Last week: Florida League of Cities Federal Action Strike Team is trying to get Congress to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, and not cap Municipal Bonds — federal issues that affect municipalities. The Marketplace Fairness Act grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers — regardless of where they are located — to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction, just as local retailers are required to do. This act also requires that states must simplify their own sales tax laws to make multistate sales tax collection easy.
Looking ahead: I believe that all eyes will be on Congress when the vote is taken about Syria. The President has shown leadership by asking them to vote, This is one time that partisanship should have no bearing.
Last week: The Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center in Pembroke Pines provides a truly valuable resource to give the best treatment and support to help mothers battling substance abuse heal, and turn their lives around. The children stay with their mothers in the program, a beneficial component. I was honored to be recognized by the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center last week, receiving an award on behalf of the City of Pembroke Pines for the city’s involvement in a truly beneficial community program that provided a catalyst for Pembroke Pines receiving the All America Cities Award in 2004.
Looking ahead: Pembroke Pines is looking forward to further growth and development at its City Center. The gated community of Modera, a Mill Creek development, is nearing completion. Residents have already started moving in. Other groups are showing interest in development at City Center.
Last week: I was surprised and honored to receive the E. Drew Harris Award at the recent Florida League of Cities Annual Conference. It is the highest award that an elected official can receive from the Florida League of Cities, and it puts me in a special class to those that previously have received this award. My biggest hope is that the younger generation realizes that serving the public is an honorable and fulfilling career path to follow to help improve the quality of life in their communities.
Next week: Join us at the City of Pembroke Pines City Center on September 11 to honor those who lost their lives during the attacks on our country. The event features the Police and Fire Honor Guard, Presentation of colors, musical entertainment and guest speakers. Pre- entertainment begins at 8 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. at the City Center, 10300 Pines Boulevard
Last week: A Sun Sentinel article this week read Broken Congress leaves for break without voting on key bills. Outrageous that The Marketplace Fairness Act was not voted on, which would allow us to enforce local sales and use tax laws on remote retailers. Proposals to limit the municipal bond Market, State and Local infrastructure investment would negatively impact jobs — crucial fuel for US economic growth, along with education, mass transit, public utilities, water, roads, highways and hospitals. The most egregious act was failure to deal with sequestration which has paralyzed our Cities. The Mayors know how to run our Cities. Maybe it's time for this broken Congress to listen to the Mayors of this great country.
Looking ahead: Pembroke Pines is getting ready to unveil plans at our City Center for a new Civic Center. The Center will be 3,500 seats, meeting rooms, a museum, City Hall on top of the Civic Center with one floor. We will have water in front, like San Antonio, and possibly Flame pots adorning the beautiful Civic Center. We are extremely excited about this project.
Last week: It is unbelievable that in the year 2013 we have senior citizens in our communities who should be enjoying their golden years, but instead are facing the tragedy of hunger. The Food Pantry of Broward and Meals on Wheels are agencies that are facing severe cutbacks and shortages in resources. I am partnering with Mayor Lori Moseley of Miramar, and the Miramar-Pembroke Pines Chamber of Commerce, to launch a food-collection drive at the next Chamber networking breakfast. We feel strongly that in these modern times something must be done to alleviate hunger amongst seniors in our communities.
This week: I was one of 28 Florida mayors who signed an agreement back in 2007 to urge President Bush to sign the Kyoto Protocol to take steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses in our cities, such as buying low-pollution vehicles and requiring new buildings to be energy efficient. The City of Pembroke Pines began drafting an ordinance mandating green building standards. This is an urgent issue to all South Florida cities because of salt water intrusion, and rising sea levels that could literally cover South Florida. It is important to me for our sake and the sakes of our children and grandchildren.Copyright © 2015, CT Now