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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 exercig 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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Chip LaMarca's November 2017 Galt Mile Update

Chip LaMarca's December 2017 Galt Mile Update

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Chip LaMarca's June 2018 Galt Mile Update

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Chip LaMarca - Thank You

Lamar Fisher's December 2018 Galt Mile Update



New Fire Safety Mandate



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Politics & Parlor Tricks in Tallahassee



AEDs - Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)



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Broward Commissioner Lamar Fisher

Beach; Flooding; Penny Surtax; Affordable Housing; Homeless

Commentary

Click to Lamar Fisher's December 2018 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Lamar Fisher
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER LAMAR FISHER
December 11, 2018 - In his December 2018 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Lamar Fisher uses his inaugural message to deliver insight into his initial agenda on the County board. Fisher opens with a commitment to maintain County beaches and help fortify the region against the impacts of climate change, especially the tidal flooding that wreaks havoc in District 4 coastal communities; affirms an intention to help channel newly voter-approved surtax revenues into relieving traffic congestion and enhancing connectivity; laments a dearth of affordable housing that inflames a County cost burden rated worst in the nation; and applauds the newly formed Homelessness Collaborative in Broward County, which is planning realistic interim and permanent low-barrier housing solutions while improving underutilized support services.

Florida Affordable Housing Crises

As population growth in Florida inflated property values, chronic high-end development juxtaposed with stagnating wages drove a demand for low-income housing by an increasingly underpaid workforce, including teachers, nurses, firefighters, law enforcement officers and scores of service sector occupations (i.e. retail trade, leisure and hospitality, educational and health services, etc.). Once a local workforce proves insufficient for a company's needs, it relocates – often to a lower cost-of-living metro area with better employee housing opportunities. Mirroring a problem long indigenous to regions where modest incomes are insufficient for survival – Florida’s lack of affordable housing fueled a statewide workforce shortage that undermined local economies. Although one of the country's wealthiest States, Florida ranks 44th in the nation for availability of affordable housing.

Click to William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust In 1992, lawmakers raised the documentary stamp tax on deeds by ten cents per $100 of the property’s value (doubled to 20 cents in 1995) to fund the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust (named after a Department of Community Affairs secretary who had recently died in a plane crash). By leveraging private and federal funding, every dollar in the Trust yields $4 to $6 to help develop affordable housing for the workforce, the elderly and disabled. 70% of monies is allocated to the Local Government Housing Trust Fund (i.e. the SHIP program which funds housing programs in all 67 counties and larger cities) while 30% of monies goes to the State Housing Trust Fund for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (i.e. the State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL) program for affordable multifamily rental housing). SAIL and SHIP programs are flexible and can address homelessness, senior housing, and meet the changing needs of a moderate-income essential workforce.

Click to National Association of Home Builders In contrast with a popular misconception, investing in affordable housing preservation and development yields an enormous return (ROI) through job creation, revenue generation and economic stability. Its fiscal benefits outweigh the costs, according to housing economists. A 2014 Florida International University Affordable Housing Assessment and a 2015 economic impact analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) both document how taxes and revenues generated by housing development far exceed the state’s infrastructure and service costs to support that development.

Click to William E. Sadowski Return on Investment More specifically, every dollar appropriated by the Florida Legislature for the Sadowski trust fund between 2006 and 2016 resulted in $9.50 of economic activity for the state, including the creation of 94,000 jobs and $3 billion in new income for Floridians along with State and local government tax windfalls. Since household income saved on housing is invariably spent on food, healthcare, products and services, Florida businesses harvested $12.5 billion in generated sales revenue.

Federal and State Shell Games

Click to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, NYU Furman Center/CapitalOne, and the University of Florida’s Shimberg Center, Broward County is the most cost-burdened metro area in the United States - the county has more people spending over half their monthly income on rent than anywhere else the entire country. Of the nearly one million Florida households that pay more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing, 127,382 live in Broward. When forced to commute between work and outlying affordable neighborhoods, the combined transportation and housing costs often chew through more than 70% of the household budget, leaving a pittance for food, healthcare, education, childcare and other necessities.

Click to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Why can’t Broward County access the Sadowski Trust to address the nation’s most egregious affordable housing vacuum? In short, most of the funds are annually stripped from the Trust. Almost every year after 2001, the Governor and lawmakers used the Trust as a slush fund, transferring dedicated resources to benefit powerful lobbies or quell issues marinating in media spin. Since 2001, the state has swept more than $2 billion from the Trust into the general revenue account, where it plugged budget gaps, provided handouts and tax breaks to special interests and funded pork projects in the districts of high-profile lawmakers. Last year, lawmakers snatched $182 million from the fund.

District 93 Statehouse Representative Chip LaMarca
STATEHOUSE REPRESENTATIVE CHIP LAMARCA
Commenting on the annual plundering of the State Trust Fund, newly elected District 93 Statehouse Representative (and former Broward County Commissioner) Chip LaMarca lamented “One thing I hear from a lot of folks in real estate and housing is that they wouldn’t have supported Sadowski when they had the opportunity if they’d known this would have happened.”

Broward Voters Point the Way

Click to Broward County Charter Given how the State’s affordable housing Trust has devolved into a fiscal squeeze toy - and Federal efforts to eliminate more than $6 billion from HUD affordable housing programs - on November 6, 2018, the Broward electorate approved amending the Broward County Charter to enact a new Section 11.11, establishing the Broward County Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Click to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies The Trust will be used to create and sustain affordable housing throughout Broward County for tenants and homeowners and increase workforce housing opportunities. While defining Affordable Housing as housing intended for very low to moderate income households, the measure specifies an Income Eligible Person/Family as having a total annual anticipated household income 140 percent of the median annual income (adjusted for family size) for households within Broward County.

Funding sources include resources voluntarily contributed by participating municipalities or programs funded by the Trust; grants or donations; mandatory or voluntary payments made pursuant to development policies established by ordinance; savings from Expired Tax Increment Financing Payments to County Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRAs); and General Revenue appropriations annually budgeted to the Trust Fund by the County Commission (a proposed $5 million allocated annually for 3 years).

Click to Coordinating Council of Broward Composed of state and county government officials, the public, top executives from the private and business sectors, the Coordinating Council of Broward (CCB) is one of the organizations committed to driving this effort. The CCB’s primary goal is to ensure that Broward remains a home to its working population, currently classified as ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed). To counter the impacts of workforce emigration to more affordable job markets, Broward employers have unilaterally expressed an intention to support the Trust - with both political capital and corporate Benjamins.

Progress or Pipe Dream?

Coordinating Council of Broward Director Veszi Einhorn
COORDINATING COUNCIL DIRECTOR SANDRA VESZI EINHORN
Of course, veteran Broward residents are understandably leery, given the County’s checkered history of fiscal abuse by elected officials. Since its not inconceivable that mercenary Broward politicians and bureaucrats could take a page from State lawmakers and pillage the Trust, county commissioners are barred from using the funds for anything except affordable housing projects, appropriations do not lapse and Trust resources never revert to general revenues of the County. Coordinating Council of Broward Director Sandra Veszi Einhorn, who favors the Trust from an economic development perspective, likened it to “a lock box.”

If that lock box isn't ripped off, and included oversight protocols are effectively managed, Trust revenues could help deliver a dividend trifecta - housing fixed-income seniors and the disabled, deterring the departure of a qualified workforce - and plumping profits for local businesses. If implemented in conjunction with a recently launched initiative to end homelessness, the plan could enable homeless families and individuals to abandon local encampments, get off the street and enhance prospects for a stable life. Whether the Trust fulfills its promise or proves another smoke and mirrors waste of resources will come out in the wash. More to come... For Commissioner Lamar Fisher’s December 2018 Newsletter, read on... – [editor]

 

December 2018 Update

By Commissioner Lamar Fisher

District 4 Broward Commissioner Lamar Fisher
BROWARD COMMISSIONER
LAMAR FISHER
Dear Residents,

I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your District 4 Commissioner. It is an honor and privilege to have been elected to be your voice and to represent you, the citizens of our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale. As your County Commissioner I look forward to continuing to improve resident’s quality of life by focusing on several key issues in our community. I will focus on improving our environment, alleviating traffic congestion and transportation issues, the affordable housing crises in Broward County and finding sound solutions for homelessness. As a fourth-generation resident of Broward County, I have a deep connection with our community and I’m dedicated to serve the residents of District 4 and help you make a better Broward!

Our Environment

Galt Mile Beach
GALT MILE BEACH
As your District 4 County Commissioner, I represent nearly 3 quarters of Broward County’s 24 miles of sandy beaches. Our beaches are a valuable resource and wonderful tourist’s attraction providing for our local economy. I will advocate for the protection of our beaches while also focus on finding sensible solutions for the impacts of climate change and sea level rise in our region.

I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with the counties and cities in the region in the preparation for the effects of climate change. Making sure we focus on sea level rise, flooding issues and any economic and social disruptions these changes might bring to our community.

Sea Level Rise Tidal Flooding


Transportation Surtax

Click to Penny for Transportation On November 6, 2018 Broward County voters approved a 30-year 1% local option sales tax which will fund countywide transportation system improvements. These improvements will create connectivity, relieve traffic congestions, improve transit services, and expand the availability of multimodal transportation. The plan provides for 476 road, traffic, signal, bridge, technology and safety improvements, more than 700 city-requested transportation improvements, full funding for existing Community Shuttles and Paratransit, and a more reliable, responsive/accessible local transit system. Most importantly, this collaborative plan prioritizes connectivity and congestion relief by creating a dedicated transportation-specific funding, with an independent Oversight Committee.

Click to Penny for Transportation I look forward to working with the County Commission, the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization and each of the 8 municipalities in District 4 to target our biggest traffic problems and improve our transportation system.

Affordable Housing

Click to FIU affordable housing study Broward County is amid an affordable housing crisis. There is a current demand for over 100,000 affordable units according to a study by Florida International University with over 65,000 units for Low Income Families. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Broward County is the most cost burdened metro area in the nation. Currently, standard housing costs plus transportation costs is 45% of a household income in the nation, unfortunately, Broward County has the highest housing plus transportation costs in the nation at over 70% of a household income!

Click to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies These statistics are astronomical, and we must find a way to provide affordable housing options for our residents. I will work on finding further solutions for this crisis and continue to support County strategies that provide residents options for affordable housing.

Homelessness

Click to homelessness collaborative Our community is also facing the challenges of addressing homelessness. It is time we provide all the assistance necessary for individuals experiencing homelessness, which may include providing permanent housing opportunities and the right level of service to ensure the individual can maintain stability and prosper. Recently, a public-private sector partner collaborative with representatives from more than 40 agencies and organizations was established in May 2018 to formulate a thorough, thoughtful and detailed plan of action to end homelessness, beginning with local encampments. While this plan focuses on one area of our community, I’m looking forward to being able to provide solutions for all 8 cities in District 4.

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. 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 LFisher@broward.org.

Once again, I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you as your County Commissioner. Best regards,

Best Regards,

Lamar Fisher
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

LaMarca Rides Beach Legacy to Tallahassee

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca October 2018 Thank You
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
November 11, 2018 - Chip LaMarca changed hats. On November 6, the 8-year District 4 Broward Commissioner snatched up the District 93 Statehouse seat vacated by departing Representative George Moraitis, defeating Democrat challenger Emma Collum by a 7% vote margin; 40,426 (53%) - 34,927 (46%) and 1176 (1%) to Kelly Milam. Despite a Democrat majority, many Galt Mile voters will subordinate partisan ties in favor of candidates who've reliably delivered on local issues - whether Republican or Democrat. Shortly after his election to the Broward Board, LaMarca thwarted an attempt to close the popular Galt Mile Library, which would have otherwise become a victim of budget cuts. He then helped revive a long-shelved plan to renovate the local Library - despite its status as a rented site - as County policy skews to investing in wholly owned assets.

A Grateful LaMarca Heads North

Click to EDR Beach Report Later, LaMarca spearheaded the renourishment of local beaches after two decades of frustrating failures by Republican and Democrat predecessors. To avoid the pitfalls that undermined his predecessors, LaMarca changed the playing field, offering lawmakers a January 2015 study by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR – research arm of the Florida Legislature), which focused primarily on the fiscal impact of beach renourishment.

Click to EDR Beach Report Entitled “Economic Evaluation of Florida’s Investment in Beaches”, the EDR report statistically affirmed how widened beaches reduce the cost of storm damage, calculated the Return on Investment (ROI) of Beach Restoration at a hefty 5.4, and characterized District 4 beaches as economic engines that produce $billions in local and State revenues. Confronted with how neglected beaches reduce the State tax revenues that annually fund pork projects in their respective districts, even skeptical North and Central Florida lawmakers withdrew their opposition, and agreed to support legislation creating a reliable beach funding mechanism.

Broward Natural Resource Administrator Nicole Sharp
BROWARD NATURAL RESOURCE
ADMINISTRATOR NICOLE SHARP
He also used "enlightened self-interest" to pole-vault over regulatory obstacles in Washington DC. After a prolonged war of nerves, LaMarca returned home with new State and Federal permits and a viable cost-sharing plan. He was also instrumental in establishing the current protocol for stabilizing the County shoreline. A Regional Beach Management policy implemented by Broward Beach Administrator Nicole Sharp includes an expedited response to hot spots eroded by cyclonic storm damage, thereby sustaining a shoreline expanse sufficient for a thriving oceanfront eco-system while reducing the frequency and sizable cost of future full-scale beach renourishments.

Click to Broward District 4 Map Click to Stetehouse District 93 Map For saving the Library and capping decades of disappointment with a newly fattened beach, LaMarca banked both gratitude and good will from his coastal constituency. Since the coastal communities that comprise Broward District 4 are largely mirrored in Statehouse District 93, LaMarca's accrued political capital (and a significant campaign warchest) was sufficient to lock up two years in the Statehouse. Although shifting to a statewide forum, LaMarca will - in most part - represent the same constituents. Having promised to make their voices heard in Tallahassee, he is heading north with a new wish list, anchored by a commitment to support self-determination for association homeowners. From the House floor, LaMarca will help address the collusively mandated retrofitting of high-rise associations with fire sprinklers - under the regulatory guise of an Engineered Life Safety System (ELSS). The transition upstate should be somewhat seamless - LaMarca knows Tallahassee.

Click to NOAA Fisheries Web Site Click to Army Corps of Engineers - Port Everglades As the sole Republican on the County Board, for eight years LaMarca served as the County Commission's liaison to the Republican Trifecta in Tallahassee. He annually carried the County's Legislative wish list to the State Capital during the legislative session, where he marketed Broward agenda items to lawmakers, bureaucrats and the Governor. Also, LaMarca shuttled between Broward, Washington DC and Tallahassee for years to resolve beach renourishment regulatory issues with NOAA Fisheries, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the Army Corps of Engineers and its Civil Works Program.

Having measured the progress of his local objectives in prior newsletters, instead of an October update, LaMarca expressed his gratitude in a graphic note to former / future constituents. For Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s brief October 2018 message, read on... – [editor]

 



Phone: 954-357-7004 | Fax: 954-357-7798 | clamarca@broward.org
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 410, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301
Visit my website.

 

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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Conv Center; FLL Growth; Port Grant; King Tides; Pet Adopt

Commentary

Click to April 2018 LaMarca Letter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca Supports Broward's Revenue Sources
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
October 13, 2018 - In his September 2018 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca describes recent improvements to the Broward County Convention Center Expansion and Headquarters Hotel project, reviewing design upgrades that include a 75% increase in exhibit areas, a 127% ballroom expansion and 143% more meeting space. LaMarca details the meteoric traffic growth at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; cites Port Everglades for securing FEMA grants to enhance security infrastructure; recruits constituents to locally document King Tides flooding; and applauds the record number of pet adoptions at the Animal Care and Adoption Center during the August 18th "Clear the Shelter" event.

Foraging FEMA Port Security Funds

Click to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) As appropriated by the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2018 and authorized by Section 102 of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, in FY 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) set aside $100,000,000 to promote sustainable, risk-based efforts to protect critical port infrastructure from attack. The FY 2018 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) supports the building, sustainment, and delivery of core capabilities essential to achieving the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient Nation.

Click to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) In providing resources to actualize area and facility security plans by port authorities, facility operators, and state and local government agencies managing port security services, the FY 2018 PSGP competitively awards grant funding to support increased port-wide risk management; enhance domain awareness; conduct training and exercises; expand port recovery and resiliency options; further capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from attacks. To comply with a cost-match program requirement, PSGP award recipients must provide a non-federal match (cash or in-kind) for at least 25 percent of the total project cost.

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen of Homeland Security
DHS SECRETARY KIRSTJEN M. NIELSEN
Field-level reviews conducted by the respective U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) are scored and prioritized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and submitted for a national level review. Following a detailed administrative/financial review by subject-matter experts from DHS and other Federal partners, surviving projects for each port area are ranked by a risk-based algorithm. FEMA then rubber-stamps the computer-prioritized project lists and submits them to the Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen of Homeland Security for final approval.

Click to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Evidently, Port Everglades IT Gurus are becoming increasingly proficient in piercing the FEMA ranking algorithm. In 2017, the Port only racked up a $646,121 PSGP grant to the Broward Sheriff’s Office for Port security. In 2018, the FEMA data processor spit out $2,252,420 in two allocations for Port Everglades, $950,967 to the Broward Sheriff’s Office to enhance in-port firefighting response capabilities and $1,301,453 directly to the Port. Every dollar is an offset to Port funds dedicated to the Master Plan upgrades for berthing and offloading Post-Panamax shipping – the key to the Port’s competitive success. For Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s September 2018 Newsletter, read on... – [editor]

 

September 2018 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 the beautiful cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Convention Center Expansion and Headquarters Hotel Update

Click to Broward County Convention Center The Board of County Commissioners recently took another major step toward moving forward with the Broward County Convention Center Expansion and Headquarters Hotel project. At the August 14th County Commission meeting, the Direct Procurement Authority, composed of the Board of County Commissioners, approved an update on the design of the project. The updated design includes three key components: exhibition space, ballroom space and meeting space. With this update, 150,000 sq. ft of exhibit space will be added that will bring the total exhibit space to 350,000 sq. ft. The new update also adds a 67,000 sq. ft ballroom, bringing the total ballroom space to 119,661 sq. ft. And, the addition of 50,000 sq. ft of meeting space increases the total meeting space to 85,000 sq. ft. The updated design provides for the perfect balance between exhibit, meeting and ballroom space which will enhance the Convention Center’s ability to attract more business that will provide a boost to our local economy.

Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center Hotel Rendering


FLL Continues to Show Growth

Click to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport New Destinations Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) continues to show strong growth as we maintain our lead as one of the fastest-growing airports in the United States. June passenger traffic was up by 12.5 percent from the previous year. Domestic traffic was up 8.7 percent and international traffic was up 26.3 percent. FLL is on track to reach 36 million total passengers by the end of the year. July traffic was up 7.6 percent, to 3.16 million. Nine out of FLL’s top 10 Carriers experienced year-to-date growth. Additionally, Airports Council International ranked FLL first in growth for the year ending June 2018, 9th in total international traffic and 18th in total passenger traffic.

FLL is also seeing several new services and new markets. In June, JetBlue added new service to Santiago, Dominican Republic and announced service to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands in October, and seasonal service to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in December. In July, Southwest started new service to San Antonio, Texas. Spirit announced new service to Asheville and Greensboro, North Carolina in September. Allegiant announced new service to Flint, Michigan starting in October. Two new international destinations for FLL have also been added, Norwegian announced new service to Madrid, Spain and Rome, Italy. Additionally, Canada’s ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop will begin seasonal service to Hamilton, Ontario in October. For more information, please visit Broward.org/airport.

Broward’s Port Everglades Receives Security Grant Funding

Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 25
PORT EVERGLADES CRUISE TERMINAL 25
In June, Celebrity Cruises released renderings of Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 25. This $120 million-plus renovation is progressing toward a substantial completion in late October. The new facility will open in November for the inaugural sailing of the Celebrity Edge.

Click to Port Everglades In other Port related news, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency recently announced the FY 2018 Port Security Grant Program awards and Broward County’s Port Everglades will receive more than $2.25 million in U.S. port security grants. These funds will be used to advance firefighting capabilities and enhance the seaport’s security infrastructure. For more information, please visit PortEverglades.net.

King Tides

King Tides Flooding
KING TIDES FLOODING
Low lying areas in Broward County are extremely vulnerable to higher than average tides this time of year. 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 occur during the fall (August-November) with the peak usually occurring, the King Tide (Highest tide of year), in October.

Click to King Tides Reporting Broward County is calling all citizen scientists interested in helping document tidal flooding in our community. If you or a group want to "adopt" a site to monitor and report, please email Resilience@Broward.org. For additional information please visit Broward.org/Waterresources.

Animal Care Breaks Record

Broward County’s Animal Care and Adoption Center hosted a Clear the Shelter event on August 18th. The fourth annual event helped set a new record for our Animal Care and Adoption Center, with more than 100 adoptions on that day and more than 1,000 residents visiting the shelter! Congratulations to the Animal Care and Adoption Center staff for getting us closer to our “no-kill” goal!

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. 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

Budget Brief; Evacuation Zones; Pet Center Hours; Contact Broward

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca August 2018 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
COMMISSIONER LAMARCA AUGUST 2018 MESSAGE
September 17, 2018 - In his August 2018 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca takes a look at the proposed FY19 County budget, noting how an increase in property values will offset inflation-driven expenses, freezing last year’s millage rate at 5.6690 – and depicting how the new spending plan impacts homesteaded and non-homesteaded properties. Three months into hurricane season, LaMarca specifies the category of hurricane that respectively mandates evacuation from each of two coastal zones; announces expanded weekend hours at the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center, and closes by offering constituents free resources for exploring local government and communicating with government officials.

Cash Plans

Broward Budget-in-Brief As summarized in the County’s annual Budget-in-Brief, allocations in the $4.83 billion FY19 Broward County Budget are either sorted by funded services or - more commonly - the type of expense. Under the first regimen, resources are funneled into one of four broad service categories.

Regional services are those that the County provides countywide. Contract regional services are available to all County residents by contract (i.e. aquatic weed control, solid waste services, building and permitting services). Municipal services are provided to the unincorporated area, and mimic those offered in Broward’s 31 cities and towns. Internal services float a litany of support services that enable the County’s operational functionality - such as Audit Services, County Administration, Legal Services, Management & Budget, etc.

Broward Budgets The Broward Budget also categorizes revenues according to the type of expense, with funds housed in an operating budget, a capital budget or a debt service budget. The Operating Budget includes the ongoing activities of County government – self-supporting enterprise funds, special purpose operations and general-purpose operations – all supported by a mixture of user fees, property taxes and other revenues.

Broward Debt Service Budget Appropiations The Capital Budget includes all major construction, maintenance and improvement projects, funds the acquisition of facilities and infrastructure, and is in turn funded by tax revenues, bond and loan proceeds, grants, user fees, and fund balance. The Debt Service Budget pays the principal and interest on revenue bonds and voter-approved general obligation bonds - and the required reserves.

Broward Budgets The $3.0695 billion FY19 Broward County Operating Budget exceeds last year’s $2.8897 billion cashbox by $169.8 million (5.9% increase). Largely due to changes in Enterprise funds, the $1.1304 billion FY19 Capital Budget is $93.1 million lower than the $1.0373 billion FY18 Capital spending plan, and the proposed $874,900,000 Debt Service Budget is $93.1 million less than its $723,100,000 FY18 counterpart.

Budget Bunco

Revenue sources include property taxes, miscellaneous taxes and assessments, federal and state grants, fees and charges, interest income, fund balance, and miscellaneous moolah, although a majority of these revenue sources are crazy glued to recurring programs, capital projects, or mandatory debt service reserves. The most flexible revenues in next year's budget are the $1,074,100,000 in anticipated property taxes.

Florida Property Taxes Although only 22 percent of the total budget, property taxes provide resources for the most ostensible County services (such as law enforcement, libraries and parks). Historically, Broward County only collects from 94 to 96 percent of invoiced taxes, given the sliding discount for early payment, successful appeals to the Value Adjustment Board and the annual tax fraud by slippery deadbeats. Despite the protestations of scammers snagged by Property Appraiser Marty Kiar’s fraud busting bloodhounds, no tax dodge is victimless.

Broward Budgets Since the County calculates the ad valorem burden placed on each property owner by reverse engineering the amount of dollars needed to flesh out the budget, whether scofflaws fraudulently claim primary residences in several cities or use a TRIM notice to wrap fish, engineered defaults and bogus exemptions are subsidized by every taxpayer.

Exemption Backwash

Ballot Amendment 1 In describing how the FY19 budget also increases reserves “to prepare for the impact of an additional Homestead Exemption on the November 2018 ballot (if approved by voters).” LaMarca is referring to proposed Ballot Amendment 1, which creates a third $25,000 Homestead exemption, although inapplicable to the School Board levy. As of 2018, Section 6(a) of Article VII of the Florida Constitution allows for a $25,000 Homestead exemption on the portion of home’s value between $0 and $25,000, and another $25,000 on the portion of home’s value between $50,000 and $75,000 – a $50,000 total deduction for homes valued at more than $75,000.

Third Homestead Exemption If voters approve Amendment 1, beginning January 1, 2019, a third $25,000 homestead exemption could be claimed on that portion of a home’s value between $100,000 and $125,000. The measure is controversial. Although it would only benefit roughly 2.4 million homesteaded Floridians with properties worth more than $125,000, it will cost local jurisdictions more than $687 million in lost revenues, leaving a huge gap in local government budgets.

Tax Increase for Snowbirds Unfortunately, this election year window dressing is a mixed bag for the Galt Mile. To prevent threatened service cuts, cities and counties will offset the resulting revenue shortfall by shifting the assessment burden to small business owners, manufacturers, working families and non-homesteaded property owners - which includes thousands of Galt Mile snowbirds.

To dilute a FY20 deficit created by the projected loss of $34 million in General Fund revenues, Broward County is annually squirreling away additional reserves of $11 million during each of the three prior fiscal years (FY 18, FY 19 and FY 20). More about Tallahassee’s beneficiaries of this double-edged political popcorn next month. For LaMarca’s entire August 2018 constituent message, Read on... – [editor]

 

August 2018 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 toFort Lauderdale and all the beautiful cities, towns and villages inbetween. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Broward County FY19 Recommended Budget

Click to Broward Office of Management and Budget Web Page It’s that time of year again! In September, the Broward County Board of Commissioners will set the County-levied millage rate. Initial discussions were held in March of this year which were followed by a series of workshops and will culminate with two public hearings in September. The 1st Public Budget Hearing is September 13th and the 2nd is September 25th, both at 5:01 PM. Every year, the Office of Budget and Management has the incredible task of analyzing the estimated property tax roll that is received from the Broward County Property Appraiser. The County Administrator then uses this information to develop the Operating and Capital Budget recommendations. The budget recommendations are provided to the Board of County Commissioners in July and discussed at workshops throughout August. Finally, in September two public meetings are held that give Broward County residents an opportunity to provide their comments regarding any aspect of the budget. Once the budget is finalized and approved, the new fiscal year will begin October 2018.

Click to Broward Proposed 2019 Budget-in-Brief The total proposed budget for FY19 is $4.83 billion, which is slightly lower than FY18 by $75.1 million and incorporates all tax-supported and non-tax supported funds. Homestead properties are expected to see increases in tax bills of 2.1 percent due to the change in assessed value, but residents will not see an increase in their County-levied millage rate for FY19. The FY19 recommended budget sets the total millage rate at 5.6690, the same as FY 18. The charts below provide a more detailed example of the changes you will see in your property tax bill, based onthe FY19 total millage rate of 5.6690.

Homestead Property with “Save Our Homes” Differential Based on the State-mandated 2.1 percent maximum increase in assessed value

 
  FY18 FY19
 
Taxable Value $155,100 $158,400
 
Property Taxes        $879        $898
 
Change FY18 to FY19            $19
 

Other Residential Properties Based on the percent change in the average taxable value for all residential properties

 
  FY18 FY19
 
Taxable Value $221,800 $237,500
 
Property Taxes     $1,257     $1,346
 
Change FY18 to FY19           $89
 

Click to Broward Proposed 2019 Budget-in-Brief Residents should be aware of several important aspects of this budget as it reflects some of the County Commission and communities’ priorities. General Fund operating budgets (Constitutional Officers and County Agencies) increase by $51.1 million, or about 4.1 percent of the Revised FY18 Budget. The General Fund budget includes a 4.6 percent increase to the Broward Sheriff’s Office budget, a portion of which provides for Risk Protection Officers to implement the new state law designed to prevent high-risk individuals from harming themselves, or others from accessing firearms. Additional funds are allocated as additional resources to support fixed-route and paratransit services ($9.49 million), Elderly Homeless Prevention ($.162 million), to address homelessness through a private public partnership ($1.2 million), cultural non-profit funding ($.500 million), increase the County’s living wage for contract and County employees by 5 percent to $12.99 per hour ($1.2 million), and other community initiatives ($.9 million). The FY19 recommended budget also increases reserves to prepare for the impact of an additional Homestead Exemption on the November 2018 ballot (if approved by voters) and to increase funding for emergencies to cover shelter operating expenses and critical supplies.

Hurricane Season Reminder

Click to Broward County Evacuation Map We are in the middle of this year’s hurricane season and if you have not been preparing, it is a good time to begin. My June LaMarca Letter provides important information and links to help you get ready for any hurricane that comes our way.

One of the first steps of preparing is knowing if you live in an evacuation zone. Below is the Emergency Evacuation Map to help you determine if you are in a zone.

  • PLAN A Evacuation - Areas east of Intercoastal Waterway Typically a Category 1-2 hurricane
  • PLAN B Evacuation - Areas east of U.S. 1 (Federal Highway) Typically a Category 3 or higher hurricane

Persons located in low lying areas or beside tidal bodies of water should seek shelter elsewhere if conditions warrant. ALL mobile home residents must evacuate in PLAN A and PLAN B and may be ordered to evacuate if tropical storm conditions warrant.

Broward County Animal Care Expands Hours

Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center
BROWARD COUNTY ANIMAL CARE AND ADOPTION CENTER
The Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center has expanded their weekend hours for the public. The Adoption Center is now open from 11AM to 6PM on Saturdays and Sunday. The extended weekend hours give residents more time to visit the shelter to adopt, volunteer, or foster a pet. Residents will also be able to purchase a Broward County license tag, dropoff a lost pet, or be reunited with their dog or cat. For more 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 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

FAC Awards; FAA OKs FLL; NOAA PORTS; NACo Awards

Commentary

Click to New Broward TNC Law Web Info
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
August 19, 2018 - In his July 2018 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca flags his recognition by the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) as a Presidential Advocate along with six other Broward Commissioners – and his receipt of FAC’s prestigious 2018 President’s “Commitment to Service” Award; imparts how the FAA credited Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) for its outstanding safety protocols; reports that an FLL public artwork display entitled Wavelength has been honored by the Americans for the Arts; heralds the Port Everglades installation of PORTS (Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - thereby providing real-time environmental and meteorological data to improve marine navigation; and closes with news about Broward County cornering 14 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties for innovative County government programs.

Superliner Collisions

Port Everglades
PORT EVERGLADES
Since more than 95 percent of U.S. international trade moves through the nation’s ports and harbors, with about 50 percent of those goods being hazardous materials, the potential risks to maritime commerce and the coastal environment are daunting. As few available technologies address this danger, the attendant loss of lives and cargo as well as catastrophic ecosystem impacts were long considered unavoidable.

Exxon VALDEZ Cleanup
EXXON VALDEZ CLEANUP
For example, commercial vessels in the United States were involved in nearly 12,000 collisions, allisions, and groundings from 1996 through 2000. The 1989 Exxon VALDEZ navigational lapse cost more than $2 billion and destroyed 1,300 miles of sensitive coastal habitats. In 2004, NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Response and Restoration responded to over 120 events, including the release of 270,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River near Philadelphia, and a spill of over 400,000 gallons of bunker oil in Alaska. More recently, marine accidents killed 1,163 people and caused $197 million in insured losses in 2017.

Click to NOAA tides and currents Website By integrating real-time environmental data (water levels, tides, currents, wave force and periodicity, salinity, bridge air gap) and meteorological parameters (wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, air and water temperatures) with forecasts and other geospatial information, and tailoring the output to the needs of local destination ports, the NOAA PORTS® program effectively mitigates those risks.

Post-Panamax monster vessel
POST-PANAMAX VESSEL
The danger expands in lock step with the commercial incentive to move cargo in ever-larger ships fitted with deepening drafts. Since Port Everglades has evolved into one of the few East Coast ports capable of berthing Post-Panamax monster vessels, the surrounding community and offshore marine environment have become increasingly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of a navigational misstep. The system affords large vessels an adequate margin of safety while allowing port operators to maximize port throughput.

Port Everglades Deputy Port Director Glenn Wiltshire
PORT EVERGLADES DEPUTY DIRECTOR GLENN WILTSHIRE
Although a topic typically avoided by port officials, ships accessing the port were at a serious navigational disadvantage. As observed by Port Everglades Deputy Port Director Glenn Wiltshire, “Before this equipment went into service, mariners had to rely on data for Lake Worth in Palm Beach County, or from Virginia Key in Miami to estimate conditions here.” Some used a Ouija board.

Port Everglades PORTS® system
PORT EVERGLADES PORTS SYSTEM
The first PORTS® system was established in 1991 at Tampa, Florida, and has since spread across the nation. The system scope and sensor array at each seaport are tailored to meet its specific needs. In Port Everglades, NOAA installed a Micro-Wave water level sensor (MWWL) - a non-contact highly accurate sensor used to measure distance and monitor long-term sea level changes. A back-up pressure-based sensor measures water-level. Wind speed and direction are provided by a meteorological station outfitted with primary back-up wind sensors and placed on the roof of the Port’s Harbormaster Tower.

Click to Broward County Environmental Planning & Community Resilience Division Soliciting the system was initially an advocacy brainchild of the Broward County Environmental Planning & Community Resilience Division, which co-sponsored the PORTS device, although a portion of the equipment costs were funded by a grant from the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND). The Division is headed by Dr. Jennifer Jurado, who was also named the County’s Chief Resilience Officer in 2016. For LaMarca’s July 2018 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

July 2018 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 cities, towns and villages in between.

Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Commitment to Service Award:

Click to Florida Association of Counties (FAC) It was a tremendous honor for me to receive the 2018 President’s “Commitment to Service” Award from the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), which was presented at the FAC Annual Conference and Educational Expo Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 27th. Representing Broward County as a FAC member over the past eight years has been an extremely rewarding experience. The Florida Association of Counties works on behalf of Florida’s 67 counties to advocate for home rule and legislation that is vital to the quality of life for all of our residents.

FAC President’s Commitment to Service Award


Click to Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Awardees I have had the great pleasure of being appointed to Chair the FAC Finance and Tax Policy Committee for a number of years. I have also served on the FAC Board of Directors, Legislative Executive Committee, Finance & Audit Committee, Urban Caucus, as well as various committees with the National Association of Counties. I am most proud of completing the Certified County Commissioner training program as well as the Advanced County Commissioner program. I was also thrilled to join six of my colleagues as we were recognized as Presidential Advocates by FAC for our work during the 2018 Legislative Session.

FAC President’s Commitment to Service Award


FLL Update:

Click to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport New Destinations Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) recently received an extraordinary achievement for “zero discrepancies” by the Federal Aviation Administration. FLL is in the midst of a major expansion program with several ongoing construction projects, therefore achieving this accomplishment is a tremendous tribute and speaks to FLL’s dedicated team. The Federal Aviation Regulations Part 139 certification is an annual inspection that reviews the Airport’s compliance with the FAA’s airfield safety requirements. It includes the inspection of 102,000 linear feet of airfield markings, 500+ airfield signs, 3,000+ runway/taxiway lights, safety areas, staff training and knowledge, wildlife control, Foreign Object Debris, emergency response, and Airport Rescue and Fire Fighter response and training. I am extremely happy to report that the FAA inspectors were highly complimentary of the hard work that they witnessed from the Broward County Aviation Department team.

Click to Americans for the Arts In other airport news, a public artwork display at FLL has been honored by the Americans for the Arts as a 2017 outstanding public art project through the Public Art Network Year in Review Program. Newly built in Concourse A at Terminal 1, the display entitled “Wavelength” is a massive metal structure that appears to float weightlessly with gradient colors and shapes that change as you move. Broward’s FLL is such an important gateway and I am excited that Broward County continues to provide opportunities for great pieces of public art that help improve our residents' and visitors' experience. For more information please visit Broward.org/Arts/PublicArt.

Wavelength in Concourse A at Terminal 1 at FLL


Port Everglades Update

Click to Port Everglades I was proud to join Broward County’s Port Everglades and the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) to announce a new system that offers public access to real-time tides, currents, water levels and other meteorological information thanks to an advanced sensor device developed and installed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The newly installed Port Everglades Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) is a decision support tool that measures and disseminates observations and predictions of water levels, currents and meteorological parameters that mariners need to navigate safely. Boaters and commercial mariners will be able to make safer choices based on the data from this equipment. Additionally, this equipment is collecting data about our natural resources that we can apply to preparations for storms, climate changes and sea level rise.

PORTS® is available on the Port’s website at porteverglades.net (top of the homepage under "Tides & Currents") or via phone at 866-213-5269.

Wavelength in Concourse A at Terminal 1 at FLL


Broward County Programs Recognized Nationally

Click to National Association of Counties Broward County has been recognized by the National Association of Counties with 14 Achievement Awards for innovative and effective County government programs that enhance services for residents in many different areas. The County was recognized for four environmental preservation and conservation programs which include: the Future Conditions Map Series: Groundwater Elevation Map, the Manatee Mobile App, Upland Mangrove Enhancement, and the Marine Environmental Education Center. The County received recognition for two Employment Assistance programs: the Transitional Employment Pilot Program, and the Community Recovery Aides Program. Also recognized within the “Helping Residents Connect with County Government” category was the Veterans Connect Program, the Active Learning Center at Broward County Libraries, and the Free Music Partnership Program. Additionally, the County was recognized for the Wide-Area Spray Truck Larvicide Technology, and the Special Needs Registry App. Internal training programs were also recognized: the Recording 6-week training program, the Recording Negotiable Instruments/Know Your Money initiative and the Climate Change Toolbox training program which was created by County employees for County employees. Broward County continues to be innovative with a multitude of programs and services being offered.

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

Hurricane Time; Port Pact; Tourism; Broward Course & Galt Trolley

Commentary

Click to June 2018 LaMarca Letter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
July 21, 2018 - In his June 2018 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca cautions constituents to actualize plans for the recently begun Hurricane Season and provides a list of useful online Hurricane Preparedness resources; describes having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) executed between Port Everglades and the Port of Limon, Costa Rica - one of four Port Everglades' International Sister Seaports - to mutually promote trade, modernization and marketing initiatives; cites statistics released by The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau that underscore substantial growth of the County's tourism economy during 2017; reviews "Passport to Broward", a 10-week Broward Academy program designed to enlighten college students as to how local government can productively impact the lives of residents and about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. LaMarca closes with a plea to participate in resurrecting the suspended Galt Mile Sun Trolley by completing a survey soliciting input useful for equipping a relaunched route with improved services, scheduling and destination sites.

Reconfiguring the Galt Mile Sun Trolley

County Commissioner Chip LaMarca
CHIP LAMARCA
City Commissioner Heather Moraitis
HEATHER MORAITIS
It appears that our City and County Commissioners released some of the same monthly messages to their shared constituencies in June, although couched in different contexts. While both of their June 2018 Newsletters open with urgent Hurricane Season exhortations, LaMarca delivers a list of preparedness resources while City Commissioner Heather Moraitis extolls FPL officials for having implemented a storm hardening plan, despite the misdirected project’s failure to prevent Irma’s record number of statewide power outages. They both close with a request that should resonate with Galt Mile residents - hanging on to our local community bus service – the Galt Sun Trolley.

Click to Sun Trolley After maintaining respectable ridership statistics for years, the Galt Mile link was abandoned by local residents. The Galt Mile route was defunded by Broward County Transit (BCT) in June 2017 when ridership dipped below the official “7.1 riders per revenue hour” funding threshold. The City of Fort Lauderdale picked up the entire cost for the next six months, as notices posted on association bulletin boards intimating “use it or lose it,” were apathetically shrugged off. Since Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Trolleys are collectively adding a $475,813 deficit to the current budget, on December 1, 2017, the service was frozen when an 18-month suspension was declared by the Fort Lauderdale City Commission on November 21st.

Sun Trolley Executive Director Robyn Chiarelli
SUN TROLLEY EXECUTIVE DIR. ROBYN CHIARELLI
Sun Trolley officials launched a campaign to reclaim the lost patrons. Executive Director of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (DFLTMA) - the Sun Trolley’s parent agency, Robyn Chiarelli explained “Over the next eighteen months, the existing route as well as different route alignments and service schedules will be analyzed. The ultimate goal is to meet the unique needs of this community and to make the trolley the first choice when it comes to the transportation options of our neighbors.”

Click to Sun Trolley To that end, Chiarelli’s team is harvesting feedback from Galt Mile residents to hopefully learn the adjustments needed to fatten up ridership. In March, they collected information at two Galt Sun Trolley Public Workshops held at the Beach Community Center and the Galt Ocean Mile Reading Center, but the sample size was statistically negligible. If enough people complete the brief survey, that insufficiency will be remedied. Among new proposed destination sites are Trader Joe’s, the Whole Foods Market, the Fresh Market and other locations.

Galt Mile Sun Trolley
GALT MILE SUN TROLLEY
Upgrading destination sites may not reverse plummeting utilization. Often accommodating a family budget, those typically dependent on the Galt trolley were shoppers, kids, visitors, patients, students and neighbors who hate parking problems, lack a vehicle – or no longer drive. Having relinquished their driver’s license (either voluntarily or otherwise) due to failing vision, slowed reflexes or lagging self-confidence behind the wheel, many elderly Galt Mile residents could still remain sufficiently mobile to assert their independence by using the Sun Trolley.

Click to Sun Trolley In observing “The Galt Link has historically served the senior citizen population that depends on the Sun Trolley for transportation,” Chiarelli may have inadvertently stumbled on why the ridership inexplicably declined along the Galt Mile. In 2012, the Sun Trolley began distributing a Sun Trolley Tracker App, enabling riders with smart phones, tablets and other online devices to pinpoint the exact location of every Sun Trolley city-wide.

Click to Sun Trolley Patrons would approximate where and when they could intercept, flag down and board any passing trolley, virtually dispensing with the need for scheduled stops. While most residents have grown comfortable using cell phone apps over the past decade, these digital utilities remain an enigma to many of our elderly neighbors. For people who spent a lifetime using a print bus schedule to time their arrival or departure to or from familiar bus stops, this new technology might have proven an insurmountable obstacle. Not surprisingly, Chiarelli is bouncing “Wave & Ride” and reimplementing fixed bus stops

A former Vice Chair at TMA Council of Association for Commuter Transportation, Sun Trolley boss Chiarelli played leadership roles in FDOT, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), Tri-Rail, and the South Florida Education Center Transportation Management Association. If she can somehow blend the high-tech improvements and new destination stops with the low-tech comfort zone of older residents, she may pull it off. We’ll assess changes made to the Galt link when Chiarelli releases her recommendations after crunching the new data. Read on for the June 2018 LaMarca Letter in its entirety – [editor]

 

June 2018 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 the beautiful cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Hurricane Season is Here!

Click to King Tides June 1st was the official start of hurricane season and if you have not already done so, now is the time to begin preparing for any major weather event that may come our way. Broward County encourages everyone to take responsibility for your safety and that of your family, pets, and property by developing a hurricane plan now. Provided below are helpful links and information that can assist you in planning for this year’s hurricane season.

  • Get important public safety information before, during and after a tropical event, including readiness tips, boil water alerts, curfews, transportation updates, trash pick-ups, recovery assistance services and more by visiting Broward.org/Hurricane.

  • Click to Vulnerable residents Sign up for AlertBroward, Broward County’s Emergency Alert Notification System.

  • At risk residents should visit Broward.org/AtRisk for shelter options, pre-registration services, arrangements for animals and more information.

  • Click to King Tides Find out if you live in an evacuation zone.

  • Find out if you live in a flood zone.

  • Visit our comprehensive emergency preparedness website at Emergency.Broward.org.

  • Call the Broward County Call Center at 311, or 954-831-4000, for updates and general preparedness information.

It is crucial to begin this process now before we have a major weather event in Broward County. Please be sure to use these helpful resources to keep your families and pets safe this hurricane season.

Port Everglades Update

Click to Port Everglades Broward County’s Port Everglades recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Port of Limon, Costa Rica, as part of its International Sister Seaport Program. Port Everglades has International Sister Seaport agreements with four seaports in Europe, Asia, and South America, and an MOU with the Panama Canal Authority and now the Port of Limón, Costa Rica. The International Sister Seaport Program encourages new business and trade between seaport organizations.

Concourse G East in Terminal 4


Along with my colleague, I had the honor of signing the MOU on behalf of Port Everglades. The MOU outlines joint initiatives the two parties will undertake and states that it is within “their mutual interest to establish an alliance of cooperation aimed at facilitating international trade and generating new business by promoting the all-water routes between” the two ports. These key joint initiatives include marketing activities, market studies, modernization and improvements, and training.

Concourse G East in Terminal 4


For more updates on Broward County’s Port Everglades please visit PortEverglades.net.

Broward County’s Tourism

Click to 2017 tourism statistics Last month, I highlighted two of Broward County’s major economic engines, Port Everglades (PEV) and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Both PEV and FLL have the common asset of providing a valuable service to Broward County’s third economic engine, tourism. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has released tourism statistics for 2017.

Click to Click to 2017 tourism statistics In 2017, Broward County had an increase of 4.61 percent in visitors over 2016, with 12.8 million visitors. More than 1 million visitors overnighted in 2017, excluding Canada. This is an increase of 5 percent over 2016. Visitors stayed an average of 7.4 nights and spent more than $2 billion in 2017. Notably, 32.5 million passengers traveled through FLL in 2017, an increase of 11.3 million over 2016, and 4.1 million cruisers visited Port Everglades in 2017, the second highest number in history.

Broward Academy VII

Click to Broward Academy Broward Academy is a free, 10-week Thursday evening program (September 13th - November 15th) for college students that will help them develop a greater understanding of how local government works and makes a difference in the quality of life for residents. A civic component will be incorporated so students can better appreciate their rights and responsibilities as citizens. This year’s theme is Passport to Broward - and students will get to go behind the scenes to many Broward County destinations where the public typically does not have access like the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades, Emergency Operations Center, Medical Examiner’s Office and more! Dinner is included in the program. Students can go online to learn more and complete the application. The deadline for consideration is July 27th.

Sun Trolley

Click to Sun Trolley After 25 years of providing Sun Trolley service to our neighbors and guests, the City of Fort Lauderdale and the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (TMA) are working together to re-imagine the City's community bus service and update it to better meet the needs of all users. The City and the TMA are conducting outreach to our neighbors within the Sun Trolley's Galt Link route to better understand the needs. This information, along with several public meetings and additional analysis, will be used to draft route recommendations that will be presented to the community for feedback in the future.

Please take a few minutes to complete a brief SURVEY to help us plan the future Sun Trolley Galt Link. For more information, call 954-TROLLEY (954-876-5539) or visit the website. Thank you for participating, your feedback is important to us.

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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Click Here to Broward County Hurricane preparedness Guide June 27, 2018 - Hurricane Season began on June 1, 2018. Every Galt Mile association crafted a Hurricane preparedness plan to protect its residents - and their homes. Some tailored plans borrowed from neighboring associations, adapted plans crafted by Broward County or the American Red Cross, or implemented corporate plans offered by contracted Management Companies such as First Services, Associa or Campbell Property Management.

Irrespective of the plan, prior to a storm, association staff completes a prescribed set of lock-down procedures on the premises and oversees the removal of unit owner balcony furnishings that might otherwise become wind-borne projectiles.

Evacuation Exemptions

If authorities order an evacuation, the association advises residents of the need to depart, immobilizes the elevators at a floor midway to the roof, turns off the pool pump and other nonessential amenities and dismisses employees. Associations typically announce an impending shut down of the cooling tower and the domestic water system. However, depending on the circumstances, they may not follow through. While some residents drive inland or head to the airport and fly to safety, many stay in their homes.

Association employees are entitled to clock out when a declared evacuation begins, providing them an opportunity to prepare for the storm. In many Galt Mile associations, some employees request permission to remain on the job. There are differences in how Associations treat these requests. Some welcome the help while others are leery about the prospect of uncertain liability consequences.

When asked why she would elect to stay at work instead of going home, a security staffer in a Galt Mile association said, “The people here treat me like family, and some of the older ones who can’t leave could need my help.” As a post script, she added “Also, I live alone, and I feel safer here than in my house.”

Broward hurricane shelter
BROWARD HURRICANE SHELTER FULL
The refusal of many owners to leave their homes is nothing new. Some feel safer in their apartment - protected by impact glass windows in a building rated to withstand a category 4 hurricane. In contrast, many cash-strapped elderly retirees living on fixed incomes have nowhere else to go - and can’t afford to either travel or book an inland hotel room. Fearful for their safety, some shun the poorly supervised bedless shelters made available by the county. In every association, there are also some residents – often elderly – who are afflicted with medical issues that cannot be properly managed in the County’s Special needs shelters.

Broward hurricane shelter
BROWARD HURRICANE SHELTER
Unless martial law is declared, evacuation orders are virtually unenforceable – comparable to a strong recommendation. This has fueled a controversy in some associations. Whether or not those who remain behind are forced to by circumstances, association officials must weigh their dilemma against the need to protect the garage-level equipment from potential damage by storm surge flooding. If the seawall is breached and motors that drive the pool equipment, the domestic water pump, the cooling tower and the elevator are left running, they could burn out or otherwise sustain systemic damage if flooded, creating a hardship for every resident until long after the storm passes.

The Irma Lesson

Click Here to Broward County Evacuation plans Broward County has two Evacuation plans. Plan A is for Category 1 or 2 Hurricanes, with winds ranging from 74-110 MPH. Coastal residents and those in mobile homes or low-lying areas – including the entire barrier island - are ordered to evacuate. If the wind speed exceeds 111 MPH, as in Hurricane Category 3 or higher, a Plan B evacuation impacts all residents included in Plan A, plus those in properties east of U.S. 1 (Federal Highway). To offset unavoidable compliance delays caused by traffic jams and clogged airports, evacuations are declared five or six days before a hurricane might reach the County line.

Since National Hurricane Center (NHC) predictions about a Florida hurricane's behavior released five days before the storm’s possible arrival include several prospective paths, and widely divergent wind speeds that significantly vary with the storm’s possible passage over land or water, threatened jurisdictions must issue evacuation orders based on a statistically dubious worst-case scenario.

Category 5 Hurricane Irma
CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IRMA
When Broward County ordered mandatory evacuations for people who live east of Federal Highway and on the barrier islands on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, thousands of Galt Mile residents fled west or north to escape Hurricane Irma, only to find themselves in the storm’s shifting path, as their neighbors who remained behind were relatively unmolested. Many of those who sought sanctuary in mainland hotels, motels, or the inland homes of friends or relatives, were victimized by power outages when above ground power lines were snapped by fallen trees and hemmed in by streets made impassible by debris.

Evacuation Coin Flip

Click Here to Mason-Dixon polling According to a Mason-Dixon poll conducted October 17 to 19, 42 percent of Floridians ordered to evacuate for Hurricane Irma stayed home. When thousands of Floridians who were mandated to evacuate were inadvertently steered into the storm, many lost confidence in government-ordered evacuations. 24 percent of those who did comply with an evacuation order said they would not do so again. Unfortunately, for those living or working in storm-threatened structures inadequately fortified against the impacts of windstorm and storm surge, this recalcitrance could prove disastrous.

Palm Beach County Emergency Management Director Bill Johnson
PALM BEACH EMERGENCY MGT DIR. BILL JOHNSON
Many of the problems that plagued the largest hurricane evacuation in U.S. history were rooted in fear, reporting inaccuracies and misconceptions about the danger that a hurricane actually poses to Florida homes. As observed by Palm Beach County Emergency Management Director Bill Johnson, “We have an over-evacuation problem.” Of the 7,000,000 Floridians that spent an average $1000 to seek shelter and safety elsewhere (about a third of the state’s population), nearly half bolted from areas that were not under an evacuation order. While this unnecessarily intensifies traffic jams and prematurely exhausts sheltering opportunities, it doesn’t explain a widely perceived disconnect between mandated evacuations and actual danger.

James Brinkley of the National Hurricane Center’s surge unit
JAMES BRINKLEY OF THE NHC’S SURGE UNIT
Since hurricanes strengthen when traveling over water and weaken over land, meteorologists agree that the greatest danger posed by Florida hurricanes is to structures in coastal communities – from storm surge – not high winds. Hurricane storm surge flooding causes more deaths than the combined impacts of windstorm and fresh water flooding (cyclonic rainfall). Storm surge is largely determined by the pre-landfall size of a storm, the speed that it’s traveling, the shape of the coastline and the depth of the coastal waters.

Category 1 Hurricane Sandy 14 Foot storm surge
CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE SANDY 14 FOOT STORM SURGE
Enigmatically, every Florida jurisdiction (including Broward County) orders evacuations based on the category of a hurricane as indicated by the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which is solely determined by wind speed. When asked how wind speed affects storm surge, James Brinkley of the National Hurricane Center’s surge unit said, “There is no relationship.” In 2012, Category 1 Hurricane Sandy walloped the coast with a 14-foot storm surge, while Category 4 Hurricane Charley packed less than a 7-foot storm surge in 2004.

Category 4 Hurricane Charley 6 Foot storm surge
CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE CHARLEY 6 FOOT STORM SURGE
Despite the vagaries inherent in predicting the impact of a storm 5 days before it arrives, there is no reasonable alternative, as evacuations require sufficient time for compliance. However, when jurisdictions order evacuations based on a storm’s wind speed, which mischaracterizes the real threat, they justify the waning public confidence in the credibility of mandated evacuations.

NHC Team Leader Jamie Rhome
NHC TEAM LEADER JAMIE RHOME
For instance, the online Broward County Storm Surge page states, “Evacuations are needed to keep people safe from storm surge” If a storm’s primary danger to residents is from water, not wind, why are evacuations triggered by a hurricane’s category (wind speed)? Evidently, when the NHC altered its format to dispel the misconception that wind speed was an indicator of threatened storm surge, most Florida jurisdictions ignored the change, and perpetuated a myth rejected by the NHC.

Click Here to National Hurricane Center For years, National Hurricane Center (NHC) storm warnings bracketed the estimated range of storm surge for each hurricane category in their Saffir-Simpson Scale. Following a decade of embarrassing inconsistencies that demonstrated the irrelevance of wind speed to storm surge, the NHC eliminated those estimates in 2010. Although the NHC has since made available independent storm surge watch and warning advisories, jurisdictions continued to use the boilerplate NHC Saffir-Simpson Scale wind speeds – without the storm surge estimates – as their basis for declaring evacuations. “We evacuate for storm surge, not wind,” said NHC Team Leader Jamie Rhome. When taken together with the millions of Floridians who bolt by epiphany, and typically leave safe areas to clog evacuation routes - as the man said – an over-evacuation problem.

Protecting the Association & the Vulnerable

Floods Broward Boulevard at Andrews Avenue
FLOODING BROWARD BOULEVARD AT ANDREWS AVENUE
Management companies rigidly adhere to corporate protocols when an evacuation is declared. Owners have a day or so to get out before the onsite manager dismisses the staff and cuts off the water, AC, the elevator and any amenities, leaving those who remain to their own devices through the arrival of the storm – four days later. One Galt manager disagreed with his company’s inflexible Hurricane policy, claiming it states, “If owners are too arrogant to get out when ordered, they deserve what’s coming to them.”

Hurricane Irma Floods Broward Boulevard
HURRICANE IRMA FLOODS BROWARD BOULEVARD
Assured of anonymity, he observed, “The only reason to shut down these services is to preserve the equipment’s functionality, not to punish residents who don’t follow the company’s orders. Turning off the equipment is the right thing to do when the building is in danger; but denying these services to people who need them even when the storm turns away and is no longer a serious threat - just because an evacuation order was given four days earlier - is just wrong.”

Click Here to National Hurricane Center Active storms are closely tracked by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC). Unfolding events are recorded online within minutes, and compiled into official reports every few hours, providing those at risk with a far better perspective of the actual danger, as opposed to the five-day old threat assessment that prompted an evacuation order.

Irma - Path was uncertain In some self-managed associations, after buttoning down the premises and announcing the evacuation order, the Administration temporarily delayed curbing the critical services. When the Broward evacuation order was declared on Wednesday, September 6, Irma was approaching Puerto Rico with 170 MPH winds and predicted to wreak havoc along Florida's east or west coast. However, since it was drained of energy by its post-landfall overland path through Collier and Miami-Dade Counties, the wind speed was cut by half, the National Weather Service dropped its storm surge assessment to 1 -2 feet in Broward and Palm Beach and although still massive in scope, Irma was reduced to a Tropical Storm with occasional hurricane force gusts before hitting Broward County on Sunday, September 10.

While many association officials got out of Dodge on Wednesday and Thursday - some made arrangements to leave on Saturday - the day before Irma would reach Broward County. By delaying their departure, they could consider options based on the storm’s current status, not a stale, four-day old threat assessment. It only takes a few hours to clear and lock down the elevators, shut off a domestic water pump and safely disable any cooling towers. Since they could still shut down critical services and head to shelter if the threat persisted, neither they nor the association’s equipment were placed at risk by this strategy.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief Hurricane Irma Update
BROW. MAYOR BARBARA SHARIEF HURRICANE IRMA
When one well-respected Galt Mile Board President ascertained that she was no longer obliged to interrupt critical services upon learning of Irma’s deflation to a Tropical Storm, those in residence were never deprived of elevators, A/C and drinking water, unlike thousands of their Galt Mile neighbors. As observed by Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief after Irma passed by, “Broward County has made it through the worst of Hurricane Irma with undetermined impact, but much less than any of us would have imagined just a few days ago.”

Florida Division of Emergency Management Communications Director Alberto Moscoso
FL EMERGENCY MGT COMM DIR ALBERTO MOSCOSO
The controversy will continue, as association officials debate the viability of altering hurricane plans if and when the danger dissipates - in a manner that protects both the association and its most vulnerable residents. That said, the event may induce some association hurricane committees to take another look at their pre-storm preparations – and explore vehicles to abort disabling critical equipment resources when the NHC reports that a threat no longer exists.

Click Here to Florida Division of Emergency Management Having observed how unclear messages led millions of Floridians in safe areas to unnecessarily evacuate their homes, Florida Division of Emergency Management Communications Director Alberto Moscoso exclaimed “The Division strives to learn from every event,” adding that state officials were looking at ways to improve evacuation plans. If this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve heard it before, so don’t hold your breath.

 


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Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca

Economic Engines; Port; Cruise News & Airport

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca May 2018 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
June 17, 2018 - Since initially elected, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca has staunchly supported the county’s economic engines. As Enterprise Funds, these money machines don’t burn through tax dollars, but sink or swim on inhouse profits. In his May 2018 constituent update, while enumerating a litany of world-class cruise vessels scheduled to serve Port Everglades travelers, LaMarca looks at two regional economic engines - major Broward transportation hubs - and serves up statistical evidence of dynamic growth in Port Everglades amd Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport.

Port Everglades

Click to Port Everglades
Former Fort Lauderdale Mayor William H. Marshall
FORMER FORT LAUDERDALE MAYOR
WILLIAM H. MARSHALL
In 1911, when the City of Fort Lauderdale was officially incorporated with William H. Marshall as its first mayor, the Florida Board of Trade passed a resolution calling for a local deepwater port so nearby farmers could ship produce to the north and west. Lake Mabel, a shallow coastal lake separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a low sand ridge would become Lake Mabel Harbor.

President Calvin Coolidge
PRESIDENT CALVIN COOLIDGE
On Feb. 22, 1928, with schools and businesses closed, some 85 percent of Broward’s residents gathered for a harbor dedication event promoted as the “Wedding of the Waters.” President Calvin Coolidge was to press a button at the White House detonating explosives to emulsify a rock barrier separating the harbor area from the ocean. However, when (and if) Coolidge pressed the button, nothing happened.

Lake Mabel Harbor dedication event
LAKE MABEL HARBOR DEDICATION EVENT
The barrier was later removed and by the end of 1928, about $100,000 a year of cotton products were passing through the port to Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean and Latin America. A name contest conducted by several local women’s clubs in 1930 morphed Lake Mabel Harbor into “Port Everglades”.

Click to Port Everglades Although the cruise business accounts for 42% of its operating revenue, Port Everglades generates the vast majority of its economic activity as a throughput for cargo. By handling more than one-million TEUs in 2016 (TEUs are 20-foot equivalent units - the cargo industry’s standard container measurement), the port chalked up $27.4 billion of its $29.4 billion in economic activity.

While promoted as a crossroads of North-South and East-West trade, Port Everglades primarily serves as a gateway to the Caribbean, Central and South America, and some access to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, with only a taste of trade from the Middle East, Africa. India and East Asia, which instead send hundreds of $billions in cargo to ports in Savannah and Charleston.

Intermodal Container Transfer Facility
INTERMODAL CONTAINER TRANSFER FACILITY
Its storybook expansion as a container port is the result of 3 Master Plan capital improvements, an expansion crafted to prepare Port Everglades for future growth in container traffic. On July 14, 2014, a public-private partnership funded by the port and the Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) 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).

Click to Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act Ever since the Panama Canal expansion enabled huge ocean-going monsters – 50% wider and 25% longer with 50-foot drafts as compared to their Panamax predecessors – to leapfrog between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, when these Post-Panamax vessels flock to Port Everglades, they must compensate for the relatively shallow entrance channel, which impairs maneuvering and the offloading of goods.

Click to Turning Notch Info When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a long-awaited Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement along with a Chief of Engineers Report in 2015, and Congress pumped nearly $16 billion into the Corps’ funding cookie jar by passing the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA 16) which is Title I of the WIIN Act, it cleared the way for Port Everglades to begin the next phase of a $389 million project to deepen and widen its channels from 42 feet to 48 feet (plus two feet of allowable overdepth for a total of 50 feet). The Port’s third Master Plan capital improvement, a $437.5 million Southport Turning Notch Extension project, is lengthening the existing deep-water turn-around area for cargo ships from 900 feet to 2,400 feet, adding five new cargo berths served by new Super Post-Panamax gantry cranes.

Eller Drive Overpass
ELLER DRIVE OVERPASS
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has also been busy. To expedite distribution of incoming cargo from the ICTF to Florida’s interstate highway system, FDOT invested $42.5 million to build the Eller Drive Overpass, allowing vehicles to travel unimpeded over FECR’s existing rail tracks in a straight shot to the interstate. The port also partnered with FDOT to realign McIntosh Road, the main artery in the Port’s Southport containerized cargo area, building an efficient multi-lane loop road with ample room for truck staging.

Already located in the heart of the nation’s eighth most populous metropolitan region, less than one mile from the Atlantic Shipping Lane, two miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), with direct access to the Interstate highway system and an on-port Foreign-Trade Zone, the new capitol upgrades would allow Port Everglades cargo to reach 70 percent of the U.S. population within four days.

The improvements set the stage for its current meteoric growth, as shippers offering long-term agreements lined up to share in the port’s uniquely competitive advantages.

Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport

Fort Lauderdale aviator Merle Fogg
FORT LAUDERDALE AVIATOR MERLE FOGG
A year after the Port’s emergence in 1928, Merle Fogg Airport – named for Fort Lauderdale’s pioneer aviator – opened with two crisscrossing shell-rock runways on May 1, 1929, on the abandoned nine-hole Southside municipal golf course. When substantially expanded by the U.S. Navy in 1942 inorder to train World War II naval aviators to fly carrier-based torpedo attack planes, it was renamed Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station (NAS). Closed on October 1, 1946, NAS Fort Lauderdale was transferred to county control, becoming Broward County International Airport in January 1948.

Click to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport New Destinations The following decade saw a new passenger terminal and a major relaunch as the Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in October 1959. By 1970, passenger levels had exceeded one million per annum, rising steadily over the years and topping ten million in 1994, twenty million in 2004, twenty-five million in 2015, and thirty million by 2017. Hundreds of new domestic and international routes offered by scores of new carriers attracted to the fast-growing large hub airport were ultimately managed in 4 repeatedly upgraded and reconfigured terminals.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Runway
FLL RUNWAY
Although hampered by a land-deprived site of only 1,380 acres, the subsequent series of improvement projects, terminal expansions and renovations - and the September 2014 opening of an 8000-foot runway extended to accommodate larger aircraft and simultaneous landings – enabled FLL to keep pace with the explosive growth in domestic and international passenger traffic.

FLL CEO Mark Gale
FLL CEO MARK GALE
In 2017, FLL surpassed both Philadelphia Airport and La Guardia Airport in total passenger traffic, jumping from the 21st to the 19th busiest U.S. airport. When a $2.3 billion expansion and modernization project is completed in 2020, Broward County Aviation Director Mark Gale anticipates that FLL will annually serve 40 million passengers.

Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center

Click to Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center
Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center
GREATER FT LAUD/BROW COUNTY CONVENTION CENT
Despite its omission from LaMarca's May 2018 Newsletter, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center is widely characterized as a third county economic engine, although crippling neglect annually veils a diminishing fiscal dividend.

Click to Matthews Southwest Inc. Hampered by age, an inadequate footprint and a serious operational deficiency, the current 600,000 square foot facility built in 1991 has been leaking $100 million in annual revenues as longtime customers relocate their business to other second tier convention cities that offer integrated onsite lodging.

Port Everglades Security checkpoint
PORT EVERGLADES SECURITY CHECKPOINT
For years, the Center has been forced to offset its lack of a dedicated hotel with a laundry list of expensive perks, further squeezing embattled profits. In varying proportions, prior attempts by the County Board in 1991, 1997 and 2007 to correct this competitive shortcoming were squelched by turf protection, greed... or stupidity.

Planned Convention Center Hotel
PLANNED CONVENTION CENTER HOTEL
To reverse this costly trend, the county has approved a plan by Dallas-based developer Matthews Southwest Inc., (MSW) to expand the Convention Center by 300,000 square feet and add a headquarters hotel with at least 800 rooms. Since a federally mandated Security checkpoint on a road that shared access to the center and Terminal 2 in adjacent Port Everglades unnecessarily irked and impeded visitors to the Convention Center, the security checkpoint at the 17th Street entrance to Eisenhauer Boulevard and the center was dismantled and relocated south of the center to 20th Street, eliminating the security drama for conventioneers. Cruise patrons now clear security when they enter Terminal 2.

Portside Yachting Center
PORTSIDE YACHTING CENTER
The planned hotel will be located on the site of the adjacent Portside Yachting Center property, which the County Commission agreed to acquire to expand the overall project area and maximize views of the waterfront. Connecting all facilities will be a public open space for community recreation and events that can be supported by retail and entertainment venues.

Public Open Space for Community Recreation and Events
PUBLIC OPEN SPACE FOR COMMUNITY RECREATION AND EVENTS
An economic impact analysis of the Convention Center expansion projected an incremental 47 events annually, an estimated 50 percent increase in new attendees, and more than 115,000 new annual room nights (overnight stays). Other fiscal impacts detailed in the analysis include new annual spending of $83.1 million (in 2013 dollars) by delegates, exhibitors and event organizers, the creation of 721 permanent full-time jobs, a minimum of $96 million in future annual tax revenues (also in 2013 dollars) - more than $70 million to the State of Florida and $21 million to Broward County - and $1.1 billion in recurring economic impacts over a 20-year period.

Ground breaking is planned for late fall 2018 and the entire facility is expected to be open to the public by late fall 2021. For LaMarca’s May 2018 message to District 4 constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

May 2018 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 cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Broward County’s Economic Engines

Broward County Economic Engines
BROWARD COUNTY’S ECONOMIC ENGINES
Broward County is home to more than 1.9 million residents and two powerful economic engines that fuel Broward’s economy: Port Everglades and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. These two major entities have a tremendous economic impact on our community. Combined, these powerful operations provide for hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and create thousands of good jobs for people in our community. The seaport and airport have also enhanced Broward County’s global image as a great tourist destination.

Port Everglades

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Broward County’s Port Everglades (PEV) is one of the world’s best kept secrets. PEV is Florida’s largest container port and the third largest cruise port in the world. The Port handles a uniquely diverse business mix – cruise, containerized cargo, dry and bulk cargo, as well as petroleum for twelve counties and three international airports. It is rare to have such diversity in one seaport. PEV is the #1 seaport in Florida by revenue, #1 container port in Florida (#10 in U.S.) by volume – with more than 1,037,226 TEUs, and the #1 seaport for exports in Florida – with $11.7 billion exports, $10.4 billion imports (Calendar Year 2016). Additionally, Broward’s seaport is the #3 cruise port in the world for passengers for multi-day cruises – with 3.8 million total passengers.

Click to Port Everglades Port Everglades’ main economic impact to our community is from its self-supporting revenues combined with state and local grants to pay for capital improvements, meaning no local property tax dollars are used for Port construction or operations. The Port generates $29.4 billion in total economic activity, pays $1.1 billion in state and local taxes, supports 12,963 direct local jobs receiving $507.7 million in direct wage and salary income, and produces 222,914 Florida jobs generating $8.8 billion in wages.

Cruise News

Silversea Cruises' Silver Muse
SILVERSEA CRUISES' SILVER MUSE
Silversea Cruises welcomes its newest ship in the fleet, the 596-passenger Silver Muse. She is scheduled for five 2018 sailings in addition to her sister ships Silver Whisper and Silver Wind also sailing from Port Everglades. Crystal Cruises has two ships sailing from Port Everglades — Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity – which began October 2017. Princess Cruises began year-round sailings in April with the Caribbean Princess, equipped with the new Ocean Medallion wearable technology service. Celebrity Cruises’ new 2,918-passenger Celebrity Edge, the ship designed to leave the future behind, will sail from Port Everglades beginning December 16th. The Edge is the first ship in Celebrity Cruises' new class of ships in nearly a decade. Royal Caribbean maintains service out of Terminal 18, which is the home of the two largest cruise ships in the world, Oasis Class Ships: Alure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

Fort Lauderdale’s International Airport

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is currently the fastest growing large hub airport in the United States. Total passenger traffic for 2017 was about 33 million up by 11.3 percent, international traffic was up 18.06 percent and domestic traffic was up 9.4 percent. FLL is the 12th busiest large hub airport for international traffic. This year has started off to a great start, with total passenger traffic for the 1st quarter of 2018 at 9,383,778, up 9.6 percent over the 1st quarter of last year.

Additionally, commercial aircraft operations for March 2018 were 27,862, up 6.7 percent over last year. This is an increase of 57 take offs and landings a day. FLL ranks 2nd among large hub airports for growth in scheduled available seats for the 2nd quarter of 2018, up 9.1 percent over the 2nd quarter last year. Based on scheduled seats and historic load factors, we estimate total passenger traffic for the 2nd quarter 2018 to reach 9M passengers. Total passenger traffic could reach 18M by the end of June!

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport With the tremendous economic impacts from PEV and FLL in our diverse community, it is important to continue to advocate for the future of Broward’s economic engines. Both the seaport and the airport have implemented massive master plans that will assist them in preparing for the future growth of cargo and the tourism industry in Broward County.

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

BSO; County Gov Month; Port is 90; FLL Flights

Commentary

Click to April 2018 LaMarca Letter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca Supports Broward's Revenue Sources
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
May 27, 2018 - In his April 2018 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca describes how the Police Foundation will craft an After-Action Report (AAR) about the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, having concluded an AAR for the questionable police response to the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in the City of Orlando. He celebrates April as National County Government Month, outlines the 90-year evolution of Port Everglades into a regional economic powerhouse, and notes how the latest new flights are contributing to the rapid expansion of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

School Shooting Survivors in the Gunshine State

Click to April 2, 2018 TIME Magazine As a consequence of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the entire country seemingly awoke from a narcoleptic-like slumber. Due to the sheer frequency of unspeakable acts of senseless violence, people deprived of sufficient time to process a blur of catastrophes grow increasingly numb with each subsequent horrific incident. This time, 5 kids whose friends were sent to the morgue during classes were given an unrestricted pipeline into our lives by an adoring media.

Governor Signs Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act
GOVERNOR SIGNS MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS ACT
Immune to the political predations of the NRA and a host of their bought and paid for elected officials, these children forced a Governor who staunchly opposed legislation preventing the sale of guns to the mentally ill, to advocate for Florida’s first and only gun control law. Supported by the parents of millions of school-age children, including long-standing NRA members, the message was infectious, as four other states passed similar measures.

Gun Control Demonstration in Washington DC
GUN CONTROL DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON DC
When a series of quickly organized gun control protests attracted millions of angry participants in thousands of cities across the planet, vicious NRA attacks on the kids ordered by gunmakers ground to a halt when the organization was showered in angry feedback by its membership.

Former BSO Deputy Scot Peterson waits outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
FORMER BSO DEPUTY WAITS OUTSIDE SCHOOL
Lost in this unprecedented gun violence epiphany was an event that occurred on the day of the shooting. Despite nationwide police active-shooter protocols, which mandate that armed law enforcement officers confront shooters immediately, four Broward Sheriff deputies who heard shots ring out from inside the school sat out the massacre until Coral Springs Police arrived and rushed in after the shootings. Although a BSO deputy who resigned shortly after the incident was publicly lambasted as a coward by both Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and President Donald Trump, the event also raised concern about the adequacy of BSO’s public safety response protocols. While one cop might be a bad apple, four BSO deputies ignoring gunshots in a school suggests a command and control failure.

Police Foundation Assesses Orlando Massacre

Click to Police Foundation Pulse After-Action Report (AAR) In his April 2018 newsletter, after announcing that the incident will be investigated by the Police Foundation, which he characterized as an “independent, nonprofit, non-partisan, and non-membership driven organization” that specializes in police science, LaMarca references a Police Foundation After-Action Report (AAR) acclaimed by Orlando City officials that evaluated the police response to a terrorist event in which 49 people in an Orlando nightclub were slaughtered by a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle two years ago.

Click to Pulse Night Club Massacre
Massacre at Pulse Night Club in Orlando
MASSACRE AT PULSE NIGHT CLUB IN ORLANDO
On June 12, 2016, when an off-duty Orlando PD detective working club security at the Pulse Nightclub heard the initial gunfire, he issued a call for police back-up at 2:02 a.m. Upon converging at the scene, officers from Orlando PD (OPD), Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO), Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Belle Isle PD, Eatonville PD, Maitland PD, Winter Garden PD, Winter Park PD and other nearby jurisdictions were assigned as needed to triage, recon, and hospital transport, as poorly coordinated communications with the Orlando Fire Department (OFD) delayed the arrival of Fire-Rescue EMTs and paramedics. Since paramedics were restrained from entering the kill zone when they did arrive, untrained police officers did the best they could to assist the wounded.

Pulse Night Club in Orlando
PULSE NIGHT CLUB IN ORLANDO
Small teams comprised of six different police agencies launched opportunistic forays into the club, rescuing the injured while searching for the shooter. A full-on breach wasn't authorized by SWAT until 5 a.m., 3 hours after the shooting began. 15 minutes later, the self-proclaimed terrorist was shot by the police. Instead of a sycophantic accommodation to the thin blue line, the 192-page Police Foundation report meticulously reviewed time-lined events, describing what tactics worked and which ones could have worked better.

The Catastrophe Unfolds

Orlando PD SWAT commander Mark Canty
ORLANDO PD SWAT COMMANDER MARK CANTY
The AAR observed that Police initially implemented hostage negotiation procedures - like those depicted in Dog Day Afternoon - as SWAT planned a breach while a shooter who was systematically murdering people in the nightclub eventually barricaded himself with some hostages in one of the club’s two restrooms for more than two hours. The murders were originally misconstrued as hate crimes targeting LGBT and/or Hispanic patrons that frequented the club. The theory was soon dispelled following several cell phone contacts with police and a television producer, when the shooter announced “I did it for ISIS” – the fundamentalist designation for an “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”, adding. “to stop the bombing in Syria and Iraq.”

Pulse Nightclub Shooter Omar Mateen
PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTER OMAR MATEEN
Investigators later revealed that the shooter, 29-year old Omar Mateen from Fort Pierce, had been a regular at the club who contacted men on gay dating apps. Following inflammatory comments to colleagues asserting ties to ISIS, he was questioned by the FBI in 2013 and 2014, and released when no links to known terrorists were established. It was unclear as to whether his actions were those of a self-hating homophobe, or driven by fundamentalist zeal, or both.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina
ORLANDO POLICE CHIEF JOHN MINA
The Command and Control assessment of the incident morphed from an active shooter event with casualties - to a suspect with hostages - and finally to a terrorist with hostages. While prepared for the first two scenarios, OPD commanders who were less educated and trained in combating terrorism turned to on-site agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the FBI to creatively improvise responses.

Pulse Victims
PULSE VICTIMS
While commending the bravery of OPD and other officers who meticulously followed department procedures, the AAR lamented flawed Command and Control decisions. For example, once the SWAT commander led the response inside the club, no one assumed command outside the club (to manage the overall operation as well as the staging and deployment of continuously arriving personnel and resources) until a unified command center (UCC) was established more than an hour later.

Some agencies - including the Orlando Fire Department (OFD) - established their own incident command posts, which unnecessarily delayed information and resource sharing, impeded coordination, and undermined overall situational awareness. As a result, firefighters at station 5, located within a block of the incident, sat on their thumbs while vainly waiting for the OPD to give them a “safe to enter” notification before responding to the scene.

Since the body armor issued to patrol officers offered little protection from the shooter’s weapons, many of the first responders were ill-equipped to protect themselves throughout the event. Some never adorned the protective vests. The officer's shields didn't block incoming rounds. No provision was made for a decontamination facility, forcing officers to improvise their own cleanup.

The Cop and the Bystander

Click to Orlando Police Department The report describes an exchange between a female bystander and police during the event. When she inquired, “Y’all is gonna shoot his ass?”, an officer asserted that they couldn't for fear of hitting a hostage, to which the bystander remarked “Bullshit, go in there and shoot his ass, man.” Her blunt suggestion proved insightful.

After diplomatically acknowledging the difficulty with resolving horrific incidents of mass public violence and terrorism, the AAR team cut to the chase, exclaiming “However, recognizing that extremist terrorism represents a continuing if not a growing threat, the OPD and other law enforcement agencies should develop specific negotiation protocols recognizing that an immediate and overwhelming tactical assault may be the safest and most effective response to resolve a hostage incident during a terrorist attack.” In short, when a shooter's priority is a record body count, the immediate use of deadly force might most effectively limit the number of casualties. The unnamed bystander got it right.

Picking up the Pieces

Click to Broward Sheriff Office As mentioned by LaMarca, another Police Foundation AAR commissioned by Broward County will assess the police response to the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Given the world-wide media coverage of the event, when BSO blew an admitted opportunity to rescue at least some of the shooter's victims, its reputation as a police agency took a nosedive - both here and abroad.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel
BROWARD SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL
While the report could help defuse a public outcry for an unbiased independent investigation into the controversial actions taken by BSO, Broward officials seek to realize a critical incremental dividend. By successfully incorporating Police Foundation recommendations into its public safety protocols, BSO hopes to repair damaged credibility sufficiently to begin recapturing degraded public confidence. While it won’t offset BSO’s shattering February 14 failure, Broward officials believe it’s a step in the right direction. As always, time will tell. For LaMarca’s entire April 2018 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

April 2018 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 cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

After Action Review Following the MSD Shooting

Click to Police Foundation Broward County recently chose the Police Foundation as the independent organization to create an After-Action Report (AAR) on the event that transpired on February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. This independent organization will identify and review all relevant information about the event and conduct interviews to complete an assessment and provide an AAR to the County.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Victims Memorial
Memorial for the Slain Victims of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre

Click to Police Foundation Pulse After-Action Report (AAR) The Police Foundation was created in 1970 and is the oldest nationally known independent, nonprofit, non-partisan, and non-membership driven organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and science. Most recently, it conducted and concluded an AAR for the police response to the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in the City of Orlando. The Police Foundation received extremely high recommendations from the City of Orlando for its thorough, fact-based and unbiased reporting. The team will be comprised of subject matter experts in the field of public safety response to critical incidents, psychology of school shooters, school safety, security and emergency preparedness. The assessment is expected to begin later this month and take between 3 to 6 months to complete.

National County Government Month

Click to National County Government Month Info Click to NEPA Process April is National County Government Month, an annual recognition of County government and the many services it provides. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties has encouraged counties around the country to actively promote the services and programs they offer. In Broward County, there are more than 60 agencies that provide key programs and services every day to serve those who are economically disadvantaged, and to make our communities stronger. Some of these programs and initiatives are in the areas of education, finance, housing, health and wellbeing, transportation and technology.

Be sure to visit Broward.org and/or stop by the Governmental Center Lobby and view a special exhibit on the many services the County provides to keep our community healthy and prosperous. Or, visit Broward.org/CountiesMatter for details. .

Port Everglades 90 Years Strong

Click to Port Everglades Click to Port Everglades 90 ayears Established as a deep-water harbor in 1927 by the Florida State Legislature and dedicated in 1928, Broward County’s Port Everglades is now one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world, one of the top 10 U.S. container ports, and South Florida’s leading seaport for receiving petroleum products including gasoline and jet fuel. Today, nearly 13,000 residents are directly employed by Port-related businesses earning $502.7 million in wages and generating $1.1 billion in state and local taxes. Total economic activity for Port Everglades is nearly $30 billion. Very important to me as a County Commissioner and resident who works to make local government fiscally responsible, Port Everglades is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund that does not use any ad valorem tax dollars.

The Graypoint docks at Port Everglades in 1928
THE GRAYPOINT DOCKS AT PORT EVERGLADES IN 1928
The first official commercial vessel to dock at the new harbor was the Graypoint on November 23, 1928. Today, more than 4,000 ships call on the Port annually, carrying 25 million tons of waterborne cargo including 3.86 million cruise passengers, nearly 5 billion gallons of petroleum and more than 1 million TEUs of containerized cargo (TEUs stands for 20-foot equivalent units and it the cargo industry’s standard container measurement). Port Everglades has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and there is much more opportunity ahead.

To learn more about Port Everglades growth please visit PortEverglades.net.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Update

Click to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport New Destinations Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport continues to grow with many new services this year. Spirit Airlines has added new services which include Columbus (February), Richmond (March), Guayaquil, Ecuador (March), Seattle (April), Cap-Haïtien, Haiti (April) and St. Croix (May). Southwest Airlines also has new service which includes Aruba (March) and San Antonio (July). Jet Blue has new service to Atlanta (March), Grand Cayman (June) and Santiago, Dominican Republic (June); and Azul Brazilian Airlines has new service to Recife, Brazil.

For more information on all the exciting new things at FLL, please visit Broward.Org/Airport

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. 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

Gun Control; Ft Laud Airport; Animal Care Director; Flag Disposal

Commentary

Click to New Broward TNC Law Web Info
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
April 2, 2018 - In his March 2018 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca disparages the indefensible reaction by law enforcement to the murderous shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; describes how the devastation prompted Florida lawmakers to enact a school safety bill (SB 7026) comprised of gun control measures; applauds the planned implementation of a training program to familiarize employees at Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with the appropriate response protocols during an emergency; explores how improvements to the airport's Terminal 4 will expedite baggage claim procedures for air travelers; welcomes Lauralei Combs as the new Director of Broward County’s Animal Care and Adoption Division; and relishes the success of a Flag Disposal Program he sponsored last year.

Broward Bashes BSO

Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scot Peterson
BROWARD SHERIFF’S DEPUTY SCOT PETERSON
Every day, cops risk their lives to save ours, and those of our families. On February 14, 2018 - with half the world watching, 4 Broward officers failed to confront an active shooter on a killing spree in a local high school. In his March 2018 newsletter, Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca attributes this blatant BSO blunder to “critical breakdowns in the public safety process.”

Broward Sheriff’s Office Captain Jan Jordan
BROWARD SHERIFF’S OFFICE CAPTAIN JAN JORDAN
As deranged former student Nikolas Cruz was murdering 17 of the 34 students and staff he shot inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scot Peterson and 3 other BSO Officers stood outside and meandered about – ostensibly securing the scene. According to a partial BSO dispatch log snatched up by the Miami Herald, an order to “set up a perimeter” was issued by BSO Capt. Jan Jordan, the Parkland district commander who first took charge of the incident and was initially blamed for the incredulous BSO inaction.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooter Nikolas Cruz
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTER NIKOLAS CRUZ
However, time stamps in another log shared with Fox News indicate that the order was given after the shooting was over, as Coral Springs cops entered the building 4 minutes after Cruz had already departed. When his AR-15 rifle jammed, Cruz escaped by blending in with a group of students leaving the area – and was apprehended later. As such, the BSO officers weren't following a stand-down order while Cruz terrorized the school, they simply morphed into observers - from a safe distance.

Peterson attorney Joseph DiRuzzo
PETERSON ATTORNEY JOSEPH DIRUZZO
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel affirmed that BSO adheres to nationwide active-shooter protocols, which mandate that armed law enforcement officers confront shooters immediately - before securing the area. Shortly after Israel berated Peterson for sitting out the threat, Peterson resigned, but plans to defend his actions going forward. Peterson attorney Joseph DiRuzzo said his client thought the shots came from outside the building, although Peterson had radioed that gunfire was “happening inside.”

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel
BROWARD SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL
While initially refusing to release video evidence of what actually transpired, Israel stonewalled the public about his agency’s inexplicable breach with its own procedures for an active-shooter event, citing an ongoing internal investigation, and concern about compromising the case against Cruz. Several media outlets filed a lawsuit against the BSO and Broward County Public Schools for access to the video record of events outside the school.

Broward County Judge Jeffrey Levenson
BROWARD COUNTY JUDGE JEFFREY LEVENSON
Although School Board attorneys claimed that releasing the video could compromise the school’s security system, Broward County Judge Jeffrey Levenson ruled “The potential harm to the current security system, at best, is outweighed by the strong public interest in disclosure,” and ordered the BSO to release the video. In a subsequent statement asserting that the video vindicates Israel’s move against Peterson, BSO said, “The video speaks for itself, his actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on February 21.”

Hammer Shapes the Gunshine State

Click to Broward County Flag Disposal Website The incident indelibly stained BSO, while its impact rippled across the State and sparked an unprecedented reaction in Tallahassee. Florida's reputation as the “Gunshine State” was forged by a 78-year old, less than five-foot tall grandmother named Marion Hammer. By leveraging the NRA’s deep pockets and mobilizing its massive nationwide capacity for drowning uncooperative lawmakers in threatening emails; Hammer unilaterally enacted or killed Florida gun laws.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer
NRA LOBBYIST MARION HAMMER
As NRA's top Florida lobbyist and former President, Hammer spent the past 40 years using Florida as a testing ground for pro-gun legislation. Her handiwork includes the concealed weapons carry law and “Stand your Ground” statute, which were later enacted in other State Legislatures. Since 1998, her hegemonic control of Florida’s Republican legislature yielded roughly 30 pro-gun bills. Lawmakers who refused her orders were systematically stripped of their careers and sent packing.

Former Statehouse Representative Charles McBurney
FORMER STATEHOUSE REPRESENTATIVE CHARLES MCBURNEY
Facing term limits, a longtime NRA supporter and Hammer ally – former Statehouse Representative Charles McBurney (R - Jacksonville) – was a lock for a gubernatorial appointment to a judgeship in Jacksonville two years ago. After opposing a provision in a bill supported by Hammer, she had NRA members flood Scott’s office with emails opposing the appointment. While denying that his decision wasn’t influenced by Hammer's minions, Scott scratched McBurney from consideration. Another Hammer ally, Senator Dennis Baxley (R - Ocala) – who filed Hammer’s “Stand your Ground” bill in 2005 – commented “She has a long memory when you cross her.”

Click to Court Dumps Docs vs Glocks Law Fearful lawmakers follow in lock-step, despite provisions that stretch the limits of common sense and treat the Second Amendment like a squeeze toy. For instance, in the 2011 “Docs vs. Glocks” standoff, Hammer engineered legislation that barred physicians from discusg guns with patients. Pediatricians who typically provide new parents with child-proofing procedures could jeopardize their Medical licenses for advising parents with guns to store the ammunition and weapon separately under lock and key. Hammer simplified the issue for lawmakers - the parents privacy rights were far more important than preventing gunshot wounds in three-year old children.

Click to Pulse Night Club Massacre
Massacre at Pulse Night Club in Orlando
MASSACRE AT PULSE NIGHT CLUB IN ORLANDO
Governor Rick Scott’s opposition to gun control measures had endeared him to Hammer, who praised Scott for having signed more pro-gun bills in one term than any Florida governor in history. When 49 people in an Orlando nightclub were slaughtered by a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle two years ago, Scott shrugged it off, cynically announcing, “The Second Amendment didn’t kill anybody.”

Student Survivors vs. the NRA

Gun Control Demonstration in Fort Lauderdale
GUN CONTROL DEMONSTRATION IN FORT LAUDERDALE
Gun Control Demonstration in Washington DC
GUN CONTROL DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON DC
However, when the blood of 15 and 16-year-old kids flowed through the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Scott and Hammer soon learned that the world was about to change. A few days after the massacre, a student-led demonstration in Fort Lauderdale for stricter gun laws spread epidemically across the country, with mass protests at the Statehouse in Tallahassee, and the White House - where President Donald Trump suggested raising the age limit to 21 for purchasing a gun.

Click to NRA Comments Seeking to dampen growing resonance with the students’ message, the NRA claimed “Today’s protests aren’t spontaneous. Gun-hating billionaires and Hollywood elites are manipulating and exploiting children as part of their plan to DESTROY the Second Amendment”. An NRA supporter lambasted the Parkland students as an “angry, opportunistic” band of belligerent “media hyped know-nothings”. The strategy backfired, as public criticism of the NRA attacks exploded.

Click to April 2, 2018 TIME Magazine The tactics ordinarily used by Hammer to whip lawmakers into line were ineffective against student survivors of the massacre. Plastered across the April 2 cover of TIME Magazine, the word “ENOUGH” is surrounded by Jaclyn Corin, Alex Wind, Emma González, Cameron Kasky and David Hogg, the student activists fueling the “#NeverAgain” movement for tighter gun control laws. Adored by the media and embraced by millions of families with school-age kids, the group holds timid politicians responsible for their 17 classmates and teachers in the morgue.

 Senator Dennis Baxley
SENATOR DENNIS BAXLEY
When Baxley proposed another pro-gun bill, thousands of Floridians flooded lawmakers with angry emails, including many of the NRA's two million Florida members. The bill was withdrawn. Scott, who is entertaining a run for Bill Nelson’s Senate seat, distanced himself from Baxley and Hammer, declared that “Everything is on the table,” and proposed gun control legislation veiled in a school safety bill. The bill would bar the sale of weapons to the mentally ill, raise the age limit for purchasing a gun to 21, limit concealed weapons in schools to trained school personnel, implement a three-day waiting period for the purchase of most long guns and ban the possession and sale of bump stocks, a modification that turns a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon.

GunShine Springs a Leak

Senate Bill 7026 (SB 7026) - A.K.A. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, was filed on February 21, flew through the Senate Rules and Appropriations Committees and was narrowly approved by the full Senate on March 5 by a vote of 20 Yeas vs. 18 Nays. On March 7, the bill was enrolled after a Statehouse vote of 67 Yeas vs. 50 Nays and sent to Governor Scott. Two days later, shortly after the Governor signed the bill into law, NRA lawyers filed a lawsuit to bar the new law from taking effect, specifically objecting to the provision that raises the age limit for purchasing all firearms from 18 to 21. The gunmakers who pull Hammer’s strings went berserk.

Dick's Sporting Goods Raises Age Limit to 21
DICK'S SPORTING GOODS RAISES AGE LIMIT TO 21
Within five weeks of the shootings, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington joined Florida in passing gun control measures, giant retailers like Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, L.L. Bean, Kroger (45 Fred Meyer stores located in four Western states) and REI either stopped selling assault-style weapons or raised the minimum age for buying guns and ammunition to 21 - notwithstanding the age limits imposed by local laws. Longtime corporate NRA partners like Delta Air Lines, MetLife, Avis Budget Group, United Airlines, Hertz, and others dropped financial and promotional agreements with the National Rifle Association.

March for Our Lives
Gun Control Demonstration in Washington DC
GUN CONTROL DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON DC
On March 14, one month after the shooting, nearly 1 million students in 3000 schools across the country staged a 17-minute walkout. On March 24, about 1.2 million demonstrators in more than 500 cities all over the world joined the “March for Our Lives”, distinguishing the event as one of the largest protests in American History.

TIME journalist Charlotte Alter
TIME JOURNALIST CHARLOTTE ALTER
In the Time Magazine article, journalist Charlotte Alter wrote that the kids “cannot vote, order a beer, make a hotel reservation or afford a pizza without pooling some of their allowance. Yet over the past month, these students have become the central organizers of what may turn out to be the most powerful grassroots gun-reform movement in nearly two decades. For much of the rest of the country, numbed and depressed by repeated mass shootings, the question has become, ‘Can these kids actually do it?’” For LaMarca’s March 2018 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

March 2018 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 cities, towns and villages in between.

Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Statement Regarding the Recent Tragic Events in Parkland:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS - MURDERED VICTIMS
On February 14th, our community was faced with an unthinkable act that devastated our entire nation. My heart goes out to the families of the victims, the students and teachers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as the entire Parkland community. Broward County has provided a Resource Page with helpful information for those in need.

As a Broward County Commissioner and product of our public schools myself, I am deeply troubled by the latest news of critical breakdowns in the public safety process at one of our Broward County Schools. These children should have been protected. Their parents should never have to worry about their safety. On February 27th, I joined my County Commission in calling for an outside investigation of the entire public safety process that secures all of our Broward County Schools.

We Must Have the Best Policies and People in Place to Keep Our Children Safe. Anything Less is Completely Unacceptable.

Change Came Quick in Tallahassee

Governor Signs Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act
GOVERNOR SIGNS MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS PUBLIC SAFETY ACT
In the days following the tragic shooting, the Florida Legislature debated many proposed changes to state laws for school safety, mental health and the purchase of firearms. Many of the members in both houses of government had significant things to add to the discussion and the resulting law was Senate Bill 7026, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The Florida House voted 67 to 50 in favor of the Senate Bill and the Florida Senate voted 20 to 18 in favor of their bill. Almost immediately, on Friday, March 9, 2018, SB7026 was signed by Governor Rick Scott. I am very supportive of this law because it supports common sense safety measures for our community.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act (SB7026)

Click to Broward County Flag Disposal Website SB 7026 makes significant changes in several different areas regarding school safety and other measures. In the area of mental health, the bill makes significant changes to keep firearms out of the hands of those suffering from mental illness. In addition, the bill provides new provisions to ensure full and complete background checks when a firearm is purchased. The bill also raises the purchag age of a firearm from 18 to 21 at the request of families of the victims, and prohibits a bump-fire stock from being imported, transferred, distributed, sold, or keeping for sale, offering for sale, possesg, or giving away within the state.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
In the area of school safety, the bill addresses several provisions including; establishing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission to investigate system failures in the Parkland school shooting and prior mass violence incidents and developing recommendations for system improvements; permitting a sheriff to establish a voluntary school marshal program; requiring each district school board and school district superintendent to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to assign one or more safe-school officers at each school facility; creating the mental health assistance allocation to assist school districts in establishing or expanding school-based mental health care, among other things.

Click to Broward County Flag Disposal Website Additionally, the bill also prohibits a person from making, posting, or transmitting a threat to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. It requires the Department of Children and Families to contract for community action treatment teams for providers of behavioral health and support services; and requires Florida Department of Law Enforcement to procure a mobile app that would allow students and the community to relay information anonymously concerning unsafe, dangerous threats. In order to implement these and several other provisions, $400 million dollars has been appropriated within this School Safety Bill.

For more detailed information please visit FLgov.com.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport Update

Click to Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance On December 12, 2017, the Board directed the Broward County Aviation Department (BCAD) to devise a plan of action for a comprehensive emergency response training program for all employees at Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). BCAD staff determined that the best method for the training is a computer-based learning module to be offered to the nearly 15,000 employees comprising the FLL airport community. Most recently, the Board of County Commissioners approved an interactive learning system that will provide a “standardized” training platform for all employees working at FLL. The content will address a variety of topics from emergency response to customer service, but also speaks to the recommendations identified in the FLL Active Shooter Incident and Post Event Response, January 6, 2017 After Action Report (AAR). The proposed content outline for the program includes critical sections like Airport Familiarization/Orientation, Active Threat- Asses, Run Hide, Fight, First Responder Actions, Basic First Aid, and others. Most importantly, the interactive learning system will be specifically tailored for FLL and provide a uniformed baseline for all FLL employees. The program will launch August 1st, 2018 and it is expected that all employees at FLL must have taken/successfully passed the training program by December 31, 2018.

  Click to Fort Lauderdale International Airport website Click to Fort Lauderdale International Airport website
 
  Click to Fort Lauderdale International Airport website Click to Fort Lauderdale International Airport website
 

FLL’s Terminal 4 baggage claim
FLL’S TERMINAL 4 BAGGAGE CLAIM
In other airport related news, the baggage claim portion of FLL’s Terminal 4 Federal Inspection Services Facility expansion opened on February 26th. The opening includes new baggage claim devices that are approximately double the size of the previous equipment. These units will significantly increase capacity and address the demand for streamlined procesg, especially during peak periods. Airlines now have four lines rather than two to introduce passenger luggage. These improvements will serve to enhance the passenger experience by speeding up airline delivery of bags and providing additional space for passengers claiming their bags.

Cloud-inspired public art project in FLL Terminal 4
CLOUD-INSPIRED PUBLIC ART PROJECT IN FLL TERMINAL 4
Additionally, FLL’s new cloud-inspired “cloudscape,” a public art project commissioned by Broward’s Cultural Division, made headlines in Architect’s Newspaper, a publication catering to architects, designers, engineers, developers, contractors and other businesses interested in urban built environments. This fun and creative play space imitates the type of scenic landscape children can see from the window of an airplane cabin. It is located in Terminal 1, Concourse A, post-security.

For more information on all the exciting things happening at Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale International Airport, please visit FLL.net.

New Animal Care Director

New Animal Care and Adoption Director Lauralei Combs
NEW ANIMAL CARE DIRECTOR LAURALEI COMBS
The Environmental Protection and Growth Management Division recently announced the appointment of Lauralei Combs as its new Director of Animal Care and Adoption. Ms. Combs was part of the senior leadership team in the Volunteer Programs department for the Austin Animal Center, which is the largest no kill municipal facility in the country. The facility shelters more than 18,000 animal each year and reports a 96 percent live release rate, one of the highest in the nation.

Ms. Combs past accomplishments, proven leadership and advocacy will be instrumental in developing lifesaving programs for pets. As a proud dog owner and strong supporter of making Broward County a no-kill community, I sponsored the “No Kill County” resolution in 2012 and it was unanimously supported by the Board. I am tremendously excited to continue this journey to become a successful no-kill community.

If you have a pet related question or want more information about Broward County’s Animal Care and Adoption Division, please visit Broward.org/Animal.

Flag Disposal Program

Click to National Flag Foundation Flag Etiquette Website Click to Broward County Flag Disposal Website As you may remember, last year, I championed the Flag Disposal Program in Broward County. Through a partnership between the National Association of Counties and the National Flag Foundation, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners placed flag retirement boxes in several facilities in the County. Residents can dispose of old, tattered and torn flags at Broward County Government Center locations and various other locations in the County. I am happy to announce that hundreds of retired American flags have been collected and are being disposed of properly by the Boy Scouts of America, Broward County Chapters. It is my commitment to continue to provide this service in Broward County, while promoting the importance of proper flag etiquette and the proper way to dispose of an American Flag.

For more information, please visit Flag Disposal Program.

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

Climate Meet; Port; Clean Waterways; Sea Turtles; Library Cards

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca February 2018 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
COMMISSIONER LAMARCA FEBRUARY 2018 MESSAGE
March 5, 2018 - In his February 2018 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca documents his contribution to the 9th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit held in his Broward County backyard; reports the construction approval of a new Foreign Trade Zone by the Port Everglades International Logistics Center, LLC and the relocation of Horizon Terminal Services' auto procesg facility within the port; alerts constituents to Broward’s upcoming 41st Annual Waterway Cleanup at marine sites across the County; benchmarks another record-breaking Sea Turtle Nesting Season with a review of the obstacles that were overcome; and announces a new Libraries Division program that provides lifelong library cards to native Broward residents.

Debunking Statistics

Click to FWC Marine Turtle Web Site In reminding constituents about the March 1st kickoff of Sea Turtle Nesting Season, LaMarca attributes the second consecutive record nesting output to compliance with local beach lighting ordinances. However, the rosy 2016 and 2017 statistical snapshots veil a mixed signal about the survival prospects for Florida’s five species of Sea Turtle, and the three federally protected species typically included in Broward’s nesting surveys.

Desiccation - Too Hot for Sea Turtle Nests
DESICCATION - TOO HOT FOR SEA TURTLE NESTS
The record 2016 nesting activity was marred by a catastrophic failure rate. While 85 – 90 percent of the Sea Turtle eggs ordinarily yield live hatchlings, only 40% of the eggs hatched in 2016. Sea Turtle eggs are extremely sensitive to heat. Marine conservationist Kirt Rusenko at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton surmised “The last two years have been very dry and hot and literally cooked the eggs,” but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) never confirmed whether the nests were desiccated by that summer's record-breaking high temperatures, citing their intention to further research the issue. Although the failure rate improved in 2017, an estimated 300 - 400 Broward nests were gobbled up by Hurricane Irma storm surge, an impact mirrored in nesting beaches across the State - as tens of thousands of nests were wiped out overnight.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle on Hollywood Beach
LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE ON HOLLYWOOD BEACH
Headlines extolling the record numbers of nests in 2016 and 2017 are somewhat misleading. The unprecedented 2016 total was due to an explosive jump in Loggerhead nests, which exceeded the previous 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. While the 27 Leatherback nests were fewer than the 2015 total of 35, and slightly less than the 33 averaged seasonally in Broward County for the prior 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.

Green Sea Turtle
GREEN SEA TURTLE
The huge increase in Loggerhead nests during 2016 was experienced by Green Turtles in 2017, with 528 more nests than 2016, 170 more nests than the previous record year (2013), and exceeding their 5-year average by 287 nests. ce Green Turtles nest in a two-year high/low cycle, the productive 2017 output wasn’t revelatory. Once again, two of the three surveyed species - Loggerheads and Leatherbacks - fared poorly. Loggerhead nests dropped precipitously, with 502 fewer nests than 2016. Also, there were 15 fewer Leatherback nests than 2016, as Leatherback output dropped below the five-year average of 26 nests per season.

Crippling Blackouts

Beach Residents Discuss Safety Concerns
BEACH RESIDENTS DISCUSS SAFETY CONCERNS
For the most part, LaMarca’s exhortation that “residents in coastal communities continue to reduce artificial lighting,” elicits mixed feeling along the Galt Mile. Among the staunchest supporters of protecting the Sea Turtles that share their beach, Galt Mile residents spent tens of $millions adapting more than a dozen association lighting plans to minimize illumination of nesting habitat – more than any other community in Fort Lauderdale. After 15 years of inconsistent code enforcement and capricious violations, worsening unintended consequences of the City’s poorly drafted 2003 Beach Lighting Ordinance had 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, prompting angry tourists to shift annual vacation plans from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach or 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 crosg the street” would preclude their return. In contrast, those who live or work in unreasonably blacked out beach neighborhoods don’t have the option of not returning.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler
MAYOR JACK SEILER
As observed by departing 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 diterring 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: Bringing Balance to the Beach

Nova Team Collects Data Since consequences of the 2003 ordinance have since mushroomed into significant threats, City officials planned to draft a new policy that promoted Sea Turtle survival without crippling the City or endangering its residents. In 2014, City Manager Lee Feldman drafted a revised beach lighting ordinance that would have ended the mind-numbing "Catch-22" practice by code officials to systematically violate newly installed $multi-million association lighting revisions that were approved a year earlier by other code officials. When the measure was put on ice in 2015 to avert a threat by FWC to block the impending Segment 2 beach renourishment, Feldman unveiled "Plan B".

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Program - Sea Turtles - Click to Web Site
City Manager Lee Feldman
CITY MANAGER LEE FELDMAN
Feldman recalled an environmental crisis he faced while serving as City Manager in Palm Bay, Florida – the largest and fastest growing city in Brevard County. Palm Bay is home to a handful of Florida Scrub Jays, a threatened species of bird that spends its entire life within spitting distance of its birth nest. ce a few Florida habitats are the only sites on earth where the Florida Scrub Jay is found, whenever any Palm Bay resident in the surrounding suburb needed plumbing or electrical work, sought to improve a property, or repair a damaged road, federal law mandated a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an expensive, 3-year ordeal. Since these requests were often delayed or rejected, entire communities that were functionally barred from repairing broken drainage lines or unsafe roads begged for help.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Program - Sea Turtles - Click to Web Site
Florida Scrub Jay
FLORIDA SCRUB JAY
After meeting with environmental attorneys based in Washington DC, Feldman embarked on creating a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), a federal vehicle that enables local jurisdictions to mitigate the adverse consequences of protecting a threatened or endangered species. Deploying a federally approved Incidental Take Permit (ITP), families of Scrub Jays were relocated to the Buck Lake Conservation Area in Mims. In addition to rescuing the Scrub Jays from encroaching development, the HCP returned the right of Palm Bay homeowners to improve their properties and repair their roads by requesting a standard municipal permit.

Moving a Turtle Nest
CHECKING THE EGGS
Feldman once again contacted the environmental attorneys experienced in customizing these federal protocols, and inquired about applying for an HCP in Fort Lauderdale. At a meeting that Feldman convened with the legal consultants, City officials, local stakeholders, and environmentalists from Florida Fish and Wildlife all agreed that an HCP would protect the Sea Turtles while relieving the burden on residents, businesses and visiting tourists.

Moving a Turtle Nest
RELOCATING A TURTLE NEST
Once the HCP is approved, FWC licensees would transfer Sea Turtle nests from coastal locations adjacent to busy residential and commercial neighborhoods to an uninhabited stretch of beach, permanently eliminating the threat posed to Sea Turtles by artificial lighting and coastal armoring structures that block turtles' access to suitable nesting habitat. Concurrently, roadways, shops and homes near the vacated nesting sites could be safely illuminated.

Although the complex HCP application process is expected to take several years to complete, the plan will far more effectively expedite the recovery of protected Sea Turtles, guarantee the future of Fort Lauderdale’s tourism economy, make A1A safe for drivers and pedestrians, reinvigorate beachfront commercial neighborhoods that had since become Ghost Towns, and safely reopen the city’s beaches to residents and visitors past sundown.

Since nesting female sea turtles generally lay their eggs on the same beaches where they were born, as hatchlings born on the target beach ultimately return there to nest, a diminishing number of nests will need to be transferred annually.

An FWC Enigma

Tracks of Turtle Blocked by Seawall
TRACKS OF TURTLE BLOCKED BY SEAWALL
The HCP process currently supported by FWC officials bears striking similarities to the nesting policy abandoned by those same officials in 2005. Since FWC historically ignores how their decisions affect people or their communities, why the change of heart? When some of the eggs in nests that were moved prior to 2005 failed to thrive, FWC assumed that undisturbed nests would yield higher survival rates. Evidently, they reconsidered after 13 years of observing how their theory panned out.

Turtle Trapped in Beach Chair
TURTLE TRAPPED IN BEACH CHAIR
Upon weighing prospective damage to some eggs during the moving process against the multiple threats of artificial lighting, entanglement of nesting turtles and hatchlings in beach furniture, problematic coastal armoring structures (seawalls, bulkheads, sandbags, etc.) and inadvertent nest damage by beachgoers, relocating the nests to an uninhabited beach is the safer option for nesting Sea Turtles and hatchlings.

Click to Volusia County Habitat Conservation Plan The Fort Lauderdale HCP wouldn’t be the first in Florida. In Volusia and St. Johns Counties, where residents have been driving on the beach for decades, HCPs were approved that allowed that practice to continue. To minimize the impact on Sea Turtles, the counties were provided “take authority” and crafted strict regulatory criteria.

Click to Florida Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan In 2008, the FWC teamed with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (FDEP) Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems to create a Florida Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan applicable to every beach in the State. FDEP applied for an ITP (take authorization) covering all five species of Sea Turtles in Florida. Key policy issues will be vetted by a steering committee that will include representatives from the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida League of Cities – who will supposedly represent the interests of local governments. The plan appears to be a vehicle for addresg ESA regulatory issues with Florida's Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) Program. In short, the nests can be relocated when threatened by nearby construction.

Reviving the basic pre-2005 nesting protocol under the auspices of an HCP will mitigate the economic devastation and security threats to beachfront neighborhoods – while eliminating overnight a laundry list of dangers that currently threaten Sea Turtles. Given our innate suspicions about Fairy Tale endgames, we will keep a close eye on the progress of the HCP. For LaMarca’s entire February 2018 constituent message, Read on... – [editor]

 

February 2018 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 cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County

Southeast Regional Climate Summit a Success!

Click to 9th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit Web Page Broward County hosted the 9th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, “The Business of Resilience,” on December 14th - 15th at the Broward County Convention Center. With over 650 attendees and 45 sponsors contributing $130,000 in sponsorship revenue, the Summit was a record-setting event, focusing on “The Business of Resilience” to engage the business and wider community in critical discussions on adaptation, climate and energy solutions, and resilience.

Click to 9th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit Web Page I had the great pleasure of participating in the Flood Risk, Insurance and Infrastructure Resilient Solutions Panel with Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, as well as Kathleen White, the Lead on Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice, Institute for Water Resources, for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Nick Shufro, the Assistant Administrator for the Risk Management Directorate, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Our discussion focused on the flood impacts and destructions associated with last year’s active hurricane season, the resilience of our communities, agency roles, the state of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and the USACE game plan for delivering on regional resilience in partnership with local leaders. To view recordings of this panel and others from the two-day event please visit Summit Recordings.

LaMarca on Environment and Infrastructure Panel
LAMARCA ON ENVIRONMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE PANEL
This was a very productive session on a critical topic for our local environment and infrastructure and I was honored to be included. I am a strong believer that if we are to mitigate and adapt to the changing conditions where we live, as well as rebuilding our aging infrastructure, we must start locally and engage all sectors of our community, including our very dedicated business community through organizations like the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, The Broward Workshop and our local Chambers of Commerce.


Concourse G East in Terminal 4



Broward County Port Everglades Update

Port Everglades Logistics Center
PORT EVERGLADES LOGISTICS CENTER
Broward County recently approved a long term agreement with Port Everglades International Logistics Center, LLC, to build a new Foreign Trade Zone to replace the existing one that will be demolished to accommodate the Southport Turning Notch Program. The development will consist of two new buildings with a total capacity of 283,144 square feet and will increase our capability of providing these services for our clients. The County and Port Everglades will also benefit financially from the revenue of this new project. Broward County also approved a new lease for Horizon Terminal Services that will drive more business at Port Everglades. The new long-term lease is on 8.67 acres where the company plans to invest $630,000 for a new auto procesg facility and will create a minimum of 25 local direct jobs. Horizon plans to convert a Port-owned warehouse facility for a new vehicle procesg at a much lower cost than constructing new facilities to handle a planned increase from 15,000 autos and heavy equipment currently to 40,000-50,000 vehicles annually over the next five years. The relocation from the port’s Southport area to the Midport section of the port provides operational advantages due to the shorter distance for brand-new vehicles to travel between the ship at berth and terminal yard and a lower potential for the vehicles to be damaged during this transit.

Broward County’s 41st Annual Waterway Cleanup

Click to Broward County Waterway Cleanup The Broward County Waterway Cleanup, organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Marine Industry Cares Foundation, is the county’s largest and longest-running environmental event. This year’s event will be held on March 3, 2018 from 9:00AM to 1:00PM. Thousands of volunteers from many neighborhoods and communities throughout the county participate every year. Interested residents are encouraged to complete the online registration form in order to speed up the check-in process at the site.

For more information, online registration and a map of the cleanup sites across Broward County please visit waterwaycleanup.org.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Click to Florida East Coast Railway Website Sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1st through October 31st and the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program documented a total of 3,587 nests in 2017, which surpassed the previous record of 3,567 nests set in 2016. Even a powerful natural disaster could not stop last year’s sea turtles. While Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September of 2017, fortunately it was late in the season with only 700 nests remaining on Broward’s beaches. About half of these nests were deemed "lost" due to Irma's impacts, and the remaining nests were either reestablished by County surveyors or untouched by the storm waves. Like Hurricane Irma, the King Tide events that impacted the County's beaches late in the nesting season resulted in just a small number of nests lost.

Broward Sea Turtles
BROWARD SEA TURTLES
As always it is important for residents in coastal communities to continue to reduce artificial lighting as it poses one of the biggest threats to sea turtle hatchlings. Each of the County's coastal municipalities has its own beachfront lighting ordinance, but most generally require property owners to extinguish lights from sundown to sunup during sea turtle nesting season. More information about your local lighting ordinance and a list of certified lighting fixtures can be found by visiting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website.

Library for Life Program

Click to Broward County Waterway Cleanup The Broward County Libraries Division launched a unique new program for all people who were born in Broward. This new Library for Life program grants every Broward native a lifelong card. No matter where you reside now anyone that was born in Broward County can apply online for a lifelong library card which gives you access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, music, movies, television shows, research databases, educational materials and more. For more information or to apply online please visit Broward.org/Library.

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

Legislative Agenda; Airport; PACE $$$ & New Tel

Commentary

Click to Chip LaMarca January 2018 Newsletter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
February 15, 2018 - In his January 2018 LaMarca Letter, District 4 County Commissioner Chip LaMarca details his support for Beach Renourishment, improved Emergency Management protocols and tighter safety standards for Assisted Living Facilities - policy objectives cherry-picked from a County Legislative Program compiled annually for Broward lawmakers and lobbyists promoting the County's agenda in Tallahassee during the legislative session. LaMarca also updates air travelers about the opening of Concourse G East in Terminal 4 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; notes that a growing number of property owners are funding Clean Energy improvements with PACE Broward financing; and announces a new toll-free number for long distance inquiries about County government services, facilitating communication for out-of-residence snowbirds and snowflakes.

LaMarca’s Annual Agenda Delivery

Click to Broward Legislative Delegation
Representative Carlos Trujillo
REPRESENTATIVE CARLOS TRUJILLO
For decades, Broward voters have honed the County’s statewide reputation as a bastion of Democratic politics. The court-ordered 2012 redistricting revisions provided Broward County with 19 State lawmakers. Many of the County’s five Senate members and fourteen House members serve in Districts that also contain voters in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Collier Counties. Except for Miami-Dade Representatives Carlos Trujillo (R - Doral) and Manny Diaz, Jr. (R - Hialeah), whose adjacent Districts 105 and 103 each include a tiny snippet of Miramar with a handful of Broward residents, Broward’s sole Statehouse Republican is District 93 Representative George Moraitis (R - Fort Lauderdale).

Senator Gary Farmer
SENATOR GARY FARMER
Representative Richard Stark
REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD STARK
Florida has been a Republican Trifecta since 1999. 23 of the Senate’s 40 members (58%) are Republicans. Republicans also hold 76 of the 120 seats (63%) in the Statehouse. A Republican inhabits the Governor’s mansion. Although the last election cycle deprived them of a 68% veto-proof majority, Republicans will decide the fate of every bill filed in 2018. While Senator Gary Farmer (D - Fort Lauderdale) and Representative Richard Stark (D - Weston) will lead the Broward Legislative Delegation, key local legislative objectives will functionally land on Moraitis.

Click to Florida Trifecta Given the County’s Democrat voting plurality, Republican Tallahassee refers to Broward County as “The Killing Fields”. Of the County’s nine governing Commissioners, eight are Democrats. As the sole Republican on the Broward Board of County Commissioners, Chip LaMarca’s stock skyrockets prior to the annual legislative session, when he is tagged to carry Broward’s wish list to the State Capitol.

Click to 2018 Broward Legislative Program The five State Senators and 14 Statehouse Representatives elected in Broward form the County's Legislative Delegation. In preparation for the annual legislative session, the County provides these lawmakers - and its seven contract lobbyists - with a Legislative Program proposed by the Intergovernmental Affairs / Boards Section and approved by the Broward Board of County Commissioners. The 17-page 2018 legislative libretto features a buffet of proposals with widely varying impacts, including an embarrasgly rich selection of “WTF” concessions to paper-thin local special interests (i.e. Statewide regulatory requirements for safe Kayaking, a "Move Over" mandate for slow drivers, etc.). This Chinese menu of options also provides political capital for County Commissioners who will each select three issues, ostensibly those of consequence to constituents in their respective districts.

LaMarca’s Three Wishes

Chip LaMarca & Statehouse Representatives George Moraitis
CHIP LAMARCA & REP. GEORGE MORAITIS
Of the three issues selected by LaMarca in 2018, Beach Renourishment is the big dog in his District 4 back yard. While drawn from the Broward Board's list of six 2018 legislative priorities - the economic and “Quality of Life” benefits of Beach Renourishment resonate with LaMarca's entire coastal constituency. To actualize the long-awaited Segment 2 Beach Renourishment, LaMarca spent years bouncing between Broward, Tallahassee and Washington D.C., where he helped locate and shake out scarce funding while eliciting federal and State regulatory approval. Not surprisingly, he staunchly supports a reliable source of State funding for beach projects.

Senator Lauren Book
SENATOR LAUREN BOOK
The County's 2018 Legislative Program also contains a “secondary” list of policy issues for Commissioner advocacy. Along with “Emergency Management” improvements - an effort to cure striking preparation and response deficiencies exposed by Hurricane Irma, LaMarca also advocates tighter safety standards for Assisted Living Facilities, including a minimal 5-day span of emergency power during an outage, as provided in Senate Bill 284 filed by Broward Senator Lauren Book (D - Plantation), and a far more detailed compendium of protections filed by Gary Farmer (D - Fort Lauderdale) in his Senate Bill 896.

Click to Port Everglades sand bypass project The Beach projects in LaMarca’s 2018 wish list include the Port Everglades sand bypass project, which would transfer 50,000 to 80,000 cubic yards of sand annually from the north to the south side of the Port entrance channel, bridging a disruption in the littoral drift that starves South County beaches of sand. Once the inlet no longer impedes the natural southerly flow of sand along the Broward coast, the county plans to renourish the depleted South County shoreline with a $53.7 million truck haul project in 2020. The County also seeks an appropriation of $87,946 for monitoring the impacts of the recently completed Segment 2 project. Completing these projects will also realize Broward Beach Administrator Nicole Sharp’s vision for a stable Broward coast.

Broward Natural Resource Administrator Nicole Sharp
BROWARD NATURAL RESOURCE
ADMINISTRATOR NICOLE SHARP
Proposed beach legislation included in LaMarca's wish list should help allay Galt Mile concerns about hurricanes stripping the sand from the newly widened beach. At a December 16, 2015 pre-Segment 2 meeting in the Sonesta Hotel, Broward beach boss Nicole Sharp assured Galt Mile attendees that a “sea change” in Broward beach policy would stabilize the coast after a beach project. Once the beach was renourished, occasional beach fills could address “hot spots” eroded by storm surge - reducing the frequency and scope of future renourishments and saving taxpayers $hundreds of millions over the next decade.

Irma Hits Broward Beaches
IRMA HITS BROWARD BEACHES
Sharp’s promise was recently tested. A few days before and after Hurricane Irma slammed Broward, Sharp dispatched staffers to survey the Broward coast, documenting sand loss, eroded dunes and other adverse storm impacts. On September 13, 2017, Sharpe sent evidence of the damage documented with photographs to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), along with a request for assistance with rehabilitating beaches widened via the county’s federal shore protection project. Since the repairs are subject to the cost-sharing formula that governs project funding, a similar appeal to the state is in the cards.

The 2018 Beach Renourishment legislation that would facilitate each of these County objectives - is the latest in a series of annual attempts to establish a funding process for salvaging the critically eroded beaches that anchor the State's Tourism Economy.

2017 Beach Funding Bills

Click to EDR Beach Report
FSBPA President Debbie Flack
FSBPA PRESIDENT DEBBIE FLACK
During the 2017 legislative session, LaMarca headed to Tallahassee with President Debbie Flack of the Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association to once again lobby lawmakers to create a reliable funding source for beach and inlet projects. In order to file the relevant legislation, they met with Statehouse Representatives George Moraitis (R – Fort Lauderdale), Evan Jenne (D – Dania Beach), Joe Geller (D – Aventura) - and other members of the County’s legislative delegation. Soliciting support for the proposed legislation, they distributed copies of a January 2015 study by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR – research arm of the Florida Legislature) that focused primarily on the fiscal impact of beach renourishment.

Click to EDR Beach Report Click to Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association Entitled “Economic Evaluation of Florida’s Investment in Beaches”, the EDR report calculated the Return on Investment (ROI) of Beach Restoration, assessed the economic risk of disasters and concluded that beaches are indispensable to the Tourism economy that underwrites the State’s financial well-being. The report concluded that $44 million invested in the State Beach Program from 2011 through 2013 directly increased State GDP an average $2.4 billion per year, plumping state revenues by $237.9 million.

Click to EDR Beach Report Upon learning how Beach Renourishment “generated a positive return on investment of 5.4”, based solely on tangible financial gains or losses to state revenues, even inland lawmakers who admittedly resent subsidizing beach neighborhoods enthusiastically approved a beach funding boost once their in-house bean counters monetized the investment’s windfall dividend.

Senator Jack Latvala
SENATOR JACK LATVALA
In the Senate, former Chairman Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) of the Senate Appropriations Committee said that he considers increag annual beach funding to at least $50 million “a top priority”. On March 3, 2017, Latvala filed Senate Bill 1590, which would revise how Florida prioritizes beach and inlet projects while annually cloistering $50 million in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund to rehabilitate eroded beaches.

On the same day, Representatives George Moraitis (R – Fort Lauderdale), Bill Hagar (R – Delray Beach), and Kathleen M. Peters (R – Treasure Island) co-filed the companion bill – House Bill 1213. On April 27, 2017, the full Senate unanimously approved Latvala's bill (37 Yeas vs. 0 Nays) before sending it to the House for consideration. After unanimously sailing through two of its three vetting committees, Moraitis' House Bill was throttled on the calendar while awaiting a hearing by the House Government Accountability Committee, where it died.

2018 Beach Funding Bills

Senator Jack Latvala Resigns
SENATOR JACK LATVALA RESIGNS
Florida voters will choose a new Governor in 2018. Also up for grabs is every seat in the Statehouse, and 20 of the 40 Senate seats. Special interests will have a field day as cash-strapped campaigning lawmakers unashamedly barter their votes to window shopping lobbyists. As a result, the election year session will emulate a crap shoot in a smoke-filled warehouse garage. To provide prospective incumbent candidates with an opportunity to campaign in their home districts before the election, lawmakers voted to convene the 2018 legislative session a few months early, scheduling the 60-day span from January 9 through early March.

Senator Dorothy L. Hukill
SENATOR DOROTHY L. HUKILL
Anticipating election year chaos, during the Committee weeks prior to the early 2018 session, an undeterred Latvala refiled his legislation as Senate bill 174 on August 18, 2017. On October 9, it was unanimously approved in the Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation by 10 Yeas vs. 0 Nays. On October 25, it was unanimously found favorable by 7 Yeas vs. 0 Nays in the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources and forwarded to its final committee stop - the Committee on Appropriations, which Latvala chaired until events abruptly ended his tenure in the Senate.

Representative George Moraitis
REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE MORAITIS
On December 20, 2017, Latvala resigned his seat in disgrace after the second of two misconduct investigations corroborated accusations of sexual harassment. Allegedly, Latvala advanced the career goals of women in his political wheelhouse in exchange for “sexual favors.” When LaMarca arrived in Tallahassee a few days later, the bill's future was understandably cloudy. Fortunately, the orphaned Senate Bill was salvaged by Senator Dorothy L. Hukill (R - Port Orange), who guided a Committee Substitute (CS/SB 174) through the Senate Committee on Appropriations by a vote of 20 Yeas vs. 0 Nays on January 31, 2018. Having successfully navigated its Committee reviews in the Senate, the legislation's fate will depend on the distracted candidate-lawmakers in the other chamber.

Representative Kathleen M. Peters
REPRESENTATIVE KATHLEEN M. PETERS
In the Statehouse, Representatives George Moraitis and Kathleen M. Peters filed companion House Bill 131 on September 1, 2017. At its initial Committee stop - the House Natural Resources & Public Lands Subcommittee - the bill had its 1st Reading on January 9, 2018. Whether it can dodge the election year lawmaker paranoia sufficiently to catch up with its Senate counterpart is questionable. More to come! - For LaMarca’s January 2018 message to District 4 constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

January 2018 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 cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:

Legislative Session 2018

Florida Legislature
FLORIDA LEGISLATURE
The 2018 State Legislative Session is upon us and Broward County is working full force to make sure our priorities are being heard in Tallahassee. Due to the Gubernatorial Elections later this year, the Florida Legislature is meeting early - from January 9th through March 9th. The Board of County Commissioners approved the 2018 State Legislative Program which contains the County’s policies, proposed appropriation requests, and legislative proposals. The Board also approved the 2018 State Fundamental Principles which guide the lobbying efforts of County Commissioners, staff, and the County's contract lobbyists to reflect the Board’s continuing visions and goals. The program and fundamental principles reflect the County’s dedication to the community with commitments to economic development, a robust transportation network, growth management, human services and environmental stewardship.

Click to Broward County 2018 State Legislative ProgramAs your County Commissioner, I will also be heading to Tallahassee this legislative session, as I have done for the past seven years. There are several policies that I believe are a top priority for the residents of Broward County, and specifically for the communities in District 4. Due to the 2017 hurricane season that we faced, there are several issues that we can work on to be better prepared for what the future may hold. Specifically, I will advocate for a viable, fully integrated and coordinated local, state and federal disaster response structure, while also supporting appropriate and increased funding for upgrading our emergency operations centers so they function proficiently during a natural disaster or crisis. Another crucial issue that must be taken seriously, as we witnessed last hurricane season, is the regulations that guide our assisted living facilities. Broward County supports placing nurg homes and elderly/disabled care facilities as Tier One Critical Infrastructure under Florida Power and Light disaster operations, as is being proposed in SB284. The Board also supports priority checks on the welfare of nurg home residents in the aftermath of a natural disaster, providing energy, water and food for at least 96 hours after power loss, as proposed in HB655/SB896.

Click to 6th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit Web PageOur community saw the direct impact that these storms can have on our beaches. We also saw the direct benefits that our recent shore protection projects provided, especially where dune structures were built. Therefore, I will continue to advocate for the State Beach Management Program by supporting SB174 and HB131 which update the project review criteria to include consideration of a project’s economic and environmental importance, creates a three-year work plan to maximize matching contributions at the federal, state, and local level, and sets a dedicated state funding source of $50 million through the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. I will also advocate and support the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact State Energy and Climate Legislative Principles as they guide our communities to a more resilient infrastructure through adaptation.

Our community faces several challenges, one of the greatest challenges comes in the aftermath of a major hurricane. This last hurricane season taught us that we must be better prepared and if we work together, we can make sure that our state legislature understands the importance of each of these policies for our community.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport

Western Phase Terminal 4 at FLL
WESTERN PHASE TERMINAL 4 AT FLL
Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) recently opened Concourse G East in Terminal 4, which provides travelers with more dining, shopping and destination options. This new portion of Terminal 4 offers six beautiful new gates with all of the amenities that the traveling public has come to enjoy including comfortable new seating, modern restrooms and several new concessions. The expansion and modernization of Terminal 4 is being constructed in two phases (west and east) to reduce disruption to passengers and airlines. The next phase of Terminal 4 development is a new International Baggage Claim Facility which is expected to be completed in late January 2018.

Concourse G East in Terminal 4


Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport It is great to see one of Broward County’s major economic engines continue to grow in size as well as passenger traffic. In November 2017, total traffic was up 9.7 percent; domestic traffic was up 7.1 percent; and international traffic was up 20 percent. While numbers are being calculated, December traffic is expected to be up 6 percent, and 2017 should end with approximately 32.5 million passengers, up 11 percent. According to Airports Council International, FLL was the fastest growing large hub airport in all categories for the 12 months ending in October.

PACE Program in Broward County

Click to PACE Broward In June 2016, the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE Broward) financing program was launched countywide. Since that time, those interested in using PACE to finance qualifying property improvements has continued to steadily increase. Property owners have submitted more than 13,000 applications for improvements such as rooftop solar panels, impact windows, insulation and more. PACE financing is available to both residential and commercial properties, and there are now five PACE Providers available to compare and choose.

New Toll-Free Number

Click to Broward County Call Center The Broward County Call Center is a multi-lingual, one-stop center for information on County government service that also provides important information and support services for the public during hurricanes and other emergencies. To enhance its level of service, the Call Center has launched a new toll-free number, 1-833-BRWD (2793), that can be used by anyone across the country. Local callers can continue to reach the call center at 311 or 954-831-4000.

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

LEED; Port Cruise Guide; Manatees & Saving H2O

Commentary

Click to December 2017 LaMarca Letter
District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca at Segment II Staging Area
DISTRICT 4 BROWARD COMMISSIONER CHIP LAMARCA
January 5, 2018 - In his December 2017 LaMarca Letter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca cites the newly built Ravenswood Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility and the new Animal Care and Adoption Center for having respectively scored Gold and Silver certifications for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council; apprises travelers about using the recently released 2018 Port Everglades Cruise Guide to build an entire vacation around a cruise; reminds Broward boaters to heed the slower seasonal speed limits to avoid collisions with migrating Manatees; and applauds the Broward Water Partnership and the Conservation Pays Program for saving a record breaking 1.5 billion gallons of water as of October 2017 - primarily attributable to a rebate program that rewards participants for replacing old toilets with high-efficiency models that conserve water.

While LaMarca’s Holiday Season missive extolls two recent County projects for meriting LEED Certification, few of his Broward constituents are conversant with the LEED Program, or why their elected officials celebrate LEED certified projects.

What is LEED?

What is LEED A brainchild of the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The rigorous LEED platform uses a consensus based, continuous improvement process to blend assessment factors distilled from science, specialty fields and industry expertise. Since its inception in 2000, the LEED program has evolved from a single standard for new construction to an interrelated system of standards applicable to virtually all new and existing building, community and home project types in over 165 countries and territories.

LEED Categories LEED projects deploy a wide range of criteria to focus on achieving environmentally responsible, frugal and resource-efficient design and construction, cost-effective maintenance and post-construction operational efficiency in commercial buildings and homes. To combat sprawl, the factors were reconfigured to yield safer, better-connected neighborhood-scale projects. In turn, the assessment criteria are sorted into 5 different overall categories specified by project type: Green Building Design & Construction (BD+C); Green Interior Design & Construction (ID+C); Green Building Operations & Maintenance (O+M); Green Neighborhood Development (ND); and Green Home Design and Construction (Homes).

LEED certifications Projects pursuing LEED certification accrue credits by meeting objectives selected by project planners across several categories (i.e. energy use, purchag oversight, site density and diversity, construction materials, water use, air quality, etc.) Credits earn points. The number of points achieved by a project determines the level of certification it receives. There are four LEED rating levels: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points) or Platinum (80+ points).

LEED Categories In his December Newsletter, after describing the LEED certified building's impact on “human and environmental health,” LaMarca exclaims, “As a lifelong construction professional, this is very important to me.” Most construction professionals are primarily concerned with a LEED building's impact on their bank account – a mindset shared by developers, lenders, investors as well as building owners and operators. Since LEED buildings attract tenants, cost less to operate and boost employee productivity and retention, the ecological premium accompanies a steroidal impact on profits.

Fattening the Bottom Line

LEED Categories Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As the demand for more sustainable building options increases, green construction is becoming increagly profitable and desirable within the international construction market.

LEED Categories In the United States alone, buildings account for almost 40 percent of national CO2 emissions and out-consume both the industrial and transportation sectors. In contrast, LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water. They’ve also diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills.

LEED Categories As a result, the black ink realized by LEED-certified buildings in the United States between 2015 and 2018 was derived from $1.2 billion in lower energy costs, $149.5 million in water savings, $715.2 million in reduced maintenance overhead and $54.2 million in waste savings. More importantly, the savings are sustainable.

LEED Categories LEED buildings report almost 20 percent lower maintenance costs than generic commercial buildings, and green building retrofit projects typically decrease operation costs by almost 10 percent in just one year. For investors, the reduced overhead enhances a property's value by an estimated 4 percent, while expediting its return on investment. By virtue of lowered maintenance and energy costs, green retrofit projects generally make investors whole within seven years.

The Market Turns Green

Dodge Data & Analytics Dodge Data & Analytics The market is responding to these cost savings and environmental benefits at a dramatic rate. According to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, the global green building sector continues to double every three years, with survey respondents from 70 countries reporting 60 percent of their projects will be green by 2018.

Green Building
GREEN BUILDING
Already outpacing overall construction growth in the United States, by 2018, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs – more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector (9.6 million jobs in 2015) – and generate $190.3 billion in labor income to working Americans. The industry’s direct contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.

Although theoretically unburdened by a downside, exploring the program’s performance-based data revealed that certain LEED projects failed to meet post-construction objectives. While tailoring a building’s design features to its intended use will generally enhance efficiency and cut overhead, if the building is sold, and used for some other purpose, those same design features can actually impede efficiency to the extent that maintenance and operational costs can exceed those of an uncertified, conventional structure. Since additionally funding a LEED Certified retrofit would recapture the benefits, proponents argue that the prospective downside is limited to a delayed return on investment – an expense appropriate to refitting any commercial plant.

Trouble on the Horizon

LEED vs Green Globes Recently, LEED has come under fire by competing systems such as the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system. Citing LEED as too strict and exclusionary, a movement to adopt other rating systems or promote legislative bans against the use of LEED on government projects has taken root in states like Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia. At the heart of the conflict is politics and control.

Pro and Anti-LEED States The Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the American Tree Farm System claim that LEED harms the wood industry by only recognizing certification by the competing Forest Stewardship Council. As result, the lumber industry convinced North Carolina lawmakers to purge LEED from public projects. Since the most recent LEED version (LEED v4) drills down into the chemical makeup of building materials, and rates how each component impacts the environment, the Chemical Industry went berserk. ANSI (American National Standards Institute) complained that only USGBC members can vote on LEED criteria. Their assertion that LEED is therefore exclusionary is largely ignored by the industry since USGBC membership currently includes almost 200,000 LEED professionals and 13,000 member organizations. While other Green systems have established a foothold, LEED remains the 600-pound gorilla of environmental sustainability.

The growing number of celebratory media snippets about LEED certified projects by elected officials aren’t solely vehicles for harvesting political capital. More than 400 municipalities, 32 states and 14 federal agencies cite LEED as a best practice for achieving sustainability objectives, and either require or reward LEED certification. Meriting certification will often earmark projects for a regulatory goodie bag. Such benefits might include variances for ordinarily immutable population density or building height zoning restrictions and expedited or no-cost permitting. Financial incentives include tax credits, grants and low interest loans. For the rest of LaMarca’s December 2017 message to constituents, read on... – [editor]

 

December 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:







LEED Certification for County Facilities

Ravenswood Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility
Ravenswood Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility


Click to US Green Building Council The new state-of-the-art Ravenswood Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility and the new Animal Care and Adoption Center have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification and Silver certification respectively from the U.S. Green Building Council.

As an internationally recognized mark of excellence, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. As a lifelong construction professional, this is very important to me.

The Ravenswood Bus operations and Maintenance Facility project included the construction of a new 3-story parking garage, operations and maintenance buildings, fuel station and bus wash.

The Animal Care and Adoption Center set new standards by becoming the first LEED climate controlled shelter in the state of Florida.

 Animal Care and Adoption Center
Animal Care and Adoption Center


Port Everglades Cruise Guide

Click to Port Everglades Cruise Guide Click to Port Everglades Cruise Guide Broward County’s Port Everglades is Florida’s leading seaport for containerized cargo and the third largest cruise port in the world. Ten cruise lines sail 40 ships and a ferry from Port Everglades and now you can access the 2018 Port Everglades Cruise Guide that provides great vacation tools. More than 701,000 passengers, approximately 20 percent of the Port’s cruise business, will set sail during the holiday season. The Cruise Guide provides information on cruig, hotels, dining, entertainment, and transportation to many destinations from Port Everglades.

To access the 2018 Port Everglades Cruise Guide and for more information, please visit PortEverglades.net.

It's Manatee Season

Manatees begin moving south
MANATEES BEGIN TO HEAD SOUTH
Broward's Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division cautions boaters to be on the lookout for manatees moving throughout our waterways. November 15th marked the beginning of manatee season and seasonal manatee protection zones are in effect thru March 31st. As air and water temperatures drop, Click to ‘I Spy a Manatee’ mobile app manatees begin moving south for warmer water such as springs and energy center discharge canals for refuge, and slower seasonal speed limits go into effect. For information about manatee protection zones by County, including seasonal changes, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website and click on "Data and Maps." At the bottom of the page there is information on Manatee COLD-weather changes to speed zones.

Broward County now also offers a new innovative manatee reporting mobile app that can be used to report the location of manatees and their activities, view manatee protection zones and boating safety zones in County waterways. The ‘I Spy a Manatee’ mobile app can be used by Broward residents and visitors to report manatee sightings. Download the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Broward Water Partnership and Conservation Pays Program

Click to Broward Water Partnership Saves MoneyClick to Broward Water Partnership and the Conservation Pays Residents, business and nonprofits in Broward County had record breaking water savings through the Broward Water Partnership and the Conservation Pays Program. The Community has saved 1.5 billion gallons of water combined as of October 2017. Much of the savings were achieved through the regional toilet rebate program that provides property owners with rebates when they upgrade older model toilets to high-efficiency water-saving models. The Broward Water Partnership provides rebates through ConservationPays.com, with just five steps including filling out an application and attaching required documentation. Applicants can receive up to $100 rebate per toilet.

For more information and to check your availability, please visit ConservationPays.com.

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.

One final note, as we celebrate the holiday season and prepare for an exciting new year, I offer you a very Happy Hanukkah, a very Merry Christmas and the most prosperous 2018 for you and yours.

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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