Looking ahead to this week
Kathleen Cannon, president, United Way of Broward County
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about getting great deals. But the best deal is always giving back! Giving Tuesday is Nov. 27, and people across the globe will come together to support organizations that improve lives and communities yearround. Please be generous as it means the world to someone in need and to the nonprofits that help them. There are many charities and causes in South Florida that welcome your involvement. #GivingTuesday
Barbara Sharief, member, Broward County Commission
Broward residents should be aware of online scammers during the holidays. The risks of cyberattacks increase each year. Criminals use fake emails and websites to steal money and gain access to confidential information. Follow these tips to stay safe online: do not shop using public computers or unsecured public WiFi networks; create stronger passwords using a combination of eight or more characters, upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols; look for the padlock in the address bar or a URL that starts with “https”; avoid using debit cards online and pay with credit cards for greater protection. Visit https://www.dhs.gov/be-cyber-smart.
Eleanor Sobel, former member, State Senate
A new broom sweeps clean. Hallandale Beach is on a new mission to clean up its image with two new members -- Mayor Joy Adams and City Commissioner Sabrina Javellana -- the youngest commissioner in the history of Hallandale Beach. As witnessed leading her first commission meeting, Mayor Adams will lead as a no nonsense mayor and will not tolerate personal attacks, threatening to shut down her first meeting. Commissioner Javellana, who is now vicemayor at the age of 21 and a full-time student at FIU, is an independent thinker voting her conscience without siding consistently with any particular commission faction.
Tim Lonergan, president, Broward League of Cities; Oakland Park mayor
The last election cycle emphasized the need for a credible electoral process that runs on time and without errors. The process must reflect the will of the voters and provide an environment that allows citizens to participate with confidence, candidates to safely express their views and voters to be able to trust that when they cast a ballot, it will be counted. The new Broward County Supervisor of Elections, who will be elected in 2020, must provide management that is professional, impartial, transparent and effective in its preparation and administration to ensure that the integrity of the election process works. Marty Kiar, property appraiser, Broward County
Broward County 2018 property tax bills must be paid by Nov. 30 to receive the 4 percent early payment discount. On Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., residents can save time by using Broward County’s tax express payment dropoff service located at the Broward County Governmental Center Annex. In order for tax payments to be accepted,they must be: (1) current taxes (2018); (2) paid in full; (3) on a properly filled out check; and (4) accompanied by the original tax bill stub. Please remember no cash or credit cards will be accepted at this location.
Lori Berman, Florida state senator
The state legislature convened last week for organizational session to install the new Senate President and Speaker of the House and to adopt the rules of our respective bodies. In both addresses made by the incoming Speaker Jose Oliva and incoming President Bill Galvano they emphasized the need for civility and respect in our democracy. I am hopeful that the contentious nature of our national rhetoric will not be seen in your state legislature as we work together to address the needs of all Floridians. I’m looking forward to working with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues this legislative session.
John “Jack” P. Seiler, attorney, former mayor, Fort Lauderdale
Now that the federal and state elections are over, it is time that we all focus on fixing the Lake Okeechobee environmental crisis that became a political “hot potato.” Instead of blaming one elected official or another for the waves of toxic algae blooms spreading out from Lake Okeechobee to both coasts, we all need to preserve and protect our waterways and beaches, our public health, our private property, and our tourist economy. We need a detailed plan for water quality, water storage, agricultural discharge standards, and septic tank pollution restrictions. We also need substantial funds dedicated to both short term and long term solutions. Finally, we need a serious long-term commitment for moving forward from the local, state, and federal governments.
Ghenete “G” Wright Muir, attorney, LGBTQ advocate
A few weeks ago I noticed a bright green electric scooter placed oddly at the entrance of a friend’s building in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Then the next day I saw someone riding a scooter, then another person, and ta da -- scooters everywhere! Fort Lauderdale was suddenly feeling more vibrant with people outside of their cars. Turns out, the City of Fort Lauderdale agreed for hundreds of dockless scooters to be placed throughout the city. Some people are excited while others question their safety. I hope this is a new mode of transportation and not a passing fad.