Monday, March 23, 2009

Cooper City's 50th Birthday & Annual Founder's Day Events

From April to June 2009, Cooper City will mark the 50th anniversary of its incorporation and will also be celebrating Founder's Day. Such a special occasion requires a special celebration, and a volunteer committee has been formed by the Cooper City Commission to make plans for the city's 50th celebration.

The Cooper City Commission and Cooper City employees invite you to participate in Cooper City's 50th Anniversary by joining the 50th Celebration Committee, by contributing financial support, by attending the 50th Anniversary events, and by helping to promote the celebration throughout Cooper City.


April 2009
Tuesday, April 14th - 50th Birthday Kick-off, 7:00 pm. - 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Auditorium prior to city commission meeting to include: City Proclamation, Cooper City's 50th Fabulous Years Celebration Days, unveil time capsule and display contents, honor Pioneers of Cooper City, refreshments with cutting of 50th birthday cake, staff, volunteers and council to wear 50th celebration shirts.
Wednesday, April 15th - Historical Picture Display Business Rotation. Begin 5 - 7 day rotations of historical pictures throughout businesses in Cooper City.
Sunday, April 19th - Celebrating Our Past, 3 - 5 p.m. at the Pool and Tennis Center, 3:15 p.m. Recognition of past city commissioners, city advisory board members, clubs and organizations that have contributed to the city, etc. with group pictures for time capsule, refreshments, historical room open, classroom open with video presentation.
Saturday, April 25th - (Traditional) Founder's Day Celebration, Morning parade with theme "Cooper City - Celebrating 50 Fabulous Years!" followed by afternoon festivities at Brian Piccolo Park, fireworks.

May 2009
Saturday, May 2nd - 50th Countdown begins with countdown display on corner of Stirling Road and 100th Avenue.
Saturday, May 2nd - Family Night - "Movie Under the Stars" Cooper City Sports Complex 8 - 11 PM, Movie on the field. Wii Rock Band and Guitar Hero Contests on other field for additional entertainment fun.
Sunday, May 17th - "Tour de Cooper" Family Bike Ride 7:30 - 10 am, staged at the Cooper City Sports Complex, refreshments.
Saturday, May 23rd - Party at the Pool! 1 - 5 PM Family events, music, and contests poolside at the Pool and Tennis Center.

June 2009
Saturday, June 6th - Cooper City "Going Gold" - Community Volunteer Day, Provide marigolds to be planted by volunteers at all parks, city facilities and entrance ways to the City to encourage everyone to "go Golden" for our 50th !
Saturday, June 20th - Cooper City's Celebration of "50" Fabulous Years! 5 - 10 p.m. on Cooper City High School football field, bounce houses, food, concert, laser show, closure of time capsule, large Birthday cake.

For more information please contact staff at 954-434-4300, Ext. 233 or go to the city's website.

Click HERE to view the itenerary or click HERE to download a Founder's Day Parade Application if you'd like to participate in the parade. We'll see you there!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Issues that matter...

I recently attended ‘Broward Days’ at the state capitol in Tallahassee, along with the entire Commission and the City Manager, which provides a venue for the citizenry and focuses on issues that matter and directly affect all of us at the state legislature. Broward Days hosts monthly meetings and promotes receptions and workshops dealing with appropriations, Sunshine Law, and advocacy in Broward County, and also publishes a magazine distributed throughout Tallahassee and Broward. Broward Days also coordinates the annual two-day state legislative issues forum at the state capitol at Tallahassee, Florida. With less and less tax money coming to the state for supporting health, safety and welfare issues, it's not going to be easy getting anything out of the Florida Legislature this year, especially if it involves any substantial sums of tax dollars.

Broward Days has become a voice to be reckoned with in Tallahassee with teams posturing on positions regarding various legislative issues. Broward Days is the local county organization that melds residents from the business world with those in government and politics, and attempts to present united, bipartisan leadership. Broward Days is one of the largest, most diverse and focused organizations of its kind, with over 600 actively involved participants and sponsors serving as a voice for your valued concerns in Broward County.

Here is the meeting itinerary that I had planned out, and what I accomplished while attending Broward Days this year in Tallahassee...

I arrived on Monday afternoon and after checking in, I greeted Governor Charlie Crist while he was at the Florida Hospital Association press conference, then I took a quick tour of the old Capitol building before they closed.

On Tuesday (3/10), at 10:45 a.m. I met with Joslyn Wilson, Director of Opinions, at Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office regarding public records and open government issues. We had a very lengthy and productive meeting, and clear direction was given to me regarding some of my constituents concerns regarding public records and requests.

At 11:15 a.m. I met with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink regarding the Cooper City Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) and Monterra Community Development District Annual Reports. We also had a very productive meeting and clear direction was given to me regarding some of my constituents concerns regarding the CAFR and Monterra financials and issues to address.
At 12:30 p.m. I attended the Buffet Luncheon & Welcome at the Governors Club and was able to privately speak at length with Hon. Senator Jeremy Ring, District 32, State Senate, and Chair of the Broward Legislative Delegation. We then listened to Hon. Bill McCollum, Attorney General of the State of Florida, give a synopsis of the plan of action regarding his fight against child pornography and internet child predators. Attorney General McCollum also highlighted his plan of action on other priorities including developing a statewide gang reduction strategy; consumer protection; combating Medicaid fraud; improving the state’s security against terrorist threats, and fighting crimes against the elderly, especially identity theft.

At 2:00 p.m. I was able to privately speak to Attorney General McCollum at length regarding public records, public records requests, open government initiatives and issues along with his direction on my constituents concerns regarding these issues. I certainly let him know that he has my full and unwavering support on these issues, and his initiatives, particularly the street gang reduction issue, consumer protection and child safety initiatives that he espouses.

At 2:30 p.m. I attended the Panel at the Governors Club on Florida's Economic Recovery. They provided their current assessment & future proposals. In attendance were Karen Woodall, Florida's Center on Fiscal & Economic Policy, Deborah Wilkinson, Broward County Office of Economic Development and Florida Economic Development Council, Mark Wilson, CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Harvey Bennett of Florida Tax Watch. Afterwards, I asked lots of questions and received lots of great answers from these individuals regarding your concerns.

At 3:45 p.m. I attended the Panel at the Governors Club on Florida’s Open Government. I was able to subsequently speak at great length to JoAnn Carrin, Director, Office of Open Government, Barbara Petersen, President, First Amendment Foundation and Pat Gleason, Director of Cabinet Affairs & Special Counsel on Open Government. Our discussions were about promoting open government and transparent dealings with all government entities. Also in attendance were Jo Moskowitz (Broward Days Immediate Past Chair) and Stella Tokar (Chair).

At 6:00 p.m. I attended the evening reception featuring Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer, State of Florida. She discussed the state of the economy and how Florida and it's local and county governments can be fiscally responsible and successful through these tough economic times.

On Wednesday (3/11) I attended the 7:30 a.m. Leadership Breakfast, featuring Governor Charlie Crist at the top floor of the Capitol building. Other speakers and attendees were Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottcamp, Hon. Max Osceola, Seminole Tribe Councilman, Stella Tokar, Jo Moskowitz, Tim Rodriguez, Calvin Giordano, Hon. Franklin Sands, Florida House of Representatives, Dist 98, and Hon. Jeremy Ring, Florida Senate, Dist 32, Sen. Howard Forman, the Executive Director of the Broward League of Cities, Rhonda Calhoun along with the entire Cooper City Commission and Cooper City Manager.

The featured speaker was Hon. Charlie Crist, Governor of the State of Florida. The Governor spoke at length and was very enlightening on issues facing the State of Florida and it's counties regarding the budget. The Governor also spoke on the three 'E's', the Environment, Education and Ethics. I let him know that he has my full support on these initatives.

At 9:30 a.m. I briefly attended the Education Panel on 22nd floor of the Capitol. In attendance were Maggie Zalamea, Director of Government Relations for Broward County Public Schools, Shane Strum, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, Alan Stonecipher, Florida's Center for Fiscal & Economic Policy, Joy Frank, General Counsel and Legislative Director for the Florida Association of School District Superintendents and Ruth Melton, Director of Legislative Affairs for the Florida School Boards Association.

At 9:45 I attended the Senate Governmental Affairs Policy Commitee hearing, which concentrated on balancing the budget, fostering economic growth and job creation, lowering the tax burden on families and businesses, restraining or reducing the growth of government, promoting public safety and educational accountability and protecting Florida's natural beauty and resources. The committee also spent a great deal of time discussing government employee's pension plans, retirement benefits and budgeting. The committee also discussed the Open Government Sunset Review Act which requires the Legislature to review every 5 years, each public rcord and meeting exemption for re-enactment. The commettee also talked about the issue of secret ballots when exercising the right to vote.

At 11:00 I attended the presentation SB 2018 by Senator Mike Fasano & Secretary George H. Sheldon of the Department of Children and Family Services, which creates the community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Crime Reduction Act. The Act provides goals for the community mental health and substance abuse forensic treatment system and requires the DCFS, in consultation with the AHCA, to develop and implement such forensic treatment system.

At 11:30 a.m. I went to a sponsored Luncheon at Clyde’s & Costello’s, and discussed Secretary Sheldon's initiatives along with other local issues such as Transportation, Technology and Pre K-12 matters with local elected officials from various parts of Broward County and Florida.

From 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. the Senate Select Committee on Economic Recovery had a hearing mostly on repealing tax exemptions. Rather than attend that hearing since other members of the Cooper City Commission attended, I elected to meet with privately with House of Representatives members Joe Gibbons, Ari Porth, Gwendolyn Clarke-Reed, Hazelle Rogers, Evan Jenne and Martin Kiar, Jim Waldman, Ellen Bogdanoff and Sen. Nan Rich between 1:30 and 5 PM. The issues I discussed with them were the Transportation, Technology and Pre K-12 Education initiatives that the Broward Days committees were instrumental in developing.

As a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization Board, I supported the Transportation team's mission which is to seek legislative solutions to provide the residents and businesses of Broward County, and more importantly the South Florida Tri-County region, with a viable funding source for smart regional transportation facilities. These smart regional transportation facilities will improve the quality of life for the flourishing urbanized South Florida community in a current time of increased Traffic Congestion on the existing transportation facilities.

The mission of the Technology team is to educate Members of the Florida State Legislature on issues of importance to the high-tech industry, and demonstrate the critical role that the high tech industry plays in the health and diversification of Florida's economy. The mission of the Pre-K-12 Education Team is to raise public awareness about the lack of adequate funding for Pre-K-12 public education in the State of Florida and to provide holistic solutions to key policymakers, such as the Governor and State Legislature.

also spent a good deal of time between meetings in the afternoon voicing my opposition to SB 0074 (regarding the use of the Term ‘Illegal Alien’, which prohibits the term's use by a state agency or official in an official document of the state) and meeting with Sen. Lawson, Rep. Coley, Rep. Zapata and Sen. Storms staff voicing my opposition to SB 1488, SB 2292, HB 817 and HB 1477.

All in all, I had a great and safe trip, and I accomplished and learned alot on behalf of the People of the great City of Cooper City, and Broward County. If you have any questions of would like to convey issues to me or your Senate or House Representatives during the current Legislative Session, please let me know.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cooper City Code Red Alert


3/12/09, 5 PM EST

This is a Broward Sheriff’s Office, Cooper City information alert.

A series of home burglaries has occurred during the past few weekdays while homeowners are at work.

Burglars are pulling into empty driveways and knocking on front doors to see if anyone is home.

If nobody answers, they smash rear sliding glass doors and enter the home.

Please activate your home alarm system and be extra watchful for suspicious vehicles or persons around homes. If you see suspicious activity, please call 911 immediately so we can respond.

Thank you for working with us in keeping your community secure.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cooper City population and other facts

The University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research paper, “Florida Estimates of Population 2008” is now published. Based on that study by the University, Cooper City’s 2008 population as of April 1, 2008 is estimated to be at 30,074 people.

The BEBR population study is an estimate, as Cooper City does not qualify to be a part of the actual American Consumer Survey. Cooper City will however will be a very comprehensive part of the 2010 Census from which the city will receive very valuable data from the actual count, along with other very important demographic data. Why is this important? For many reasons...

The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2 mandates that an apportionment of representatives among the states, for the House of Representatives, be carried out every ten years. Apportionment is the process of dividing the 435 seats in the US House of Representatives among the 50 states. Congress decides the method to carry out the apportionment and since 1940 has used the method of ‘equal proportions’ in accordance with Title 2, US Code.

Using equal portions, each state is assigned one congressional seat as provided by the Constitution. The apportionment formula then allocates the remaining 385 seats, one at a time among the 50 states, until all 435 seats are assigned. In addition to apportionment, the decennial census results are used to distribute almost $200 billion annually in Federal and state, local, and tribal funds; deliniate state legislative districts; evaluate the success of programs or identify populations in need of services, along with many other purposes.

More than 120 federal programs use census data in funding formulas. Examples include WIC, Unemployment Insurance, Job Training Partnership Act, Airport Improvement Act, Highway Planning and Construction, Head Start, Medicaid, and so on. The data collected by the Census is needed to administer, fund and/or monitor these taxpayer funded programs.

While the federal government uses census data for many purposes, businesses, students, and many others also user census data. Businesses may use the data to decide where to locate a store, or to select products for a specific geographical area. From the large corporation considering opening a new facility in a specific neighborhood to John or Jane Doe next door who dreams of starting his or her own business, both need census data to make their decisions.

Census data tells them if an area can supply the customers or clients they need for their product or service. It tells them if the area can supply the workforce they need. It gives them information about the area--is it growing, stable or declining, and how has it changed over the past decade? It gives them a good idea of location.

When making a decision to open a business, there are many demographic characteristics to review-- population by age and possibly by gender or ethnicity, income levels, commuter patterns, educational attainment, nativity, occupations and industries.

Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Organizations and Small Business Development Centers all rely on this data to draw business to an area and help individuals start their own businesses. Combined with Economic Census data, it is powerful.

Students research neighborhoods and cities for class projects and the local parent-teacher organization may use data to track trends in the local area. Historians, writers, and other researchers use census data to get information on what a part of the the country was like at a particular point in time.

All levels of government--national, state and local--use census data in the formulation, administration and evaluation of public policy. The census gives a comprehensive picture of the social and living conditions of our residents. Only a census can provide such complete details. The census is not, however, an end in itself! Rather, the results are essential tools for effective policy, planning and decision making purposes at all levels of government, along with your valued input. Local governments use it to determine if schools have sufficient space or if the tax-base is shifting, or if the area becomes a bedroom community for commuters working elsewhere.
Planners look at demographic, social, economic and housing trends over time to determine changes and their impact. They can then plan and prepare for the future. This would include whether new schools are needed, land use, parks and recreation areas, public services, roads, traffic lights, transit, grants, and comprehensive plans. Virtually every census data item is of use. Planners cannot prepare for the future, without looking at today and comparing it to the past.

In the meantime, here are some other interesting extractions from the BEBR report; Cooper City is the 20th largest city by population of the 32 municipalities in Broward County. Cooper City is the 83rd largest city by population amongst the entire state, and Cooper City has a larger population than 18 counties in Florida.

As far as the upcoming mid-year review of the budget and city operations, my cautious outlook and approach to what we need to do to get this city back on track (such as the Land Development Code re-write/review) just might prove to be indicative of far more than what we see on the surface as to what is going on in our city.

What I'm beginning to see, and what I've said to my constituents in a positive, tempered and realistic assessment of our economic situation is this...while things continue to be as bad as we have ever seen them, the precursors to the end of this decline should now be taking shape by the city commission, and now is the time to plan to take advantage of it as it comes about.

All of which gives me great confidence as a leader of our city, via my recognition of these factors coming into play at this time. With experience and knowledge of how the budget really looks, how the process works, and the players that facilitate it, I am already working to create a plan to utilize those funds and prepare our city for the new directions and opportunities that ARE coming with the end of this economic decline. We just cannot be caught into the trap of spending what we have for unnecessary projects and operations expenses.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel...and it's not another train as some would like you to believe. What I see in that light is a new attitude, new direction and new opportunities for all of us to capitalize upon. All it takes is teamwork by the full commission and staff.