Serving the Community

Many politicians make promises they can not keep, but I believe that actions speak louder than words.  I promise that I will work hard and listen to the concerns of all of Hollywood’s residents within District 5.  There will be no special list of people who get preferential treatment.  If you are a taxpayer who lives in the City of Hollywood, then you deserve to be represented.

I humbly ask for your vote.

“We solve our problems when we put People Over Politics."

United by a Comon Goal

As a Hollywood resident I want the same things I think ask for and want. 

A safe neighborhoods to raise our children in or grow old in.

Good schools that we know are children are safe at when we say goodbye in the morning.

Of course, we all want a nice homes in great neighborhood and it’s why we choose Hollywood. 

We need more code enforcement that will deal with and resolve issues and complaints as they arise. 

No one wants to live next to a run-down, unkempt, derelict property as they bring down values of adjacent residences. I wouldn't tolerate it and I don't expect any of you would either. 

We want neighborhoods we can be proud of, through review and enforcement of local ordinances and codes. To most of us, our homes are our biggest investments and when we keep them up as a collective – as a neighborhood – and the city maintains the local infrastructure, then those homes appreciate in value. Good homes draw good, responsible tenants for rental properties who will love and care for our city and neighborhoods. 

With the recent tragedy weighing so heavily in our hearts, I can not ignore our schools. Since Broward County schools have police resource officers assigned to them, the presiding police department needs to give tactical training to all resource officers and provide tactical equipment to help as much as possible in the event of a code red situation. This is a far better solution than arming and deputizing teachers. Police officers have hundreds of hours of training and should be the only people making life and death decisions. 

Getting Involved

My fellow neighbors, I can't win this race without your help. Passing out flyers, putting a sign in your yard, just talking about my campaign and this issues with friends or even strangers, and, of course, donating, are all ways of helping us achieve our goals together.

I’m excited to represent my family, my neighborhood, and my District in the coming election. With your support, we will make the changes that you want.

Go Bond

General Obligation bonds (or go bond)... is or is not good for Hollywood at the present time?

As a rule, GO bonds are very beneficial to city project funding. The current terms of the bond, however, are too vague to weigh its value against the cost to the city. At present, I do not think that the GO bond is a good idea for the city.

First, You're asking residents to pay for the city's budget shortfalls by presenting this bond for things that normally would be included in said budget. You're basically double charging the residents. You’re asking Joe Public to alleviate the pressure of the city and its budget and put the burden on us.

Second, We'd be doing this again, mind you, because our last GO bond from 2004 isn't set to mature until 2030...So we're still paying for the first bond and now we need another? 

Third, not only would we be in debt for the original bond to the tune of $53.68 million, then again for $150 million for the proposed bond, but we're possibly ALSO on the hook for the Margaritaville 'grant' should they default. And business isn't looking so great from what I see. Again, it feels like the city is living beyond its means.

Look, if the city can create a 600 page binder on its yearly budget, you can surely have a more defined outline as to what this money is going to be used for. I just think that without a plan in detail, outlining which projects are going to cost how much, the public really can't be well-enough informed to vote on this. Specifically, take the difference between the streets around 72nd Ave and Johnson to the streets around 46th just south of Hollywood Blvd. For residents in the first area, they might read the GO bond summary and say, "hey, looks like our streets are going to be improved," when in reality, there may be no such specific plans to do so. Yes I understand that the GO bond is for city-wide improvements, but some of our neighborhoods need more attention that others, and those residents deserve to know how much of that $150 million bond is going to benefit them.

- Streets, Neighborhood Investments & Public Facilities - approx. $72 million

WHICH streets? WHICH neighborhoods? 6 districts, does that mean each district can get $12 million of the bond to address its issues? Probably not...

- Public Safety - approx. $63 million

- Parks & Recreation - approx. $15 million

Septic to Sewer conversion

The septic to sewer conversion has been a hot topic in my neighborhood for a couple years. I am one of the homeowners on septic, and we've really never had any issues.

Aside the costs to homeowners with moderate incomes - not to mention retirees with fixed incomes - which is likely to be thousands of dollars to convert, it looks like everyone kind of forgot that you cannot abandon the septic tank. It has to be drained and backfilled and compacted with dirt, which comes with a heavy cost as well. 

I believe that converting over to sewer should be at the discretion of the homeowner, unless the city is going to not just incur the costs of bringing the pipes to the property edge, but connecting as well. 

There isn't really a difference, environmentally speaking, between septic and sewer. Septic systems and sewer systems both do the same thing, and in much the same way. Both act as wastewater treatment plants in collecting, processing and disposing of human waste. It's really just about who maintains them - city for sewer, homeowner for septic. If that's all it's about, the homeowner should have the option to remain as they are and not incur costs that could cripple some, and heavily imact others. I don't think the people on my street - at least two of whom are retirees - would enjoy a $5000+ bill for connection costs.

Community redevelopment agency or CRA

My opinion on the CRA is no secret. 

If you fell on hard times and had to choose between a basic need like electricity, water, food...or me it’s a no brainer because all said and done, the cable TV is a luxury. Would you cancel your cable TV to make sure you have electric or water or food....? yes you would because you need those things . So to me, regarding the City of Hollywood's CRA, it’s a luxury luxury that we clearly cannot afford - I mean, we just discussed the proposed GO bond in order to give more funding to the city... It is obviously time to retire the CRA. It has outlived itself. 

Not to mention that the plain definition of a community redevelopment agency is to fix blight areas. As you no doubt have noticed, I think you could go over every inch of the beach (which is the CRA's domain) and not find any real blight areas anywhere downtown. It's basically a slush fund we don't need. And again, it's responsible for the Margaritaville fiasco...

We can do better without the CRA in our city. So yes, I’m against it. We should put those tax dollars back in our City's piggy bank where it's obviously really needed. Who knows, maybe it could even bring the Police Pension out of the red...? [smirk here]

I know some are you might say that we don’t get all that money, some goes back to Broward County. That's true, but it's really a matter of perspective. First, the City itself doesn't see a dime of the CRA's funds as part of its budget - so whatever part we would keep is that much more that the City would get to add to its annual operating budget. Second, Hollywood is in Broward County. We still live in Broward County; we still utilize a lot of services provided by Broward County - like bus routes, county parks located within Hollywood city limits, and so on. It's not like we wouldn't both benefit. And you get the added bonus of getting rid of an agency that has more autonomy than it probably should.

Economic Development

City of Hollywood Commercial Property Improvement Pilot Program

I'm a propoent of this one - I really like it. I hope that, as a pilot , it becomes hugely successful and can become part of the city's regular set of offered programs. Eventually it might even be able to expand into other areas. I'm not 100% positive, but something tells me that the CPIP's currently designated area isn't the only LMI in our city limits.

Tax increment financing or TIF

I have to say that the concept might have appealed to me more had the CRA not left me with such a negative impression. My understanding is that a TIF district is an area within a city that, after much careful study by the city and expert consultants, is found to be “blighted” and without hope of attracting private investment without some governmental intervention. So, our CRA is basically responsible for our TIF district, but I think that after careful study, no one would conclude that there is any type of blighted area that is in such disrepair that it needs government help to attract investors...

 I’m running for city of Hollywood Commissioner. I also have 2 opponents running for the same office, 1 candidate who is basically a ghost, and the incumbent, who has been in office for 6 years now. 

The incumbent’s whole platform is based on me - which is kind of flattering, actually. He says I have no political experience and actions speak louder than words. I’m not going to touch the actions part because if you look around our city and read the paper, his actions are not something to be proud of. However, as to the question of experience:

It’s all well and good to have political experience with the city, but that isn't the point of the district commissioner positions.

The point is to represent your district - your neighborhood - your city, as a real person who has our best interests in mind, who can help guide city choices for the better of our district, other districts, and our city as a whole. 

And it's all well and good to be there for the people of the neighborhood, answering calls and pointing people to the right departments. But that isn't ALL it's about. 

Of course you can call me if I'm elected. Heck, you can call me even if I'm NOT elected. But I want to give back to my city, my neighborhood, and my community by doing more than organizing a picnic or giving someone advice on how to fix a plumbing or permitting issue. 

I want to make sure that our police pension fund is not in the negative. I want to make sure our first responders feel valued and well compensated so that they want to stay in Hollywood for the long haul. I want to make sure we don't do any more asinine deals that leave the city on the hook for MILLIONS of dollars if the lesee defaults on the "grant" payments. I want to make sure contracts for development maximize opportunities so our streets aren't dug up multiple times instead of just once or twice. I want to help with the city budget to see if we can add lighting to dark streets as theft deterrents, instead of spending $6 million on a bike path. And I want to make sure that projects are being bid on - not just granted to a specific company. Bidding is how we get better priced deals on jobs, which helps leave room in the budget for other projects. 

I want to work with my fellow commissioners in the other districts to help our beautiful city stay as welcoming and charming as Hollywood is known to be.

I want a lot of things, things my opponent in this election either hasn't helped with or has done the opposite, and hasn't spoken about to you, the residents of district 5.

Your voices count, your needs matter. You, the people of district 5, the residents of Hollywood - home owners and tenants alike. 

I have nothing but respect for my opponent as a person. I've not had much interaction with him, but most neighbors say he's a nice guy. 

But now is the time to put aside personal friendships, to realize that a nice person isn't the only thing that counts for this position. What matters is what the candidates are prepared to work toward for the better of our home town. 

I urge you to make your voices count in November. And if you want to get to know me, I’ll be in the neighborhood, but I encourage you to reach out to me. We can meet and discuss whatever is on your mind.

Eco-friendly Storm Drains

We need to find new solutions to address the issues in our city and our planet. Solutions that will be sustainable for the future and not just the present. 

My neighborhood for instance lacks storm drains and the city 

Did you know for a fraction of the cost of a complex drainage system that dumps the water into our ocean, we can put retention ponds and filtration system that return storm water back to the aquifer. 

And all with it being placed underneath a playground, a home, etc. You can build right on top of the designs. 

You have to love new technologies.

Creating Greenspace

The city of Hollywood needs to get more green friendly investors involved in building up our city. 

Why invest in sustainable cities?

More than two-thirds of total investment in infrastructure in the next 15 years will be made in cities. It's no wonder, as people are flocking to cities around the world. By 2050, around 66% of the global population likely will live in urban areas. In Africa alone, there will be nearly 800 million more people living in cities than today.

To provide for all these new urban dwellers, we need more buildings, more bridges, more public transport and more energy -- and all of that requires

The ultimate experiment in sustainable urban living?

City governments often struggle to raise the funds they need for urban mobility projects such as rail or bus rapid transit. There is a significant gap between the supply and demand for urban infrastructure -- some estimates suggest it is upward of $1 trillion per year to 2030.

Despite the challenges, the economic and environmental arguments for increasing investments in cities are clear. Investing in more compact, connected, efficient cities with modern public transport systems can spur economic growth while also having positive effects for the well-being of residents and for the climate.

Investing in sustainable infrastructure-

Research from the New Climate Economy has found that investing in sustainable urban infrastructure such as public transport, building efficiency and waste management could generate energy savings with a current value of $16.6 trillion by 2050. Meanwhile, sustainable cities have cleaner air, less traffic congestion and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Devising ways to scale financing for urban infrastructure, and to shift capital flows to make sure new projects are sustainable, is the next great challenge facing cities. To meet it, cities must have the authority and resources they need to make bold investments. Mayors and local policymakers are eager to take on the challenge, but they must have the authority and resources to do so.

The first step is to improve cities' access to private finance by improving their creditworthiness. Right now, only 4% of the 500 largest cities in developing countries are considered creditworthy, hampering their ability to raise capital.

Turning to the private sector for investment-

Estimates suggest that with the right policies, private sector investment could fill up to half of the infrastructure-financing gap.

For example, Kampala, Uganda, recently set out a plan to improve its governance and financial management, and has gained a reputation as an effective, reform-minded and innovative authority. This improved the city's creditworthiness to an "A" rating at the national scale for long-term debt instruments.

The improved rating almost doubled its borrowing allowance for large-scale sustainable urban infrastructure.

Municipal green bonds are another way to attract capital. The municipal green bond market is relatively small, valued at about $6 billion in 2015, but fast growing. 

Last year, in the biggest issuance yet, Seattle's Sound Transit sold nearly $1 billion of green bonds that will help fund voter-approved regional transit projects, including construction of more than 30 miles of light rail extensions.

Johannesburg recently issued a green municipal bond with a target value of $136 million. The bond was oversubscribed. Another South African city, Cape Town, is looking to use its "AAA" credit rating and pipeline of climate action projects to issue a green bond that it intends to have certified through the Climate Bonds Initiative.

These measures, coupled with increasing pressure on the market to invest in instruments that support and deliver sustainable objectives, mean that Cape Town is hopeful that this bond will attract a favorable investor response when it goes to market.

Public-private partnerships can also be an effective way for cities to improve access to private finance for urban infrastructure.

Bangkok's Skytrain and Bogota's Bus Rapid Transit were both financed in part through such partnerships.

Cities, especially in the developing world, can also tap into multilateral development banks and international climate funds.

New heart of economic development-

City-level action works best when supported by national policies that place urban infrastructure at the heart of economic development. A new global initiative -- the Coalition for Urban Transitions, with experts from more than 20 of the world's leading urban-focused institutions -- will help support national governments to develop these strategies.

But even if national action stalls, as some worry may happen after the US election, city-level action will continue to blaze forward. As part of the new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, more than 7,000 cities and urban areas have committed to developing energy and climate action plans, a good starting point for identifying city infrastructure needs.

In addition, city networks such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and United Cities and Local Governments can share best practices, spread new technologies, facilitate new forms of finance and support project preparation.

As both a co-chair and member of the Global Covenant's mayoral board, we will ensure investors see the data cities are reporting on significant actions they are taking as evidence for increasing funding.

Building the sustainable cities of the future will be challenging, and we have a long way to go to close the urban financing gap. The good news is that cities are finding innovative solutions to do it, and we are already seeing results.

My to do list

-Sunset the beach district CRA “Community Redeployment Agency” and return the funds back into the budget where it’s needed now more than ever. 

-Reduce traffic congestion and flooding with a substantial investment in infrastructure.

-No more talk of outsourcing our city employees, and bring back the city sanitation department for garbage and recycling.

-Increase traffic calming measures throughout the City. 

-Implement a new city program that adds street lighting in areas where it’s needed the most. Create a standard for lighting in our neighborhoods. 

-Beautify the Pines Boulevard dividing line with a proper noise barrier wall that softens sound and is pleasing on the eyes. No one wants to see old beaten up fences. 

-No more 50/50 program on sidewalk repair. Due to lack of proactivity from the city they need to fix all severely damaged sidewalk In the neighborhoods, and become proactive in the future before someone gets seriously injured. 

-Create a parking task force within the parking department to patrol neighborhoods after 6pm to help keep our sidewalks clear of cars, and ensure everyone is abiding by the parking laws of the city. 

-Hire more qualified code enforcement offices and give them better training on how to be more vigilant. Give them a refresher course on the city codes. 

-Hire more qualified police officers (right now we have 1 officer to every 500 Residents) We need this to change fast Before the wrong elements come in.

-Work much more closely with the Hollywood police and fire departments to ensure the safety of our community.

-Work closely with Broward School Board to insure there is at least one full time school resource officer at every school for the safety of our children.

-Fix our City’s Police-Firefighters-Employees Pension issues Before we move forward with future projects. The city is in default with paying all pensions and we need to rectify this ASAP.

-Cut the fat out of the budget. No more wasted or frivolous spending by our leaders. We can’t afford to put bike paths to nowhere. Fix what we gave. Back to the basics!

-Make sure everything the city buys or has plans to build goes through the proper bidding procedures to ensure the best pricing available. This falls into back alley deals again. 

-I want to bring back good paying local jobs to Hollywood, so we need to implement better tax incentives to draw in larger companies to our city. 

-More community involvement. No more Applications for your smartphone to make a suggestion, so let’s get back to being personable with each other. 

Working together as a community makes us a stronger community.

—Employ a department to work full-time on applying for federal and state grants and funding that will help our city and its needs.