As your first elected Mayor I extend warm regards from City Hall. As the result of a proactive Commission and city staff, our community is moving forward into the 21st Century. We are no longer just the city your Mom and Dad lived in 30 years ago; we have become a place to live, work and raise a family.
With our changing demographics we have not lost sight of our number one priority, you the resident. Our organization has strived to make your city hall more accessible and accountable in all aspects: information technology, upgrades to service delivery, modernizing infrastructure, facility improvements and more community involvement in the decision process.
We have also focused on community revitalization to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and city. Through citywide forums and outreach we have developed a plan of action to address the needs and goals you have asked us to address. This plan is an ongoing work in progress.
Over the past year we have implemented drainage improvements within areas of critical need. We continue with the improvements to our major corridors. East Hallandale Beach rehabilitation is underway. When complete the traffic signalization, pedestrian improvements, bike lanes and landscaped medians will reduce traffic congestion and add to the aesthetics of our boulevard. Construction on the new water membrane plan is moving ahead on schedule. When complete the plant will address our water needs well into the future.
Public safety is paramount in the mission to attain quality of life in our neighborhoods.
Our Police Department has implemented many community policing programs to enhance their crime fighting efforts. Our Weed and Seed Program has been established in cooperation's with residents of the Palms to work on various attainable goals to clean up street crimes. We have also started a Police Athletic League to work with our many youth sports teams. With child protection in mind, we are drafting an ordinance to regulate the distance sexual offenders and predators can live relative to our schools and parks.
This year our City received the American Heart Association "Heart Ready City" Award for the elimination of our Automatic External Defibulator program. Our fire department's program has become the model for other cities around the state and country. Just last month we were one of only two Florida municipalities to add new state of the art automatic CPR equipment.
In May we held our strategic planning and budget workshop for the 2005-2006 budget years. We will continue to implement our plans with a strong fiscal sound budget. This year we will continue infrastructure rehabilitation to include 4.0 million dollars in capitol improvements projects. These include right of ways enhancements, storm drainage improvements, sanitary sewer rehabilitation, water distribution upgrades and park facility upgrades.
Our strategic budget planning has been adapted to include an analysis of future redevelopment and the addition of slot machines at our two exciting pari-mutuels. While there will be financial benefits to our city, the addition of slots will also bring challenges. We have taken steps to evaluate every level of service and how they will be impacted. Most importantly traffic, transportation and public safety levels of services will be address before any future redevelopment takes place.
The current housing boom and build out of Broward County has help increased our property evaluation over 15% for the third straight year. This increase has helped to offset the increase costs of our operating budget. It has also helped us to aggressively implement our capitol improvement programs with virtually no long term debt to our residents. This trend has also enabled us reduce our ad valorum tax rate for the past three years and we are optimist this trend will continue for 2005-2006.
Hallandale Beach's major focus will be on sustainable growth and redevelopment. Over the next year we will be conducting an Evaluation and Appraisals Report of our comprehensive growth management policy. Growth will be inevitable. It is projected 1 million new residents will live in Broward over the next 10 years. 55% will come from our maternity wards. Our goal will be to address this growth with realistic plans that maintain and created a sustainable future for our community.
I encourage you to become part of the planning. We want to here about your concerns and ideas for our community. We will be conducting our 'Town Hall' meetings throughout the various quadrants to address your needs. Please try to attend one of these forums.
Together we can continue to improve the "City of Choice"!
Mayor Joy Cooper
As always please feel free to contact me with your questions and
concerns by clicking on the contact button to the left of this page.