LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 17 September 2014 by L.Moore

2014 Tax Rates and Accountability

Dear Editor:

You’ll notice that the real estate tax rate for Deerfield Beach rose slightly for 2014 after the major increase in 2013, which followed the implementation of a 10 percent utility tax.

We should all be aware that we live in a city with one of the highest real estate tax rates in all of Broward County. For that, we can thank the current city commission.

It’s also interesting to note that most municipalities held or slightly reduced their rates as values in the county went up.

We should all remember this at the next municipal election that, unfortunately, is not scheduled with all other elections in November when we receive our tax bills, but in March at added cost.

March elections historically produce low voter turnout which generally favors the incumbent.

Is it possible that this is why we have municipal elections in March?

We should be thankful that our politicians realize that we might all become overwhelmed at the polls if we had to collectively vote for them at the same time that we are picking our state and national leaders.

Here’s an idea: Why don’t we have all referendums and constitutional amendments voted on in March, leaving the November ballot free to only vote for elected officials?

That way, we could charge the sponsors of referendums and constitutional amendments for the additional cost of the election.

Can’t wait to hear the reasons why this can’t be done.

David Nace

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 11 September 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Marine Advisory Board

Dear Editor:

Honorable Commissioners and our Mayor,

I understand that an agenda item is on for the next meeting [Sept. 3 Deerfield Beach city commission meeting] to revisit in some way, my removal from the MAB [Marine Advisory Board].

Please be aware that prior to my appointment to the board, I advised [the District 1 commissioner] that if at any time he did not like my actions or actions on the MAB, all he had to do is ask and I would resign. He chose a grandstanding and public attack of my name rather than accept my offer to resign.

I do not desire to serve on the MAB or any other city board and I will not reconsider this position at any time in the future.

I gave many hours of high value consulting time to the city and did not like the way things were handled.

To revisit this matter again only serves to slander or further attack my good name.

I enjoyed the time I gave to the city, but no longer have the will to serve in any capacity on any panels, boards or in any advisory nature with this city.

I have my hands full with the time I spend on two highly respected Fishery advisory boards and committees for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and as an advisor to the U.S. State Department as a member of the ICCAT advisory committee, which I have been serving on for 12 and 8 years, respectively.

Please do not revisit the past action of the commission. You spoke clearly and loudly and with a unanimous vote. This matter has been completed and should not be revisited. Please respect my wishes on this matter and please respect the time I already gave the MAB.

I respectfully request you remove this item from the meeting agenda.

Sincerely,

Ronald J. Coddington, P.E.

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 04 September 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Boys & Girls Club; Rod Coddington removal

Dear Editor:

I have to own up to two mistakes.

The first one is easy, since the city has received verification that ALL OF THE MONEY THAT IS RAISED BY Dunn’s Run goes directly to the Deerfield Boys & Girls Club, so Commissioner Ganz was correct and I was wrong in believing that the money was allocated among the 13 clubs. I must say, then, that I have no problem with Dunn’s Run, not now or in the future.

The second mistake is one that is more difficult to explain. I should have voted “NO” when the question was raised by Commissioner Miller to remove Ron Coddington [who was Miller’s appointee] from the Marine Advisory Board.

How often have I been chastised by my fellow commissioners for bringing up material at the end of a meeting without previous notice. That is exactly what happened with the batch of e-mails thrown at us at the last meeting.

Had we had the opportunity to read them, we would have noticed the date, on some, of 2011 – before Coddington served on the Marine [Advisory] Board, since there was no Marine [Advisory] Board then. [The ordinance to form a Marine Advisor Board passed June 18, 2013.]

A great number of the emails were directed to the commission in reference to the four years it was taking to pave Hillsboro Boulevard, the delay in the repair of the damage to the fishing pier – all of those were done as Coddington’s credentials as an engineer. He was able to point out the deficiencies in the city’s actions. I don’t think he was out of line with those. What was accomplished was that the city used his expertise to take action.

No one on the dais questioned his ability to serve on the Marine Advisory Board at the time the vote was taken.

For all of those reasons, I am asking for a reconsideration of the vote for his removal that was taken at the last meeting.

Jean Robb

Mayor Deerfield Beach

Editor’s note: At the Wednesday night, Sept. 3 city commission meeting, there were two items regarding the Marine Advisory Board. Agenda item No.25 was a discussion item, requested by Mayor Jean Robb, to reconsider the removal of a Marine Advisory Board member. Agenda item No.20 was a resolution appointing Thomas Nolan as a member of the Marine Advisory Board and Julie Cisneros as an alternate member of the Marine Advisory Board; and providing for an effective date.

Thank you” for $ returned at ATM

Dear Editor:

On Saturday, August 30, my daughter and I went to the [Wells Fargo] ATM machine [at the corner of 10th and Federal Highway] to get $60 out with my debit card. The [ATM] machine wrote on the screen that I did not have that much in my account. As we drove around the corner, a man came running after us saying, “Ma’am, did you just leave the ATM machine?” We said “Yes.” “You left $60 in the machine!” he said.

I was so touched by this. I think it is a great human nature story. I can’t tell you how surprised and thrilled about his honesty [I am].

Melba Hebert

Boca Raton

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 28 August 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Deerfield BUDGET

Dear Editor:

I have a somewhat different perspective to offer on the City of Deerfield Beach budget.

I am a risk management professional in the private sector.

Taken from a private sector view, the amazing job that Deerfield Beach city manager (Burgess Hanson) has done is even more apparent.

Do you realize that if the city were a private company and that private company went through what we have been through in the past five years, it could well be out of business? When the housing bubble burst, millions in tax revenue disappeared from our city income.

When Burgess took the helm, the prior city manager had spent $17 million out of the General Fund in just the prior two years.

That was when the public should have been up in arms.

Years ago, there were very few of us who stood up to object at the commission meetings.

Bill Ganz was one of us and that is when he decided to serve.

Thank you [now] Commissioner Ganz for the excellent job you have done as a member of the city commission and as the representative of my district.

Thank you Burgess and thank you to every member of the city commission (both now and in prior years) for making the hard choices that have made all the difference to our city.

I cannot imagine where we would be without the new revenue stream and the dramatic reductions in spending that had to happen when they did.

All you have to do is read the published budget or attend the budget workshops to know exactly where and how our tax revenue is now being spent.

What a welcome change it was to see real transparency in the published information. Another one of the big accomplishments of City Manager Hanson.

It took not only his abilities but teamwork on the part of the City Commission to get us out of the very dark days that we are now coming through.

Thank you again City Manager Hanson and thank you to every member of the Deerfield Beach City Commission.

Sally Potter

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: “Dude” & “Bad Guy” in LHP Bank robbery story

Dear Editor:

In response to Mrs. Newberry, thank you for your letter.

Having written official reports as a Police Officer and EMT in Palm Beach County for over a decade, I found that very few people understood such official writings.

This is why I have tried to keep a more casual tone when it comes to [my] crime reports. I will do my best to be more official in the future.

Jim Lusk

Vice President

HAPPY 103rd birthday, Mom!

Dear Editor:

Edna Horne Johnson was born in the year 1911 in Deerfield Beach.

Her family arrived in 1903. Mom is the oldest living pioneer of Deerfield. She graduated from Pompano Beach High School in 1929.

Today, Mom resides part of her year in Boca Raton, FL and the remainder in Canton, GA.

Joyce Avant and I, along with the rest of our family, are so blessed to have been given such a wonderful, Godly woman in our lives that we can call “MOM” or “GRANDMA” or “GG”!

Mom, we are looking forward to another 103 having you in our lives!

Thank for setting such a wonderful example [on how] to live. Happy Birthday!

Judy Denault

Canton, GA

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 20 August 2014 by L.Moore

A Perfect, Long Overdue Clean-Up Project

Dear Editor:

I was asked by the president of Windwood Isles to spearhead a beautification effort related to Ed. Dietrich Sr. Avenue/SE 2 Avenue.

This letter is to inform you of the deplorable conditions of SE 2 Avenue, in specific, the grassy swales and the general upkeep and maintenance.

There are approximately 16 different condo developments along SE 2 Avenue, totaling over 1,000 homeowners, tax payers and voters. The point is, the entire avenue is a constant mess with trash, papers, soda cups and cans etc., all along the swales. It now looks worse than Dixie Highway used to look … It’s embarrassing!

This same condition exists along SE 7 Street, with trash and school papers. Maybe someone could talk to the school principal!

You may recall, a while back, the mayor and another person worked on getting “No through truck signs” put up, and it’s helping, but they still fly by, over the speed limit.

BSO is all over the School Zone speeders,* but do not enforce the other laws.

The bottom line is that we need a continued, ongoing effort by the city, the civic organization that adopted the street, and the owners. We also need our city commissioner to talk to the business owners and the empty lot owners about maintenance and periodic mowing.

I now see a real estate sign on one of the west side lots that says “For Sale, Multi-Family.” That’s a lot better than more commercial warehouses.

In conclusion, this avenue is our main and only thoroughfare to access over 1,000 homes.

This is not an attractive entryway to our attractive homes.

Please get it cleaned up now and on a regular basis. I am wondering if the city could add some beautification that might be conducive to the areas?

[I have] more than 20 years of volunteer community service. How about some pay back?

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

William Derian

Deerfield Beach

*Most school zones are 15-20 mph. Fines are DOUBLED for speeding in a construction area or school zone. Fines for speeding range from $155 to $605.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 14 August 2014 by L.Moore

School Board, Wake Up!

Dear Editor:

Most cities don’t have a city resident on the School Board, just someone from a large regional district.

This means that “our” representative deals with not only our 7 schools, but dozens more in other cities.

This keeps the School Board members so far removed from the hometowns that they don’t see the local needs, or the unfairness of many of their decisions.

It is impossible to have enough time to get to know each school’s and city’s needs, and so perhaps decisions are made without enough knowledge. For example, deciding that schools don’t need to have School Resource Deputies (SRDs).

With what this country has seen in the recent past, taking place on our school campuses, elementary, middle and high schools, police in each school are not a frill, but a necessity.

For years, Deerfield Beach has begged and borrowed money for School Resource Deputies for its schools, not a city responsibility, but these are our children.

This expense should be a School Board budget item.

However, when the Deerfield Beach District 4 commissioner contacted them, he was greeted politely, thanked for his call, and then, in effect, told, “Take a flying leap.”

Decidedly, money and politics count more than children in our School Board’s list of priorities.

The money for next year, $199,562 for 2 deputies, which should be paid by the School Board, is instead, with the commission’s approval, coming from Deerfield Beach’s LETF resources (Law Enforcement Trust Fund — money confiscated from drug deals and such).

There is no way Deerfield Beach should be on the hook for the entire expense as the children in the schools come from many other cities. The School Board is not stepping up to the plate, so we have to, but each of the cities which send students to Deerfield Beach should pay their prorated share. Who can make this happen? Whoever it is should get cracking.

Think of the things $200 grand could do for our city, for example, helping prevent crime with children’s programs or, perhaps, helping victims of crime. This won’t get done because we are shouldering the entire burden of keeping our kiddies safe in their schools.

Our commission has its priorities straight. However unfair it is, our city is paying the cost.

To our commission: our children’s safety comes first. I can’t say the same for the Board of Education …

Perhaps we should grab our “pitchforks” and attend a few School Board meetings.

Bett Willett

Deerfield Beach

RE: City Wide Clean-Up for Month of August

I’m responding to the article regarding Deerfield Beach Clean-Up [in the August 7 Observer].

How about the city start with that tent and trailer sitting on our beach, violating many ordinances?

Talk about low-hanging fruit.

James Radyko

Deerfield Beach

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Green Market to re-open in Boca

Posted on 30 July 2014 by L.Moore

Dear Editor:

We at the former Deerfield Beach Green Market would like to THANK all the vendors, merchants and public who supported its existence.

We, as all of you, were disappointed when we received the cease-and-desist order from the City.

All The Cove merchants and public signatures submitted to the commission, over 200 to keep it open, were met with deaf ears from the mayor.

We thank Commissioner Miller and Ganz who stood up and were in favor of keeping it going as a very successful entertainment event for the city. We know that a lot of vendors, merchants and the public are disappointed that it is no longer there at The Cove.

But we have good news for you.

We are re opening in North Boca Raton on Federal Highway at The Wick Theater and Costume Museum, at 7901 N. Federal Hwy.

Most of the same vendors who serviced you before will be there. Take the family and visit the new market and tour the theater for an exciting experience.

The venue will be open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. It is pet friendly.

Again, we thank all of our supporters and hope to see you at the new market.

Arthur Damato

Community Green Market Events

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 24 July 2014 by L.Moore

Hurricane Preparedness in Deerfield

Hello friends,

Summer is here and while many of us are excited about vacation and time with the family, we are also preparing for another Hurricane Season.

Deerfield Beach has seen some pretty volatile hurricanes in past years.

Many of you might remember the damage that Hurricane Sandy left behind in 2012. The City spent tens of thousands repairing our most beautiful landmark, the International Fishing Pier. While Sandy did not devastate South Florida, 10 to 12-ft. waves caused serious damage to our coastlines.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask our residents the very same question I asked last year and will ask every year, because it is a very important question, “Are you prepared?”

Is your family prepared? Do you know what you will do with your pets if you are asked to evacuate? Are you signed up for the emergency notification?

These are all questions that you need to know the answers to right now in order to protect your family. We have resources and tools to help every resident in Deerfield Beach be better informed and better prepared for Hurricane Season, which extends from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Just follow these easy steps:

1. Read the Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide.

Just go to the City website, www.Deerfield-Beach.com/HurricanePreparedness. Click Residents, Find Information On, then Hurricane Preparedness.

2. Register for the emergency notification system, CodeRED.

This is a telephone-based emergency notification system that will call your home phone, mobile phone or send you a text message with important information and updates in the event of a crisis, such as a destructive hurricane. To register, visit www.Deerfield–Beach.com/codered or call 1-866-939- 0911.

3. Check out Broward County’s website, www.Broward.org.

The county now keeps the Hurricane Preparedness Guide and other important tools and information on- line only.

4. Create a plan with your family and put together an emergency preparedness kit

to have available year-round in the event of any emergency. For a complete list of materials to include in your kit just log onto: www.broward.org/ Hurricane/AtoZ/Pages/HurricanePreparedBeforeEvent.

Finally, I just want to remind you that the time to plan is now.

Please take advantage of the resources presented to you so that this year, you will be well-armed should a hurricane approach our shores.

All my best,

Mayor Jean Robb

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 09 July 2014 by L.Moore

Local Toastmasters celebrates 4th birthday!

Dear Editor:

Toastmasters Club Paradise is celebrating its 4th year. Thanks to the Deerfield Beach community for its support. We meet on Mondays at 7 p.m. at the Old Schoolhouse [next to City Hall].

We always welcome new members.

Our mission is to improve speaking and leadership skills.

Pat Chamoni

Deerfield Beach

Resident questions tree removal

Dear Editor:

Someone removed the newly planted, beautiful, Royal Palms and a rare Arikury Palm from the entrance median on 13 Court.

Instead of looking at beautiful Royal Palms when returning home from work to pay our property taxes, we now look at dirt holes – dirt holes!

Shame on the person or people who did this. There is no logic except stupid people or government to do this.

Royal Palms in the median to The Cove entrance or dirt holes?

Jay Repo

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 03 July 2014 by L.Moore

RE: Street Lights

Dear Editor:

A couple of weeks ago, I saw an article in the Deerfield Observer [June 12] giving thanks to Broward County for listening to the Observer when they requested a turn signal be placed at Federal Highway and NE 2nd.

This prompted me to fireoff a torrid of emails to city officials, asking them how could this be done so simply in less than a year when District 2 residents had been requesting this for the last 30 years and I had, most recently, been petitioning the City since September/October of 2011 to look into adding turn signals and street lights along with bringing the truncated domes up to code at Hillsboro and MLK.

Then, after the tragic death of a friend in early 2012, I stepped up those efforts to ensure that the pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist safety concerns in that area were taken seriously so that this senseless tragedy did not happen again. To no avail.

There was a lot of back and forth, a lot of run around, and then finally, an answer. We were told that the City didn’t have the money, then we were told that traffic doesn’t warrant a turn signal.

So I took it upon myself to videotape the conditions at that intersection at night, so I could present it to the commission. I was denied my many requests by the then-mayor, District 2 commissioner and city manager.

I kept fighting, petitioning, and presenting my legitimate concerns and request but was thwarted by the then city commission and staff at every turn.

FDOT came out and installed the yellow truncated domes that are now present at the intersection of MLK and Hillsboro bringing that section up to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.

Fast forward 2 years and this brings us to that Observer article. After reading it, I fired off e-mails and asked the current mayor if I could now show my video.

The mayor gave me permission to show my video and gave me time to speak on the issue. Then, when FDOT responded to the City, advising they would indeed now install the signal and would look into the street lights during the 2016 resurfacing, she was the only one to reach out to me and inform me of this.

I wrote a blog post indicating that I would write a congratulatory letter if the City/ FDOT or whoever would take care of this issue for District 2, so here goes…

Thank you FDOT and The Honorable City of Deerfield Mayor for answering the many prayers and request of the District 2 residents for the last 30 years. Also, for answering my personal request since 2011.

So, on behalf of all the residents of District 2, I once again want to say, “Thank You for finally listening to us.”

David Cody

Deerfield Beach

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