BALANCE SHEET BLOG – HOLLYWOOD, FL


Neighborhood Inequities: CRA
March 6, 2006, 12:07 PM
Filed under: CRA Districts, Neighborhoods

March 6, 2006

[Editor’s Note:  The letter below calls attention to the growing inequity between conditions in Hollywood’s CRA districts and the rest of the city.  Read the letter and let us know what you think about this issue.]

Dear Balancesheet Editor:

Reading Bringing Hollywood Beach Vision Home on your website, in particular, the middle of the 2nd paragraph where it says: “Two code enforcement officers are being hired to work the CRA district exclusively who report directly to the CRA office.” — Started me thinking . . . .

I remember a letter Sara Case, president of Hollywood Council of Civic Associations (HCCA) at the time, sent to city manager C. Benson. The letter was a follow-up to a meeting HCCA held with Cameron Benson on October 20, 2003 regarding needed improvements to code enforcement.

Twelve items were addressed in the letter. One item titled “Enforcement Equality” went like this: “Code enforcement overhaul should be the same throughout the city, so we do not have a ‘Sistrunk- Las Olas’ effect. In addition, the many services the city has to offer with respect to home repair, painting, etc. should work in tandem with code enforcement so that homeowners who may not be able to afford needed repairs are promptly assisted when they receive a violation notice.”

The problem I have now is two code enforcement officers exclusively for the Beach CRA. It STINKS!  Three code officer positions [for the rest of the city] were cut when our city manager reorganized the code department. This is not fair to the other neighborhoods city-wide. It hurts my neighborhood, Highland Gardens.

HW Decker
Highland Gardens

Following up on Mr. Decker’s letter…

March 15, 2006

Thank you, HWDecker, for so passionately and clearly stating the problem we are faced with. Yes, the CRA holds funds that would normally go to the entire city.  In our particular situation, the CRA is in neighborhoods that are poised to produce some of our greatest tax revenues.  The increased taxes will be spent within the CRA boundaries only.

It is clear that central beach is in need of improvements, but it is also very obvious that there are many, many more Hollywood neighborhoods that are in desperate need of improvements as well.  Where are the funds for these improvements to come from?  I suspect that officials will tell us that once the beach and downtown areas are revitalized, the city will gain as a whole from our “new and improved” business and residential neighborhoods which will lead to an increase in tax revenues all around.  However, that is down the road a piece and, I believe, the CRA holds these monies separate for approximately another 18 years!

I encourage you and all residents of Hollywood to continue to examine and raise these important issues with our city officials and with our neighbors.  This is the best way I know of to improve our quality of life here in Hollywood, as well as, of course, by voting in local elections.

Laurie Schecter
Hollywood North Beach

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