Saturday, July 29, 2006

Volunteers Needed


The City of Lauderhill has over the years been strongly supported by Volunteers. These Volunteers work in numerous departments providing needed assistance, have helped to run events, and also served on many of the city boards making decisions affecting the public. When serving on these boards, they also may be paid a small expenses fee for attending meetings.

If you are looking to help out our city by volunteering your time, please contact the City Clerk, 954-730-3010. If you wish to work on a board, you must also send your resume. To fax it to the city use: 954-730-3062. Most appointments to boards are by the Mayor and Commissioners, though some boards may have the authority to appoint some people to their board as well.

City Boards include, Charter Review Board (new with positions open), Planning and Zoning Board, Code Enforcement Board, ACT (Art, Cultural & Tourism) Board, Public Arts Board, Recreational Advisory Board, Civil Service Boards, Pension Boards, Nuisance Abatement Board, Unsafe Structures Board and Housing Board.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The World's Smallest Political Quiz

The following link was sent to me to find out how you may be seen from a political point of view:

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Protecting Your Privacy In Public Records

This information was sent to me to share with others. It will help cut down on identity theft if information about yourself is within the Public Records System of Broward County.

The following information is eligible for blockage or removal from the Broward County Official Records publicly available website, upon request:
1. Social Security Number, bank account numbers, credit, debit or charge card numbers can be blocked.
2. If you are an affected party, you may request that the entire image(s) of these documents be blocked: Military Discharge, Death Certificate, Court Document relating to Family Law, Juvenile Procedure, or Probate Proceedings.

To request to remove information from Official Records Form, use this link: http://www.broward.org/records/cri03301.pdf

Complete one of the following to request blockage or removal of information or images and either

Mail the completed form to:
Attention: Search Supervisor
Broward County Records Division
115 South Andrews Avenue, Room 119
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

or, Fax the completed form to:
954-357-5945

or by E-mail:
Send them your name, address, and phone number, along with the book and page numbers of the images containing the information you want removed or blocked to: removepersonalinfo@broward.org

If all of the information is not provided, they cannot comply with your request.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

WQFF Is On The Air


After Hurricane Wilma, and the problems of getting out to the public correct information, the City Manager proposed obtaining a radio station for the city. Now, 8 months later, Lauderhill has obtain a license for a low wattage radio station. The call letters are WQFF and is being broadcasted on 1650 AM, 24 hours a day.

The station is broadcasting continuous information about activities and emergency preparations in the city, repeating itself every few minutes. Additionally, Commission Meetings and other events will be broadcasted live. During times of a State of Emergency, the station will broadcast emergency information related to the City of Lauderhill. This will be in addition to other forms of communication, Emergency E-Mail Notifications, signs , TV and flyers.

The station covers the entire city, and has been heard as far as Coral Springs. However, because of the low wattage, reception may not be available inside buildings with thick construction.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Budget Workshops Notes For 2006-7 Budget

On July 11 and 12th, the City Commission conducted its annual Budget Workshops for the upcoming budget year of 2006-7, which begins October 1, 2006. The City Manager presented to the Commission a balanced budget for review. The Commission made modification to several areas, but essentially allowed the budget to remain the same, with no increase in the property tax rate.

Several elected officials tried to find ways to reduce expenditures, to try and reduce the property tax rate, though this was not accomplished. This was due to the demand of services, and an inability to collectively agree on what services could be cut. However, new proposals to increase significant spending were mostly defeated, including a $110,000 expense to fund the Lauderhill Choir, and providing part time employees with insurance benefits ($25,000 est.), both by Commissioner Benson. One cent of property taxes raises about $20,000.

Another major discussion was on the addition of 3 more firefighters ($210,000), beyond the 12 already budgeted. The additional 12 firefighters were to accommodate the newly annexed areas, for which coverage is required, and taxes received from these areas are available to pay for it. At this time, the extra firefighters decision was deferred until the 6 month budget review, and dependent on the addition of the firestation on 31st Ave. from Broward County.

It was expressed, both by Commissioner Holness and Mayor Kaplan, that there were serious concerns of revenues in the near future, and that the city needed to more closely examine where future budget constraints can be found. This is due to softness of the economy, the effect there would be on the value of property, and limitations of the public to see additional taxes. Several areas were identified, and may be considered to be cut in subsequent years without strong support of the public to pay more taxes for such programs. Essentially, a standard was being created to look only to add or continue those programs which would be significantly self-supporting.

The budget includes continuing the implementation of new capital improvements which were voted upon for the GO Bond in 2005. In fact, it was encouraged that to the maximum extent possible, the improvements should be accelerated to avoid future cost increases in construction. Also, many of the budget requests from neighborhoods, as to funding programs, were included. This information was gathered at our pre-budget workshops that were held earlier this year.

Now that the workshop has been completed, the City Manager will revise next years budget from comments from the Commission and Mayor, along with update in information subsequently received, and will present for passage by the Commission at the Budget Hearings in September. This passage requires two readings, which will be September 11th and 25th. Both readings must be identical, and therefore any changes must be done no later than at the first reading. However, such changes , even at the first reading, are uncommon. It has been the policy to try to resolve any budget matter issues before the first reading occurs.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Appointment Available on Housing Board


A request has been sent out seeking a volunteer to serve on the Lauderhill Housing Board. The board, composed of 5 members, is looking for 1 new member due to a vacancy. Appointments, pursuant to Federal Regulations, are required to be made by Mayor Richard J. Kaplan, and confirmed by the Commission.

The purpose of the board is to oversee housing issues within Lauderhill, including the Federal Section 8 Housing Program. Meetings are held regularly, and attendance is important. Preference will be given to those that have some history and/or knowledge of housing issues. For more information, you can contact the City Clerk, 954-730-3010. To apply, fax your resume to the Mayor at 954-730-3062 as soon as possible. The appointment is hoped to be made in August.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wi-Fi Is Here


Lauderhill has been offering free Wi-Fi services for wireless internet connections for the central part of the city. The area covered is around the old city hall and Main Fire Station, north to the business district on Oakland Park Blvd. More information is available at: http://lauderhill-fl.gov/city_wifi.html. It is hoped that eventually the city can provide free Wi-Fi service throughout the city.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Walls of Lauderhill Update

As most have noticed, the city has started the construction of the new concrete walls throughout the homes of Inverrary and on the West Side. Construction is expected to be another two to three months, and the funding came from the Great Neighborhood Bond completed in 2005.

While the walls are 8' along Inverrary Blvd. and along 44th Street (west of University). They are expected to be 6' along 82nd Ave. and 44th Street (east of University). To see a more specific map of the walls, e-mail me at: rkaplan@lauderhill-fl.gov and I will send you a pdf file. It is not presently shown on the city's web page.

The wall that is presently off the list is the one along Pine Island Road. This wall, though funded, and agreed to be paid for half by the county, has been delayed due to the conflicts between the city and county. These conflicts relate to the design of the road, and certain timing issues. When more information is available the public will be advised. In the meantime, the city has put up temporary fences where needed.

Also, you may have noticed walls being constructed along the Turnpike. These walls will be running most of the length of the Turnpike, which is part of an expansion of the road. The terms of the wall were worked out with input for each city, the county, and with the approval of the Broward County MPO Board, of which the Mayor Chairs. It will shield all residential neighborhoods which are within a specified distance of the Turnpike. To see more information on this project: http://www.floridasturnpike.com/BrowardCounty/SunriseToAtlantice11-05.pdf and http://www.floridasturnpike.com/construction_BrowardCountyWidening.cfm

Friday, July 14, 2006

Notes of the Commission Meeting of 7/10/06

The Lauderhill City Commission met on July 10, 2006, and some of the items of interest on the agenda that were acted upon were:

First Reading - Ordinances:

1) Tabled to workshop an ordinance revising the Dog and Cat Ordinance;
2) Tabled to the next meeting ordinances to eventually prohibit Fortune Tellers to operate as a business in Lauderhill;
3) Passed on first reading the creation of a Transit Oriented Corridor on State Road 7;
4) Passed on first reading imposing a 90 day moratorium on specific land uses to allow time to review such land use applications before property can be developed in such matters (second reading expected to be at a Special Commission Meeting on July 31 at 5:30 PM);
5) Passed on first reading to several ordinance to reclassify canals as open space and recreational throughout areas of the city.


Resolutions:

1) Re-appoint Alfreda D. Coward, Esq. to the General Employee Pension Board;
2) Approving a State Road 7 Bus Shelter Reimbursement Agreement, accepting a $150,000 grant for construction of 4 bus shelters;
3) Approved budgeting of $841,700 in CDBG Funds to various projects for the next year. Funds are allocated as follows:
a) Code Enforcement (5 officers in specific census tracts) - $177,000
b) Roadway/drainage improvements to 56th Ave - $150,000
c) Park improvements to St. George Park - $20,105
d) First Time Home Buyer - $100,000
e) Rehabilitation/Code Violations - $50,000
f) Hurricane Shutter Assistance for Elderly - $30,000
g) Grants to Non Profits Organizations - $126,255
h) Fire Department Mentorship Program - $20,000
i) Program Administration - $168,340;
4) Approved acceptance of limited access agreements for owners along 82nd Ave., to proceed with installation of 6' concrete wall, which is to begin July 11;
5) Approved a policy to not require transport of individuals by EMS to hospitals if they do not exhibit potential life threatening conditions or injuries;
6) Approved an agreement between the city and the Hills of Inverrary for local traffic control and public safety;
7) Approved donation of funds of $1,100 to each of the 6 Neighborhood Associations to help with projects and programs pursuant to guidelines set forth from the state. Funds are from the Local Law Enforcement Trust Funds
8) Reconsideration and approval the special exceptions considerations for the Central Regional Park. The reconsiderations were requested due to new issues brought up by the county and Broward County Commissioners, concerning prior agreements reached. Discussions took place relative to the cost overruns by the county on the park, and how it might be resolved in the future. The cost overruns are somewhere between $11 and $15 million, of which about $7 million is due to increased costs of construction.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lauderhill Crime Statistics Report


To: Charles Faranda, City Manager and Judith Higgins, City Clerk
From: Kenneth W. Pachnek, Chief of Police
Date: July 12, 2006
Subject: 2005 CRIME STATISTICS - UNIFORM CRIME REPORT

As in all cities that have experienced annexation, the annual crime statistics do not represent a true picture of crime occurrence. Crime statistics from the annexed areas are added to the totals from that year of annexation but are still compared to the previous year's crime statistics prior to annexation. This fact is why the 2005 Uniform Crime Statistics for the City of Lauderhill will reflect a 12.3% increase. This does not mean that the newly annexed areas are high crime areas, in fact, they are very low crime areas, but one additional crime from annexation will show an increase.

A review of the crime statistics for the past five years still reflects positively for our community. The number of serious crimes in the City of Lauderhill has been reduced by 2.4% since 2001, while still including crimes from the annexed areas.

Secondly, crimes per 1,000 population is still at its lowest rate of 3.9 crimes per 1,000 population since 2001 while still including crimes from the annexed areas. I have included the proper population increase for this statistic.

The annexation of Broward Estates will have the same effect on crime statistics for 2006.

Editor's Note: The crime statistics also incorrectly states Lauderhill's population 58,637. This was the population before annexation, and it is now about 64,000 (to be increased to about 68,000). Therefore the statistics are calculated including crimes within the newly annexed areas, but without taking into account the added population. This would effect the calculations negatively. This method of calculation and effect on the statistics is expected to continue until 2008, at which time the full population will be factored in.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

56th Avenue Under Construction


The long awaited replacement of 56th Avenue is now underway. This project will significantly change the total appearance of the road, providing parking, landscaping, bicycle paths, and new drainage. Most of the funds to pay for this were from the Great Neighborhoods Bond funded in 2005. Construction time is expected to be as long as 18 months, and therefore the completion should be by the end of 2007.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

1st Annual Football Camp


On Saturday, July 15, at the Lauderhill Sports Park, the Lauderhill Lions and Louisiana-Lafayette's Coach Brian Jenkins, will be conducting a Free Football Camp. The Sports Park is at 7500 West Oakland Park Blvd. There will be two sessions. The first is from 7:30 to 12:30 for youths 5-12. From 1:35 PM to 5:55 PM will be for Varsity, ages 12-15. Registration can be in advance. For more information contact Scott Newton, 954-730-3084.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Turnpike Exchange at Oakland Park Blvd. Update

The Turnpike Authority submitted to the Mayor a new study outlining several options for an interchange at Oakland Park Blvd. This new study opened up several new alternatives for different partial interchanges which need to be explored. The concern has been on preventing an additional traffic light on the top of the bridge on Oakland Park Blvd. There is hope that some agreement came be made for this project to go forward.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Click It or Ticket


The State of Florida and the Department of Transportation initiated a program called “Click it or Ticket”, on a state wide basis asking for all law enforcement agencies to participate. The focus is to have more people wear seat belts while driving a motor vehicle. The Lauderhill Police Department participated encouraging all road officers and traffic officers to enforce the wearing of seat belts and any other violations found when they conducted a traffic stop. For the month of May, 1,875 traffic citations were written by Lauderhill Police Officers concerning this initiative.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Lauderhill Charrette


The Lauderhill Charrette is one of nine charrettes coordinated by the SR 7/ US 441 Collaborative to create a unified master plan for the entire SR 7 corridor in Broward County.

The Lauderhill Citizens' Master Plan grew out of a public seven-day charrette held March 6 through March 12, 2004. The Citizens' Master Plan represents the citizens' vision for the future of Lauderhill. The charrette was held at the Sadkin Center and was attended by a diverse cross-section of the community including residents, property owners, and local business representatives. During the week of the charrette, the design team set up its studio at the new Lauderhill Golf Course facility where the doors remained open to the public all week.

The Lauderhill Charrette focused on its section of the SR 7 corridor and the surrounding neighborhoods. The area included Sunrise Boulevard to NW 27th Street and a section of Lauderdale Lake on the east side north of NW 19th Street. Key issues addressed included development of public lands into a regional park and premier cricket facility, creation of a town center, and revitalization of the SR 7 corridor.

A presentation of work in progress was held on Friday, March 12, 2004. Residents, property and business owners, city staff, and elected officials were present. Work continued during the following weeks. A series of final presentations by Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council staff was held beginning of 2005 to collect further citizen and professional input before the adoption of the Citizens' Master Plan.

The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council's Design Studio, a team of professionals, and urban designers assisted the citizens in studying the many challenges faced by the community and proposed specific solutions. For more information: http://www.tcrpc.org/departments/studio/sr_7_collaborative/lauderhill_charrette.htm

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What's On The Agenda?

The City Commission conducts its Regular Commission Meetings on the second and last Monday of each month. Also, when items are submitted, the monthly Regular Commission Workshop is on the third Monday of each month. All meetings are held at the new City Hall facilities, Suite 111, 3800 Inverrary Blvd., Corporate Park at Inverrary.

But what is on the agenda for each meeting? When and where are the meetings? Has there been a change in the meeting schedule? Is there something interesting to come, listen, and maybe comment on? The answer is easy. The following link will direct you to where the agendas for each meeting are: http://www.lauderhill.net/happ_agenda.html.

For more information on the agendas, you can also contact the City Clerk's Office, 954-730-3010.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Notes From The Commission Meeting of 6/26/06

The Lauderhill City Commission met on June 26, 2006, and the following items of interest were on the agenda to act upon:

Presentation:

1) Recognition of the Children's Basketball Program;

2) Recognition of Keneishia Grant, FAMU student, who met with Gov. Bush to discuss the cost of college tuition;

Second Reading - Ordinances

1) Passed an Ordinance to Create a Charter Review Board. Appointments to be made by November, 2006, and the term shall be until May, 2008;

2) Increased the penalties for delinquent water & sewer bills, and unauthorized water connections.

Resolutions:

1) Approved the procedure for a street to obtain speed humps along that street (Sponsored by Mayor Kaplan);

2) Approved authorization for matching funds, for a Cultural Facilities Grant, on renovations of Old City Hall located on 47th Avenue, to become the city historical museum;

3) Approved the award of Federal Community Development Block Grant Funds to Harmony Development, Starting Place, Women in Distress, YMCA, Girl Scouts, Center for Independent Living, Hope, totaling $109,491.

Quasi-Judicial Matters:

1) Approved 3 Special Exceptions to Broward County for the construction, operation and use of the Central Broward Regional Park (which now has been requested by Mayor Kaplan to be reconsidered at the next Commission Meeting, due to actions by the Broward County Commission).