Changes Are Coming: The Supreme Court, Foster Park & Golden Isles In Hallandale Beach

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

March 24, 2022

This week marks a historic time for both women and women of color in all of Florida. I have been so excited watching the confirmation hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Her credentials and background are simply the best of any other Judge that has been nominated and confirmed. I am simply impressed that she has served in all capacities as a prosecutor, a public defender and a judge. She is not only brilliant but has been confirmed three times by the Senate.

Her background as an attorney, the daughter of an attorney and public-school teacher here in Miami is inspirational. I am pleased that she has a family in law enforcement which is a major plus. She understands all sides of the human impacts of our judicial system and how important the rule of law is. As with any nomination the political circus has sadly begun to try and overshadow the facts.

On Tuesday, there was a presentation made by Senator Whitehouse about how “Dark Money” has continued to focus on stocking the Supreme Court by (or, should I say “buying”) funding campaigns and elections to make the courts conservative? The amount alone is over $200 Million and much of the property is coming from the same organization.

I was intrigued by the point many of us think of the Supreme Court as a judge of social constitution issues. While social issues, religion, control over our bodies and who we can and cannot love are of major importance, the court also decides on many other issues. One such issue is the current challenge to EPA Regulations. Basically, this is an attack on Clean Air and Water. It seems to me that the super majority of the American Public want and deserve clean air and water. Corporations under the guise of free enterprise are stacking the court for their benefit and control. I hope this dialogue does not get lost and congress can reach an agreement to rid the process of “dark money” or at least make it more transparent and easier to pierce the veil over them.

In City Business, we have many issues finally coming forward. Over the past months, our City Staff under the direction of the Commission have released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the best use of Foster Park. For our readers, Foster Park was redeveloped in 2016 in partnership with our Community Re-development Agency. The park formerly had a dilapidated building and basketball court. It became our first LEED Certified building complete with a multipurpose room, three smaller meeting rooms, a micro–African American Library, Historic Hall and Displays, large play area and walking track with equipment.

For years, we have been trying to truly activate the park. To do so under a staffing budget restraint, it has been decided to issue the RFP to find a group or entity that can provide the programming. The RFP was sent out and on Tuesday, the respondents made a presentation to the Selection Committee.

Due to state laws impacting RFP’s, our City Commission is not on the Selection Committee. We do sit as the final vote of approval to award contracts. As a Mayor, the Commissioners and I can attend this presentation, but the law requires us not to speak or interfere with the process. I chose not to attend, as I would not want my presence to create any conflict. The meeting on Tuesday was recorded, so I am looking forward to seeing the presentations. Residents interested should visit our website at: http://www.cohb.org/ for information and to view the recording of the public hearing.

Another long-awaited project has been the Master Plan for the Golden Isles Safe Neighborhood District. GISND is a separate taxing district. The residents within the district pay an added ad valorem tax to provide additional safety improvements and security services. This neighborhood has very limited lighting and the sidewalks have received very little improvement over the years.

The GISND approved a contract for Stannic Engineering to develop plans to redevelop the area. There will be a Public Meeting to review the three proposed designs for Layne Boulevard south of the Guard House. The meeting is scheduled for Monday April 4th, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the Golden Isles Tennis Center. While this is part of the GISND, it is still a public street and what is placed on the south side may mirror what is placed on the north side of Layne Boulevard. The City will be starting to dig and replace underground pipes starting in the fall, Please be prepared.

As always, feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, concerns and ideas on how to make our City a great place to live, work and play! I am available by phone or text at: (954) 632-5700. E-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org . Or visit my Facebook & Web-site at: http://www.mayorjoycooper.com/