The Voters Have Spoken: A Bright Future Ahead For Hallandale Beach

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

November 17, 2022

The election is over and the voters have spoken. Vice Mayor Mike Butler has retained his seat with a 40% win over the other three candidates. I had a chance to reach out to him and Mike shared, “This win was a group effort by many diverse stakeholders in our community. It ensures the continuation of many accomplishments by our City over the past two years. He continued with and I can’t agree more, “It was a vote to maintain the stability, civility and the continued improvement in services that our residents deserve.” Obviously, he and Joy Adams both are looking forward to serving the City and our residents.

Joy Adams won a Commission Seat with 56% of the vote over the two other candidates she wanted “To thank Qunea Gordon and Greg Waters for running a civil, clean race and I look forward to working for the residents.” While this Election was civil compared to the 2020 City Election, it was not without its drama.

Early on in the Election, Commissioner Lima Taub, Commissioner Lazarow and I united with Mike to make sure we could keep our City on the right track. Even with an open seat vacated by Sabrina Javellana, Former Commissioner London ran against his former friend. In June, we were determined not to go negative unless it was necessary. Who wanted to relive those dark years in our history? We wanted to keep our City out of the news!

It was hard to imagine two years ago that this would be the case. Over the past two years, we finally had a chance to work together in a stable and civil environment. While we do not always agree, we have not been in the headlines for shenanigans. This is not just great for the Commission, but for our City, residents, businesses and Staff. The negative campaign ads did not take too long to come out. Keith London could not change his ways.

Every Election has some hot button issues. The first to go is always Taxes. No one wants to raise Taxes and certainly no one likes to pay them. When I saw the first negative attack on Taxes and the Budget, I was now determined to make sure residents had the facts. Tax rate up 28%! Firstly, that Rate is not even the Tax Rate, it was our Roll Back Rate. This is the Rate if we only had to raise the same Revenue as the last year to provide services. It was a high value that played a role in this projection. I know that it is complex, but the top Tax Rate is 10% max on all Property and on Homesteads, the top rate is 3%. The Rollback Rate is an assumption based on something that simply is unfounded with today’s Inflation Rates. It presumes that every cost to operate the City stays the same.

The second lie was about reserve funding. A propaganda piece went out about our Tesla purchase stating our Reserves are $5 Million Dollars which was an outright lie. We actually balanced our Budget without Reserves for the first time in years. Our Reserves are at $21 Million.

The third lie is about the Tesla’s. After years of not replacing vehicles in our fleet, we are addressing critical needs in our Departments. Many vehicles are well beyond their useful life. We now have a policy that requires that we replace vehicles with a goal for going to Electric. Not all vehicles can be electric, but can be “Green” at this time due to the different vehicle types we need to run the City.

We ordered Tesla’s well before the car shortage. The Rate was $10,000 less than what the market was last year. Every vehicle purchased is evaluated when it comes to the use, safety and then costs that include purchase price, operating costs, maintenance and trade in values. The Tesla’s were the perfect choice for our Detective Division in the Police Department.

The other major hot button is the On-Street Parking Program. I have written about the program over the past 2 years. We know that there are residents that do not want to pay to park. The program, while it equates to $1 Dollar a day for residents that have to park a second car, there are actually many benefits. We have always had a goal to make adjustments that make sense after the first year. As a note, we are not the only community that has a Paid Parking Program, which should have been implemented years ago.

I do want to thank the other two candidates that ran in this race. There was a newcomer Galina Urman who received 17% of the vote and Matt Lorenzo who had run before and received 14% of the vote. They both ran civil races and should be commended for running for Public Service.

Joy Adams is no stranger to the Hallandale Beach Commission. This was her third time running. She ran against London in an overwhelming win for the Mayor’s Seat. Some say this was a Citywide referendum against London’s negativity. She served for 14 months until I was reinstated. She ran for Mayor and lost in 2020. She decided to run for the open Commission Seat and won with 56% of the vote in this Election. She brings to the Vacant Seat, knowledge of the City and caring as a long-standing resident and business owner.

All of our Charter Amendments passed which will add to the smooth City Operations and to protect taxpayer dollars.

Like our readers, I am sure that we are all happy Election Season is over here in Hallandale Beach. With no learning curve on the Dais, we can all get right back to business. On Monday, November 28th, 2022 both Commissioner Butler and Commissioner Adams will be sworn in. At that time a Vice Mayor will be selected by majority vote of the Commission. Please join us at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, located at 400 South Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with your questions, concerns and ideas to make our City a better place! I can be reached 24/7/365 at my Office Number: (954) 457-1318. On my Cell/Text at: (954) 632-5700. Or E-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org.