Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cooper City Pay Raises, Dog Parks and more...


Effective immediately, our District 16 BSO office will serve as safe havens for online buyers and sellers to meet in our parking lot or lobby area. This initiative is expanding the public service (child custody cases, etc.) and practices we already have in place at District Offices. The District 16 Police department is located at 10580 Stirling Road, and can be reached at (954) 432-9000 (non-emergency number)

NEW! There is a new Face Book page for Cooper City! You can 'LIKE' the page at https://www.facebook.com/coopercitycorner Some of the posts have been great so far...LIKE and participate!

An issue that has arisen at the last Commission meeting is that of allowing dogs in our parks. There have been some valid and health concerns raised from residents. I have always loved dogs and don't necessarily agree with allowing them in our parks for a multitude of reasons. Health, safety and bacteria are just a few. I do however, fully SUPPORT a Dog Park in Cooper City! We have plenty of open space and funds to be able to support this effort in our community. I have already heard from numerous residents who support a dog park. Do you? Please let me know your thoughts on this issue...

One of the most controversial issues as of late has been the issue of the Cooper City Commission giving themselves a hefty pay raise. I am here to set the record straight (for the third time). You can view the entire discussion at the Commission Meeting HERE. If you would like to see the Commissioners discuss the topic of their raises click on THIS LINK and go to 1:58. We went three times around before the vote. Listen to the rationale of some of the city commission members as to why they are voting for a pay raise...ridiculous, and absurd in my humble opinion as to why the commission deserves a raise! This is all about public service, not about making money on your dime!

Apparently some on the Commission have publicly stated that I voted NO at the above referenced meeting (and I quote) 'because it is an election year'. Let me set the record straight with truth and facts...I voted NO for the reasons explained on record in the above referenced video. In addition, I have voted NO for commission pay raises at least twice in the past, since I have been so fortunate to represent your best interests, for the same reasons. Don't be fooled...I think it is absurd for the commission to ask for a pay raise when there are families in Cooper City who are still struggling to make ends meet! I am sure the 'politricks' will escalate between now and November 4th.

I also want to let everyone know that Cooper City is proposing (at the last budget workshop), in the upcoming budget, to appropriate $100,000 to Cooper City schools. While I am all for education, I also want to assure you that I do not support this effort based solely on the commentary I have received from our residents to date, especially when the Broward County School Board wants an $800+ million dollar bond referendum in November!

As I stated at the Commission Workshop meeting, I will more than likely in the very near future, be labeled as the 'anti-education/kids/schools' commissioner for opposing this unnecessary expenditure on the backs of Cooper City residents and business owners. Handing over so much money to a county run school, when our seniors need so much besides a monthly lunch and bingo, among other more pressing issues in our city, is disgraceful! What about the Charter Schools? Why shouldn't we give them the same amount (being consistent as the Commission touts)? There is still a plethora of unanswered questions...

There is absolutely no justification for this 'donation' to the school board, no cost-benefit analysis, no discussion as to the infrastructure and maintenance of such an expenditure, and (as Commissioner Green says repeatedly) we cannot set a precedent in this regard, otherwise everyone will want $100K for their cause...What do you have to say about this? Please, let your voice be heard!

On another note...The Cooper City staff invites all of you to share your stories, pictures and memorabilia about life in Cooper City. We already have a time capsule for the future. The 'PRESERVING COOPER CITY'S PAST' event is an event for residents and friends to come see our historic room and to bring and share your own pictures, documents, videos, pictures and stories from decades prior to 1980. Please join us...

The event will be held Sunday, July 27th at the Cooper City pool and Tennis Center in Rock Creek from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, please contact the Recreation Department at (954) 434-4300 Extension 233. YOU are the key to preserving Cooper City's past!

Keeping you informed,

John

Commissioner John Sims
Your 'Go To' Commissioner

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cooper City news, asbestos, BSO, food trucks and more…

Lately there have been rumors regarding possible asbestos in our water. Let me assure you that this is not true. Our Utilities Director cleared the air and stated the facts at our last meeting, and reassured us that Cooper City still has the best quality water available and it is regularly tested for contaminants.
Cooper City has recently received a state grant for over ½ million dollars to replace our water pipes in Timberlake and have started the replacement process, with more areas to be replaced in the future. The contractors have been doing a very good job in keeping the water turned on, and have been able to accomplish the task with minimal damage to private property.
Thanks to Ron Book (our lobbyist) who was able to help in obtaining the grant money. I supported retaining Mr. Book because he was the right man for the job, even though there was opposition to my support. This grant (your tax) money has allowed us to replace the older water pipes without increasing taxes or fees in order to do so. If there are any issues that you may have with the water or the construction of the new pipes, please let me know and I will do what I can to resolve the problem as your ‘go to’ commissioner.
Our 2014-15 budget season is now upon us and we will have budget meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, July 16 and 17th. Our budget now tops $50 million annually. There are diverse issues of our proposed budget which may interest you, and if you are interested in receiving a copy you can either email me or go to the city web site and browse the budget department to download it for yourself. If there are concerns please come to the budget meetings and voice your concerns to your commission.
Other good news in Cooper City is that our crime rate is down by nearly 15% from last year. The crime rate went from 2.83 down to 1.8. I commend Broward sheriff’s office for doing a fantastic job in keeping our communities safe. Safety of our community and our families are government’s number one priority and as such, I will continue to support BSO in order to keep you and our local business owners safe.
Our home’s taxable value increased this year. It was 8% last year and is valued at 7.35% this year. Even though this is a substantial increase, those with homestead exemption will see no more than a 1.5% increase based on the current year’s CPI.
Also there has been some discussion regarding the food truck explosion in Pennsylvania. Rest assured that I have addressed this issue with our city manager. I have been assured that the Fire Marshall will be inspecting the food trucks and will require them to have business tax receipts in addition to the inspections in order to do business in Cooper City. I hope that the city will step up and support our local businesses as much as they do the food trucks.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sound decisions....

In our local government, making sound decisions in response to a problem is occasionally difficult without allowing hatred, personal or political agendas ('politricks') to intercede, but making sound decisions is good business practice and engenders public trust...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Keeping you informed...

Keeping you informed on issues that impact you in Cooper City is one of my primary goals as your 'Go To' Commissioner. Discussing and blogging the city commission's activity is part of my goal to make it easier for more residents to get involved with issues that matter to them. Government should be as accessible as possible to as many people as are interested, and thus my role in keeping you informed! THANK YOU for your continued support!