Tuesday, October 11, 2016

NO on Sales Tax, NO on Amendment 1


VOTE NO - Sales Tax Bad for Broward  VOTE NO on Both of Them

 Pie in the sky seems to be the operating system of our government.  No well thought out plan, really, for the penny sales tax, just a lot of wonderful sounding might-be ideas, and cities salivating over the “extorted” agreement with the county.  Lots of dire warnings about infrastructure crumbling if we don’t do something and that something has to be new money from a tax that will be a burden on the least able to pay. 
 

 

Solar Amendment 1 Aims to Mislead Florida Voters

The proverbial wolf masquerading in sheep’s clothing is the best way to describe the misleading Amendment 1 wording on November’s ballot. Don’t be fooled! This is a utility bankrolled deception campaign that aims to mislead voters with confusing language and false promises.
 
Amendment 1 misleads Florida voters by promising rights and protections that Florida citizens already have. Amendment 1 is funded by Florida’s big utilities to protect their monopoly markets and limit customer owned solar. Floridians already have the right to purchase or lease solar equipment and are already fully protected under Florida’s existing consumer protection laws.

Amendment 1 paves the way for barriers that would penalize solar customers. It would add to the State Constitution the false assumption that solar customers are “subsidized” by non-solar customers and that non-solar customers are in need of additional protections. This false claim would lead to unfair fees and discriminatory penalties for solar customers.

 Clean solar energy makes sense for the environment and the consumer. With the effects of climate change already affecting Florida, the need to reduce dirty fossil fuel energy is more urgent than ever. The cost of solar has fallen more than 80 percent in the past 10 years. Florida is ranked 3rd nationally in solar energy potential but 17th in solar power generated. Restrictions and unfair fees would make solar more expensive, limit the expansion of solar, and hurt consumers by denying a cost effective way to lower power bills.

 With the successful passage of Amendment 4 to reduce taxes on property and renewable energy equipment, the next step is to vote NO on Amendment 1. The monopoly power companies have spent more than $21.5 million dollars to persuade Florida residents to vote YES. The amendment will only serve to penalize solar

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Original Save Our Beach (OSOB) responsible for Deerfield’s "Greatest Beach"


Original Save Our Beach (OSOB) responsible for Deerfield’s

“Greatest Beach” according to Dave Mirantz

 There is a new magazine in the city called “Deerfield Beach Magazine” which published its premiere edition in September 2016.  The second edition, October, 2016 has several articles about future growth & economic development plans for Deerfield Beach.  On page 36, Dave Mirantz, former president of the Chamber and head of the Economic Development Task Force, which came up with a plan for the city, says:   

  “We (Deerfield Beach) are uniquely positioned for growth; we have the greatest beach in South Florida to the credit of people who curbed expansion in Deerfield Beach.”

 To be fair, the OSOBs had the help of the voters of Deerfield who passed our amendments, which put the development codes for the barrier island into our city charter, by an overwhelming 75%.

 Residents in our city do not want to see the whole barrier island, including our precious main beach parking lot, covered with towering condos and commercial establishments.  Our residents had the intelligent vision for the barrier island and knew that by putting the development codes into the charter, future commissioners could not change these codes at their or a developers whim!

Our city has received compliment after compliment about how gorgeous our beach is and has attracted upscale and beautiful developments, which fit in with the image we have for our city.  The Royal Blue Hotel uses our unique beach as its main drawing point. 

For more details on how the OSOBs saved the quality of life in Deerfield Beach go to:


 To read the Deerfield Beach Magazine, go to:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Phone Scam


Over the past few days I have been receiving phone calls from the "IRS".  Of course I knew it was a scam as they said the IRS had an arrest warrant out for me.  For the first couple I just hung up on them, then I found out I should report it, here is the response I received.  Bett
 
 -----Original Message----- From: phishing@irs.gov
 Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2016 3:33 PM
 To: bettwillett@gmail.com
 Subject: Phishing Report Received - Thank You
 
 This is an automatic reply from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Online Fraud Detection and Prevention (OFDP) team.
 We have received your report of possible phishing or fraud.  Although we review and investigate each email we receive,
 due to the number of incident complaints, we cannot guarantee a personal response to your message.
 
 Please note that the IRS does not contact individuals by email.
 Therefore, if you received an email claiming to be from the IRS it is a phishing attempt and should be reported to us.
 
 Additional information on IRS phishing can be viewed here:
 http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing
 
 Additional information on avoiding phishing scams can be viewed here:
 http://www.antiphishing.org/consumer_recs.html
 
 Additionally, please be aware of Telephone Scams.  The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of
 any tax due via the U.S. Mail.  The IRS never asks for credit, debit or prepaid card information over the telephone.
 Please see:
 https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2015-34.htm
 
 The IRS values your report, and encourages individuals to report future IRS phishing/fraud to phishing@irs.gov
 so that we can handle these incidents and limit the number of possible victims.
 To limit email volume, you will only receive one auto-response per day for any of your submissions.
 
 Thank you for your report.
 Regards,
 
 Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
 Online Fraud Detection and Prevention (OFDP)
 phishing@irs.gov

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dixie Highway RM 50!!!! OMG!


Deerfield Beach has always prided itself on its hometown feel, we are a city, but everyone who lives here likes the small town atmosphere and the careful zoning we have to make sure that our residents are not subjected to inappropriate development next door.
Sure, we have stupid projects such as the giant industrial park where Eller’s golf course used to be, but to be fair, the nearby residents voted in favor of it, they were conned in my opinion, but they okayed it.
Now I hear that the city has a project on the horizon that, if I remember correctly, has already had residents in nearby neighborhoods signing petitions against it.  Residents DON’T want it! The city should not allow it.
A developer wants to build a massive, totally incompatible, and tremendously dense cluster of residential condos on Dixie Highway, in a business zone. 
He wants to double the density of our most dense city zoning anywhere, and build a residential project in a business zone.  We allow, at most in the city, RM25, that means a MAXIMUM of 25 units per acre and, we don’t have many of those zones.  The parcels he has are on either side of a street which he wants to re-route, huh?
This intruder wants RM50, 50!! FIFTY residences per acre on our already congested roads.  Residences on Dixie Highway, not businesses, not a project to bring jobs to our most needy area. 
I would love to see development along Dixie Highway, but development that goes along with the special business zone overlay the district has placed there to encourage businesses which would bring jobs to the area and be attractive along the corridor.
Dixie Highway is not an area that is conducive to residential projects, that is why it is zoned business; it is right across the street from a noisy railroad.  Not an inducement to potential residents.
Think about the size that this project will be.  It would tower over everything else in the neighborhood. 
Pity the gardens of the folks who live behind it, withering in the constant shade. 
Pity our poor city with this visual cancer on one of our most used roadways. 
Be sad for the loss of the ability of our commissioners to say no to the next person who comes along and wants to go bigger, denser, and higher, and change the land use anywhere in the city.
If there ever was a project to deny, this is it.  There is NO upside to the city, no benefit to the neighborhood, no added jobs for residents, most likely not much tax money to bring in compared to what would be if the area was used for nice businesses.  I suggest we all send an email to our commissioners and city manager urging denial to this disaster.
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sell the Hillsboro Boulevard Fire Station Property? NO WAY!


To paraphrase Hamlet: To sell or not to sell that is the question.

The answer is simple, NOT! 

This should never have come up, and the reason it did was to lamely justify closing the current fire station and building a new one as part of a municipal complex which would be part of the envisioned revitalized “downtown” Pioneer Grove. 

Do you see the problem here?  This is not a single issue. 

Close the fire station – is one issue. 

Build a new fire station - is a different issue.

Whether to build a municipal complex could be the same or different issue depending on the level of chutzpa of the parties involved. 

Sell the current fire station and land – a completely separate issue NOT dependent on the others. 

The fire station is on a prime corner property.  Developers are certainly salivating over the chance to turn it into a commercial cash cow.  Jim Rosemurgy could hardly contain his eagerness, at a recent commission meeting, when he was talking about buying the property to put a gas station and convenience store on it.  He didn’t see the horrified faces on the audience when he described his envisioned eye-sore. 
 
Some saner voices were heard at the last commission meeting, voices from the Florida International University Metropolitan Center regarding their preliminary findings of the City Economic Development Strategy Analysis. 

The picture they presented for Deerfield Beach was rosy, they pointed out the wonderful array of businesses and industry we already have, unlike other nearby towns. 

They pointed out how valuable the appearance of our “gateway” roads was and how the improvements to the beach and Hillsboro Boulevard will only enhance the desire of businesses to make Deerfield Beach their home.

They used the word “gateway”. 

It is very important to make a good first impression.  Redoing Hillsboro Boulevard from Federal Highway to the beach was huge!  Plans to improve the road from Dixie to Federal are underway.

With this in mind, it only makes sense that we would keep our only sliver of property on the four corners of Hillsboro and Federal and make it as attractive as possible.  Picture four corners of gas stations and drug stores.  Is this the “gateway” the city wants to present to tourists and possible businesses?

We, as a city, own this important property.  What we do with it will determine what the gateway to our beach looks like from now on.  Do not allow the land use change.

 A new fire station, if needed, must not be contingent on the sale of valuable city property.  Go ahead, if absolutely needed, build a new station wherever the city determines it is needed.  But do not think that the old station property needs to be sold to make that happen.  I am not convinced we need a new one, and all the talk brings to mind that boys love new toys, not that they need them. 

Selling the fire station, whether or not a new one will be built, will NOT give the city anything but a miniscule drop in the bucket worth of money to put toward the new facilities.  As we well know, in Deerfield Beach, new buildings are not cheap, they are not even expensive, they are massively costly boondoggles (remember the MOC center) and to think that a new fire station, at the least, or an entire municipal complex will come in at budget is magical thinking.

Renovate the old station, or turn it into a municipal center, and keep the PAL program there, we don’t have a center on the east side, or something else that will be attractive and serve the public purpose.  BUT! Don’t sell it; your grandchildren will blame you for your shortsightedness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanks! You Are Awesome!

The holidays can be bitter or sweet.  Sweet for those who have family and friends to surround them with love, sweet for those who are fortunate enough not to want for the necessities of life, sweet for those who have interests which involve them in activities which enrich their lives and give them satisfaction. 

But, holiday time can be bitter for those who are not so fortunate.  So Wow! Thank you to the wonderful caring people who answered the last minute emergency request by Officer Harold Morrison and helped fund the purchase of turkey dinner baskets.

Due to rising prices and some longtime supporters cutting back there was a shortfall. Your response was heartwarming. In less than a week you enabled a happy Thanksgiving for 30 families who would have gone without, if not for your generosity, whether you gave $10 or $200, you are awesome!

Officer Morrison was delighted and relieved and I was really happy we could help. Thank all of you who donated:
 
Wayne Adams, Denise Bogner, Mary Ann Chicosky, Eleanore DeBoo, Becky Dressler, Dorothy Dunn, Katy Freitag, Jim Geoghegan, Elke Haus, Betty Masi, Joan Maurice, Phyllis Mavrikis, Marti McGeary, Pam Militello, Ellie Mills, Barbara Moriarty, Sally Potter, Claire Riccardi, Mickey Rosenkranz, Richard Rosenzweig, Verna Rosenzweig, Nan Schley, Sheree Thomas, Bett Willett.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Deerfield Beach P&Z Board Doesn't Know What P&Z Means!

OMG, did they read their job description?

 When asked how he and the other Deerfield Beach P&Z board members could vote yes on all the variances for the new hotel proposed for the Cove Shopping Center one member said that they don’t pay attention to variances, the commissioners do that, it’s not P&Zs job.

From the Deerfield Beach City website: “The Planning & Zoning Division is responsible for long-range and comprehensive planning; current or neighborhood and project planning; maintenance and administration of the City's zoning code, which includes administration of sign permits and the Certificate of Use program.  Mission To plan and facilitate quality development and redevelopment, promote neighborhood sustainability, and facilitate the enhancement of the human and natural environment of the City.”

Somebody should give these folks some training; variances is exactly what they do!  The P&Z Board is the local planning agency, they review developers’ application, they hear requests for zoning variances, approve site plans and land usage and ensure that the plans comply with the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Code of Ordinances.  AND, if they don’t comply, and don’t have a really good reason (hardship) for not complying, it is the board’s job to say NO. 

Then the commission gets a stab at it, they may agree with the board or they may overturn it if there is a good public reason.  BUT, the P&Z Board does not get to be subjective about an application.

This is disgusting, city board members who don’t even know what they are supposed to do.