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State Of The City Address Part VI: Transformational Change Has Been Happening Throughout Hallandale Beach

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

June 27, 2024

This is the final segment of my State of the City. While many are still recovering from the storms I want to share my heartfelt prayers. We continue to work around the clock. While we are doing our part we encourage residents to be prepared, it is Hurricane Season! Have your plans ready and supplies ready. Please also remember even if your are renting you should look into content and Flood Insurance. FEMA does not cover every storm.

Our Police Department has been vigilant in light of the continued war in both Israel and the Ukraine. Our Commission continues to support and make investments in modern technology and training. Technology has already transformed police work.

We have 38 Cameras around the City with 36 License Plate Readers. ShotSpotter Sensors cover half of our City and we have 1 Surveillance Camera Trailer. All within our four-square miles. Obviously, we are looking to add more. We want to expand the system to include every entrance and exit to our community, adding to our schools and houses of worship and cover the entire city with ShotSpotter Equipment.
As I mentioned months ago, we partnered with the real time crime center at BSO Headquarters. This center is paid for by your County Taxes. We have a stationed officer there that can help when crime occurs. They automatically collaborate in real time with officers when they are in pursuit. We want to expand the staffing hours. Safety is not just about our police and our streets, but we need to protect our online systems.

Cybersecurity programs are vital. Our Microsoft suite uses AI to prevent cyber-attacks and related threats. The most recent application has been with our closed captioning in our Commission Chambers. AI allows for 98% percent transcribing accuracy. There are so many ways that I will transform how we do business. Our IT Staff continues to follow these electronic tools and will be strategically adapting them.

The affordability crisis in the housing market has been having rippling effects. It is not just about having a new home. It has impacted every aspect of our economy. These costs are driving homeowners out of cities, along with our workforce. For years I have been pushing changes in how we regulate development and our codes. I believe we have always been at the forefront of change.

With this foundation we are, unlike many of our surrounding cities ready for Live Local. Sure, there will still be checks and balances. Our move to form base codes has proven success with developments like: Accesso Office Tower and Atlantic Villages I, II, III and IV brought Transformational change to North Federal and over $120 Million Dollars in investments.

Form Base Codes are not perfect. We are finding that in some cases to provide for the organic growth of businesses within new developments, the variance process is hindering growth. We know we need to rewrite our codes which have not gone through a major rewrite, so we contracted with Calvin Giordano & Associates. This will be the most challenging and most critical project other than our Infrastructure.

We have already been making changes. We have changed the rules for walls, fences and the use of our right of way. We have adopted changes to roof top heights to allow for amenities and uses that complement the development. We have passed an Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance and are currently working on units sizes to provide the flexibility needed to create affordable units.

The next issue will be parking. Some interesting facts about parking. First, our City used to have one spot per household. Over 50 cities so far have ditched parking mandates. Parking takes up land that can be used for housing, a single spot can add $5,000 to $150,000 in costs to a unit. 95% of the time cars are simply parked.

The key to parking changes needs to be coupled with transit. As we are working hard to expand it. The Cloud is one major set but sidewalks, micro transit ride shares, and Uber will be critical.

The past five years went by fast and now we need to address the next 5 years and plan for our future. We cannot do it in a vacuum. 2024- 2025 we hope will be smooth sailing, but we need you on board. I understand how important building connections and relationships are.

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic there has been a different paragon when it comes to community involvement. There is so much divisiveness and polarization that it has built-up a lack of trust of government in general. Our City needs to find and utilize new ways to get people involved. It is important to be accessible and transparent to build trust but without two parties working collaboratively we cannot solve problems.

Those that know me understand I am willing to work tirelessly to get input from all stakeholders. It starts with understanding we have a common goal. We want to be successful. In our case it takes stakeholders and government and it takes TWO to get to success!

Evaluating Threat weaknesses and opportunities will lead to success. We just sent out a City survey by mail. We quickly learned we need to use all avenues of communication. Snail mail is not the only way. It is now posted online, and you can find it on our Social Media. I even posted it on my Social Media. I do not want you to sit back! It is our collective future and we need your input!

Another challenge will be the November Elections. While there is a battle on the National level we cannot be caught up in the rhetoric. All elections matter and will have a profound impact on levels.

I am not here to be partisan but pragmatic. I wanted to make sure that you do not sit this one out. Elections matter and will impact our future. We have elections across the board including State, County and for the City of Hallandale Beach. I love our City and am honored to be your Mayor. It is great doing what you love.

I have decided that I will be running alongside my Colleagues Vice Mayor Anabelle Lima-Taub and Commissioner Michele Lazarow who also are running this year for reelection. I rarely ask for help, but my business this year is an election. So, I am asking you to help and support my business, my reelection campaign. Please ask me more on how you can help keep our City on the right path.

I want to thank you for joining us and please remember, I am working for you! I Always Have! I Always Will. I love our City and am honored to be your Mayor!

Email me at: joycooper@aol.com. Visit my website at: www.mayorjoycooper.com - Or Call/Text me at: (954) 632-5700.
God Bless our great city and God Bess America!

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