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Voting For A Bright Future: New Commissioners, Vice Mayor & Holiday Lighting In Hallandale Beach

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

December 1, 2022

Over the past years, our City has not budgeted for Holiday Lights. Obviously, we had gone through COVID-19 over two years but before that, the City Budget was so unstable the Commission did not want to spend the money on items that were not core services. Commissioner Lazarow, in the last budget had asked for funding, but we were just getting out of COVID-19 and unsure whether we could pay our bills with the economic crisis and inflation. This year she asked and I also pushed for funding. We thought we had gotten it done for this holiday but turns out we were told vendors needed more lead time for orders.

Until two weeks ago we had been telling interested residents the lights would be for the next holiday. City Manager Dr. Earle and our Staff worked with our budget and the vendors, and we have been told the Holiday Lights will happen. These are not the only lights that will be displayed.

On Monday, the Commission approved an extension for the placement of Holiday Displays on City Hall property. For years while I was on the dais, we had placed a Menorah and a Manger Scene at City Hall. This is not just our practice but many cities and even the White house embrace our diverse beliefs. We even hosted a lighting ceremony for the young students at the Chabad Seminary School. Over the recent years the practice was not recognized. With the horrible rise in antisemitism we need to move back to a more civil accepting society.

Current Commissioners were unaware that there was an established policy to allow outside individuals to place displays on their own. The policy was established when we had an individual wanting to place an upside down cross next to the display. Many community leaders and staff were extremely upset. We actually either had to allow it or would have to remove the displays. At that time, I spoke with the city manager and said let the person do it. In other words, I did not think it was proper to allow one individual to ruin our holiday spirit.

A policy was put in place with a deadline to apply as of November 1st. The Chabad was also unaware of the policy and asked permission to place a display in front of city hall for this Hanukah. Commissioner Annabelle Taub and I sponsored an item in order to allow displays and requested the deadline be adjusted this year to December 1st. It passed unanimously.

In other news, the Commission had its organizational meeting on Monday. Commissioners Adams and Butler were sworn into their seats. At this meeting, the Vice Mayor is selected. The Vice Mayor serves in the event the Mayor is unable. Vice Mayor Butler could have remained as there is no rule that prevents consecutive two-year terms. One year we reappointed Former Vice Mayor Bill Julian for another term.

It is understood that it has been a pleasure serving with all my colleagues over the past two years, in a wonderful civil environment. Mike has been a great Vice Mayor. In this case it is not an easy thing to pick amongst colleagues. Commissioners Butler and Lazarow have all had the chance to serve as Vice Mayor. In fairness since Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub has not served in that capacity, I nominated her.

She has been and remains to be a resolute public servant. Her commitment to our residents and those without a voice has been steadfast. Her service over the past two years working hard to help shepherding many condominium issues is also noteworthy.

She graciously asked Commissioner Lazarow if she wanted the position, but Commissioner Lazarow supported her nomination. Commissioner Adams nominated herself. Vice Mayor Anabelle Lima-Taub was selected in a 4-1 vote. She will serve for the next two years.

I wanted to send a special thank you to all the community partners that donated their time and resources to help those in need this past Thanksgiving. Harry and Jen of Cross-Town Towing reached out to me and asked if I knew of any one in need. They donated 75 turkeys to many needy school families. The Robert Fenstershieb Foundation has been continuing the great work of philanthropy their father started. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community here in Hallandale Beach continues to perform amazing outreach helping many students and seniors at our Hepburn Center. Kiwanis PAL and Rotary also donated items to our local schools. Our Staff and City also held our Annual Thanksgiving Lunch with our seniors at the Hepburn Center. For those that were unable to attend hot meals were delivered to homes here in the City.

As we get ready for the holiday, please remember there are ways to support those in need. Last year I adopted an event that Ms. Sandra Atkins always held for our local children, “Hope for The Holidays.” I am partnering with the official nonprofit “Hope for the Holidays, Inc.” and Gulfstream Park to host this year’s event. We are asking for your support! Please visit my Facebook or the Hope for the Holidays FB page or simply give me a call at:(954) 457-1318. We hope to make sure at least 350 children receive gifts and a visit with Santa.

There will be a Mixed Doubles followed by bagel brunch event at Golden Isles Tennis December 6th, 9 am sponsored by Jessie Smatt and myself for Hope for the Holidays. Please call me to make a reservation or visit to the tennis center. Reservations are $30 plus unwrapped gift. If you do not play you can still come out and support the kids.

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:

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