| Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 18 July 2019 by LeslieM

RE: July 4th

Dear editor,

We are long-time residents of Deerfield Beach Island. We were visiting family and landed at Palm Beach Airport on July 4. We did our due diligence and checked the city of Deerfield website that stated that the bridge on Hillsboro would be open until 5:45 p.m. When we arrived at Federal and Hillsboro at 4:58 p.m., the road was already barricaded and the officers would not let us pass. He said it closed at 5 p.m. He suggested we drive up to Palmetto Road and drive south on A1A. We did so in bumper to bumper traffic. After showing numerous officers our driver’s license at the Boca/ Deerfield border, one was nice enough to allow us to follow him to NE 19 Avenue. We live on SE 19. Luckily, a nice gentleman let us park in his driveway and we walked 10 blocks with suitcase and bags. It took us an hour and a half to get home, almost as long as our flight.

At home, we read the Observer from that week; the paper also said the bridge would close at 6 p.m [information was given to the paper from the City of Deerfield Beach]. We were surely not the only island resident inconvenienced by this misinformation. How could this occur? Who is in charge? The city owes an apology to those of us who live on the island and were terribly inconvenienced by this.

Peggy and Robert Fass

Deerfield Beach

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 07 March 2019 by LeslieM

RE: Pioneer Days

Dear Editor:

What an awesome and exciting weekend it was in celebration of Deerfield Beach Pioneer Days (Feb. 15-17)! The entire team of planners and workers are to be congratulated for the success of the event and for a job well done. Multitudes of visitors brought forth so many compliments and good-feeling praises as Deerfield Beach took center stage in celebration of its heritage.

We, at the DFB Historical Society, want to say “thanks” to all city staff who spent countless hours planning and organizing in preparation of the weekend, for all you did to generate a good feeling for participants and attendees alike. Thanks, also to Mayor Ganz, Vice Mayor Battle, Commissioners Drosky, Parness and Miller, along with City Manager Hanson, for the roles you played in supporting the event and for your commitment and dedication towards showcasing the city of Deerfield Beach in such a positive way to the thousands upon thousands who witnessed the event.

Proud and grateful,

Emily M. Lilly,

Board President,
Deerfield Beach Historical Society

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

RE: Center for Active Aging

Dear Editor,

I hope that my commentary on a very important issue hits home with people in our community who continuously put down our city officials for standing behind our need to have a community center here in Deerfield Beach which caters to an amazingly large segment of our city: our seniors. That includes me and, probably the folks that continue to criticize spending the money to build out, improve upon and continue to provide the many needed services those folks depend upon at our Center for Active Aging (CAA). The people who are in opposition will soon become elders in our hometown and will need the very services they are disregarding today. Take note of all the cities around us expanding services for seniors. Deerfield Beach has a 35 percent population over the age of 65. 

I have seen the face of a client asking for help getting their power turned back on because their retirement funds cannot stretch to include the most basic needs and I have seen the dedicated employees of this center step up to action every single time.

Some folks that attend CAA are coming for just a cup of coffee and companionship. Some come for the only hot meal of their day provided by Meals on Wheels. Some no longer drive and, without our many handicapped equipped vans to pick them up and deliver them home each day, they would live in isolation. Children and friends who depend upon a safe, clean environment for their loved ones with memory disorders count on the Day Care Center to be there for them.

Maybe the nay-sayers are blessed with large families and friends close by or are wealthy enough to afford the finest living arrangements. The reality is that many in our community live without the cushion of a nest-egg or a long lost rich uncle who has included them in his will. Are they all to be forgotten?

Yes, our existing building is old, tired; it needs time, attention and money to create a technologically advanced safe place for seniors and the children who are served. We need to have a beautiful environment that will attract younger folks to participate.

Check out the demographics of our city, folks. This center needs to be here and needs your support.

Joan Gould, 30 year resident

President, Northeast Focal Point C.A.S.A. Board of Directors at The Center for Active Aging

[P.S. SAVE THE DATE: CUISINE OF THE REGION — APRIL 30 at the Deerfield Beach Doubletree Hilton — to benefit the Center for Active Aging].

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM

RE: Center for Active Aging

Dear Editor,

I usually do not like to tout credentials but after listening to the Commission Meeting [on Feb. 5] about the Center for Active Aging, I have to speak up. I am in total agreement with the contractor that spoke up about the estimated $500 per sq. ft. to construct this building — it’s outrageous! Prior to moving to Florida, I worked for large architectural firms in two other states and I was on the team performing programming for large scale construction projects, both in government and the private sector. Two such projects that I will name were the 1) NORAD Space Command Headquarters and 2) the headquarters for Peabody Coal in Henderson, KY.

I can assure you that, if this city spends $500 per square foot, then somebody is making out like a bandit — unless this Center for Active Aging is the equivalent of a five star hotel! I am also very concerned about the programming parameters, because its present use is very low. In the meeting, the city admitted that the number of Pre-K kids using this facility is 17-19 children and that this number has never increased over the years. It was also stated that, at the most, on a Friday, it was attended by 15 senior citizens. That’s a total of 34 persons! And we are building a $12,000,000 facility for 34 people? That equates to $352,941 per person. This is absurd. I have never been involved in a project where there is a “if we build it, they will come” philosophy. This is not being prudent with our tax dollars.

But back to the costs per square foot issue … Please look over the national averages of construction costs for hotels and office buildings (see link at www.fixr.com/costs/build-hotel) and tell me straight up that YOU, the citizens of Deerfield Beach, can justify spending $500 per square foot on this Center. [It says the national average for hotel construction is $325 to $450 for square foot].

Sarah Moran
Deerfield Beach


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 19 December 2018 by LeslieM

RE: Changing Municipal Elections

Dear Editor,

Deerfield Beach Municipal elections occur in March, every other year. Municipalities must pay for separate elections versus holding them in November. Many municipalities switched to November resulting in a cost savings. Now, for the March 2019 election, only five cities are participating: Sea Ranch Lakes, Miramar, Pembroke Park, Coconut Creek and Deerfield Beach. Due to the lack of participation, costs have increased from $55,742 in 2015 to $86,316 for 2019. Should another municipality decide to switch to November, costs are predicted to sky rocket. It is also important to keep in mind that this election is only for Districts 1 & 2; costs for March 2021 are estimated to be between $110,000 – $120,000. For the record, between 2015 and our next election in 2019, the cost to administer a separate election in Deerfield Beach will have soared by 155 percent. That is substantial cost growth… [In addition, the numbers show a much greater turnout in a November election versus March.] Our local government should be doing everything possible to ensure higher voter participation. Another benefit of November elections is the added early voting days that March elections do not offer.

At the Nov. 13 commission meeting, eight citizens spoke on this issue with five recommending changing back to November elections that would benefit the city with higher turnouts and lower costs. The remaining three felt that the March election allowed voters to focus on the city and the cost was “just part of doing business.” Mayor Ganz stated that the March elections are in the City Charter; however, the State Legislature revised the statute — the date of elections could be changed by municipalities with an ordinance versus a referendum typically required for charter changes. Commissioner Parness mentioned that statistics show that those at the top of the ballot got the most attention and as you go down the ballot, that attention goes down because voters “get tired,” [saying] by the time you get to the city elections, at the bottom of the ballot, “You’re lucky if you get 10 votes.” The Commission voted unanimously to maintain the city election in March.

Are Deerfield Beach voters lazy or uncaring? Can we take enough time to read to the bottom of the ballot? More voters, additional time, shorter lines due to more voting days and lower costs. What is not to like in revising our voting date to coincide with November elections?

Glenn Sullivan

Deerfield Beach

[Editor’s Note: Rebecca Medina, Public Affairs and Marketing Director for the city, responded to this with the following: “While five individuals recommended changing the election from March to November, it was five out of 44,333 registered voters with at least three individuals publicly asking to leave the elections the way they are, and while they weren’t in Commission on the evening in question I know many other residents who prefer to leave our elections to March.

In our most recent November election, the whole country watched the chaos and uncertainty that occurred in Broward County. Why would we want to take chances like that with our municipal elections, we get to avoid all of that by holding our elections in March. Furthermore, the March election is only three months away, and those who brought this up at a recent Commission meeting are involved in a local political campaign. This is a debate that should be discussed in a non-election year.”]

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 01 November 2018 by LeslieM

Dear Editor,

Many citizens of Deerfield Beach, including myself, are quite frankly, appalled that the Deerfield Beach government is considering a ban on front yard vegetable gardens. We have many questions…

Why is the Deerfield Beach city government assuming the role of a homeowners association (HOA) and thinking about dictating how private property owners can landscape their property? This is one of the reasons people choose not to live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association.

Why is the Deerfield Beach city government deciding and making the judgment of what is aesthetically pleasing for all of its citizens? Many people find a yard with a carefully mown lawn and neatly trimmed bushes to be unattractive and boring while a yard with at least some native plants, varying garden types and wildlife habitats to be beautiful and intriguing.

Why is the Deerfield Beach city government even considering banning a hobby and pleasure that many Deerfield Beach citizens and their families have been enjoying and sharing for 10, 20 even 30 or more years?

Has the Deerfield Beach city government forgotten that Deerfield Beach started as a farming community and professes to be family-oriented and environmentally conscientious?

Does the Deerfield Beach city government understand that a garden cannot just be simply planted anywhere in a yard? A (vegetable) garden must be planted on relatively flat land and have full day sun exposure. Many backyards and/or side yards do not meet these criterias.

In conclusion, as an active citizen of Deerfield Beach and many of its organizations (Kiwanis, Women’s Club, Rotary, Historical Society, board member of the Friends of the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library and a retired Deerfield Beach Middle School teacher), I am urging you to carefully consider your representation of all of your constituents and the tenets that make Deerfield Beach such a very special place.

Respectfully,

Sally Chase

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 25 October 2018 by LeslieM

RE: Thank you, Deerfield commission & staff

Dear Editor:

Realizing how our city has evolved into a vibrant community in which we can live, work, and play, I want to personally thank Mayor Bill Ganz, Vice Mayor Gloria Battle, and Commissioners Joe Miller, Bernie Parness, Todd Drosky, and the City Attorney, along with City Manager Burgess Hanson and staff for their boundless and selfless dedication to our city and its residents. Thanks to their praiseworthy leadership and the steadfast commitment of hard-working employees, there is pure proof that our city is on a sustainable economic, fiscal and environmental path.

But moving in positive direction doesn’t just happen by city officials and staff without the community encouraging and acknowledging the work provided by the multitude of services and facilities available to us. As city residents, rather than being critical with insinuations and personal vengeances, we might show how proud we are of our community with a vote of “thanks and gratitude” to all who give of their time and sweat … or by simply saying “thank you.”

Personally, I choose to focus on the good of all who serve us by saying “thank you” for making each day a HAPPY DAY while living in our wonderful city!

Emily M. Lilly

City of Deerfield Beach 30-year resident

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 27 September 2018 by LeslieM

RE: Cleanliness of beach

Dear editor,

In regard to the [Letter to the Editor] that Brian Prang wrote in last Thursday’s Observer (Sept. 20), I disagree with him about the beaches in Deerfield Beach. [He thought they were dirty]. I find them to be very clean. I am sure a lot of people will agree with me! I am wondering why he would say this! The beaches are very clean in Florida and in Deerfield Beach.

Mary Frances

Deerfield Beach, FL

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 20 September 2018 by LeslieM

RE: Straw ban, spending & more

Dear Editor,

A fine editorial indeed — “Has the City of Deerfield Beach reached its last straw” (in Observer, Sept. 13.) — and I, and many others, agree Federal, state, township and city government is in nearly every aspect of our lives today and, while we all want to be good environmentalists, we need to use common sense.

Extreme environmentalism is eating away at our country where contrary scientific (non-governmental) opinions are ignored. Further, the City of Deerfield Beach officials are spending our money as if it is water coming out of a strong faucet, not recognizing the average family is struggling just to survive and care for their family, and many are not making it.

Further, I have observed that Code Enforcement has ruined many small businesses. One small tiny family-owned small business suffered two years of ridiculous rules and laws trying to open, and eventually had to close because the costs of doing business in Deerfield broke them.

America was built on small business. Big government at every level makes it very hard or nearly impossible to thrive as a small business owner where we once had personal service and lower costs because many unnecessary regulations, permits and taxes are exorbitant.

Charles Laser

Deerfield Beach, FL

RE: Drawing the Shortest Straw

Dear Editor,

Ban drinking straws and add that to the list of unenforceable laws that are part of the rules for Deerfield Beach. Walk a dog where you should not and have them leave a mess on the walkway. don’t worry no one will say a word. Drink beer on the beach and leave cans and bottle caps, and glass, behind … no problem. Smoke a pack of cigarettes and extinguish them in the sand and leave them behind when you go, all in front of the police patrol and the firemen’s house, and every lifeguard tower… there is no penalty or fine. So, good luck banning straws. How about banning smoking cigarettes that turn into litter for birds, turtles and fish to eat, and other garbage that all ruins the beach.

Deerfield is well-known for its trash at the beach. Is that the continued reputation we want to maintain or can somebody think progressively different? The sand used to squeak walking on it in Deerfield 30 years ago. Now, it’s difficult to walk barefoot without stepping on sharp plastic or glass. A public beach is great, but what a mess it has become. I doubt less straws will fix our dirty dilemma. Go down to the beach and dig a little deeper and bury your head in the sand some more because it’s truly filthy.

Brian Prang

Deerfield Beach FL

[Editor’s note: They passed the straw ban in Deerfield on Sept. 17. See more pg. 1].

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted on 13 September 2018 by LeslieM

RE: Straw laws are coming

Dear Editor,

Florida has the most coastline in the Continental United States and coastal communities like Deerfield Beach have had enough of the damage single-use plastics have done to their beaches. Local attempts to ban plastic bags and styrofoam have been preempted by state laws fueled by lobbyists for the plastics and chemical industries, but Deerfield Beach is now set to rid the city of plastic straws with a strict ordinance prohibiting them.

I have been spearheading a march to get restaurants and hotels on Deerfield Beach Barrier Island to switch to “Paper Straws By Request Only” by distributing over 32,000 paper straws to them to try. Many businesses like Oceans 234, Whale’s Rib, Embassy Suites and Bru’s Room have made the switch. But most restaurants and hotels have not, so we really need this ordinance to pass. Plastic straws are one of the more common forms of litter found on the beach and in the ocean, taking hundreds of years to break down and causing harm to wildlife. I think we often get a straw in our drink when we don’t need it, and there are alternatives for those who need a straw, such as paper straws, which are available for about a penny more than plastic.

There are already exemptions in this ordinance for anyone with a disability and that people with compromised motor skills will always have a caretaker to ensure that they have what they need to consume beverages safely.

It just makes sense” said Whale’s Rib General Manager, Rick Mongston,“We have made the switch to paper straws upon request and are now looking into replacing other single use styrofoam and plastics…”

The Deerfield Beach Straw Ordinance is scheduled for its second reading and final vote on the same night as the Hallendale Beach plastic straw ordinance Monday, Sept.17 with other Broward County cities now drafting similar ordinances.

For further information, contact me, Buddy Sparrow, at 954-478-8221.

Buddy Sparrow

Boca Raton, FL

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