Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cooper City's Property Values increase 8.6%

Cooper City’s property values are expected to increase approximately 8.6% as per the Broward Property Appraiser, the highest in Broward County according to this estimate.

Real Property Values (does not include TPP or Centrally Assessed)

MUN
2011 WCC*
2012 EST
Diff
% Diff

COUNTY
119,008,960,880
122,539,381,960
3,530,421,080
3.0%

UNINCORPORATED
371,558,560
389,350,470
17,791,910
4.8%

COOPER CITY
1,853,919,930
2,013,671,130
159,751,200
8.6%


Best regards,

Commissioner John Sims
Cooper City, FL
954-445-6997

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cooper City's Breakfast with the Principal's meeting

Good Afternoon, I hope all of you had a great Valentine’s Day! This morning I attended the ‘Breakfast with the Principals’ meeting at City Hall, which was a great event and open to the public (see attached Agenda). The Mayor made introductions and in her opening statements commented on the State Legislature’s lack of attending to the ‘Texting while driving’ issue. Her comments were somewhat that the State did not address the texting issue, which our High School students have lobbied for and the full commission supports, yet the state legislators addressed auto racing, promoting it as the state sport.

Well, I will have to assume at this point that either the State has better things to do than addressing citizen’s texting habits, or quite frankly, they didn’t want to reduce texting revenues, which derives serious money for the state and other governments in the form of utility taxes. Think about it…if the state banned texting, millions upon millions of dollars would probably be lost in revenues to the state. How sad. What’s a life worth? If you look at your phone bill, you’ll see just how much of it is taxes, rather than actual service charges. Was it based on money? Maybe we will never know, but we need to call and write our Legislators and let them know that a life is priceless, and not be ignored in exchange for revenues to the state.

The Charter School millage issue was raised as well as the issue as to why Charter School’s don’t pay property taxes. They don’t pay, even though they are a ‘for-profit’ entity, which is based on state law. So…the Charter Schools utilize the local government’s resources, but they don’t contribute to the cost of them. The costs, police, fire, SRD’s, etc., are placed on the backs of us, the resident taxpayer and local business owner. Sounds like another famous unfunded mandate to the local government for which you pay for. Speaking of unfunded mandates, did you know that the BCSB expends over 2 million of your tax dollars to bus children to schools outside of their residential district?

The discussion then led to the School Board re-districting issue (which can be found here: http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/redistricting/welcome.shtml ) and the upcoming public workshops. I implore you to get involved! Regarding re-districting, let me comment on the issues of the BCSB wanting to change boundaries. It’s not right that the BCSB (Broward County School Board) wants to bus our students out of our schools while there are students in our local A-rated schools who don’t even live near here. Granted, some non-resident students are allowed to attend for various and sundry reasons. I’m talking about those who are deliberately being dishonest, cheating and beating the system to attend our schools to the detriment of our legitimate local residents’ and their children. Cooper City will indeed be impacted by the BCSB’s district changes along with the boundary changes. I have previously sent notices of the boundary change meetings for your review.

Fire Chief Rusty Sievers then announced an upcoming Teen CERT program and asked everyone to get involved. If you want more information on this, contact me. Our building department Director Ted Fowler stated that the Charter School on Palm Avenue will open this year and is scheduled for a March 8th ramp-up.

Matt Wood, Director of Growth Management, stated that in regards to Monterra, 600 Certificates of Occupancy (CO’s) have been issued out of 652 units (30%) for Monterra. There is estimated to be an additional 500 CO’s issued in 2012, and a further 400 estimated to be issued by 2013. This equates to about 500 additional students that will be attending Cooper City schools, based upon the average residents per household criteria.

Moving on to our Utilities Director, Mike Bailey, he reminded us that our water conservation program, now in its third year, has won the Emerald award for Broward County (See attached notice) and that we won the ‘Best tasting Water in the State of Florida’. As always, a job ‘well done’ Mike!

Our school Principal’s then made comments about their individual schools, some of which were as such; Pioneer Middle School was rated the number 2 middle school in Broward County, and number 55 in the State out of 583 schools! YEAH! Embassy Creek was rated number 36 out of about 3000 schools. Congratulations Embassy Creek! Also, Cooper City High School's drama department will be hosting the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ on March 6th & 7th. Contact me for more information if you’d like to attend.

Also, comments were made about the school's Parent/Community Involvement Task Force which consists of about 100 volunteers (Thank you!). The municipal outreach is crucial to our local schools in addition to the 6 sub-committees that were formed. This Tuesday, there will be a workshop at the BCSB building should you wish to tune in on the BCSB website, or attend.

In closing, I’d like to personally thank the Cooper City Kiwanis Club, our local non-profit organizations and our local business owners for becoming involved in the Parent/Community Involvement Task Force.

Also, don’t forget to attend some of our events sponsored by the recreation department as outlined in the attachment, and I look forward to seeing you all on Founder’s Day at the parade on April 28th! Until then, thank you for your continued support and feel free to contact me. Your ‘Go To’ Commissioner, at johnsims@bellsouth.net or at (954) 445-6997. Have a great weekend everyone!