Here are my personal predictions relating to the Town of Davie’s plans to dump our Police and Fire Departments in favor of hiring the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) to do the work:
Short term projected savings will be substantial. Probably in the millions of dollars.
Actual short term savings will be much smaller or non-existent.
In the long term, there will be little or no savings.
In the short term, service levels and responsiveness will be the same or slightly better.
In the long term, service levels and responsiveness will be worse. A large organization like the BSO is less responsive to citizen concerns because it is larger. Currently, individual citizens with reasonable points of view can speak to the Town’s Police Chief or someone in the Town’s Police Administration who has authority to address issues. In a much larger organization, like BSO, this is necessarily much harder to do. This comment is no reflection on our current Broward Sheriff, Al Lamberti. The residents of Broward County are fortunate to have him as our Sheriff. He is one of the best Sheriff’s that Broward County has had in recent years. I foresee Davie’s situation as being less favorable than mentioned above, when Sheriff Lamberti leaves office.
How will the Police and Fire-Rescue Unions react? Follow the money. I’m assuming the Unions will take a position. If you know and trust an individual Police Officer or Firefighter, ask them privately what they think of this money saving scheme. From a citizen’s point of view, the official union positions will tell you more about how a change to BSO would affect benefits and pay (especially for union leadership) than they will about the impact on public safety.
— Tom Truex
The following is the text of the Town of Davie’s official press release.
Davie Town Council to Discuss BSO Services
Davie, Florida, July 16, 2010: At the request of the Davie Town Council, the Broward Sheriff’s Office has made the Town of Davie a proposal to provide police and fire rescue services. The request was made by the Town Council at the October 7, 2009, Town Council meeting. The request was made in an effort to consider all practical options that could save taxpayers’ dollars while maintaining or improving services. The process to review, evaluate, and to consider the proposal will be a transparent one. To educate the community about the process and to dispel rumors, the following section lays out the steps and the process.
Now that the Town is in receipt of the proposal, the Town Council will discuss the matter at the August 4, 2010, Town Council meeting. At the meeting, Mayor Judy Paul will move to establish a community task force to evaluate the proposal, which is a working document, fluid and changeable. Once established, the task force will be charged with reviewing the proposal, and then providing a report with its recommendations to the Town Council. In addition, the Town’s Budget and Finance Advisory Committee will also review the proposal and will provide its recommendations to the Town Council. After the recommendations are reviewed and discussed by the Town Council, then the Town Council will decide whether the proposal deserves further consideration. If this is the case, the Town Council will hold two public hearings. At the public hearings, residents will be able to provide the Town Council with input relative to the proposal. Further, the Town Council will also have to vote twice, once at each public hearing, to pass an ordinance that would move the question (the proposal) to the voters. If this occurs, there will be a special election held to decide the question. Davie residents would decide via the ballot as to whether they would want the Sheriff to provide public safety services for the Town. A vote by the people is required according to the Town of Davie’s Charter and would be presented as two separate ballot questions: one for police and one for fire rescue.
For more information, contact Braulio Rosa at 954-797-1027.
Davie, FL, May 24, 2010: The Town of Davie was recognized by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry. It is the 19th year Davie has earned this national recognition.
Davie also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program in the following activity areas:
Planning and management
Tree planting and maintenance
Street tree planting
The prestigious Growth Award honors environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities. Davie also was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Urban Forester Program in Florida this past year.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.
Davie has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community. Tree City USA communities must have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
SOURCE: Town of Davie, Office of Public information
Davie, Florida, May 18, 2010: In an effort to engage our citizens and to have them participate in local government, the Town of Davie will conduct two surveys: a citizen’s survey and a business survey. The goal of the surveys is to determine the vision that residents have for Davie and to measure their desires and expectations as they relate to current and future services. The surveys will allow staff to provide the Town Council with sound scientific data that can be utilized to set policies that will govern the Town relative to its direction in services and finances.
This is the Town’s first undertaking in such an effort. The firm Kerr and Downs Research will conduct the phone surveys on behalf of the Town of Davie beginning on Saturday, May 22. Unlike many other surveys, this one will be conducted in a scientific manner to eliminate bias. This means that the data generated will be 95% accurate or better. What this means in the big picture is that Town officials will have real unbiased information on which they can rely. The sampling will be randomly selected and will take into account the entire Town and its demographics. Since the sampling is a random scientific representation of the Town, not all residents will be contacted. As mentioned earlier, the survey will be conducted via phone. Kerr and Downs, like most researchers, uses the method called random digital dialing. In this process, they acquire a randomly selected sample phone database based upon the phone numbers in Davie. Names are not used in this selection process.
“This survey is a positive step in the right direction for the Town. It will provide us with a true gauge of what our citizens expect and what their vision is of our town.”
— Town Administrator Gary Shimun.
If you receive a call from Kerr and Downs Research, Town officials respectfully request that you cooperate with them by answering the questions on the short telephone survey. This information will be of considerable assistance for the well being of all Town affairs. For more information, call 954-797-1027.
Congratulations to the following honorees in the in the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce, “INAUGURAL RECOGNITION AWARDS,” sponsored by Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc.; Trustee Sponsor: Nova Southeastern University
Recently, the Davie Town Council dedicated the open space at SW 26 Street and Flamingo Road for the purpose of preserving and protecting burrowing owls. This decision was based upon the efforts of Davie Vice Mayor Susan Starkey who worked tirelessly and passionately on behalf of our feathery friends. The park is one of the first of its kind in Florida.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission lists Florida’s burrowing owls as a species of special concern. Species of special concern are those facing a moderate risk of extinction in the future. Vice Mayor Starkey initiated the effort to protect the owls, and subsequently a passive park was designated in the area where the owls had made their homes.
The park named Owl’s Lookout is home to 11 burrowing owls. With the help of over 65 participants, including students from Indian Ridge Middle School, members of Broward County, South Florida Audubon Society, Project Perch, and town staff; Vice Mayor Starkey’s project to build three artificial burrows was completed.
“My vision of maintaining this site as open space and protecting the burrowing owls is a reality, and the Davie Town Council is proud of the efforts made to create a safe environment for the owls that will be enjoyed by our residents and their children”
– Reprinted, with permission, from the Davie Sport PAC newsletter by Michael Bartlett –
The May 11th meeting at the Old Davie School was well attended, and included Council Members Caryl Casey-Hattan, Susan Starkey, and Marlon Luis. Administrator Shimun’s opening remarks generally focused on Davie’s fiscal situation in this time of declining revenues- where the money comes from, and where it goes. After a short open forum the participants were asked to form small groups to formulate answers to three questions- what is our vision for Davie, what are our expectations, and what services should Davie provide.
The open forum, more of a “Town Hall” format, exposed the administrator to questions from the public and was the most useful to the attendees in the sense that it revealed the most about Mr. Shimun’s style, approach, background, and ability to engage with the residents. While the ‘breakout group’ approach was a great opportunity to meet some fellow residents and hash out some general ideas the ultimate value of generating these ideas will only be in the execution, not the presentation. If the meetings are for citizens to generate a mission statement for the administration that is a little bit different from the description on the Town’s web site.
Still, the opportunity to meet with residents, Council Members, and Mr. Shimun provided the opportunity for multiple conversations. The dialog at the open forum was challenging and specific, and gave residents the opportunity to directly question, praise, and criticize Mr. Shimun in a frank and open setting. There will be two more opportunities in this cycle–and one of the requests and suggestions is that residents have this opportunity on a permanent and regular basis, at least quarterly. In his opening remarks Mr. Shimun displayed a list of all the ways the Town communicates with residents, and adding regular open meetings with the Town Administrator, who after all is most responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Town, will be a huge step in the right direction for both Mr. Shimun and our fellow citizens. … Continue reading Report on Meeting with Gary Shimun (DavieSportsPAC.COM)→