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Mayor Cooper Update: Beach, 14th Ave and Roberts...


As seasonal population has grown our beach has continued to...

Beach Renourishment

As our seasonal population has grown our beach has continued to shrink. Over the past weekend I had the chance to walk on our beach. It was a lovely weekend and our beach was packed. Construction at both our parks has not helped matters since protective fencing is up has closed off some of the access. South Beach Park is almost completed. Finishing touches are underway once open this should provide some relief. Grand opening is being planned. North beach is being constructed for us by Related under a development agreement and to date is moving on schedule.

Beach erosion is not new to our shores. Over the years we have done beach nourishment projects in partnership with our federal state and county governments. We have spent money on sea oats only to have them washed away. Mother Nature has taken away beach and depending on the currents and storms has put it back. We have an active beach environment.

Currently we have an open 10 year permit to perform renourishment that is to address hot spots. Rather than doing a simple hot spot fix our goal is to do a full renourishment. We have put aside money over the past budgets to cover the costs and have required developers to contribute to the fund. This money will be combined with county dollars so the project can be completed.

The next step is to submit a work permit. This permit hit a snag due to requirements that we would be solely responsible for any damages to the hard bottom and reefs along our shoreline. This was a new requirement that was never in place before. We also needed to agree on a baseline for the current condition of the reefs. We have an extremely active shore line and there were no up to date studies of current conditions since the last project.

Our city has been working with the county to reach an agreement over our shared responsibilities. Without any other governmental agency sharing the risks with the project we could be on the hook for mitigation fines and repairs if any damage was found. Our city manager has been working directly with the county administrator and the Broward County Department of Environmental Protection to address all the issues. At last the last update from our city manager they have made head way. I will keep updating residents and readers when agreements have been reached.

Landscaping Plan Reviewed and Ready for Residents’ Input

Well the dust has finally settled on 14th Avenue. Mechanical work is being completed on the south station. Many residents have commented on how relieved they are to have it cleaned up. There is however still finishing touches that must be completed. The pumps are not fully approved by the Department of Environmental Protection for use. They need to be inspected and pass testing before they can be put completely on line. Once done residents will have the ultimate relief from flooding during rainy season.

Many residents have been asking questions about the sidewalks and the asphalt work that still needs to be performed on the right of ways adjacent to the condominiums. There has also been complaints about how wavy the roadway is. This will be added to the long list of complaints we will be addressing with Lanzo. This work was performed by Lanzo’s subcontractors. Any further work will be done by the city through our purchasing process.

Our city commission has been presented with the landscaping plan and the other infrastructure needed to beautify the corridor. We had many comments to upgrade what was presented. More lust trees around the station and along the walk ways. This amended plan will be presented to the public for further input. As I reported before we cannot place large trees under the power lines. The plan targets the right trees in the right place.

What Next to Address 14th Avenue Construction Issues

The city manager has directed our finance staff and project manager to audit all the internal documents that pertain to this project. The project obviously has had many issues. In addition to being 10 months behind schedule there have been many conflicts and disputes over construction costs. Due to the volumes of documentation the city manager will be working with our city attorney on a course of action to proceed to resolve disputes.

Originally it was presented that a forensic audit would take place however commission action will be necessary as the cost to perform the audit will be over 25,000. Staff has documented the project every step of the way. I want to personally thank former Mayor Dottie Ross who has also created a photo album of the project. She has always and still cares deeply for our city.

Addressing Roberts Rules and Decorum

Regretfully an incident has put our city in the press. As the chair it is my duty and job to keep decorum in the chambers and make sure that city business is conducted in an efficient respectful manor. The chair also has the right to interrupt. It sounds rude but this is how a chair can put on notice speakers who are out of order, off point, or not following the rules. Commissioners can ask for a point of order but they must still be recognized by the chair before speaking.

As commissioners we receive our agendas and they are posted a week before our meetings. Commissioners have all that time to do their homework ask questions and research the items before the meeting. We have the opportunity to meet one on one with our city manager before the meetings and she is always available by phone, text and email. We also can meet applicants and residents to discuss their issues one on one. This is why some commissioners do not even talk on items. Typically the questions are from last minute concerns or amendments that need to be made.

Our residents have full access on line to agendas with back up. Residents can asked questions by contacting our commissioners. If they want to speak on an item in person and cannot attend they can email their questions to the clerk. If they want to sign up to speak on an item they can do so before the meeting on line or in person before the meeting starts. Our meetings are televised live on channel 78 and on our website at

We are all elected to represent the citizens. It is not a classroom or an informal gathering. Asking questions we know the answers to is not what these meeting are for. Our meetings should be a time of action. We are there to conduct serious business. It is not a time to filibuster like congress or grandstand when you are at the losing end of a vote. Our residents and city deserve better.

I am sure I am not the first chair of a meeting having to deal with unruly behavior. I have run many meetings and attended many meetings. In my fourteen years in public service I have never seen this behavior from an elected official. I have seen people raise their voice in the heat of debate. I even have been caught up in debate and raised my voice. We are all human. I have seen commissioners leave the room, call names, be sarcastic, make false allegations but grabbing the chair’s gavel in rage was well beyond any bad behavior I have seen.

Democracy is a wonderful and often messy process. Debating issues is important and sharing different points of view are critical. Parliamentarian rules were created to insure that everyone is heard in an orderly respectful and manor and decorum is maintained.

No matter what, it is the job and the right of the chair to run the meeting. Lack of decorum and lack of following the rules buy any individual, be it resident or commissioner, the chair of any meeting has the right in our city to have the individual removed, not arrested, by the sergeant of arms. In this rare case it was warranted.

As always please feel free to contact me any time with your questions concerns and ideas on how to make our city a better place at office 954-457-1318, cell/text 954-632-5700 or visit my website at

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