Masks: Our New Normal

This past Wednesday we held our Virtual City Commission Meeting. As we progress through this new normal it was wonderful to deliver the first ever Virtual Proclamations. During the first weeks of the Covid outbreak American Airlines delivered handmade mask to our front-line workers. The staff of American gathered cloth sewing machines and went to work . Our city was the first city in Broward County to receive the masks. As Mayor I declared Wednesday May 6th as American Airlines Day .

The second proclamation was to recognize the Anniversary of Azerbaijan Republic Day. This marks the day the county broke from Communist Russia. Azerbaijan was an independent nation from 1918 to 1920 but was then incorporated into the Soviet Union. It became a constituent (union) republic in 1936. Azerbaijan declared sovereignty on September 23, 1989, and independence on August 30, 1991. Due to Coivid19 the celebration will be hosted online. I was honored to be recognized on their national news broadcast.

Top news this week is the opening of certain businesses and services in Phase 1. If you have been following the TV news Broward County issued an emergency order that brings forward additional openings of hotels, gyms, salons , barbers. and beaches. The EO also clarified which small businesses can be opened. The EO can be found on our website at

Around town you can see some of our restaurants opening. They are opening under the rules and guidelines set by the county. The basics include common sense measure 50% capacity inside 100% outside furniture must be separated at minimum of six feet and no groups of 10 or more. There are other rules for server’s health and handling of menus and other table items. Mask are required for servers and patrons going in but obviously not while eating.

Stores and other business are also putting in place safety measures. In addition to the standard cleaning and health requirements. Mask are required. I must say many people are cooperating.

Our city commission discussed not opening gyms. The consensus was that it was too soon and there need to be more specific requirements due to the inherent risk level of this indoor activity. At the time of the meeting the rules had not been fully adopted by the county. The city manager understanding the concerns of the commission has established that gyms wishing to open must provide their specific protocols to keep the public safe for code to review and approve.

The last issue is the beach. For the past weeks I have been fighting to get our residential beach open. Finally, the county reached an agreement with the coastal communities to open on the 26th. At first our staff was not read to open due to safety concerns with lifeguards having to manage crowds and water safety at the same time. While I was not happy as Mayor if staff tells us, they have concerns about life safety issues I am going to listen to the experts.

After reevaluating staff protocols and ensuring all PPE’s and equipment was in place the city manager added beaches to our opening. There are caveats. People can walk jog and swim. There is no sunbathing, no chairs, umbrellas, tents, coolers and no large groups of 10m or more. We have also closed our parking lot to avoid people coming in from other areas. Also, there are no showers or bathrooms open so plan accordingly

All our parks will be open for regular hours. There are still no amenities including. bathrooms, gym equipment playgrounds, pavilions, and water fountains open. There is also is no basketball or organized sports permitted.

I encourage all our readers to continue to follow the CDC guidelines. Wash hands regularly , services regularly, social distance six feet and wear a mask when you are inside our unable to social distance. These measures are not to control people or take away rights. They are to protect on another. There are still elderly and those at high risk that need to stay at home. If they do need to go out for essential items there are in fear. We all need to keep them and each other safe.

With the recent rains I need to let our readers know our large pumps were working. There is to much misinformation when it comes to the pumps. These pumps are checked regularly and maintain. Staff has on hand replacement parts in the event they break down. These pumps are intended to prevent flooding. We cannot control the amount of rain that falls , how fast it falls nor the tides. With this said we are looking at expanding pumping in the most low-lying areas. Our goal is to continue to improve these conditions throughout our city.

As always, I am available anytime with your questions and concerns at phone/text 954-632-5700 or you can email me at . Please visi

t my Facebook MayorJoyCooper that has been reactivated. Like it, friend it, share it.

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