District 8 Newsletter
November - December 2011
365 Days in Office...

It has been a great joy representing you on the Broward County Commission. After serving for one year, I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together. As a candidate, I vowed to speak up and speak out for all residents and constituencies in my district. As a wife, mother, nurse and your County commissioner, I kept my promise to you!

Working with my colleagues, we ensured NO reduction in transit services, NO layoffs, re-opening County libraries on Sundays, and a reduction of taxes for the majority of taxpayers. As your County commissioner, I have continued to fight for new jobs, improved services and enhanced neighborhood revitalization.

Most recently, I joined my colleagues in supporting a strong Code of Ethics policy for both the County commission and local elected officials. You voted for me because I was a strong supporter of ethics reform and transparency in government and I am proud to let you know it passed 9-0.

I enjoy hearing from you about your ideas and your suggestions to improve our community. Feel free to contact me directly at bsharief@broward.org. I look forward to continue working for you as your County Commissioner.

Barbara Sharief,
Broward County Commissioner,
District 8

Bus Shelters Coming to Pembroke Pines!
Bus shelters are under construction within the City of Pembroke Pines. The estimated completion date is December 2011. Locations include: University Drive and Florida State Hospital, University Drive and Pasadena Boulevard, University Drive and Taft Street, University Drive and Pines Boulevard, University Drive and Pembroke Road, Pines Boulevard S.W. 184 Avenue., and Pines Boulevard and Hiatus Road.
Miramar/Pembroke Pines I-95 Express Bus...
We have received numerous complaints on the passenger loads for several buses that head to downtown Miami. As you may know, this new bus service is very popular and has exceeded our expectations. I have worked very closely with our Transportation Department to address the issue of overcrowding.

I am very happy to tell you that we have state grant funding to improve the service from every 30 minutes down to every 15 minutes. New schedules have been written and the improved service started on October 15!

Six Regional Libraries are Now Open on Sundays!
Six regional libraries are now open on Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. After discontinuing Sunday service at some libraries in fall 2010 due to budget constraints, residents will now have access seven days a week to: African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and the North Regional/Broward College, South Regional/Broward College, Northwest Regional, Southwest Regional and West Regional libraries. The Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University remains open Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The new Sunday hours were made possible by adjustments in staffing and changes in other branch library hours.

 

 

Commissioner Barbara Sharief presents proclamation to the Tom Ryan, Chair of the Advisory Board for Individuals with Disabilities (ABID) and ABID Board member Robert Karran. 

Commissioner Barbara Sharief answers questions from students involved with the Urban League of Broward County.

My Personal Viewpoint: Red Light Cameras Are All
About the Dollars
Recently, a proposal to charge cities for the use of County equipment to operate red light cameras at various intersections was rejected by the same cities that had originally claimed that public safety was their primary concern, not money. I have publicly stated all along that if safety was the motive, I would support this effort, but clearly this latest action proves my theory true; it’s all about the money!

Red light cameras are bad business for Broward County and I believe that most drivers are prudent and have no intention of ever running a red light. I in no way condone those who break the law. I simply want fairness and common sense to prevail. In 2010, the Florida Legislature enacted the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act which in part authorized cities and counties to install red light cameras at intersections to stop intentional red light runners. We have seen many cities promote this program due to the huge revenue gains from red light runners. Recently, several cities have reconsidered their programs due to revenue projections coming in less than expected.

If we want increased safety and have more eyes on our streets, let’s increase law enforcement in our community. I encourage residents to survey where many of these red light cameras exist. You will find they are placed at certain “high traffic” intersections to produce more revenue adding an additional financial burden to Broward County residents. Furthermore, red light cameras increase rear end collisions by 17 percent.

Many Broward County residents are living off one income or are unemployed. Consider the minimum wage is $7.15 and someone who works 40 hours per week will earn $286 before taxes. The cost of one red light camera ticket is $158. The payment is then sent to the vendor. If the ticket is not paid in 30 days or if an appeal or challenge is not successful, the fine increases to $260 and it becomes a traffic citation. This is a regressive tax on residents and forces people who don’t understand how to defend themselves or who cannot leave work to defend themselves to pay. Why should the Broward County Commission allow a private company to use Broward County taxpayers’ equipment to issue more infractions and make it easier for the private company to put up more cameras? I will always vote no! If this private company could continue to install red light cameras and make money without the County then they would not come before the County Commission to request the use of taxpayers’ equipment. When cities were asked to finance the use of the County equipment, they pulled out of the proposed deal. It appears to me that profit and not protection was at the heart of that decision.

With the many legal challenges that exist with red light cameras, now is the time to refrain from expanding this program and slowly bring it to an end. I will continue voicing opposition to red light cameras because I know the main benefit is no longer safety, but a huge money grab on the poor, middle class, seniors and many residents who are trying to make ends meet in this tough economy.

Appointments to County Boards...
County Commissioner Sharief is proud to have appointed an experienced and diverse group of professionals to represent the interests of District 8. They include:
  • Alfredo Avello, Jr. of Southwest Ranches
  • Bacardi Jackson of Miramar
  • Brian Johnson of West Park
  • Carolyn Hardy of West Park
  • Catherine Minnis of Miramar
  • Commissioner Alexander Lewy of Hallandale Beach
  • Commissioner Alexandra Davis of Miramar
  • Commissioner Anthony Sanders of Hallandale Beach
  • Commissioner Felicia Brunson of West Park
  • Commissioner Rita Mack of West Park
  • Commissioner Wayne Messam of Miramar
  • Frederick Burton of Weston
  • George Pedlar of Miramar
  • Ghazala Salam of Weston
  • Gregory Reed of Miramar
  • Joane Whelley of Pembroke Pines
  • Joel Smith of Pembroke Pines
  • Joel Smith of Pembroke Pines
  • Jorge Ibacache of Miramar • Juana Cadi of Miramar
  • Patricia Gertenbach of Pembroke Pines
  • Robert McColgan of Hallandale Beach
  • Sam Walthour of Miramar
  • Susan Beth Winn of Southwest Ranches
  • Terrylyn Browing of Miramar
  • Tony Valentine of Pembroke Pines
  • Wilhel D. Kelly-Hoilett of Pembroke Park
  • Yvette Colbourne of Miramar
Phone: 954-357-7008 • Fax: 954-357-5704 • bsharief@broward.org
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 410, Fort Lauderdale FL 33301
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