The Ritter Report – September/October 2011
In this Issue
Ever wonder what a day at the office is like for me, a Broward County Commissioner? Here’s one example of something that happened recently:
On Thursday, August 18, a resident of Sunrise contacted my office about some crosswalks that were severely faded near Welleby Elementary. They were concerned, especially with school getting ready to start. My office contacted Broward County Traffic Engineering and they sent out staff to the area of Nob Hill Road and Josh Lee Boulevard. Sure enough, they noticed that the crosswalks needed repainting. That repair was made within the week, so on Monday, August 23, the first day of school, students were crossing in freshly painted crosswalks.
Like me, you may have noticed your east-west and north-south trips on County roads are a little quicker these days. I’ve noticed it on my daily trips around the County and from my home in Parkland to the downtown Governmental Center in Fort Lauderdale.
It’s all because Broward Traffic Engineering is installing equipment and working diligently to get all the traffic lights on major roads like Sample, McNab and University synchronized. It was a top priority for me back in 2008 when I was mayor and after several years of planning, purchasing new equipment and perseverance, much of the system is in place and working smoothly.
New software, paid for by the state, is beginning to get installed at many of our 4,200 intersections. It will change the signal synchronization to digital technology so it can all be monitored and controlled from a central location.
Only 23 percent of your total tax bill goes to Broward County. The rest of the money goes to other taxing districts, including Broward Schools, your local hospital district, your water management district, city services and a few others. So, for every $1 you pay, Broward County gets 23 cents.
Out of the 23 cents per dollar you pay, here is how it is used by Broward County:
· 53 percent goes to the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO)
· 2 percent goes to the Property Appraiser’s Office
· 1 percent goes to the Supervisor of Elections’ Office
· 44 percent is for County operating costs
Broward uses that operating money for parks and libraries, funding road projects and many more services. Broward County offers health services, addiction recovery, assists the elderly and veterans, has pet adoption services, monitors our sensitive environment from the ocean to the Everglades, operates the Convention & Visitors Bureau to increase tourism, administers and enforces building and zoning codes to protect the safety of the public, operates buses through BCT and much, much more.
Broward County also operates the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades, but no tax dollars fund these important operations for our economy. They are self-supporting; using the money they generate themselves for operations and to make improvements.
The next time you need to travel out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, you will find it is much easier to pay for parking. The Airport now accepts SunPass. To make sure your transponder will pay for parking, log onto your SunPass account and pre-select the SunPass Plus program. Your SunPass account will automatically be billed for your parking. It’s that easy!