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Broward Commissioner Lamar Fisher’s May 2020 Newsletter

In his May 2020 Newsletter, District 4 Broward County Commissioner Lamar Fisher thanks constituents for “staying at home” and adhering to the terms in other COVID-19 Broward emergency orders, recognizes essential workers and volunteers for keeping the community afloat prior to the County’s May 18 kickoff of Phase 1, and suggests that hurricane season preparations include subscribing to notifications from ALERT!BROWARD.

Along with allocations to offset general COVID-19 containment costs, the County coughed up funding assistance for the homeless, for non-profit cultural organizations and $2.3 million for Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci to shield voters from the pandemic in the 2020 primary and general elections. He relocated 12 at-risk polling sites, budgeted postage sufficient for sending vote-by-mail ballots to roughly 65% of the electorate for the next two years and acquired new equipment to print and process the ballots.

Fisher laments how the failure of many Broward residents to complete the 2020 Census input will hammer the County’s eligibility for State and Federal funding, threatening a decade of regular shortfalls typically billed to Broward taxpayers. The census data also determines Broward’s share of Federal representation (Congress) during the next decade.

The Stay Local Campaign

Destination DC (DDC) is the official marketing organization for the nation’s capital. Last November, DDC launched a consumer advertising campaign named “Stay Local DC”, which used deep discounts to draw DC residents into local shops and restaurants, and book staycations in Washington, DC hotels. It worked like a charm.

When officials began relieving mass containment restrictions first triggered by the pandemic after January, residents concerned by reopening plans that blew off CDC recovery prerequisites in order to salvage the economy suddenly realized that restaurant profits rated a higher priority than the lives of their families. The Stay Local enticements were used to cajole residents still leery about exposure into the marketplace. Proven effective, the marketing concept spread to jurisdictions across the country – including Broward County.

Fisher closes by endorsing the Stay Local Campaign as a vehicle for reviving the local economy. Marketing muscle ordinarily used by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau to attract visitors world-wide to South Florida destination sites was refocused on local residents who spent months bouncing off the walls of their homes while fending off a claustrophobic stupor. It combines the fear of traveling during a pandemic with a cash flow transfusion to struggling local businesse

Click here to read Commissioner Lamar Fisher’s May 2020 Newsletter.

 

 


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City Commissioner Heather Moraitis’ May 2020 Newsletter

In her May 2020 Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Heather Moraitis empathizes with our mid-May frustration with home-bound pandemic containment. Recognizing the difficulty of slowing the spread of COVID-19 in one of the State’s most heavily infected regions, Moraitis extols the collective efforts of State, County and City officials to quickly implement a unilateral lock-down, sharpen medical response capabilities and fast-track regional testing outreach.

While also applauding thousands of District 1 constituents for swallowing hard and complying with an exasperating set of evolving restrictions, Moraitis declares that the time has come to jump-start the stalled economy by “safely and smartly venturing out when appropriate,” admonishing “Please continue to follow guidelines.”

Presumably, Moraitis alludes to City or County guidelines, since no jurisdiction in South Florida is remotely compliant with recovery prerequisites specified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the White House Task Force. At the end of the day – each of us must balance this agenda with the wellbeing of our families.

Click here to read Commissioner Moraitis’ May Newsletter

 


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Update and City Resources Available on COVID-19

City Commissioner Heather Moraitis provided the following update from the City of Fort Lauderdale on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We appreciate the leadership, time and effort Commissioner Moraitis has put into helping guide our city during this unique health crisis. She has been fabulous in her communications to residents and Facebook posts, keeping us as up to date as possible, given how quickly events are changing in the city, county, state and federal government. The City of Fort Lauderdale has numerous emergency regulations in place regarding operations and services, buildings and facilities, openings and closures, public meetings, events, public gatherings, and promoting social distancing in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the healthcare system is not overwhelmed. To see the latest updates on current regulations, please visit www.fortlauderdale.gov/coronavirus.

We also appreciate the leadership and commitment being made by County Commissioner Lamar Fisher and State Representative Chip LaMarca, both of whom have done an excellent job of communicating updated information to all of us.

Additional links to Centers for Disease Control, Department of Business and Professional Regulations, and Broward County Sheriff about actions on Coronavirus can be found on the Regency Tower website.


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Galt Mile Beaches Reopen Tuesday, May 26

UPDATE:  Effective June 1, use of the Galt Mile beaches will be expanded to allow picnicking, sunbathing, sitting, or lying on the beach, as well as the use of umbrellas, canopies, chairs, loungers and coolers. The original restrictions were in place to keep people moving on the beach and prevent overcrowding.  The restrictions still include no group gatherings or events of more than 10 people and no group or organized sports, like volleyball. County Administrator Bertha Henry issued Emergency Order 20-14 on Friday, May 29, which further addresses Phase 1 reopening guidelines to slightly expand beach activities as described above.

County Administrator Bertha Henry issued Emergency Order 20-13 on Friday, May 22, which extends Phase 1 reopening guidelines to beaches, commercial gyms and commercial fitness centers, hotels and other commercial lodging, with restrictions, effective Tuesday, May 26.

Pio Ieraci

The Galt Mile Community Association, under the leadership of President Pio Ieraci, has been working directly with County Commissioner Lamar Fisher on getting our Galt Mile beaches reopened, but doing so in a safe manner.  “We appreciate all the efforts and support from Commissioner Fisher in achieving this goal – and we are excited to be able to return to our beautiful Galt beaches – even with the restrictions placed on their use at this time” stated Pio Ieraci.  All residents and associations are strongly urged to abide

County Comm. Lamar Fisher

by these guidelines to protect our fellow residents and not place our beaches in jeopardy of being closed due to flagrant violations.

 

 

Highlights of the new order include:

Beaches Open:  All beaches can open with limited hours (sunrise to sunset). Ocean activities such as surfing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and body surfing are allowed; also walking, running and biking.

Beach Restrictions for Now:  Like other communities across the country, Broward beaches are not yet open for picnicking, sunbathing, sitting or lying on the beach. Group or organized sports (such as volleyball), umbrellas, canopies, chairs, loungers and coolers are also not yet allowed, and no group gatherings of more than 10 people. Beachgoers must maintain social distancing (six feet of separation), except between members of the same household or groups.

Vacation Rentals:  Vacation rentals are open, but only for essential lodgers, as authorized by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-87.

Enforcement is critical to the success of the reopening strategy, to ensure that a spike in new cases does not occur, which could result in another complete or partial shutdown. County and Health Department officials are monitoring benchmarks that will help identify the emergence of “hotspots” that can be quickly mitigated.

Law enforcement and code enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce the requirements of the Emergency Order. Failure to comply can result in civil or criminal penalties, including fines, imprisonment or both. Residents can also report violations anonymously online at MyBroward.Broward.org, or by calling the Broward County Call Center at 311 or 954-831-4000.

These re-openings are in addition to those outlined in Emergency Order 20-12 issued May 21. Because COVID-19, however, remains a serious threat to public safety, the social distancing, facial covering and sanitation requirements remain in place for businesses that reopen, and the individuals who patronize them.

Broward County has been under a Local State of Emergency since March 10. For the latest updates, visit FloridaHealth.gov, email [email protected] or call the COVID Call Center at 954-357-9500. To learn what Broward County is doing to keep our community safe, visit Broward.org/Coronavirus.






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Broward Commissioner Lamar Fisher’s March 2020 Newsletter

Commentary:  In his March 2020 Newsletter, District 4 Broward Commissioner Lamar Fisher opens by citing how County Administrator Bertha Henry echoed Governor Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 Executive Orders 

with a Declaration of Emergency. Henry later tailored the Declaration to subsequent gubernatorial mandates with two extensions and 7 Emergency Orders.

Fisher applauds Port Everglades’ eligibility for $29.1 million in “New Start” funding allocated to the construction of a new Coast Guard Station. As State grants and port revenues fund the balance of almost $10 million, the Army Corps of Engineers will oversee widening the Intracoastal Waterway by 250 feet, enabling Port Everglades to access the economic windfall reaped by those few ports with clearance sufficient for huge Neo-Panamax cargo vessels.

 Six years after Broward County implemented a voter-mandated Consolidated Emergency Dispatch System on October 1, 2014, municipal firefighters still hit the brakes when they reach their City’s borders, even if the flames are in spitting distance.  Broward Emergency 911 officials finally launched the long-delayed county-wide “Closest Unit Response.” Beginning in March, Fisher reports that Sunrise, Lauderhill, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Tamarac and Fort Lauderdale will integrate GPS with Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) to automatically locate and dispatch the closest properly equipped first responder, a protocol planned for every Broward municipality by the end of 2021.

After exhorting how failure to flesh out the upcoming 2020 Census count will cripple future State and/or Federal grants and subsidies while leaving Broward residents underrepresented in Congress, Fisher invites constituent input to help set priorities for the first Broward Parks and Recreation Division Master Plan.

Read on for Commissioner Lamar Fisher’s March 2020 Newsletter

 


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City Commissioner Heather Moraitis Feb/Mar 2020 Newsletter

Commentary: In her February – March 2020 Newsletter, District 1 City Commissioner Heather Moraitis opens by inviting constituents to attend the March 14 home opener of Major League Soccer (MLS), as David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF team was poised to confront the L.A. Galaxy (his former team) in the sports complex recently erected on the site that used to house Lockhart Stadium.

Taking a page from the NBA, the NHL the Miami Open and Major League Baseball, two days before the game, Major League Soccer postponed its season, placing the contest on hold. As the Coronavirus was still a cloudy enigma, a delighted Moraitis notes how events conspired to provide the City (and District 1 residents) with 2 new stadiums and an impressive laundry list of recreational amenities – courtesy of David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise.

Moraitis also looks at the first 7 of 150 planned Infrastructure projects, sewer repairs and tips that may help the city dodge future blockages, how the Reiss Report redefined the City’s Comprehensive Utility Master Plan, the Corollo Report recommendations for the Fiveash Water Plant, LauderBriefs that update City Commission meetings, a pictorial summary of recent events and how to flag FPL about street light outages. Ironically, about one week after the Commissioner issued this Newsletter, COVID-19 took the planet hostage.

Read on for Commissioner Moraitis’ February – March 2020 message to constituents.