A Year of Tough Decisions

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

December 23, 2021

Santa will be coming to town on Christmas Eve, Friday, Dec. 24th. He will be on his sleigh with his reindeer driving throughout Hallandale Beach all evening. Here is his route for you to enjoy.

The Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Parade have always been a joint effort of the city and the Community Civic Association. The city funded this celebration with 11,000 dollars to cover costs. The Association raises funds thru participants to make sure the event can take place. The past two years due to Covid there was no planned event. I have spoken to some of the board members to find out what is going to be planned. To date I cannot tell our readers if there will be a parade or a gathering. Please follow our social media pages for updates.

The other main event is actually paid for thru the CRA. As part of the South Florida Wine and Food Festival we host FOOD and GROOVE. The weekend event starts off at Pegasus Park with entertainment and food samplings from a wide array of local restaurants. Then Saturday and Sunday we open Peter Bluesten Park for Family Fun Days. The CRA budgets 300,000 plus for this week. We do sell tickets and proceeds benefit PAL. PAL also was cut from the budget and depends on donations to operate for our children.

During the last commission meeting I brought up the subject about the lack of Christmas Decorations. The city did decorate the Curci House and invited residents to walk thru and meet Santa. This certainly is not a substitute for decorating our corridors. During the meeting I was pretty frank, “Why are we becoming so cheap? There is a thing called good will when you run a business. We need to do better.” I made a motion to have staff bring back an item with the costs to do various levels of decorations.

Many readers may not know we lit up the center median in the past. Not only did we do lights we did a festival and closed the boulevard for a half hour to allow residents to walk up close and see all the figures. What some of the current commissioners may not know is our staff did the lights. We did rent some of the larger displays, but it was done in house. After the years of wear and tear on the displays, we did begin to contract with a company.

Holiday lights and events take money. My goal is to find out how much it may cost to at a minimum have our streetlights decorated along Federal Highway and Hallandale Beach Boulevard. One year we actual put a display up around city hall, while they were resurfacing Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Residents could drive thru or walk around. Like the saying goes where there is a will there is a way and we should have events even on a smaller scale.

We have had to make some very tough decision to get us out of a financial crisis. I am still very concerned that we are spending over 1.2 million dollars to have BSO run our Fire Department. To date we still do not have numbers from BSO and have been meeting with other cities to get to the bottom of the costs as they too believe that we are all paying to much and have no control. This is what happens when you privatize. This issue is not about the boots on the ground it is about management.

Another tough decision was the expanded parking program. This program will be fully enforced after January 1. Please sign up and if you are in a zone eligible for a monthly pass you can sign up for 30 dollars a month.

As we all get ready to celebrate Christmas and New Year, please remember to be safe. Omicron is here and it is like a wildfire. The infection rates have climbed back up over 10% and the hospitals are starting to see more cases. Please, if you have not done so get a vaccine and go get a booster. It is so easy you can go to the local drug store.

Wishing you a Safe and Blessed Holiday!

As always, I am available anytime for your questions, concerns and ideas to make our City a better place, on my Phone/Text at: (954) 632-5700. Or you can E-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org. Please visit my Facebook Page: MayorJoyCooper. Like It! Friend It! Share It!