Sunday, September 30, 2007

Notes of the Commission Meeting September 24

On September 24, the Commission held multiple meetings, and the following matters of interest were discussed and acted upon:


Approved on second reading the purchase of vacant land located at the corner of 55th Avenue and 19th Street for $650,000.00.



1) Approved adopting the Tentative Property Tax Levy in the amount of $4.7340, and the voter approved debt service millage of $.75. This is a decrease from the present year of $6.02, a $1.286 reduction.

2) Approved the Budget for the upcoming fiscal year in the amount of $106,646,159. Vote was 4 - 1, with Mayor Kaplan against. (See the article on the stated reasons given on the dissenting vote.)


Fire Prevention Week Proclamation - Please plan your escape plan in case of a fire, and clean your space heaters from lint. There will be an Open House at the West Fire Station on October 6, in the afternoon. Free food and fun.


1) Winners announced for the Educational Advisory Board's "My Favorite Teacher" Contest. The winning essays will be published in the City's Spotlight Newsletter.

2) Presentation by the Chamber of Commerce on their progress and programs they provide to the business community.


Approved authorizing the City Manager to waive permit fees in cases of emergency or demonstrated hardship, such as after a natural disaster.


Approved the supplemental appropriations of $935,000 to balance the 2007 fiscal year.


1) Approved the appointment of Ziedler Partnership, Inc., followed by Zyscovich, Inc, if the first rated company is unable to enter into an acceptable contract with the city, to provide architectural services in the plan and design of the Lauderhill Performing Arts/Cultural Center.

2) Approved a Resolution to enter into a sister city relationship with Suzano, Brazil. We have had already several cultural events with artists from Suzano, and more are being scheduled.

3) Approved of a Resolution opposing the Florida Hometown Democracy's proposed Amendment to the Florida Constitution. More will be brought up on this matter subsequently.

4) Approved, on a 4-1 vote, a Resolution supporting the concept to create a Safe Neighborhood Program for the City of Lauderhill, and to develop a plan on how it could operate. Approval authorized the city to study and submit alternative plans for the Commission to review. It was not to implement any particular program since no details were provided on what the results would be. Commission Berger voted against authorizing staff to create a Safe Neighborhood plan for Commission review, and instead supported just authorizing special tax assessments to fund the police department.

5) Approved a contract with Cubellis/SGR architects to provide professional architectural, and engineering services in the design services for the new city hall.

6) Tabled to a workshop the creation of a city diversity advisory council, to provide more discussion and review of the proposal.

7) Approved the upcoming calendar schedule for meetings through Sept. 30, 2008.

8) Approved the purchase of benches, chairs and other park amenities for Renaissance Park, utilizing GO Bond Funds, of $63,594.15. The Lauderhill Public Arts Committee is contributing to this park, which will have the first public art project instituted by this committee.



Thursday, September 27, 2007

Notes of Commission Workshop of Sept. 17

On September 17, the Commission met and discussed the following matters of interest:

1) Discussion on 2010 census. The city is beginning the steps necessary to prepare for the census. One of the elements is the formation of a voluntary Community Count Committee. This would be composed of homeowner and condominium association officers and directors, and other volunteers. Their purpose would be to help organize their neighborhoods to expect and respond to the survey when received. The organization of this committee should begin in early 2008.

2) Discussion on school crossing guards, and the creation of a voluntary program of parents to serve to supplement the service. Financial constraints caused the city to examine and evaluate the system. All critical hazardous intersections are covered, with continual evaluations being made to determine additional need. However, additional service can be created by the use of parental volunteers. Commissioners Holness and Benson are conducting a meeting of the schools to go over a variety of school issues, and this will be included.

3) The Northwest Lauderhill survey results were discussed. The vote for a new community center, and lights for the path and ball field, were overwhelmingly supported. Of about 2000 households, 700 voted. This number far exceeds the vote in a typical city election. The vote on the addition of a CPTED fence (like a Veterans Park) was essentially a tie. Upon further discussion, including members of the public who live adjacent to the park, and the recommendation of the Northwest Neighbors Association, the Commission gave consensual approval to proceed with the fence as well.

4) Discussion of Florida Education Fund camp programs to assist students in preparing for FCAT, SAT, etc. The proposal was for a Lauderhill FCAT Prep Camp for 60 students is for $25,150. The Commission consensus was to consider giving $5000 from the upcoming Educational Fund, and an additional $5000 from other sources, which may include from remaining funds from Commissioners Administrative Expenses funds which remain from this fiscal year. The City Manager will seek out where the funds will come from.

5) Discussion on Lauderhill Sports Advancing Kid's Education (S.A.K.E. Awards). Commission consensus is to support the program, but without funding from the city. Commissioner Benson stated that if the Commission will support it, he will find the $25,000 to fund it from outside funds.

6) Discussion on creating a Diversity Committee in the City of Lauderhill. The reason behind the committee is to address those in the city who have had an issue accepting cultural diversity. A presentation was made by Roland Foulkes, a resident of Broward Estates.

7) Discussion on additional revenue sources to assist funding of police department and establishing a safe neighborhood program. The proposal was to create a Safe Neighborhood Improvement District under F.S. Chapter 163.5.

8) Presentation by Mr. Biggs, representing FDOT, on the resurfacing project for University Drive. The project is expected to begin in 2008, and take 12 months to complete.

9) Evaluation of City Manager, City Attorney, and City Clerk was postponed until September 24 since Commissioner Berger still had not submitted his evaluations for tabulations. (NOTE: This matter was heard at a Special Workshop on September 24, but since Commissioner Bergers evaluations were not submitted until earlier that day, his numbers were not included into the tabluations. All persons received a score in excess of the minimum required score of 3 out of 5.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Experience Brazil Night!

The City of Lauderhill & the Lauderhill Sister City Organization are Proud to Announce… Experience Brazil Night!

Join officials, business owners, residents, and the Lauderhill Sister City Committee as they welcome dignitaries and special guests from Suzano - São Paulo, Brazil, to the City of Lauderhill.

The Experience Brazil Night will take place at the City of Lauderhill’s Commission Chambers, on Monday, October 1, 2007, at 6 pm. (3800 Inverrary Boulevard #111, Lauderhill, FL 33319.) From 6 pm – 7 pm, enjoy food and refreshments, music by live Brazilian artists, and dancing from Samba to Salsa! The official program will begin at 7 pm.

The City of Lauderhill is commencing a Sister City relationship with Suzano, Sao Paulo - as Brazil is South Florida’s number one trading partner.

Several successful cultural exchanges between the City of Lauderhill and Suzano have already taken place. Artists from South Florida have participated in Art Exhibits abroad and shortly thereafter, 40 Brazilian Artists had their art work flown here for an Exhibit. The highly attended Exhibits have allowed artists to have forums in foreign lands and gain exposure they hadn’t ever dreamed of before. These events will continue on an annual basis.

“With almost a billion dollars of redevelopment taking place in what is now deemed the Cultural Arts Quarter of Lauderhill – Central Broward, relationships with countries like Brazil are essential to stay progressive in the market place,” explains Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness.

We invite you to “Experience Brazil” and learn more about Lauderhill’s plans to enter the global market place. Please call the Arts Office Lauderhill at 954-993-5071, for more information.

Sponsored by: The Lauderhill Sister City Organization, MJ’s Sports Bar & Grill, Captain Shrimp, Nova Southeastern, The Arts Office Lauderhill, and World Arts Now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Prostate Cancer Awareness

September is the National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, proclaimed to raise awareness about this cancer’s risk factors and promote early detection and treatment. Prostate Cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the country, affecting 1 in 6 men.

Risk Factors
While no one knows the exact causes of prostate cancer, research has shown that some men are more likely to develop it than others. Those risk factors include:

* Age - The main risk factor. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases as a man ages. More than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over 65.
* Family History – A man’s risk is greater if a father or brother had the disease.
* Race – African-American men are 61% more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men, including Hispanic white men.
* Diet – Some studies suggest that a diet high in animal fat or meat may increase risk for prostate cancer.

Many men with prostate cancer in early stages have no symptoms at all. Some symptoms might include:
* Urinary problems – Difficulty starting or stopping urine flow, weak flow or pain during urination.
* Blood in the urine.
* Frequent pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.
Please note that most often these symptoms are not due to cancer. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your physician.

Detection and Screening
The purpose of screening for prostate cancer is to detect the cancer at its earliest stages. Screening can be done easily in a physician’s office using a simple test, the PSA Blood Test, and a physical examination by the physician. The American Cancer Society recommends that all men over the age of 50 be screened annually for prostate cancer. Men at high risk should begin testing at age 45.

If caught early, prostate cancer is very treatable and usually curable. Ninety percent of all prostate cancers are found while still within the prostate or restricted to surrounding areas. The five year survival rate for these men is nearly 100% and overall, 99% of men with the disease survive at least five years.

The North Broward Hospital District’s two American College of Surgeons-designated Cancer Centers have teamed up with the prestigious H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, to provide a full spectrum of state-of-the-art cancer care.

For a physician referral or to learn more about District services, please call (954) 759-7400 or go to our website

For more information or questions about the North Broward Hospital District,
Please call the Government Relations Department at 954-355-5180.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

EMS Compliance Survey

Recently, the City of Lauderhill received from the Florida Department of Heath, a report from its survey concerning EMS Compliance. The survey response letter states as follows:

"Congratulations on your outstanding Compliance Monitoring site survey conducted by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services on July 26, 2007. We found no deficiencies during our site survey. Your vehicles and service records were outstanding. Thank you for being a role model of excellence as an EMS provider in the state of Florida.

"Also, please extend my sincere gratitude to your staff for their assistance and for the overall contribution to your service and community. Your continued support of emergency medical services is deeply appreciated.


John C. Bixler, Paramedic, RN, BSN
Chief, Bureau of EMS"

Monday, September 17, 2007

City Attorney's Report on Summary of Accomplishments and Proposed Goals

Pursuant to the City Charter, the city attorney serves as legal advisor to the Commission and the City Manager, assures that the city is represented in all legal proceedings and performs any other duties prescribed by Charter and by ordinance. Over the past several years, the City of Lauderhill has experienced unprecedented change and growth. As the city continues to grow and change, we strive to provide legal services as directed by the City Commission and City Manager to facilitate the execution of the city’s goals. Simultaneously, we work with all city departments to address legal issues as they arise. For example, we work with the finance department in order to complete real estate purchases and bond transactions. Similarly, we work with risk management in order to minimize the city’s liability risk exposure.

A summary of some of the major accomplishments of the following year follow:
· Negotiated the purchase of the new city hall site
· Negotiated the purchase of Mission Lake Plaza
· Negotiated the purchase of the extension of Renaissance Park
· Negotiated the interlocal agreement with Broward County for the county to contribute $3 million dollars to purchase Premier Motors
· Negotiated the purchase of Premier Motors
· Negotiated the terms of the interlocal agreement with Broward County for the county to contribute $5.8 million dollars for the design and development of the cultural center and for the city to lease the cultural center site for 99 years
· Provided co-bond counsel legal services for the $13.4 Million Dollar Certificate of Participation and the $5 Million Dollar Water and Sewer Revenue Bond
· Provided legal services to the new Charter Review Board
· Represent the interest of the city in prosecutions before the unsafe structures board
· Drafted request for qualifications for the architects to design the new city hall and cultural arts center
· Provided legal services to the CRA director in drafting leases for residential and commercial properties
· Complete annexation amendment to Charter to reflect new city boundary map as a result of annexations of Broward Estates
· Processed Forfeitures in this fiscal year this far through July resulting in over $80,431.00 in forfeiture funds and seized and obtained title to approximately 11 cars for violations of the Florida Forfeiture Contraband Act
· Negotiated with City of Plantation and City of Fort Lauderdale re: additional annexations and prepare and file Local Bill with Broward County Legislative Delegation for boundary correction/de-annexation/annexation of Renaissance Baptist Tabernacle Church on Broward Boulevard to de-annex parking lot to City of Plantation; annex portion of N.W. 31st from City of Fort Lauderdale; de-annex portion of Sunrise Blvd & N.W. 31st back to County. Track HB 953 through Florida Legislature until passage. Didn’t get reached by Legislature due to attention to property tax issue – will continue same process next year to get passed through Legislature in 2007-2008.
· Prepare advertisements, notice and Intent Resolution for Annual Garbage Assessment non ad-valorem tax assessment. Obtain approvals from Broward County Tax Appraiser and Broward County Revenue Collector and Broward County Commission for extension for filing deadline until March 1, 2007. Prepare all ads and assist in notices and calculations for Annual Tax Bill.
· Municipal Prosecutor – handle all court arraignments and trials throughout the year for City Code violations.
· Successful settlement in favor of City for reimbursement in full in the amount of $37,219.00 with MP Underground Technologies for water main break caused during drilling.

Goals for 2008:
To assist the City Commission and City Manager in the execution of the city’s goals for the coming year such as:
· design and construction of new city hall
· design and construction of the cultural center
· redevelopment of Central Lauderhill
· completion of the SR 7 redevelopment projects

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Low Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics Set for Deerfield Beach

Two low-cost rabies vaccination clinics have been scheduled for Deerfield Beach in September. The clinics are available to all Broward County residents.

On Wednesday, September 19, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division and Animal Health Services (not a County agency) will hold a Low Cost Pet Vaccination clinic at Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Several vaccination packages, administered by state-licensed veterinarians, are available for puppies, dogs, kittens and cats. Rabies vaccinations are $6 per pet. For additional fees and information, call Animal Health Services at 888-680-PETS.

On Saturday, September 29, Broward County’s Animal Care and Regulation Division will hold a Low-Cost License and Rabies Vaccination at Westside Park, 445 S.W. 2 St., Deerfield Beach, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The $15 cash only fee includes the rabies vaccination and county animal license. To qualify, pet owners must be Broward residents, meet certain income guidelines and provide proof of residency. Dogs must be on leashes and cats in carriers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Notes of the Commission Meetings of September 10

On September 10, the Commission held multiple meetings, and the following matters of interest were discussed and acted upon:


1) Approved the purchase of vacant land located at the corner of 55th Avenue and 19th Street for $650,000.00.

2) Agreed to an amendment to an Interlocal Agreement with Broward County to bifurcate a dedication of NW 13th street and NW 37th Ave and the disbursement of $408,973. It also included a new commitment for $995,000 supported by the redevelopment capital program application

3) Approved the budget for the CRA for fiscal year 2008, in the amount of $1,357,958.

4) A Director's Report was given on the Mission Lake Arts Incubator, the 19th Street Townhouses Redevelopment and the ULI Conference.


1) Presentation by the Auditors. It was discovered the Auditors had not distributed the reports in advanced, as they believe they had, for the Commission to review. Therefore, the presentation and discussion was continued until Sept. 17 at 5:30 PM so as to allow the Commission to review the reports.

2) Report given by the federal and state lobbyists for the city.



1) Approved adopting the Tentative Property Tax Levy in the amount of $4.7340, and the voter approved debt service millage of $.75. This is a decrease from the present year of $6.02, a $1.286 reduction.

2) Approved the Budget for the upcoming fiscal year in the amount of $106,646,159. Vote was 4 - 1, with Mayor Kaplan against. (See the following article on the stated reasons given on the dissenting vote.)


A grant of $10,000 was given to the Boys and Girls Club for the Art Program "Young Hearts for Art." Funds were made through the city's Educational Grant Program. Funds will not be available from this years budget to continue this program.


Approved the supplemental appropriations of $935,000 to balance the 2007 fiscal year.


1) Agreed to modify the city ordinances to allow for establishment for adult amusement machines, like at "Chuck E. Cheese."


1) Approved appointment to vacant position on Public Arts Board.

2) Approved appointments to Police Officers Retirement Trust Fund Board.

3) Approval of a Resolution requiring all future city buildings to be LEED Silver Qualified Green Buildings. This does not require the city to go through the certification process, though it must be constructed to qualify to seek such certification. (By Mayor Kaplan).

4) Ratified the Fraternal Order of Police Contract for the year Oct. 1, 2006 to Sept. 30, 2007.

5) Approved the CRA Board's approval of an Interlocal Agreement, as more fully described above as 2) under the CRA Meeting.

6) Approved installing speed humps and awarding a price proposal from Corner Stone Paving, Inc., in Broward Estates at 132 NW 34th Ave. and at 254 NW 34th Ave. Cost is $6050.

7) Approved a Bid to Coastal Contracting & Development for $1,254,000 for development, design plans and construction of the "Ilene Lieberman Park." Funds come from the General Obligation Fund and a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program Grant.

8) Approved the waiver of a bid to award Ash Britt Environmental and its subcontractors, and Wood Resource Recovery, for emergency debris removal and disposal services on an as needed basis.

9) Approved accepting the proposed insurance settlement for insurance claims of the city from damage from Hurricane Wilma from two years ago. The settlement specifically excludes several damages to Old City Hall and several parks. The amount of the settlement is $375,435.75, and applies our deductible of $500,000. Any future claims settlement will not apply the deductible again.

10) Approved accepting a grant of $3900 from the Department of Justice for 20 bulletproof vests, requiring a city match from our Federal Forfeiture Fund of $3900.


1) Approved a Special Exception Use permitting, subject to conditions, The Horseshoe Game Room to expand its operation.

2) Approved on second reading a repeal of an ordinance previously granted to Inverrary Falls, LLC, for a variance on relief on a concrete wall.


Cancelled the October 8 Commission Meeting due to the Columbus Day Federal/State holiday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Mayor's Reason to Vote Against the Budget

I wanted to give this statement on why I have decided not to vote in favor of the Budget. Over the last year, there has been an uproar over local property taxes, and the legislature has reacted by imposing mandatory roll backs, plus placing on the ballot a constitutional amendment to cause property taxes to be cut even more severely. The first phase is costing the city $3.8 million. The constitutional amendment will cause an additional $7 million, totaling almost $11 million. Neither one do I believe are constitutional, but that is not the point here. Several Legislators that voted in favor of the January 29 referendum are publicly stating they are asking the public to vote against it. That is also not the point here.

The problem is not with the appropriateness of spending in the City of Lauderhill, but in the broken, unfair, inequitable tax structure that has been created in the State of Florida. It is just wrong. People who have remained in their homes for many years pay artificially low taxes, but in return, are trapped in their homes. Those not covered by the homestead exemption and new residents are forced to pay an unequal excess of taxes to make up this difference, but they can freely move around. Compound this with State Legislature unfunded mandates, and the uncontrollably spiraling cost of government services, and you can begin to see the situation. It isn’t the few thousands of dollars most people comment on. It’s the millions of dollars in forced expenses that are the source of the problem. It isn’t the cities that created this problem, but it is the cities, and ultimately the residents and businesses that will suffer for it.

In response the City of Lauderhill has put forward the budget you see here tonight. I have to compliment the Staff and Commissioners for addressing many of the concerns of the city; given the extraordinary restrictions they have been presented. The budget attempts to meet those concerns while avoiding as much pain as possible, though there are several areas I disagree with. Many will be hurt with this budget, but not nearly as many that ultimately will be hurt in the future if this process continues forward.

My vote against the budget is a vote of protest. Protesting the process and inequities of the system created by the Legislature. A protest of things to come. If no one stands up to voice these concerns, no one will ever take the necessary steps to fix them.

At such time in the future that someone starts to address the underlying, inherent problems in our tax structure, and allows cities to adequately address its critical needs in a responsible way, only then we will be able to properly see to the needs of our residents and businesses, which I can then support.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Event Slated for Tamarac

Broward County residents are encouraged to take advantage of a free hazardous waste and electronics drop-off event, scheduled for Sunday, September 16, at 6011 Nob Hill Road (Public Works Department). Proof of Broward County residency is required.

Residents can dispose of household hazardous waste including paint, solvents, motor oil, pesticides, household chemicals, lawn and pool chemicals, mercury thermometers, propane tanks and fire extinguishers. Acceptable used electronics include televisions, computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, fax machines, cell phones and rechargeable batteries.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Election Workers Needed For January 29, 2008 Election

The Supervisor of Elections Office is seeking residents to work at the polls for the Presidential Primary Election, scheduled for January 29, 2008. Bilingual (English/Spanish) residents are especially needed, in compliance with federal regulations. Training will be provided before the election. Election workers are paid for their services on Election Day. Clerks receive $200; Assistant Clerks and Poll Deputies receive $155; Inspectors receive $150; and, Spanish/English translators receive $130.

The Presidential Primary Election will include a number of municipal elections and a statewide referendum on a property tax amendment to the Florida Constitution. In addition to the January 29 election, poll workers are needed for the August 26, 2008 State Primary Election and the November 4, 2008 General Election.

Residents interested in applying for a poll worker position should call the Supervisor of Elections Poll Worker Hotline at 954-459-9911 or send an email to with your name and telephone number (include Poll Worker in the subject line).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Notes of the Commission Meeting of August 27

On August 27, the Commission met, and the following matters of interest were discussed and acted upon:


1) Agreed to modify the city ordinances to allow for establishment for adult amusement machines, like at "Chuck E. Cheese."


1) Approved the sale of city property of approximately 2 acres, located next to the Police Station on Oakland Park, for $2,550,000. The intended use to be for a new bank.


1) Accepted a Public Transit Bus Shelter Easement, for construction of a Bus Shelter on property located at the previous United Artist Theatre on Commercial Blvd.

2) Approved the authorizing of filing of Articles of Incorporation to incorporate a Not for Profit Corporation to be known as "Lauderhill Sister Cities International, Inc." Two members of the Board shall be appointed by the City Commission. Passed 4 to 1, Commission Berger in dissent.

3) Approved a Resolution directed to the Governor and Florida Legislature to support a modification of the "Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety" law, to address the removal of invalid utility markings (By Mayor Kaplan).

4) Approved a Resolution to the US Congress to ask them to create a comprehensive and integrated National Catastrophe Plan, to better prepare and protect american homeowners from inevitable, large-scale natural catastrophes (By Mayor Kaplan).

5) Approved the ranking of Cubellis, followed by Schenkel-Shultz and Cartaya, as the architect firm to plan and design the new city hall on Oakland Park. The staff will negotiate with the first firm, and if unsuccessful, then the city will negotiate with the next firm.

6) Approved assigning $1.5 million funds received for eligible families in Stonebridge Gardens. 69 of the 85 families who applied are qualified to receive funds. The eligibility requirements are set by HUD.

7) Approved the award of bid to Tenex Enterprises for $45,085, for the refurbishment of playground equipment and rubberized surface at St. George Park.

8) Approved the waiver of competitive bidding for a 2007 Emergency One, Custom Rescue Pumper for $391,711, based upon a bid by Orange County, to replace an engine from 1991.

9) Approved several renewals of insurance policies for city employees. The CIGNA PPO Dental went up 6%, and the Humana PPO and HMO went up 11.17%.

10) Approved spending from the Federal Forfeiture Fund for the purchase of 7 Dell Laptop Computers for the Police Department, and $2500 from the State Local Law Enforcement Trust Fund to "Kids and the Power of Work" (KAPOW) Program, to be at Royal Palm Elementary School.


1) Approved the special exception to Westbrook Learning Center for a child care/preschool on a 2 acre site, known as Sunrise Professional Center.

2) Approved a repeal of an ordinance previously granted to Inverrary Falls, LLC, for a variance on relief on a concrete wall.



Saturday, September 01, 2007

The First Tee of Lauderhill Celebrity Golf Tournament

Wal*Mart presents

The First Tee of Lauderhill Celebrity Golf Tournament

Monday, October 1, 2007 At Eagle Trace

Four-player scramble – shotgun start at 9 am

Includes golf cart, tournament play, breakfast, golf shirt, golf shoes, shag bag, and awards luncheon

For more information call Program Director Desmond Dogan

"The First Tee" Lauderhill 954-321-6777 ext. 225, Fax: 954-321-7760