State of the City, Part 1: The First In-Person State of Hallandale Beach Speech In 3 Years

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

May 12, 2022

It was great being able to deliver my first In-Person State of the City Speech after 3 years. In the next couple of articles, I will share the address. Before that I want to share some information with our readers about what we as a City can and cannot do as Elected Officials when it comes to Condominiums.

Those new to Condominium living may not understand that Condominiums are a separate Non-Profit Corporation. They are regulated by the State. As a City Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub worked hard on what is called the Condo Transparency Act. When I got back on the Dais, I helped to get it passed. It requires that all Condominiums submit certain documents to the City, so we can post them On-Line At: cohb.org. I had touched on this topic during my speech. This Act provides at least access to documents that Condominium owners were not getting without legal action. It definitely helps.

What the Act does not do is change the fact that the daily operations of the Condominiums are just that. The Elected Condominium Boards are in charge of the operations. The Condo Documents and By-Laws provide their guide. They can hire professionals to implement operational tasks. Typically depending on size, they oversee the passing of Budgets, Hires, Managers, Attorneys, Accountants, approve maintenance on the buildings and large assessments that are required to be voted on by the unit owners.

I along with my colleagues hear pleas from frustrated owners and understand your frustrations. It is a real issue when buildings do not get needed repairs. Our City takes 40-Year Inspections seriously. We have over the past two years tackled these issues. We cannot force buildings to make repairs. We can if the building is deemed eminently unsafe to live in, we send a notice to the building and give them time to comply. If they do not, our Building Official has the power to require owners to move out. This is the worst-case scenario.

As Mayor I assure you that we understand the issues and have been working within our legal boundaries to do everything in our power to help. Thankfully, there will be a special session and we hope unlike the session they will give owners relief. What the owner can do now is become initiative-taking. It is a shared responsibility. Bringing building issues to your boards. If they are not corrected, report them to our Code Enforcement. Run for your board. If not, get to understand your role in making sure Special Assessments for major repair work is done and not being kicked down the road.

Here is an except from my State of the City Speech, please note the following is in speech form:

Thank you to Gulfstream Park for hosting this, our first In-Person State of the City in over three years.

Since Miami will be hosting the Grand Prix tomorrow, I wanted to kick this speech off with a quote that is from one of the greatest Entrepreneurs and drivers in history. “We cannot describe passion; we have to live it!” Many of us are fortunate to live our passion and I am one of them!

There is another business story that started the lesson of the customer is always right and how not to treat customers had started with Enzo Ferrari.

In a village in Italy, Ferrari was making his cars. A local tractor manufacturer went to him to complain about the clutch in Enzo cars. Rather than agreeing, Ferrari said “Let me make cars. You stick to making tractors. “That man happened to be Ferruccio Lamborghini. It was the beginning of one the biggest rivalries.

Like Ferrari and Lamborghini, I get to do what I love. Helping people and hopefully you will agree to make our City a better place to Live, Work and Play.

The last time I addressed the Chamber in person I shared a story about a book I had read “Regeneration” by Rebecca Ryan?

Her analysis discussed history in seasonal cycles that come from tragic events and generational change. Who would have known back in 2019 how right she was and that 2020 would change that? A long winter with COVID-19.

In 2021, COVID-19 continued. It was like a nightmarish version of Groundhog Day. We were all living in uncertainty and with racial unrest. Spring emerged with the world in turmoil. 2022 started with the January 6th Insurrection. We have had the worst recessions since WWII. And sadly, the War in Ukraine.

Even while we are still dealing with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its multiple threats, it is great to be back in person. Like your businesses we as a City are dealing with similar challenges: budget, increased costs and personnel issues. As our economy was shut down during COVID-19, our City’s bottom line suffered too.

Recently at our US Conference of Mayor Leadership meeting, Mayors gathered for the first time in person. Our shared stories across the nation were the same.
We all realized that while businesses received Relief Dollars, the cities did not. Working on Capitol Hill, cities fought for CARES Funding, Our City did not receive direct funding from the Feds. We were fortunate that Broward County distributed funding to cities based on the same formula based on County Development Block Grants on when other Government Agencies did not.

Our City received $143,091 Dollars which was used for Senior Meals and Rental Assistance.

It was not until last year that every city received the American Rescue Plan Act, which we call ARPA Funding. This money was utilized to offset specific impacts of COVID-19 on our City Budgets. Had it not been for this relief, our City would have utilized all of our reserves and looked at declaring financial urgency.

Over $20 Million Dollars will be spread over the next three budgets. $1.5 Million Dollars was used last year and this year a projected $8 Million Dollars will be used.

This is great news but is not the end, it is only the beginning of recovery.

Next week Part II.

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: www.MayorJoyCooper.com.