District 3 Digest: January 2018

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2018!

 

I am excited to be in my second year of office and representing the residents of District 3. With the new year people set new goals and new resolutions and I am no different.
 
I will bring forward some ideas this year after listening to Tamarac residents and learning from the different seminars I attended last year through the Florida League of Cities and the National League of Cities. I will present a major initiative to the Commission at our Strategic Planning Session in February which will have a direct impact on the quality of life and economics of our City. I will cover this more fully in the February newsletter.
 
As for resolutions, I am looking to visit more community associations in District 3 to hear from residents. Additionally, I am working to include more information in this newsletter to keep you all informed of what is happening on the local, state and national level that could have an impact on our City.
 


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Tallahassee picture

Tallahassee Brief

 

This year the Florida Legislative Session started on Tuesday, January 9th. It lasts 60 days and, while the legislature is only required to pass a balanced budget, thousands of bills were filed.

I've outline a few of these bills below, and included the Florida League of Cities’ position on them in parenthesis.


1. Preemption – A preemption bill is when the power of the local government is removed and placed with either the state or another level of government.
  • Tree Trimming and Removal (Oppose – Preemption):  SB 574 (Steube) and HB 521 (Edwards) preempt to the state the trimming, removal or harvesting of trees and timber on private property, and prohibit local governments from restricting these activities on private property. The bills also prohibit local governments from imposing mitigation requirements (including fees or tree planting) for the removal or harvesting of trees. Lastly, the bills prevent a local government from prohibiting the burial of trees or vegetative debris on properties larger than 2.5 acres.
  • Vacation Rentals (Oppose – Preemption):  HB 773 (La Rosa) prohibits cities from establishing ordinances specific to short-term vacation rentals. Instead, the law would require that all residential properties be treated the same, regardless of whether it’s being used as a rental or not. The bill would allow cities with vacation rental ordinances in place prior to June 1, 2011, to amend their ordinance, as long as the amendment makes the regulation of vacation rentals less restrictive
  • Health Care Facility Regulation (Oppose – Preemption): SB 622 (Grimsley) and HB 597 (Yarborough) are comprehensive bills dealing with health care facilities. Of concern to cities, the bills provide that a designated health care facility owned or operated by a public health trust and located within the boundaries of a municipality is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the county creating the public health trust and is not within the jurisdiction of the municipality. 
2. Watch – These are bills that the Florida League of Cities is watching to see if amendments change their position on them (either for or against):
  • Department of Management Services (Watch): HB 111 (Albritton) and SB 368 (Brandes) create a Statewide Efficiency Task Force (SETF) to evaluate the effectiveness and value of state and local procurement laws and determine where inconsistencies exist. The SETF would be composed of 14 members, including one municipal official appointed by the governor. The SETF must submit a final report to the governor, the president of the Senate, and the speaker of the House by July 1, 2019. The report must include recommendations for creating procurement efficiencies, streamlining procurement policies and other best management practices.
  • Public Records/Local Government Electric Utilities (Watch): SB 7008 (Communications, Energy & Public Utilities Committee) deletes the sunset date of an existing exemption from the public records law for proprietary confidential business information held by a local government electric utility.
3. Support – Support for a bill means that in its current form the bill would be beneficial to cities.
  • State Housing Trust Fund (Support): SB 874 (Passidomo) and HB 191 (Shaw) specify that monies deposited in the State Housing Trust Fund and the Local Government Housing Trust Fund may not be transferred or used for any other purpose. The bills also allow for the continuation of transfers of these trust fund monies to the following programs:
    • Affordable Housing Catalyst Program: provides specialized technical support to local governments and community-based organizations to implement the HOME Investment Partnership Program, State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program and other affordable housing programs.
    • Training and Technical Assistance Program: provides community-based organizations, staff of state and local governments, and designated lead agencies of homeless assistance continuums of care with the necessary training and technical assistance to meet the needs of homeless persons, very-low-income persons, low-income persons and moderate-income persons for standard, affordable housing.
    • State Office on Homelessness/Council on Homelessness: provides programs that assist persons who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.
  • Regulation of Public Smoking (Support): SB 562 (Mayfield) and HB 627 (Altman) authorize municipalities to restrict smoking within the boundaries of public parks.
  • Fracking Ban (Support): HB 237 (Peters), SB 462 (Young), SB 834 (Farmer) and SB 828 (Farmer) address extreme well stimulation or “fracking.” HB 237 and SB 462 prohibit advanced well stimulation treatment in the state, and provide that a permit for drilling or operating a well does not authorize the performance of advance well stimulation treatments. SB 834 defines “extreme well stimulation” and prohibits the activity within the state. SB 828 proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution to ban extreme well stimulation.

I will keep you informed of the progress of these bills and others as the session progresses.
 


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Tamarac University 2018


Time is running out if you have an interest in Tamarac University. I went through the program in 2013 and learned a lot about how the city works as a whole and how each individual department works. This program gives you a really good look into the City!  Click here for more information. The deadline for application for Tamarac University is Friday, January 26, 2017.


City Events in January:

 
  • January 11 -- In Remembrance of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Tamarac Community Center, 6:30 - 8 pm
  • January 16 -- Ribbon cutting for art fence at Sunset Point Park, (11000 West McNab Road), 3:30 pm
  • January 29 -- Little Free Library Unveiling at Caporella Park (5200 Prospect Road), 3:30 pm
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