surveys as part of the environmental process and to keep the public informed. The studies will not impede the process or delay the project and are consistent with the County's commitment to environmental stewardship. The additional studies will be conducted during the preconstruction, engineering and design phase and will continue into 2018. This project is critical to the community and the region.

Click to shipment of perishable cargo Info Click to Customized Brokers In other Port related news, Broward County's Port Everglades was the port of entry for the first shipment of perishable cargo participating in a new program, which was developed in partnership with Crowley Maritime Corp's Miami-based subsidiary Customized Brokers and Miami International Airport. The program allows Central American produce to reach European markets faster by expediting turn times, and expanding customers' distribution.

Silversea Cruises' newest cruise ship Silver Muse
SILVERSEA CRUISES' NEWEST CRUISE SHIP SILVER MUSE
Additionally, Port Everglades will welcome Silversea Cruises' newest cruise ship Silver Muse October 12-13, 2017, and Port Everglades will continue to serve as the ultra-luxury line's winter homeport for the next two years according to a new agreement between Silversea and the Broward County Commission. The 596-passenger Silver Muse is scheduled for five sailings next year in addition to voyages on Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper and Silver Wind also sailing from Port Everglades.

For more news and information, please visit PortEverglades.net.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Update

The Cypress Garage at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
THE CYPRESS GARAGE AT FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
On May 15, 2017, Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) will add 3,100 parking spaces for public parking on the top three floors of the Cypress Garage, adjacent to Terminal 1. In order to support Terminal 1’s new Concourse A, that is scheduled to open in June of this year, parking will open to the public on the seventh, eighth and ninth floors of the Cypress Garage. Features such as a parking guidance system will be installed in the future. Daily garage parking is $15. If you pay by the hour, the cost is $3 with the first 20 minutes free. In 2016, FLL served more than 29 million travelers, a 28 percent increase in traffic. This passenger growth is expected to continue for several years due to the many expansion projects underway.

Click to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Growth Info FLL is one of the fastest-growing airports in the U.S. Based on 2015 passenger traffic, FLL ranked 21st in the U.S. This year is also off to a great start as passenger traffic continues to grow. In January, total traffic was up 9.4 percent over last January. Domestic traffic was up 7.9 percent. International was up by 14.9 percent. Despite an estimated 500 canceled flights on January 6th and 7th, January was the 34th consecutive month of growth in total traffic. It was FLL’s 6th consecutive month of double digit international growth.

Click to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport New Destinations Many new services are expected at FLL in 2017. Jet Blue is expected to add flights to Atlanta and Long Beach in May. Allegiant added flights to Cleveland in February and is expected to add Louisville and Belleview, Illinois in May. Southwest began flights to Newark in March and will add Orlando and Washington Dulles in June. The much anticipated launch of their new international service to Cancun, Montego Bay, Belize, and Grand Cayman, will also be added in June. Spirit is expected to add flights to Hartford and Pittsburgh in June. Additionally, British Airways will add flights to London Gatwick in July and Norwegian Air Shuttle is expected to add flights to Barcelona in August.

For more news and information, please visit Broward.Org/Airport

Broward County Earns Award

Click to Keep Broward Beautiful Click to Keep America Beautiful The County's Keep Broward Beautiful program received the President's Circle Award for 2016 from Keep America Beautiful. The award recognizes exemplary performance by certified affiliates of the national nonprofit for creating clean, green and beautiful communities. In qualifying for a President's Circle Award, Keep Broward Beautiful has met Keep America Beautiful's standards of merit by conducting an annual Community Appearance Index, calculating the affiliate's cost/benefit ratio, and administering activities in the areas of litter abatement, improving recycling rates, and beautifying Broward County's communities. With the assistance and commitment of volunteers, we continue to keep Broward beautiful.

BrowardPetFix Expands

Click to Broward Pet Fix Web Portal Broward County’s Animal Care and Adoption Division expanded the online WebPortal to now include a spay/neuter voucher program for unowned feral and community cats. The WebPortal allows colony caregivers or residents who care for unowned cats the ability to go online and create a profile to add information about each cat and then apply for a voucher to have the cat(s) sterilized. Click to Broward Pet Fix Web Portal The addition of this more convenient and easy way to receive spay and neuter services for community cats helps residents and the cats they care for.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can stay connected by subscribing to E-news and social media sites. Sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor to serve you.

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Click Here to Fitch & Associates March 18, 2017 - In 2005, Broward County implemented a plan entitled “A Way Home: Broward County, Florida’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness”. Blending science and urban legend with untested theories about the root causes of homelessness, the plan presupposed that sane, well-adjusted people lived in homes. It therefore stood to reason that homeless people are afflicted with a condition that somehow undermines this instinct. They were either short-changed by Mother Nature, battered by society, emotionally disturbed, hopelessly addicted to drugs and/or alcohol or plagued by family issues.

Plan authors inferred that housing homeless persons stricken with these medical or social impediments was a waste of resources, as they would invariably return to the streets unless first divested of these “burdens”. Supported by the County’s 31 municipalities and mirrored in jurisdictions across the country, the Broward plan was loosely based on cultivating “housing readiness” in people experiencing homelessness.

Homeless persons would have to earn an opportunity to leave the streets by meeting a series of benchmarks drawn from an initial diagnostic assessment, stereotypical sociopathy and caseworker impressions. Medical problems (including addiction) would have to be cured or under treatment, family issues would have to be addressed in therapy sessions while mandated seminars would promote job skills, hygiene and teach rudimentary home budgeting.

Click Here to Broward Partnership for the Homeless Initiative To qualify for housing, homeless candidates who lacked the funds for a hot dog would have to somehow travel between various County locations to undergo an extended period of treatment and counseling and attend classes while being bounced from shelter to shelter and living on the streets. Not exactly a cakewalk. Although program proponents claimed that the exigent prerequisites enhanced each candidate’s prospects for success, the vast majority of candidates skated soon after confronting this daunting regimen. Enigmatically, the program packaged impractical and inconsistent metrics in a state-of-the-art envelope.

Homeless Assistance Center
HOMELESS ASSISTANCE CENTER
The Broward Partnership for the Homeless Initiative (BPHI) maintains a 230-bed Homeless Assistance Center on its Huizenga Campus in Fort Lauderdale. This brick and mortar flagship ranks among the top homeless intervention facilities in the State of Florida, annually providing short-term housing, Merrie Melodies health care, education and solution based services to more than 1,300 men, women and families with children.

In contrast, the conceptual basis for Broward’s homeless program featured the scientific grounding of a “Merrie Melodies” Saturday morning cartoon. Notwithstanding its limited value as a safety net, the program’s overall impact on homelessness was negligible.

Feds Fix a Broken Law

Click to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act web page In 2009, Congress passed a series of laws that precipitated a nationwide sea change in local homeless assistance programs. On February 17, 2009, former President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which included $1.5 billion for a Homelessness Prevention Fund. Entitled the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), funding is provided to state housing authorities & related agencies, and then distributed to cities, counties, local charities and non-profits. Local grantee jurisdictions include Broward County and the Cities of Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Sunrise and Hollywood.

Click to Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program HPRP triggered a 180-degree reversal in how jurisdictions would address homeless populations. Instead of linking eligibility for housing candidates to their prospects for a successful recovery, this program prioritizes eligibility for homeless veterans and the chronic homeless most “at risk” for dying on the street. The new protocol cuts to the chase - and places homeless people in homes - a safe environment - prior to helping them reassert control over their lives. Leery Homeless Advocates who initially disparaged the program have since become staunch supporters.

Click Here to Mayors Challenge Using Federal Recovery Act (ARRA) resources to house the homeless, Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Programs in Broward and Fort Lauderdale also assist individuals and families facing eviction, foreclosure, or otherwise at risk for becoming homeless. Intended to target “individuals and families who would be homeless but for this assistance,” program funds are applicable to short-term (up to 3 months) or medium-term (up to 18 months) rental deficits, vouchers for motels or hotels, housing relocation and stabilization services. Once a beneficiary is off the street, the program mitigates traditional recovery pitfalls - offering assistance with mediation & legal representation, credit counseling, security or utility deposits, utility payments, moving costs, and case management. If a beneficiary finds work or receives benefits, 30 percent of the income is allocated to program expenses.

Enter: The HEARTH Act

Click to McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act On May 20, 2009, the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act became law, consolidating three separate homeless assistance programs administered by HUD under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act into a single grant program. The first Congressional attempt to directly address homelessness was the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, a hodgepodge of 15 different programs that was subsequently amended in conjunction with the evolution of new research. The HEARTH Act codifies in law the Continuum of Care (CoC) planning process, which facilitates HUD’s assistance to the homeless by providing greater coordination in responding to their needs. The regulations that currently expedite housing placement in Broward and Fort Lauderdale were promulgated by HUD - as mandated in The HEARTH Act.

Click Here to Mayors Challenge Click Here to Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act Financial aid that flows from the new federal programs is meant to be immediate, as expenditure deadlines are defined in the legislation. For example, if local homeless assistance programs want federal Homelessness Prevention (HPRP) resources, they must submit plans to expeditiously house homeless individuals and families, and assist those at risk for losing their homes. Once the HPRP grant agreement is signed by HUD, grantees must minimally disburse 60 percent of the stimulus funds within the first two years and the entire allocation within three years.

Click to 'A Way Home' To seamlessly access the federal feedbag dedicated to this new strategy, in 2013, Broward County finally revised “A Way Home: Broward County, Florida’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness”, replacing the housing eligibility gauntlet with a “Housing First” approach. Using Federal Grant funds, the County began by placing the chronic homeless in Housing Authority apartments, along with furnishings, amenities and regular visits by case workers. Federal funds awarded to similar programs in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Sunrise and other Broward municipalities have also housed scores of homeless individuals, families, veterans, single mothers or fathers (including pregnant women), people with mental, emotional and physical disabilities, substance abuse disorders, and those multiply afflicted.

The High Cost of Doing Nothing

Click to McKinney-Ventohud Exchange For decades, Congressional skeptics shared the belief that society has no moral obligation to care for those who fall behind, relegating attempts to address homelessness to ancillary provisions in legislation targeting mental health issues, veterans’ assistance, the disabled, substance abuse, and other conditions for which homelessness is a shared symptom. The 2009 legislation dramatically cleared this hurdle when unimpeachable studies repeatedly demonstrated that maintaining a bare-bones shelter system or doing nothing costs taxpayers significantly more than housing the homeless.

Click to Central Florida Commission on Homelessness 2014 Study A May 2014 study funded by the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness tracked public expenses accrued by local chronic homeless individuals, ranging from criminalization and incarceration costs to medical treatment and uninsured emergency room intakes. In contrast with the average $31,065 annual public cost for each chronic homeless person living on the street, Florida taxpayers would only pay $10,051 to give that person permanent housing with case management services, job training and health care - a 68% savings. A 2013 similar study in Fort Lyon, Colorado clocked a 62% taxpayer savings. A 2014 analysis by researchers from the University of North Carolina proved that housing homeless individuals in Charlotte would save taxpayers 60%.

President Nan Roman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness
HOMELESS ADVOCATE NAN ROMAN
Click Here to Fitch & Associates As observed by Nan Roman, president of the Washington-based National Alliance to End Homelessness, “Research shows that over 85 percent who receive permanent supported housing stay housed - and numerous published studies indicate the savings in health care and corrections costs.” Forced to concede that their preferred do-nothing policies were trebling the tax bite on constituents, hardline Congressional opponents relented, and backed the new laws.

Housing Our Vets

First Lady Michelle Obama announces Mayors Challenge
FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA ANNOUNCES MAYORS CHALLENGE
In 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama tested the policy’s effectiveness by launching the “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness”. While Phoenix and some towns had previously housed veterans considered chronic homeless, no city had done so for all its homeless veterans.

Click Here to Mayors Challenge On January 2, 2015, New Orleans became the nation’s first city to achieve that goal. America’s fourth largest city, Houston, Texas, home to the nation’s largest population of veterans (300,000), housed its 3,650 of its 300,000 veterans by June 2015, ending veteran homelessness. A month later, Las Cruces became the first city in New Mexico to end veteran homelessness. On Veterans Day, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that his state was the first in the nation to house all of its homeless veterans, along with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Schenectady, New York, Las Vegas, Nevada, Syracuse, New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico. A week later, Binghamton, New York also housed its homeless veterans.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
VA GOVERNOR TERRY MCAULIFFE
Click Here to Mayors Challenge In February of 2016, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy announced that his state was the second in the nation to end veteran homelessness in all cities and counties. By May 13, 2016, San Antonio, Texas housed all its homeless veterans followed by Long Island, New York in June. On November 11, 2016 – Veterans Day – Governor Jack Markell announced that Delaware had become the third state to functionally end veteran homelessness. In the Sunshine State, Volusia and Flagler Counties and Daytona Beach also capped veteran homelessness. Leveraging streamlined HUD resources, 38 cities and counties have successfully housed their homeless veteran populations in less than two years – and announced plans to house their chronic homeless. A similar number of jurisdictions anticipate housing their homeless veterans by next year.

Broward Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) Board
BROWARD CONTINUUM OF CARE (COC) BOARD
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy
CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR DAN MALLOY
In 2015, Broward housed every one of its 577 homeless veterans who aspired to forgo life on the street. According to Broward’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Board, which coordinates funding for homeless services, if the $21.6 million annually allocated to countywide homeless services were increased by $11.8 million, Broward’s remaining homeless could also be housed. The CoC Board proposed that the County and its 31 municipalities each fund 50% of the incremental expense to reduce homelessness to “functional zero” (Fort Lauderdale’s annual share would be $562,753).

Fort Lauderdale Homeless Veterans
FORT LAUDERDALE HOMELESS VETERANS
Functional Zero is a bureaucratic benchmark that indicates sufficient resources to relocate any homeless people – whether still in shelters, on the street or elsewhere in a jurisdiction – into housing within 30 to 90 days – unless they refuse. In Broward, about 350 chronic homeless – including some 50 veterans – have declined participation, a majority of whom are mentally ill, substance-addicted, or both. Since the CoC funding estimates exclude significant resources from religion-based and civic non-profits committed to eliminating homelessness, their ultimate inclusion should reduce the projected fiscal burden on City and County taxpayers.

Spending Race to Block Pork

Click to Housing First Program
Florida Senator David Simmons
FLORIDA SENATOR DAVID SIMMONS
The statewide success of these programs reached Tallahassee in 2016, when Florida Senator David Simmons (R – Seminole) filed Senate Bill 1534 during the last legislative session. Following its approval by every member of each vetting committee, and its unanimous approval in both the House and Senate, the bill was enacted on July 1, 2016.

While endorsing the rapid rehousing and continuum of care strategies detailed in federal law, the Florida Statute’s two-fold rationale for expediting the delivery of resources varies slightly from its federal counterpart. While seeking to quickly move individuals and families off the street and into homes, the bill also imparts how the expedited spending timetable precludes beneficiaries from developing “a dependency on the assistance,” an unusual deterrent since the “Chronic Homeless” who represent an estimated 15 to 18 percent of the legislation’s beneficiaries will by definition require intermittent long-term support.

Congress had another motive for the dwarfed spending windows. While the Recovery Act and HEARTH were gathering momentum on the Hill, lawmakers debated how to best deter local governments from warehousing grant money in budgetary slush funds, which could later be reallocated to new vending machines in the Cattleman’s Arena food court, or the Annual Tapeworm festival.

 


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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Beach Fix; Homeless; Sea Turtles; Save H2O & Library Fast Lane

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca January 2016 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
February 12, 2017 - In his January / February 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca thanks officials in the County’s Natural Resources Division for their relentless pursuit of the Segment II beach renourishment, welcomes $8 million awarded by HUD to fund 19 projects for which ending homelessness is a shared objective, observes that the 2016 Sea Turtle nesting season was earmarked by an unprecedented number of Loggerhead, Green Turtle and Leatherback nests, credits a collaboration among stakeholders in the Broward Water Partnership with new conservation measures, and applauds “Fast Lane”, an expedited information check-out feature of the Broward Library’s new service model.

Double-Edged Nesting Stats

Click to FWC Marine Turtle Web Site Although applauded by LaMarca, the record 3,567 nests that peppered the Broward coast during the last nesting season doesn't signify a recovery of Florida’s five species of Sea Turtle, nor the three federally protected species that predominate Broward’s nesting census. The unprecedented 2016 total is due to an explosive jump in Loggerhead nests, which exceeded last year’s count by 659 events, and its 5-year annual Broward average by 448 nests. Nesting events tallied by Nova students for the other two species - Leatherbacks and Green Turtles, actually declined compared to 2015, tumbling below their 5-year averages.

Leatherback Sea Turtle on Pompano Beach
LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE ON POMPANO BEACH
While the 27 Leatherback nests were fewer than last year's total of 35, and slightly less than the 33 averaged seasonally in Broward County for the past 5 years, the 137 Green Turtle nests were 151 less than their 288-nest 5-year average, and 326 fewer than their near record 463-nest 2015 output. Sea Turtle Gurus at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) claim that the declines were expected since annual fluctuations are consistent with the cyclic nesting patterns exhibited by Sea Turtles. FWC is optimistic, as long-term trends show an exponential increase in nest numbers since monitoring began.

FWC spokesperson Katie Purcell
FWC SPOKESPERSON
KATIE PURCELL
Too Hot for Sea Turtle Nests
TOO HOT FOR SEA TURTLE NESTS
Local Sea Turtle aficionados are less optimistic than FWC, expressing confusion about the catastrophic failure rate suffered by all three nesting species. While 85 – 90 percent of the Sea Turtle eggs ordinarily yield live hatchlings, only 40% of the eggs hatched in 2016. Evidently, the record-breaking high temperatures that roasted much of the U.S throughout the summer also cooked the eggs. Although Sea Turtle eggs are extremely sensitive to heat, FWC hasn’t confirmed that the nests were devastated by the hot and dry weather. FWC spokesperson Katie Purcell announced that the commission plans to examine possible causes for the astronomical failure rate.

Nine Month Blackout

Beach Residents Discuss Safety Concerns
BEACH RESIDENTS DISCUSS SAFETY CONCERNS
Among the staunchest supporters of protecting the Sea Turtles that share our beach, Galt Mile residents spent $millions adapting association lighting plans to minimize illumination of nesting habitat – more than any other community in Fort Lauderdale. After 14 years of inconsistent code enforcement and capricious violations, worsening unintended consequences of the City’s poorly drafted 2003 Beach Lighting Ordinance have prompted City officials to finally acknowledge how the law fails to balance the needs of people with those of Sea Turtles.

Fort Lauderdale at Night - A1A Ghost Town
A1A AT NIGHT - FORT LAUDERDALE GHOST TOWN
A beach lighting policy that forced the entire beach area into darkness for 75% of the year was fatally crippling the economic viability of the City’s world-renowned beach neighborhood, detouring angry tourists to Palm Beach and Daytona, imperiling drivers and pedestrians along A1A and opening serious security and safety breaches in residential coastal communities. In beachfront hotels, management officials annually report complaints by hundreds of visiting tourists that “fear of crossing the street” would preclude their return.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler
MAYOR JACK SEILER
Although equally frightened, locals who live or work in neighborhoods that devolved into Ghost Towns don’t have the option of not returning. As observed by Mayor Jack Seiler, “The problem is there’s a safety issue down there. It’s gotten too dark. As much as I think every one of us has been very involved in trying to protect the sea turtles, you can’t do that at the expense of human life. You’ve got traffic, pedestrian issues, cycling issues.” When originally enacted in 2003, Florida Fish & Wildlife officials assured City Commissioners that lighting prohibitions would never impact beachfront residents and merchants, given the FWC policy of disinterring the nests and moving the eggs to a vacant “recipient” beach.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Sea Turtle Program - Click to Web Site When FWC reversed the policy in 2005, and ruled that the nests must be maintained at their original sites, they advised beachfront homeowners and merchants to affix simple shields on lamps illuminating the beach, which they could order free of charge from the FWC website. A year later, FWC notified Fort Lauderdale code enforcement to violate lamps fitted with the FWC shields, citing them as insufficient, followed by a notice that beaches along with adjacent roadways and neighborhoods should be “blacked out” during the nine-month Sea Turtle nesting season.

HCP: Balance the Needs of Sea Turtles and People

City Manager Lee Feldman
CITY MANAGER LEE FELDMAN
Since consequences of the 2003 ordinance have since mushroomed into significant threats, officials plan to fashion a new policy that promotes Sea Turtle survival without crippling the City or endangering its residents. To that end, City Manager Lee Feldman suggested creating a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), a Federal designation that enables local jurisdictions to mitigate the adverse consequences of protecting a threatened or endangered species. After a recent meeting with consultants experienced in customizing these federal protocols, City officials, environmentalists from Florida Fish and Wildlife, and local stakeholders agreed that an HCP would protect our Sea Turtles while relieving the burden on residents, businesses and visiting tourists.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Program - Sea Turtles - Click to Web Site Sea Turtle nests would be carefully transferred from locations adjacent to busy residential and commercial neighborhoods to uninhabited stretches of beach. Hatchlings wouldn't be distracted by artificial lighting along the otherwise pristine shore, while roadways, shops and homes along the original site could be safely illuminated. Although the permitting process is expected to take several years, it would help guarantee the future of Fort Lauderdale’s tourism economy, make A1A safe for drivers and pedestrians, expedite the recovery of protected Sea Turtles and enable residents and visitors to use the city’s beaches past sundown.

If it strikes you that the HCP bears certain similarities to the FWC pre-2005 nesting policy, that’s because life is a funny old dog. After 14 years of playing “Where’s Waldo” with Code enforcement, and enduring a “Keep Out” beach policy after dark, we may once again be able to enjoy full time access to the most compelling feature of our home – the reason that many of us moved here. More to come! - For LaMarca’s January / February 2017 message to District 4 constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

January / February 2017 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as a County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale. Here are some recent highlights from Broward County:

Beach Renourishment Segment II Project Complete

Broward County Segment II Beach Renourishment Project
FINAL SITE OF SEGMENT II BEACH RENOURISHMENT
Broward County’s first large-scale beach nourishment project utilizing an inland sand source has been successfully completed. As of December 28th, 2016 all sand placement activities for the Segment II Shore Protection Project has been completed. In total, the project placed just under 1,000,000 tons of sand along 4.9 miles of beaches in portions of Pompano Beach, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, 1.5 miles of protective sand dune habitat was created or restored, creating this critically important feature along approximately 70% of Broward County’s shoreline. The project was well executed, efficiently operated, in full compliance with environmental protections and regulatory requirements. With equal importance it was completed on-time and within budget.

Broward County Beach Administrator Nicole Sharp
BEACH ADMINISTRATOR NICOLE SHARP
Natural Resources Division Director Dr. Jennifer Jurado
DIVISION DIRECTOR JENNIFER JURADO
This project, with 43,276 truckloads of sand, was the largest truck haul project in the State of Florida and possibly in the country. The contractor, Eastman Aggregates, is currently demobilizing from the project are, with final restoration of the Sunrise Boulevard access area by January 13, 2017. I extend my deep personal gratitude to our Broward County staff that worked diligently on this project for years, particularly Division Director Jennifer Jurado, Administrator Nicole Sharp and for many years Eric Myers. I want to also thank the Broward County residents for their patience and understanding of the importance of this project for our community.

$8 Million in Grants to Assist Homeless Population

Click to 'A Way Home' Broward County has been continuously working towards ending homelessness. Recently the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnerships was awarded a grant of more than $8 million by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the 2016 HUD Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition. Several projects will be funded that help fulfill Broward County’s goal and objectives in the “A Way Home” Plan to End Homelessness. This award will serve homeless adult and youth clients, including; individuals, families, veterans, those with mental, emotional and physical disabilities, those with substance abuse disorders, mothers and children including pregnant women, those who are “chronically” homeless and those who have co-occurring disorders.

Click to Broward Zero 2016 The HUD CoC Program award will fund 18 renewal projects and 1 new CoC Planning project providing Supportive Services, Homeless Management Information System Support, CoC Planning, Transitional Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Permanent Supportive Housing. The projects provide 690 permanent, 112 rapid rehousing, and 25 transitional beds (827 beds total) with related supportive services to Broward's homeless population. Most importantly, these new funds will create 15 new permanent supportive housing beds for chronically homeless persons in partnership with Broward County Housing Authority and Broward Housing Solutions.

For more information, visit HIP's website and view the "A Way Home" Plan to End Homelessness.

Record Setting Sea Turtle Season

Click to Florida East Coast Railway Website Turtle nesting season came to an end on October 31st, 2016 and this year was officially marked as a record-breaking sea turtle nesting season in Broward County. Since 1981 the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program which is funded by Broward County and carried out by Nova Southeastern University has been counting nests and this year a total of 3,567 laid nests were counted. Loggerheads laid 3,400 nests, green turtles laid 137 nests, leatherbacks laid 27 nests and 3 additional nests were laid, but the species were unconfirmed.

Broward Sea Turtles
BROWARD SEA TURTLES
Although this year was a record breaking year for sea turtle nesting it is still imperative that Broward County residents continue to take the initiative to make our beaches an ideal habitat for sea turtles. There are many things that coastal residents of Broward County can do to help; specifically they can reduce the amount of artificial lighting directly on the beach. Reducing artificial lighting on the beach will make our beaches more helpful to nesting females and ensure that the hatchlings crawl towards the water upon emerging from their nests. Let’s continue to practice turtle-friendly lighting by turning off unnecessary lights, using red or amber LED bulbs, closing curtains or moving light sources away from windows and only lighting what is needed. Making these small changes can help to continue to preserve sea turtles habitat today and in future generations to come.

Save Water, Save Money and Save the Environment

Click to Conservation Pays Website Broward County recently approved 15 new 5-year agreements for partners in the Broward Water Partnership (BWP). The agreements are a collaboration between Broward County, utilities and local government that promotes water conservation. Since 2012, Broward residents, nonprofits and businesses have saved more than 1.3 billion gallons of water with rebates and devices through the Conservation Pays program. The BWP has also hosted several contests which have encouraged water conservation and provided prizes which include cash, fitness devices, irrigation system controllers, and a complete home retrofit with water and energy saving devices.

Be sure to check your eligibility for toilet rebates. Visit ConservationPays.com or call 800-270-9794 for complete details.

Library’s New “Fast Lane” Customer Experience Improvements

Click to Florida Animal Friend The Fast Lane at Broward County Libraries is a quick, easy way to check out items from the library. Fast Lane is part of Broward County Library's new service model, launched earlier this year that provides the community with longer service hours and more open days at library locations without any increase to the library's budget. Fast Lane also allows library staff to provide more one-on-one assistance in addition to making more materials and resources readily available to customers. You can also make Fast Lane even easier by downloading the Broward County Library WoW app on your phone and table, which will allow you to use it as a virtual library card. To download the BCL WoW app please visit our Mobile Apps web page and download it now.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to E-news and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Port Progress; Broward Jobs; Broward B-Cycle & AvMed Rides

Commentary

Click to New Broward TNC Law Web Info
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca at Segment II Staging Area
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
January 10, 2017 - In his December 2016 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca highlights some of Port Everglades 2016 benchmarks, topped by Congressional approval of a funding venue for the Port’s Master Plan improvements. By paving the way to deepen the port's channel and expand its turning notch, the new Federal law will enable the port to share in a post-Panamax economic jackpot. LaMarca also applauds Broward County for out-pacing most of the State’s other metro areas for job growth, noting that District 4 is the statewide leader for creating jobs in the fields of trade, transportation, and utilities. LaMarca closes his message by enumerating the health benefits of bike sharing - a sort of testament to Broward B-Cycle on its fifth Birthday, when it became the fiscal ward of health insurance carrier AvMed.

Port Everglades: A Twenty-Year Marathon

Post Panam=x Vessels Navigate Panama Canal
POST PANAM=X VESSELS NAVIGATE PANAMA CANAL
The new federal law described by LaMarca caps a two-decade marathon effort to cement the port’s future as a regional economic powerhouse. In 1997, Port Everglades officials began pleading with the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to approve funding for 3 Master Plan projects. The enhancements would enable the port to accommodate the anticipated explosion of Post-Panamax vessels from Asia and the Pacific via the newly expanded Panama Canal. Since faster and cheaper shipping of goods between the East Coast and Asia would allow American farmers and manufacturers to better compete with South American and European counterparts, the resulting economic cascade would guarantee Post-Panamax adapted Gulf and East Coast seaports revenue windfalls and thousands of new jobs.

Compare Panamax and Post-Panamax Since Post-Panamax ships are 25% longer, 50% wider and have a deeper draft than the largest vessels navigating the Panama Canal prior to its expansion (a configuration called “Panamax”), Port Everglades’ channel would have to be deepened from 42 feet to 50 feet, and the 900-foot Southport Turning Notch would have to be lengthened to 2,400 feet while its perimeter is reconfigured to berth and service five additional monster vessels. The third project, construction of an on-site Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) to enable the seamless transfer of international cargo containers between ship and rail, was completed on July 16, 2014 - funded by a public-private partnership forged by the port and the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). By significantly expediting the delivery of goods to market, the ICTF has equipped the port with an unmatched competitive edge.

Intermodal Container Transfer Facility
INTERMODAL CONTAINER TRANSFER FACILITY
When the Panama Canal Authority estimated that five or six operational ports on the U.S. East Coast could handle the resulting tornado of cheaper goods, it triggered a frenzy of construction planning by East Coast seaports competing for a piece of the Post-Panamax Golden Goose. However, without approval by the Army Corps of Engineers, planned improvements would remain frozen on drawing boards, and Port Everglades would be out of the running.

Click to Port Everglades Draft Environmental Impact plan On June 28, 2013, the Army Corps of Engineers finally released its Draft Environmental Impact plan for “Navigational Improvements to the Port Everglades Harbor,” a regulatory roadmap for implementing the Master Plan improvements. A year later, in August 2014, the Corps of Engineers announced that it would recommend dredging the channel.

Broward Political and Business Leaders Support Port Everglades
BROWARD LEADERS SUPPORT PORT EVERGLADES
After 18 years of gridlock, Congress finally passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2014 (WRDA 14), providing the Corps with long-awaited funding protocols. In mid-February, 2015, LaMarca joined Congresswoman Lois Frankel at a meeting in Washington D.C. with staff from the South Florida Congressional Delegation, State, County and City elected officials and Broward business leaders, to prepare for a make-or-break hearing by the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board.

Civil Works Review Board approves Port Projects
CIVIL WORKS REVIEW BOARD OKS PORT PROJECT
The panel assesses whether locally approved projects provide national economic and environmental benefits - an eligibility prerequisite for Federal cost-sharing. On February 27, 2015, the Civil Works Review Board unanimously approved the final environmental and economic feasibility studies for dredging the Port Everglades channel to 48 feet (50 feet with allowable overdepth) and expanding the Southport turning notch.

Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick of the Army Corps of Engineers signed the Chief of Engineers Report
LT. GENERAL THOMAS P. BOSTICK SIGNS CHIEFS REPORT
On June 26, 2015, Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick of the Army Corps of Engineers signed the Chief of Engineers Report for the Port Everglades improvements, certifying the project as environmentally sound and economically beneficial to the United States. The Chief’s Report was required to include the project in the 2016 federal legislation authorizing water and navigation-related projects (WRDA 16).

Broward Officials Celebrate Chiefs Report Approval
BROWARD LEADERS CELEBRATE CHIEFS REPORT SIGNING
Since the Chief’s Report serves as a recommendation for Congressional approval, it also benchmarks a transitional segue from the pre-construction, engineering and design (PED) phase to the authorization phase. The anticipated $374 million funding feedbag would be comprised of $190 million in federal dredging money and $183.1 million in Port revenues, supplemented by State contributions. NO TAX DOLLARS are in the mix!!! Modifications to the draft mitigation plan and contract procurement were expected to take approximately 2 years, followed by five years of construction beginning in 2017.

President Barack Obama Signs WIIN Act
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SIGNS WIIN ACT
After hammering out a 2016 version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA 16) in September, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act on December 10, 2016. Signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 16, 2016, the Act provides for the needs of America’s harbors, locks, dams, flood protection, and other water resources infrastructure critical to the Nation’s economic growth, health, and competitive muscle.

Click to Water Resources Development Act of 2016 While the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA 16) is incorporated into Title I of the WIIN Act, Title II includes improvements to drinking water infrastructure around the country and addresses control of coal combustion residuals, Title III improves water storage and delivery to drought-stricken communities, addresses federal dam maintenance backlogs, and approves water settlement agreements that benefit taxpayers and several Native American jurisdictions.

Click to Army Corps of Engineers - Port Everglades To keep pace with increasingly massive post-Panamax vessels, WRDA 2016 no longer treats deeper harbors as a local option, but as a key competitive priority for seaports, and updates the cost-sharing formula for harbor deepening projects. Going forward, the federal government will be responsible for 75 percent of the dredging costs for projects that excavate the harbor up to the 50-foot depth required for post-Panamax ships, instead of the prior 45-foot threshold sufficient for smaller Panamax vessels. More importantly, the Act loosens the Congressional death grip on waterways funding.

WRDA 2016 authorizes nearly $16 billion in federal appropriations for USACE-approved activities. Specifically, the law authorizes 30 USACE “Chief Reports” submitted to Congress since the enactment of the WRDA 2014 bill. Having chipped in its Chiefs Report in June of 2015, Port Everglades is one of eight new navigation projects recommended for funding. And it only took 20 years.

Broward B-Cycle: Rescued & Rebranded

Romney Rogers, Chip LaMarca and Barbara Sharief in Esplanade Park
ROMNEY ROGERS, CHIP LAMARCA AND BARBARA SHARIEF AT EVENT
Using State funds meted out by Broward County, B-cycle opened its Broward bike-sharing operation on December 14, 2011. Five years later, after fleshing out 27 bike docking stations with roughly 275 basketed bicycles, the bike-sharing enterprise faced an increasingly empty cookie jar. On its fifth birthday, LaMarca joined City Commissioner Romney Rogers and Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief in Esplanade Park on December 15th to celebrate Broward B-Cycle’s new partnership with AvMed, a $789 million not-for-profit health insurer based in Miami.

Click to AvMed Rides Overnight, the blue and white Broward B-Cycles were replaced with bikes cloaked in AvMed’s sunshine yellow corporate colors. Broward B-Cycle logos imprinted on each bike were overwritten with the operation’s new name - AvMed Rides. The website was also rebranded as “AvMed Rides”. In fact, the only discernable remnant of Broward B-Cycle is a small graphic adjacent to the new logo that states “powered by Broward B-Cycle”.

Broward B-Cycle Manager Jeff Torkelson
AVMED RIDES MANAGER JEFF TORKELSON
Despite the new trappings, daily operations are still run by Broward B-Cycle. During the event, B-cycle manager Jeff Torkelson described a planned expansion, citing his intention to add more stations in heavily populated East Broward before migrating west. While the bikes may have evolved into rolling billboards - at least the popular program will survive with AvMed’s backing, and according to Torkelson, grow into “the first county-wide system in the nation.”

AvMed Rides Yellow Bikes
AVMED RIDES YELLOW BIKES
While locking up some new advertising, AvMed anticipates that its investment will also yield the kind of dividend that inspired health insurers to jump on the Healthways Silver Sneakers bandwagon. Actively promoting a healthy lifestyle saves carriers a bundle on hospitalizations and doctor visits. AvMed announced that it will incorporate Broward B-Cycle into its “WELLfluence Program”, which incentivizes clients to participate in wellness venues supervised by health care professionals and closely monitored by parent company SantaFe Healthcare, Inc. AvMed’s bean counters won’t measure the success of this collaborative rescue by totaling rides or receipts, but with an insurance algorithm applied to future claims. For the rest of LaMarca’s December 2016 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

December 2016 Update

By Commissioner Chip LaMarca

District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
CHIP LAMARCA
Dear Broward County Residents,

I am honored to serve as your county commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from Broward County.

Port Everglades Update

Click to Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act We are now one step closer to the official authorization of the Port Everglades Widening and Deepening project. The Senate passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation “WIIN” (previously the Water Resource Development Act of 2016 “WRDA 16”) this month by a vote of 78 - 21. The same bill was previously passed by the House of Representatives 360 - 61. The WIIN Bill authorizes critical investments in water infrastructure projects, specifically it authorizes the Deeping and Widening at Broward County’s Port Everglades.

Post Panamax Monster
POST PANAMAX MONSTER
Broward County’s Port Everglades is the third busiest Port in the country, setting a record for cruise ship passengers in a single day with 54,700 passengers, 3.77 million passengers in 2015 and over $27 billion in trade operations in 2014. The expansion and deepening project will ensure the capability of the port to accommodate larger cruise ships and the new Panamax ships. This project will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs; and support the local South Florida economy. The passage of this bill will then move our project from the Authorization Phase into the critical next phase, Appropriations. This great accomplishment was only made possible because of the great collaboration and advocacy of many South Florida leaders.


South Florida Port Supporters work to pass Congressional Port Funding
Broward County Congressional Delegates, local elected officials and community leaders celebrate the signing of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act by President Obama.


Port Everglades Mangrove Wetlands
PORT EVERGLADES MANGROVE WETLANDS
In other Port related news, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection recently gave the Port Everglades Wetland Enhancement Project a “Notification of Trending Towards Success.” This green initiative is addressing a berthing capacity shortfall by developing new wetlands that support wildlife and ecological quality in the center of an urban, industrial seaport. The Port successfully cultivated 16.5 acres of nursery-grown mangrove and native plants on property that was originally dry land intended for other uses. This notification is a key component to the Port's berth expansion effort because it releases 8.7 acres of an existing mangrove conservation easement adjacent to docks. The acres that have been released will be expanded to make way for up to five new cargo ship berths. The project also recently won IHS Maritime and Trade magazine's Dredging and Port Construction Innovation Award in the "Working/Engineering/Building with Nature Award" category.

Click to Port Everglades Additionally, Port Everglades has exceeded one-million TEU’s (20-foot equivalent units, the industry's standard container measurement), for the third consecutive year. A total of almost 1.04 million TEUs have been reported this year. Furthermore, bulk and break bulk cargo increased 13 percent from 1.56 million tons in FY2015 to 1.76 million tons in FY2016. Petroleum volumes also increased by 3.6 percent from more than 116.8 million barrels in FY2015 to 121.1 million barrels in FY2016.

More information about Broward County's Port Everglades is available at porteverglades.net.

Broward County’s Job Growth

Click to Greater Fort Lauderdale-Alliance Job Growth Data Broward County is becoming a leader in the state for job creation. The Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield metro area had the highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in trade, transportation, and utilities with an addition of 6,700 jobs and financial activities with 3,600 jobs in October 2016. The annual job growth rates for financial activities increased by 6.3 percent; manufacturing increased by 5 percent; leisure and hospitality increased by 4.4 percent; education and health services increased by 3.9 percent; and trade, transportation, and utilities increased by 3.7 percent.

Click to Greater Fort Lauderdale-Alliance Job Growth Data In Broward County, year over year we see job growth and sustained improvement in the local economy. The continuation of assisting companies create, expand and retain high-wage jobs in high value targeted industries also helps to develop more vibrant communities and improves the quality of life for our area’s citizens.

Broward B-Cycle Bike Sharing Program

Click to Emirates Airlines at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport With South Florida’s beautiful Fall/Winter weather it is the perfect time to take advantage of Broward B-Cycle Bike Sharing Program. It's a fun, affordable and convenient way to get around town. It's also the latest way to reduce traffic congestion, pollution and carbon emissions. There are 27 public bike stations throughout Broward County, mainly in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Dania, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Pompano Beach.

Click to Broward BCycle Website On its fifth year running, there are currently nearly 1,300 annual members enrolled using this active transportation system. Since the program launched on December 14th, 2011, more than 128,000 riders from the Southeast Florida region, cities across the U.S. and other countries have taken; 182,435 bike rides, 651,630 miles have been ridden on Broward B-cycles, 32,098 gallons of gas saved, and 631,865 lbs. of carbon emissions reduced.

For more information please visit Broward B-Cycle.

Contact Us

Click to Stay Connected The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to E-news and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at clamarca@broward.org.

As always, it is my honor to serve you.

Best Regards,


Chip LaMarca
Broward County Commssioner
District 4


Broward County Commission Meetings

Click to Video Central Web Page The Broward County Commission meets generally on Tuesdays at 10:00 am in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. (Commission Meeting Schedule and Agenda are listed here: broward.org/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx) Residents can view live coverage of the Commission meetings on Comcast Cable channels 12 and 77; Advanced Communications channels 64 and 25; AT&T U-verse channel 99, and through the County's website at broward.org/video/ The County Commission meetings are rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. each Friday following a Tuesday Commission meeting.

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