Saturday, July 28, 2007

School Report Card

The following is a list of schools serving Lauderhill children, and the grade they received from the FCAT's:


Banyan Elementary---------------------------------A
Broward Estates Elementary----------------------C
Castle Hill Elementary------------------------------C
Challenger Elementary-----------------------------A
Endeavor Primary Learning Center--------------no rating
Larkdale Elementary--------------------------------F
Lauderhill Paul Turner Elementary--------------C
Martin Luther King Elementary------------------D
Nova Blanch Forman Elementary----------------A
Nova Eisenhower Elementary---------------------A
Park Lakes Elementary-----------------------------C
Royal Palm Elementary----------------------------C
Village Elementary----------------------------------B


Lauderhill Middle-----------------------------------F
Millennium Middle---------------------------------B
Nova Middle------------------------------------------A
Parkway Middle--------------------------------------C
Smart School Charter Middle---------------------D
Westpine Middle-------------------------------------A


Boyd Anderson High--------------------------------F
Dillard High------------------------------------------D
Nova High---------------------------------------------A
Piper High---------------------------------------------C

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Annual Budget Workshop Update

Following the Lauderhill Annual Budget Workshop on July 10, the Commission made some adjustments that modified the prior report:

1) The Mayor gave up his aide, but was granted $6000 for temp help as needed. The savings to the city is $24,000.

2) Several categories of expenditures (some described below) were reduced within the Commission's budget.

3) Other than the Lauderhill Women's Club and the Firefighters Dinner (the city is giving them $1000 each), all other tables for events are eliminated, saving over $13000.

4) Some Commission travel was eliminated.

5) Commissioners were budgeted $500 each for postage, though they may add to this amount by allocating additional funds from their Administrative Expense Accounts. This was created because it was revealed that one of the Commissioners was spending a significant amount of money each month sending out mail, particularly Birthday Cards. It is estimated the postage for the extra postage alone maybe over $2000 or $3000, and was by far the largest allocation of the Commission's postage budget, causing this line item to be needed to be significantly increased the last couple of years. Other Commissioners expressed that their postage may only run $100 to $200/year, though there can be legitimate reasons why they would use more postage. The Commission felt that this would place some self control in the process to save money to the city, without limiting a Commissioners wishes to send postage. However, now the money spent will be directly accountable to the public, at least for the postage.

6) It appears that so far this budget year all Commissioners kept well within their Administrative Expense Budget, except one who is near or over the $5000 allotment with 1/4 of the year remaining.

7) Elimination of Community Shuttle Bus #6, serving the newly annexed areas, due to poor ridership. Ridership for Shuttles 1 thru 5 are about 1200 passengers/day. Number 6 often less than 15 per day. The Shuttle #6 will continue to operate until June 2008, due to a County grant, and the city will work with the county to improve the route and ridership. If it does not increase to a level that is consistent within the county, then it is not planned to be reinstated at the 6 month budget review. Additionally, BCT Bus Route 40 already serves West Ken Lark and BCT Bus Route 81 already goes through Broward Estates and St. George, which may explain the lack of interest in the Shuttle. Savings for cutting the service will be $30,000 in the upcoming budget. For budget year 2008-9, that could translate into a savings of over $120,000.

8) Elimination of a Nutritionist for the Fire Department - $13,000.

9) Discussion of reducing or eliminating the $10,000 as "seed money" for the Lauderhill Community Choir. Consensus, though not unanimous, was to provide $5000. This was the only new program added after significant debate by the Commission.

10) Leisure Grants Services were eliminated - $20,000

11) Florida Youth Athletic Association was reduced $5000 to $25,000

12) Funding for Jr. Lifeguard Summer Camp was removed - $12,000

13) All funding for all adult recreation programs was initially eliminated, including the Adult Night Cricket Tournament, Adult Night CASA Soccer Tournament, and Senior Olympics. Then after pleas from many in attendance, consensus was to give the Cricket and Soccer program $5000 each in matching funds, and the Senior Olympics was given $2000. The matching funds requires the Cricket and Soccer Leagues running their events to privately raise funds to match, up to $5000 each. The Senior Olympics is the only special event the city has specifically for seniors.

14) It was confirmed that the East Side Library is unfunded, however due to the County Library Bond Issue, the County could pick up this cost to continue it, and the County is required to replace it with a new Library at the Central Regional Park paid for by county bond issue. Supposedly by 2009. This library was a county library, but the county sought to close it if we did not pay for it. That is why over the years we have paid to keep it open. Savings are over $200,000.

15) Several other items were cut from specific departments before the workshop because of inquiries with staff.

16) MLK Day is funded. Unite-A-Fest funding was reduced, which may reduce the length of the event. Hispanicfest is unfunded. The Holiday Concert was eliminated.

After going through cuts, the Commission discussed, and by consensus, provided funds for the Educational Advisory Board ($10,000, down from $100,000), the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce ($50,000, down from $100,000), Homeowner Associations ($12,000, up from the prior year), and July 4 ($25,000, down from the prior year) (all of which were previously unfunded). The Ad Valorem rate is proposed to be reduced from $6.02 to $4.734. More discussion and debate could be on these points, and they could be modified further.

Unless additional meetings are scheduled, the Budget will next be read and voted upon twice at the 2 Commission Meetings in September. The items are open to comment to the public at that time. The Commission may still make changes in the budget, but both readings must be the same. Therefore, any changes, if any, would only come at the first reading, the second Monday in September at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

County Posts Commodity List To Deter Post-Hurricane Price Gouging

In an effort to detect price gouging in the event of a hurricane or other disaster, Broward County’s Consumer Affairs Division has compiled a countywide survey of prices for essential products and services. The list is current as of June 1, 2007, the beginning of the hurricane season.

The goods and services covered in the survey include food, bottled water, ice, diapers, non-prescription medicine and first-aid supplies, gasoline, and building and household supplies such as flashlights, batteries, drills, generators, chainsaws, plywood, drywall, roofing shingles and propane. Also priced in the survey are rentals of hotel/motel and other dwelling units, building equipment and self-storage facilities.

In Broward County, anti-price-gouging ordinances, which prohibit retailers from charging excessive or unconscionable prices for essential goods or services, goes into effect only when an emergency is declared by Florida’s governor or Broward County’s mayor. The survey creates a baseline which assists in the investigation of allegations of price gouging. Violations are determined by comparing the selling prices before and after a declared emergency.

To view the 2007 Broward County Commodity Survey, visit Consumers can call the Florida Attorney General's Office at 1-866-966-7226, or the Florida Division of Consumer Services at 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dwayne Wade's Visit to Lauderhill

Heat Guard, Dwayne Wade, made a visit to Lauderhill on July 16 to present a check for $25,000 for City Hall Park. The grant came from a contest hosted by Staples, who has been a tremendous community partner since coming to Lauderhill a year ago. Fourteen parks were nominated, and the top vote through the Internet won the $25,000 for that park. The other parks received $2500 each. Of the over 200,000 votes, Lauderhill received about 1/3 of the votes cast.

The event was a hit with everyone in attendance. Five people won an autographed Heat Jersey signed by Dwayne. Media coverage was heavy. The funds received primarily went to the rebuilding of the basketball court at City Hall Park (to be renamed "John E. Mullin Park"). The remaining funds will go toward general capital improvements planned for the park.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Update on Lauderhill

A report was given for the week of 6/3 to 6/9. The following are some highlights:

BUILDING DEPARTMENT - progress on the Villas. roof on Building #10 is fully complete. No other buildings will have roof repairs made. A fire sprinkler system will be installed in the buildings.

CODE ENFORCEMENT - The maximum code officers were placed in Central Lauderhill to address all code violations. This is part of an ongoing program to rotate such concentrations of resources in areas throughout the city, to better address code and safety issues.


1) Speedy's renovations at Mission Lake are on schedule for move June 30. Electric hooked up to police substation location and DEES has begun the buildout of the interior.

2) Meetings with Commerce Bank to discuss a loan program geared specifically to existing and potential Lauderhill small businesses. A written plan is being developed and several seminars will be scheduled to educate the community about the plans, with requirements for starting a business.

3) Plans to create an Art incubator is proceeding. Initially it looks like operating out of Windermere Rec Center would be best. The intent is to expand to the Lauderhill Mall or 38th Avenue as the program grows.

FIRE DEPARTMENT - Out of 233 calls, 161 were for emergency medical. False calls were 16, and good intent calls were 33. Fire was 3 calls. Brampton Court is having a problem with alarms. Both in the elevators and at specific buildings. The department is working with Site Managers and the Police Department to address this situation.


1) Since Lauderhill won Staples' Dream Park Contest, and the sum of $25,000 for improvements to City Hall Park (which is being renamed "John E. Mullin Park" (since the adjoining building we named after him, City Hall, has been demolished)), plans are being made for the celebration and the meeting of Dwayne Wade (which will be July 16, 1:20 PM at the Park).

2) Lauderhill Community Shuttle transported, for the week, 5,925. Lauderhill Demand Response transported 485. Only Shuttle #6, serving the Southeast Area of the city has very low ridership. Below county required standards, and may be cut.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Notes of July 9th Commission Special Workshop and Regular Meeting

On July 9, the Commission met, and the following matters of interest were discussed and acted upon:


A discussion was given on the design for the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center.





1) Approved the selling of City Property at Inverrary Falls for the sum of $2.55 million. The property will be used for the construction of a Fifth Third Bank.




1) Approved an award of bid to General Asphalt, in the amount of $1.722 million for resurfacing/rebuilding streets within Central and East Lauderhill. Expected to start 2007.

2) Approved the renaming of City Hall Park to "John E. Mullin Park," to replace his recognition from old City Hall that is being torn down.

3) Approved a request to allow the public to have 3 minutes each to speak on items on the agenda, when appropriate.

4) Approve sending to the Florida Legislative Delegation in Congress, supporting a 10 point plan of the US Conference of Mayors on a variety of federal issues. Copies of the 10 point plan are available at the City Clerk's office. Sponsored by Mayor Kaplan.

5) Failed 1-4, with Commissioner Berger solely supporting the Resolution sponsored by him, which was against the Central Broward East-West Light Rail Mass Transit System, proposed to be running through Lauderhill. A few people from the newly annexed areas and one from East Lauderhill spoke in favor of the Resolution.

6) Approved the allocation of Community Development Block Grant of $838,701. Within the allocation is $545,156 to be used towards a Section 108 loan to allow the city to purchase property. The property will be rehabilitated to create affordable homeownership for low and very low income families.

7) Approved an amendment to the Local Housing Assistance Plan for the State Housing Initiative Program, by reprogramming $100,000 designated for the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce, to be used for Rental Assistance to promote home ownership.

8) Approved the award of a bid for $499,809 to install natural grass athletic turf at West Ken Lark Park, Veterans Park, City Hall Park (to be called in the future John E. Mullin Park), Lauderhill Middle and the Sports Park Soccer Field.




Discussion of Park Survey conducted by Leisure Vision. The survey showed present parks are well received, but certain needs needed to be addressed such as, picnic shelters and tables, shade trees, playground equipment, outdoor fitness trails, and flower beds. With the construction of the Botantical Gardens and Renaissance Park, those needs are being addressed. Also, that the best way residents find out about city programs are by the Lauderhill Spotlight. This is an area that we need to improve upon so more are aware of city facilities and events.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Annual Budget Workshops

This year Lauderhill Annual Budget Workshops are scheduled for July 10 and 11, starting at 2 PM, at the City Hall. During those days, the Commission will review the entire budget which was released to them on July 2. In that budget, the City Manager reflected the 9% mandatory reduction in property taxes ($3.8 million out of an expected allocation of $16 million). The proposed ad valorem tax rate is proposed to be reduced from $6.02 to $4.841 per $1000 of taxable value. The budget took into account all of the requests for funding from the prior pre-budget workshops, but the overriding theme was budget cuts required by the Legislature. Therefore little was provided to address these requests, unless previously planned.

In order to present a balanced budget, with the intent of not laying off any employees, several proposed severe cuts were made in the budget. No positions which are presently vacant will be filled, including in public safety. Right now there are 5 vacancies in the Fire Department. There was the hope of hiring 5 more police officers and 4 Community Service Aides this year, but funding is not in the budget at this time. To help secure the city, School Resource Officers were eliminated and put on road patrol.

Parks and Leisure services will be downsized, with proposed reductions in the hours of operations. The Business Center will also incur a reduction in operating times, including the cashier's booth and utility payment processing. Internally, reduction in force will include net changes of 4 full-time positions and 7 part-time positions.

In the proposed budget, funding for Hispanic Fest, July 4, Blazzfest, Trinidad/Tobago Independent Day, Holiday Concert and Spring Fling have been eliminated. If funds becomes available, an attempt will be made to reinstate July 4. The remaining events have a reduction in budget funding, including Unite-A-Fest. The standard was that events must be significantly, if not fully, self supporting. The East Side Library is unfunded, however due to the County Library Bond Issue, the County could pick up this cost to continue it, and the County is required to replace it with a new Library at the Central Regional Park paid for by county bond issue. No funds are provided non-profit community service organizations, such as Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce, Area Agency on Aging, Family Central and Women in Distress. Grant funds to schools the city gives out for education were also eliminated. While the Commissioners are proposed to keep their Aides, the Mayor has given up his though he has requested a much smaller allocation to provide for temp help since he has no staff to assist with any of his work.

The budget does not provide for capital improvements, except that which is part of the 2005 GO Capital Improvement Bond approved by voters, or funded by a specific bond issue. Salary and benefits costs account for 80% of the total General Fund Budget. Salary and benefit increases are primarily the result of collective bargaining agreements. Debt payments are $6 million. Adjustment in several user fee categories is recommended. Adjustments can be made in the budget at the time of the workshops.

This budget presents a strain to the city in providing the services it demands. However, if the funding is unavailable to pay for services, then the services must be cut. In January, the public will have the right to vote on a Constitutional Amendment to provide a mandatory reduction in more property taxes. If passed, this will present a much more significant problem to the city, and cuts will be much more severe. Several State Legislators who voted to put this to a public vote are now recommending the public to vote against it. They are State Rep. Jack Seiler, State Rep. Ari Porth, and State Rep. Kiar. Others may as well, but have not notified us at this time.

After the workshops, a follow up report will be provided.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Florida Turnpike Closurers

The Florida Turnpike has scheduled a complete Turnpike closure between Sunrise and Commercial Blvd to allow for structural beams to be placed across the roadway. The work is scheduled to close the Turnpike from 9:00 PM until 5:00 AM each evening between July 8th-12th & July 15th -19th , 2007.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Notes of Commission Meeting of June 25

On June 25, the Commission met, and the following matters of interest were discussed and acted upon:




1) Approved modification in code for Ice Cream Vending Vehicles and Work Site Catering Vehicles

2) Conveyed property to Carishoca, Ltd, known as Premier Motors, to be used as a pedestrian promenade and mixed use commercial development

3) Approved the issuance of an Advanced Refunding Water and Sewer Revenue Bond in the amount of $10,000,000, to take advantage of the lower interest rates in refinancing the bond

4) Approved purchase of vacant land for $7,000 to be used to extend Renaissance Park, which is under construction


1) Approved an agreement with Broward county to contribute $5,800,000 each for the designing and construction of the Cultural Center at the Central Regional Park; providing for a lease to the city for 99 years to operate the facility2) approved an agreement with FDOT to provide reimbursement to Lauderhill for emergency repairs from Hurricane Wilma, not to exceed $160,985.00

3) Approving new lease to rent space for telecommunication tower to Crown Castle South as agent for BellSouth Mobility, at old city hall, and the city to receive rents therefrom

4) Approve accepting Letter of Intent in the amount of $2,500,000, from Sofran Development Group to purchase the city's vacant property on Oakland Park Blvd., adjacent to the Police Headquarters, to be utilized for a Fifth Third Bank, and providing a backup agreement with similar terms to Nadlan Realty Ventures

5) Approved awarding Weekley Asphalt Paving a contract up to $1,650,000 to perform road improvements along State Road 7, with credits from FDOT of $79,456.40 towards the costs

6) Approved awarding Pavex Corporation in the amount of $741,085.20 to perform road improvements along State Road 7

7) Approved expenditures of funds of $18,070 from the Federal Forfeiture Fund for the purchase of security upgrades at the Police Station

8) Accepting the Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant of $50,333





Monday, July 02, 2007

County Establishing Database for Vulnerable Residents

To help first responders better plan for Broward County’s most vulnerable residents in an emergency, the County, in cooperation with all municipalities, has launched a Vulnerable Population Registry. The Registry is for residents who do not qualify for a Special Needs shelter, or choose not to evacuate to a mass care shelter, but are disabled, frail or have health issues that would make coping after an emergency difficult.

In October of 2005, city and county agencies were confronted with many residents who struggled through Hurricane Wilma’s extended power outages. Many had difficulty picking up medications, groceries, or using stairways in multi-story buildings with out-of-service elevators. While the Registry does not guarantee priority response or services, it will help local governments be better prepared to respond to their most vulnerable residents after a disaster. Each city may use the Vulnerable Population Registry list in a different way, based on their city’s recovery effort.

Residents who consider themselves vulnerable can register online. Visit and click on Vulnerable Population Registry, or call the Broward County Call Center, 954-831-4000. A number of cities have already begun to promote the Registry on their web sites as well. Caregivers, relatives, neighbors and friends should suggest this registry to those who might be considered vulnerable during an emergency or storm. All information will be held in the strictest confidence, as required by state law.