LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 26 March 2015 by L.Moore

RE: “Jolivet letter wrong”

Dear Editor:

The fact that although the 55ft. height limitation was already in The Deerfield Beach Development Code is not an excuse for The Original Save Our Beach organization to stifle development. Mr. Larry Deetjen (the former City manager) had seen an opportunity to increase the City revenue at a time that the real estate market was booming to push for development on the Beach. He worked in the best interest of the City by enabling the developers to creatively make a profit by increasing the density, while allowing the City more taxable income which, in turn, became a “win, win” for all involved.

Although this infuriated the Save Our Beach group, the fact is that these buildings are no more than 40 percent occupied most of the year and the financial needs of the City far exceeded the few irate residents who want ”a lovely gem of a beach” as long as others pay for it! When you look on the tax rolls, these Save Our Beach founders contribute practically nothing to our overall tax base! It is appalling how those who pay the least amount of taxes have no regard for the taxpayers whose back they are riding on!

The ridiculous limitations of this law enable the Save Our Beach group to prevent any type of constructive revenue generating development.

For example, this referendum requires that in order for a city owned property worth over $750,000 to be sold, we need to put together a referendum which costs the taxpayers approx. $50,000 and put it to a vote! No developer is going to wait on what could take close to a year for a group of residents to vote on something that most of [them] do not understand. This is exactly how the Save Our Beach group got 75 percent of the vote.

The people who voted for this referendum were told that if we do not act, Deerfield Beach will become over developed and look like Ft. Lauderdale, which cannot be farther from the truth! As a consequence of this brainwashing by the Save Our Beach group, today Deerfield Beach has one of the highest millage rates in Broward County and the lowest property values. Our reserve has been replenished with “blood money” derived by increased taxes on the working families of Deerfield Beach who are already overtaxed and a utility tax that had to be implemented — all because we have no revenue derived from development!

The existing projects that [the former District 1 Commissioner] makes reference to as responsible development are not even built yet and each building has only a few projected units. Neither development will make an impact on the City’s revenue!

As far as 460 S. Ocean becoming a rehab because of the Save Our Beach group’s restrictions, I have asked the former owner of the property to write to the Observer to allow the people to hear “the true story!”

Patrick Jolivet

Deerfield Beach

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Jolivet Letter WRONG!

Posted on 15 March 2015 by JimLusk

The letter to the editor on March 12 about the Original Save Our Beach (OSOB) sponsored referendum,  a citizens’ ballot initiative in which thousands of people participated as petitioners, was factually wrong.  

The 55-foot height limitation was already in the Deerfield Beach Development Code before the Referendum.  Many years ago fearing what would happen to the beach, building height limits were passed for the beach area.  The accusation that the referendum is responsible for the 55-foot height limitation is false.

 Also false is the accusation that the referendum was the cause of the Soleil 460 Condominium project failing and the property being sold to a drug rehab company. The truth is that this beautiful, unique project was enthusiastically and unanimously approved by the commission in April 2006, when I was the District 1 Commissioner.  The claim that this project was denied is absolutely false. 

The truth is the owners bought at the top of the market when they bought it in 2002! 

The truth is that by the time they wanted to build this condominium, the economy was tanking and they could not get financing. The property values across the country were dropping and many property “investors” who bought during the peak lost big time during the recession. 

Accusing the referendum of causing the value loss of any property is ridiculous and completely false. The comment about having “no choice but to sell to…drug rehab facility” shows that property owners who choose this path are so greedy for an unrealistically high price for their properties and that they don’t care about their neighbors or the quality of life in the neighborhood.  No one is forced to sell to anyone.  Don’t blame the referendum, or the 75 percent of voters who voted for it, for a decision to sell to a drug rehab company.

Far from stifling development, the current codes carefully encourage responsible, profitable development, as witness the many exciting new projects in the beach area. The owner of one of the new projects said he located his building in Deerfield Beach: “for its timeless qualities…low rise building landscape and its devotion to natural beauty,”

The residents of Deerfield Beach do NOT want the beach area to be OVER-developed.  They do not want buildings built high and wide on the beach.  They know if the current building codes that mandate larger building setbacks the higher the building goes are eliminated, we will be signing the death knell of the lovely gem of a beach that we have. 

Pam Militello, OSOB

 

 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 12 March 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Preserving citizens’ quality of life

Dear Editor:

In response to the [Feb. 19] Letter to the Editor entitled “Preserving citizens’ quality of life,” what the writer of that letter fails to take responsibility for is that the Original Save Our Beach (O.S.O.B.) group is also responsible for enact[ment] of a referendum that does not leave owners the option to sell to developers due to height restrictions that are unreasonable and do not allow for more than 55 ft. of height or four floors.

Nobody is asking Deerfield Beach to be like Ft. Lauderdale. However, restricting the building height to only 55 ft. limits the value of the property and therefore dissuades potential developers from investing!

This, in turn, gives the existing owners no option but to sell to drug rehabs, which now become the properties’ “highest and best use.”

A clear example is 460 S. Ocean, which, because of these restrictions, the owners had no choice but to sell to an owner who has turned the entire building into a drug rehab facility.

Originally, this building was slated to become a condo called “Soleil 460.” However, due to the lack of foresight by the O.S.O.B. group, the plans were denied because of these new restrictions and the property was no longer able to get financing and subsequently sold and converted into a drug rehab!

Because of these restrictions, all the motels on the beach will have no choice but to follow suit.

As a citizen, this is not what I consider “preserving citizens’ quality of life.” Thank you!

Patrick Jolivet

Deerfield Beach

Gratitude for all

Dear Editor:

I just wanted to praise all the hard work Judi Stanich did [on Founders’ Days]. She is amazing.

Also, all the volunteers … how much fun and laughs … We are all so blessed with the hard work from EVERYONE.

I can’t thank everyone enough. I love Deerfield Beach.

Let’s not forget musicians too … oh and yes, West Virginia volunteers and songs.

Hope you could put this in the Observer (which I LOVE)… Just a gratitude for all.

Julie Hamilton

Lighthouse Point

2nd Annual Walk a Mile for a Cure Beach Walk

Dear Editor:

Thank you to all those who participated in the recent 2nd Annual Walk a Mile for a Cure Beach Walk. Thanks to you, it was a huge success! We had 148 registered walkers and raised $2,000 for the American Cancer Society.

It was a beautiful day to be at the beach and I think everyone had a great time. I hope you all realized that without your participation in fund raisers like this, the American Cancer Society would not be able to fund cancer research and their many programs for cancer patients.

Please check out www.relayforlife.org to find more ways you can help and more about their programs.

Also, come and enjoy the festivities at the Relay for Life of Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro Beach that will be held at Quiet Waters Park starting at 5 p.m. on April 18, 2015.

A big “thank you” to the Kiwanis Club of Deerfield Beach for allowing us to be part of the Founders’ Days Festival and funding the breakfast along with Winston Park Publix and Big Bite Bagel & Deli in Coconut Creek.

We also would like to thank our top T-shirt sponsor and water provider, Muddy Waters; our Gold Level T-shirt sponsor, TM Windows and Doors; and our Silver Level T-shirt sponsors, Pop’s Seafood Market and O’Dwyer Technical Services.

Thanks to American Logowear and Dex Imaging for discount shirts and banners.

Christy McVay

Coconut Creek

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 05 March 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Election Here we go again

We all know by now there is an election coming up on Tuesday, March 10 for District 1 and 2. We have a mayor supporting a candidate for District 1 to replace [the current Dist. 1] Commissioner. This is certainly her right. The mayor sent out a letter to all the voters of District 1 that are members of St. Ambrose Parish supporting this candidate and bashing [the current Commissioner]. In doing so, they have left us with the opinion that St. Ambrose supported their view. Nothing is further from the truth. St. Ambrose responded to the letter at Tuesday night’s commission meeting, explaining that they do not support either person who is running for District 1.

Being a member of St. Ambrose, I take great displeasure with the mayor and candidate for making this happen. Shame on both of you for causing this unneeded negative attention on Father Dalton and St. Ambrose, who have done nothing but good for the city. Your actions clearly show that you will do whatever is necessary to get elected, even if it means making up stories and figures to confuse the voters.

I love the city and am hoping it will continue on the present course. The people who are up for re-election should be voted back in, so they may finish the good work they are doing with the help of the other commissioners.

Glenn Frazer

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 26 February 2015 by L.Moore

RE: Townhouses pending on former Burial Ground

Dear Editor:

We have quite a situation in town.

It appears that we have a vacant lot sitting dormant as the site of a former cemetery.

From my perspective, there are two options.

The first is to reestablish the former cemetery. The second is to utilize that property to improve our city. Leaving it dormant, in my opinion, is not an option.

Since I have heard no real interest in the former, let me share a vision about the latter.

Studies conducted at the site to date have uncovered no evidence of existing human remains. The people interred at that cemetery lived before Civil Rights were established for all American citizens.

The story of the people buried there and perhaps moved to Pineview is, in fact, the history of our great city.

Let us research and celebrate these people. Many of their family members still live in town and are a part of our community.

As it stands now, if there are any people buried in that field, they are just about forgotten, lost to the injustice of history because of the way African- Americans were treated at that time.

I propose that we develop the site and, if any remains are uncovered, let us celebrate those people. Find out exactly who they are through DNA testing. Give them a proper resting place with new headstone markers. Tell their families so they can come and remember their forefathers. Put their life stories in the newspaper so that all of our citizens can learn about and celebrate our city’s family history together.

I see this as a real opportunity to uncover our city’s family roots. These people were treated as second-class citizens, relegated to their own cemetery, left with wooden headstones and boxes that rotted overtime, forgotten by all but the eldest of us.

Let us honor them, perhaps for the first time ever in their lives, as American citizens and founding members of Deerfield Beach, rather than second-class blacks.

All of these people died before Civil Rights were enacted.

Let us search for any remains as we develop the site and lay the new foundations. I’m sure there are able construction workers among the families of those who might be interred there. Let us ask that one or more of those family members be employed to help develop that site.

If any remains are found, let us hold a proper funeral in the city cemetery with as much pomp and circumstance as any funeral we have ever seen in this city.

Let us celebrate the lives of these people. Let our city leaders and all of our residents come and pay their respects to the forefathers of our city, hand in hand, as black and white children of Deerfield Beach, together.

Let us honor them as our American forefathers, rather than unidentified blacks sitting in an abandoned lot, as they are now.

Let us speak of them as Americans fully deserving of equality and worthy of honor, rather than as blacks in an abandoned field.

Honor them, as we improve this city together and lay the foundations for a new downtown district in that area.

Anthony Dispenziere

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 19 February 2015 by L.Moore

RE: What’s in a buoy?

Dear Editor:

A buoy marks a specific site in or near the water. The four buoys in The Cove Shopping Center can certainly be representative of their nautical surroundings.

The “Cove” area is part of the Hillsboro River system that eventually empties into the ocean through Hillsboro Inlet.

The inlet is a well-marked part of our landscape accentuated by the black-and-white lighthouse at its entry.

It would be nice to connect our “nautical” signatures with a unifying color, bringing all elements together.

I suggest repainting the buoys to help complete this task. The buoy in the roundabout is not an obstacle that interferes with vision, but can enhance the character of the community.

The soon-to-be-started Sullivan Park improvements, and the plans for Deerfield Island will be an addition to our community and will certainly make it a “Nautical Destination.”

Ira Wechterman

Resident and member Deerfield Beach Marine Advisory Board

Preserving citizens’ quality of life

Dear Editor:

The Original Save Our Beach, Inc. (O.S.O.B.) is a not-for-profit organization of residents of Deerfield Beach that cares about preserving our citizens’ quality of life.

O.S.O.B. members have served on county boards, the city commission, other city boards, and as officers and volunteers for charitable organizations. They are owners of businesses, and are residents like you.

They have spent countless volunteer hours for over 10 years, promoting smart development projects in all parts of our city.

This group’s foresight and dedicated efforts preserved the only open space (the Main Beach Parking Lot) suitable enough to hold a carnival and music grandstand at the beach.

If you enjoyed the 2015 68th Founders’ Day parade and celebration Kiwanis organized for your pleasure, for the benefit of so many charities, and to support local businesses, you also need to give kudos to the O.S.O.B. for its continuing effort in making Deerfield Beach a wonderful place to live and visit.

Marti McGeary

Co-President www.originalsaveourbeach.org, Deerfield Beach.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 12 February 2015 by L.Moore

Improvements to The Cove, and Deerfield

Dear Editor:

I have lived in The Cove since 1968 and I am overjoyed to finally see improvements here.

The Cove is an older neighborhood and I was told that because of the age of the neighborhood and condition of our streets, they would be paved first — and they were.

This commission, thanks to the leadership of the District 1 Commissioner, has not only paved The Cove area streets but completely re-landscaped the entryways to 12 and 15 Avenues and entirely remade SE 5 Avenue, SE 2 Street and SE 3 Court, with improved drainage, new sidewalks, trees and landscaping.

This area had been neglected over the years, but now is part of our city that we can all be proud of.

Sullivan Park, another neglected area, is on the way to being a wonderful water sports, child and fisherman-friendly gem — thanks to CRA staff planning, resident involvement and the District 1 Commissioner’s full support.

I am also delighted to see that streets throughout the city are being repaved. This is long overdue.

Thanks to the city commission for responding to residents and making paving a priority.

Let’s keep the positive momentum going in District 1.

Marge Hilton

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 05 February 2015 by L.Moore

Monarch Hill landfill, Wheelabrator

Dear Editor:

There have been some developments in the last few days surrounding the Monarch Hill Landfill and new material that Waste Management has begun to dump at the site that I would like to inform you of.

MONARCH HILL LANDFILL

Last Monday, Ft.Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport officials began the task of transporting about 50,000 cubic tons of dirt and other construction material to Monarch Hill. Test results have confirmed the dirt contains traces of asbestos.

Airport officials state the asbestos found does not pose a health risk to nearby residents because the material is non-friable asbestos, meaning it cannot easily become airborne. As an added precaution they are keeping the dirt wet and watered down prior to its delivery to Monarch Hill where Waste Management believes the material can be properly contained.

Please understand that, as your Commissioner, and a resident of District 4, I am very concerned about this issue and I am watching the developments closely, as are our neighboring communities.

If you have any questions, contact Dawn McCormick, Director of Communications & Community Relations, Waste Management, directly at 954-226-9894.or contact me.

POTENTIAL CLOSURE: N. Broward Wheelabrator Waste Energy Facility

Last month you received a message from me regarding the Broward County Commission vote on the closure of the North Broward Wheelabrator Waste Energy Facility resulting in the transfer of waste to the South Broward Facility.

Had it been approved, I believe that action could have affected the quality of life for those residents who live in the areas surrounding the Monarch Hill Landfill.

Broward County Commission did the right thing and tabled the matter until more education was given to residents and the commissioner, who represents a large portion of the areas affected, was sworn into office and able to vote on the issue.

NOTE: Broward County held a workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. to talk about the closure of the North Broward Facility, with city staff in attendance. Meeting was held at 115 S. Andrews Ave in Ft. Lauderdale, Room 422.

Thank you,

Bill Ganz

District 4 Commissioner

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 22 January 2015 by L.Moore

Teen deaths – call for body cameras

Dear Editor:

The massive public reaction to the tragic deaths of three black teens at the hand of white police officers [in 2014] has led to a national call for the use of body cameras to record and prevent any future mistreatment of suspects.

There is ample precedent.

Animal protection activists have used body cameras to document egregious atrocities and safety violations by workers in the meat, dairy and egg industries.

The resulting videos have led to a number of corrective actions, as well as felony convictions, meat recalls, and even a $500 million civil settlement.

How ironic then, that agribusiness interests in seven states – Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Utah – have now enacted “ag-gag” laws imposing severe penalties for using body cameras in their agricultural facilities.

The language is typically drafted by the anti-consumer American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Let’s hope that other vested interests do not impose similar restrictions on the use of body cameras by law enforcement officers.

Dimitri Olsak

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 08 January 2015 by L.Moore

Thank you, BSO

Dear Editor:

In view as to what has happened in New York, I felt compelled to write this in support of the men and women of our police department [Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO)].

The city of Deerfield Beach is blessed to have a superior law enforcement team protecting and serving the residents of our city. If, perhaps, Sheriff Israel and I have not always seen eye to eye, he must be applauded for his outreach programs that have included all of the residents of the community.

Since the commission that I worked with in 1989 chose to merge with BSO, it is probably one of the smartest moves that any politicians have ever made, even for Deerfield Beach.

It is with our sincerest thanks that we let the men and women of BSO know that they have our support and gratitude for keeping us safe.

Jean Robb,

Mayor Deerfield Beach

Pulled over motorist treated with kindness

Dear Editor: On Saturday, Nov. 29, I was in the parking lot of Federal Hwy. Self Storage, 415 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield. A police officer was pulling into the parking lot with the lights on.

When the lady in the car got out, I noticed that she was a bit older and was on oxygen. I truly felt sorry for her as the officer approached her. I witnessed the nicest act of kindness when Deputy Gary Toth took a renewal sticker from an envelope for Lorraine Esposito’s car and, without hesitation, bent down and placed it on her tag. I had to approach them and take this picture.

I thought how horrible this could have been, but in a split moment, witnessed an act beyond words.

That decision that was made by Deputy Toth will make an impression in my mind that I will never forget.

Let’s think about our actions this year and leave lasting footprints.

Thank you Deputy Toth!

Jayne Hafer

Deerfield Beach

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