Thursday, March 30, 2006

Free 411 Cell Phone Calls


Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. When you need to use the 411 option, simply dial: 1 800 FREE 411 or 1 800 373 3411 without incurring a charge at all, except for the minutes required to make the call. Works on home phone also.

Editor's Note: The above was forwarded to me as informational. No representation as to whether it works or not is provided.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

City Livability Award Finalist


The U.S. Conference of Mayors recently announced that Lauderhill has been chosen to be 1 of 15 of the finalist for the 2006 City Livability Awards for cities under 100,000. This award focuses on the positive efforts of mayors and cities who are improving the quality of life, and making a difference for their residents. In connection with Waste Management, the co-sponsor, this annual award will be announced during the Mayors' Annual Conference in June.

Following Hurricane Wilma, Fire Chief Ed Curran drafted a paper entitled "Hurricane Wilma Post Incident Analysis Preliminary Report." It outlined steps taken before, during and after the hurricane, in how Lauderhill responded. It contained significant detail of the storm, and provided not only a best practice outline of the city, but also provided a guidance of where improvements can be made. This report has been copied, and distributed to other cities in the county.

From this report, Mayor Richard J. Kaplan distilled the information and supplemented it into a shorter application that was submitted to the judges. At present, Lauderhill is 1 of 15 finalists in its category. The 30 finalist chosen between the two categories, were from 235 applications submitted. Following notification, Lauderhill has prepared a more detailed report for the second round of review.

There at the Conference in June will be announced the one First Place Award, four Outstanding Achievement Awards, and five Honorable Mention Citations. The top 5 winners in each category must hold a local ceremony within 90 days following the announcement. To be recognized just as a Finalist is a significant achievement, and is the second time Lauderhill has been so honored.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Inverrary Bagel & Grill Opens


A new restaurant in Lauderhill has opened, Inverrary Bagel & Grill. Maddy, formerly of Inverrary Bagel, and joined with Joel Leshinsky (of the Hills of Inverrary), to create this new restaurant in the Inverrary Falls on Oakland Park Blvd. (next to the new Publix). Serving Breakfast and Lunch, the menu features both traditional fare and well as some new creations.

Try the All America or Five Borough Sandwiches. Of course, the corned beef and pastrami, are excellent. Breakfast (served all day) features pancakes or french toast with real Maple Syrup, among a variety of other selections.

They are also available for catering, and the premises can be used for special occasions.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Chamber Free Business Seminar

On Tuesday, March 21, at the offices of the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce, a free business planning seminar will be given by Florida Atlantic University. The Seminar is from 6 - 9 PM, and the Chamber offices are at 6279 W. Oakland Park Blvd. For more information call: 954-318-6118 or 6119

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Unite-A-Fest


This weekend, March 17-19, at the Lauderhill Mall, the City of Lauderhill invites all to our annual Unite-A-Fest Celebration. The event is free, and crowds have been known to reach 40,000. This festival allows all to enjoy unique music and foods representing the different areas of the Caribbean. For more information: http://www.uniteafest.com/

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mayor Kaplan Is Re-Elected

The Votes are in, and the resounding winner is Mayor Richard J. Kaplan. Capturing 68.2% of the votes over challenger former Commission Tyson Jones.

This is Kaplan's third victory as Mayor, and overall seventh win. Serving now 8 years as Mayor and 10 years as City Commissioner, Kaplan won with a balanced support throughout the city. "It is always grateful for an elected official to have wide spread support. I look forward to working with everyone as I have in the past. I wish to thank all of those you have worked so hard to insure my victory."

Swearing in is on Tuesday, March 21, noon at the Lauderhill Police Station. All are invited. For complete results: http://www.browardsoe.org/OfficePrecinctResults.aspx?eid=4&oid=409&pid=-1&printer-friendly=true

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Time to Vote is March 14


The date of election is fast approaching, March 14. Lauderhill voters will chose their next Mayor and two Charter Amendments. All three votes will have a significant impact in the future of the city. It is encouraged that come March 14, you get out and vote.

First, Voters will decide whether to return Mayor Richard J. Kaplan as your Mayor, or to select someone else. Also, Voters will decide on whether to change City Elections from March to November, along with another technical amendment related to this move. The change will increase the number of voters in these elections, and reduce the cost to Lauderhill between $50,000 to $100,000. However, City Elections will come at the bottom of the ballot.

If you have any questions about where to vote or the procedure, contact the Broward Supervisor of Elections, 954-357-7050. A few precincts have changed, including those that previously voted at City Hall, the Inverrary Association, or at Parkway Middle.

If you have not received your requested absentee ballot, call immediately, there may be a problem on receiving it. If you have not already received the absentee ballot you may need to make plans to vote at your assigned precinct to make sure your vote counts. If you did receive your absentee ballot but have not mailed it back yet, you may drop it off at the precinct on election day to make sure it is counted. To be counted, the absentee ballot must be received timely, not just mailed timely.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How Can We Get A Speed Hump?


One of the most controversial matters a city can try to resolve is the speeding of traffic through residential neighborhoods. The problem partially is that our studies show that most of the speeders are our own neighbors. These same people have been resistant to fixing the problem and slowing the traffic down. The speeding has created a dangerous situation, putting children and adults in harms way.

To address this problem, the City Commission worked with neighborhoods, to try and come up with answers. The first proposal was for road closures, which was not well received. After some discussion, it was proposed to increase police traffic enforcement. After a 4 month trial, it was clear that it was having little impact on solving the problem, though thousands of tickets were written. Additionally, it committed a significant amount of resources that were needed for other criminal activity.

The next proposal was speed humps. These devices are about 14' long, and about 2-3 inches high. Though initially being met with some hesitation, they were accepted to try temporarily by the vast majority of interested participants. Now that they have been installed in several areas, though an inconvenience to drivers, they do work, and have been very successful as a necessarily evil to slow traffic down.

Speed humps are not perfect, and still people have found ways to speed, or by-pass the humps. However, there has been an noticeable improvement within the community, and these areas are now safer. This success have made the humps very popular, and is one of the most often requested items from residents. So new issues came up on addressing these requests.

The problem primarily focused on where future speed humps may go, and who would decide this. The Commission wanted to fair and supportive of its residents when requested to install them. However, they did not want to install them without significant support from those living in the area where they were to be placed. Therefore, a procedure was developed for requesting them.

First, an area wanting speed humps must put together a petition from the neighbors, specifying their support and location of the humps. The petition is to be submitted to the city for review to determine if the humps can be installed and whether or not they would be effective. If the review recommends installation, then it is submitted to the Commission for approval.

The City Commission has been very supportive of this procedure to make sure that local desires are carried through. When using this approach, we have found that the speed humps have been readily accepted, though we have noted that there are those that still are not in favor of the humps. This balanced approach is most effective way we have found in addressing a dangerous problem.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mayor Receives Major Endorsements

Mayor Richard J. Kaplan has recently received several major endorsements for his Re-Election Campaign for March 14.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Endorsed Mayor Kaplan and said that, "The choice is crystal clear. Mayor Richard J. Kaplan is one of the county's best mayors, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board urges voters to re-elect him. . . . His accomplishments are extraordinary. . . . Jones' biggest problem is that he's running against a superior opponent who deserves to be mayor for another term. " The full endorsement can be seen at: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/editorial/sfl-editdllauderhillmar03,0,2364433.story. This endorsement coincides with the Broward Metro News prior endorsement.

M. Margaret Bates, one of the Commissioners in Lauderhill, has given her personal endorsement to Mayor Richard J. Kaplan for re-election, releasing the following statement on behalf of the Mayor:

"Dear Residents,

As your Commissioner, I have the personal honor to serve with Richard Kaplan as our Mayor for several years. I believe that he is a true leader in Lauderhill, representing all of us, and that we need his experience and dedication to continue as our Mayor.

I personally ask that you please go to the polls on March 14, and Vote for Richard Kaplan as Mayor.

M. Margaret Bates"

Mayor Kaplan was pleased to accept her endorsement and appreciates the hard work she has provided over the years in service to the city.

Finally, the Metro Broward Professional Fire Fighters, Local 3080, endorsed Mayor Richard J. Kaplan. As they stated in the endorsement, "Firefighters continue to support candidates that support firefighters issues."

Mayor Kaplan has expressed that Public Safety issues are of a deep concern, which is shared by Firefighters.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Notes of the Commission Meeting and CRA Meeting of Feb. 27

In one of the shorter meetings, the Commission unanimously passed (unless noted) the following matters of interest:

1) Final reading on creating a Trust Fund for the CRA on State Road 7;
2) Final reading on authorizing $10,000,000 borrowing to pay for Hurricane Wilma related expenses. At such time that FEMA reimburses the city (approx. 1-2 years), the city will pay back the loan. Lauderhill will have to absorb the interest and loan costs. The city has already spent over $6,000,000 in waste removal fees alone;
3) Approved the swearing in ceremony, following the election on March 14, to be on March 21, at the Police Station, 12 noon. The swearing in needed to be pushed back since the Broward Supervisor of Election could not certify the results until March 20, which is a requirement for swearing in. This situation has been created due to a new state law, and may ultimately require a charter modification to deal with future years;
4) Approved plans to obtain grants from the Florida Communities Trust for improvements at the City Hall Annex and Old City Hall Park;
5) By a 4-1 vote on final reading (Commissioner Berger in dissent (see prior meeting notes of Feb. 13 for explanation)), the CRA authorized the purchase Mission Lakes Plaza.