ANOTHER YEAR AND WE'RE STILL CLIMBING
Well....another year has come and gone. 2018 was a good year, but it's our goal to make 2019 a great year for everyone. So this year, we'll continue working hard for you no matter what obstacles present themselves, and what fate has to offer. We love our members, our community and our fans, and we vow to always do our best expressing it.
We have a few new ideas for this page and sending out information that we'll be implementing in this new year, so stay tuned.
In the mean time, The Hollywood Professional Firefighters Association would like to wish each and every one of you out there a very happy, prosperous and healthy new year. Please be courteous, safe, and take care of each other.
The city of Hollywood's slogan has always been "Diamond of the Gold Coast". But as First-Responders
and residents of Hollywood, we see first-hand the dreadful conditions of many
areas in the city; crumbling roads, poorly-lit areas, heavy traffic, rampant crime,
inadequate EMS coverage, an increasing homeless population, abandoned
properties, empty storefronts, trash, and the list goes on and on. This brings
less tourism throughout, fewer businesses, less pride in the city, and productive
residents moving away in record numbers. This, in turn, leads to a diminishing
tax revenue/base, which ultimately forces the raising of taxes for everyone
else, which then becomes a vicious death-spiral. It seems that only select
parts of this ‘diamond' are shining bright, while the rest of it continues unpolished.
Redevelopment Agencies -
known as CRAs - were implemented to improve "slum & blighted areas" by funneling tax dollars back into the area
for renewal and capital improvement projects. That means those tax dollars are
diverted from the county, city and special tax districts in order to improve
zones within the CRA. Over the years, developers have snapped up handouts from
Hollywood's CRA amounting to millions. Developers can also apply for tax
incentives and shop owners can solicit grants to help spruce up rundown
properties. The Beach CRA was established
in 1997 when "slum & blight" may
have existed, but we can all agree that those areas are no longer a part of
The CRA is now mockingly referred to as "Cash Ready & Available. It's how the developers of
Margaritaville were given a grant (not a loan) of over $20,000,000 Sun-Sentinel:
Hollywood Gave Millions to Margaritaville and why the city is currently looking
to spend $190,000 PER LIFEGUARD STAND
on the beach (there are 21 of them)! Sun-Sentinel:
Lifeguard Stands...are they worth $190,000 each?
Of course, the lobbyists for the developers say they don't want
the CRA to go away because they're looking to get millions from it in incentive
payments. And they're fighting hard to make sure the CRA doesn't go away.
Currently, the FY2018 Operating Revenues for the Beach CRA alone
is close to $58 million from various sources, including $18.9 million coming from Hollywood tax dollars. This is money that
would go to the citywide budget if the Beach CRA gets disbanded, and next year,
that amount might be more as property values continue to increase.
To add insult to injury, the Beach CRA's FY2018 Expenditures spends
a little over $16 million on ‘Operating
Expenses'. And when you consider
that the CRA is managed by a team of 31 individuals each commanding a healthy salary,
including its Executive Director Jorge Camejo earning over $144,000 per year, one
wonders if this as good for the city anymore as its original purpose intended.
how this impacts you as a Hollywood resident OUTSIDE the Beach District
Every year the City Commission projects budget shortfalls (real or
imagined), and claim that there's not enough money for improvements to other
parts of the city; they threaten tax-hikes, plan employee layoffs, promise cuts
in public services, and add to the instability of the city, it's residents, it's
employees and its economy. All this despite the explosion in beach property
values, and the related growth in tax funding going to the Beach CRA. Unfortunately,
for everyone else living in other parts of Hollywood, those tax dollars cannot
be used to improve any of our neighborhoods outside of the beach district -
which is the economic engine of the city, and who's revenue should be shared by
In Hollywood, the City Commission serves as the oversight board
for the Redevelopment Agency. Yet despite the Beach CRA being able to spend all
of that tax money on beach properties, the City Commission is powerless to reallocate
those funds outside of the Beach. And sadly, most of the Commissioners don't even want to. How can a
Commissioner not want more money to improve his/her own district??
As it stands, a few Commissioners DO see the folly of this current
setup, and insist that all current projects would still get done even if the
CRA ceased to exist.
The Beach CRA does not expire (sunset) until 2027. But we believe
the REST of Hollywood is ready for its own improvements NOW! The rest of
Hollywood needs to shine just as bright as the Beach.
HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP: Now that you know about the CRA, the Hollywood Professional Firefighters Association will be
providing "Eliminate the CRA" yard signs to anyone within the city who desires one. So if you or a family member is a
Hollywood resident and would like a sign, please send an email to Info@HPFF1375.org with your name, address and the best way for us to
contact you. We'll provide you with a Yard Sign permit to fill out, and will even deliver the sign to you.
You can also have your voice heard by writing to the City Leaders who support the CRA. Keep in mind that they'll put their own spin on why the CRA should continue. (Just don't forget the poor condition of the city, the $20,000,000+ given away to Margaritaville and $190,000 for EACH Lifeguard Tower):
Mayor Josh Levy - JLevy@holywoodfl.org
Commissioner Debra Case - DCase@hollywoodfl.org
Commissioner Richard Blattner - RBlattner@Hollywoodfl.org
Commissioner Kevin Biederman - KBiederman@Hollywoodfl.org
Commissioner Linda Sherwood - LSherwood@Hollywoodfl.org
Anthony J Vera
Join us as
we fight for what's best for ALL of Hollywood.
Our Annual Run-Number Totals through the Years
Please note the 2016 run-number does NOT take into account the increasing number of calls we ran for BSO and other municipalities as Automatic and/or Mutual Aid throughout the year, which usually adds another 1500+ to the final total. The numbers keep going up, and we continue to run with the same staffing level we had in 1988.
2017 - Total Emergency Calls Responded to: 31,902
2016 - Total Emergency Calls Responded to: 31,784
2015 - Total Emergency Calls Responded to: 30,929
2014 - Total Emergency Calls Responded to: 29,834
2013 - Total Emergency Calls responded to: 29,229
2012 - Total Emergency Calls responded to: 29,144
2011 - Total Emergency Calls responded to: 27,600
2010 - Total Emergency Calls responded to: 27,137
2009 - Total Emergency Calls responded to: 26,491
Please refer to the map below to learn more about our response areas.
Hollywood Fire Rescue Response Area on Google Maps
Have you ever wondered how big an area Hollywood Fire Rescue covers in relation to the overwhelming number of calls we run each year, and still provide the finest and fastest Fire and EMS responses around, in one of the busiest Fire Departments in the State of Florida? Ever wonder about our Class 1 Fire Department and the Stations we operate out of?
Well, click on the link and see for yourselves.
Hollywood Fire Rescue Response Area Map
We see it every day. As we drive down the road, we pass other drivers who are distracted. Their heads are deep in their phone as their vehicle moves down the road at dangerous speeds. Could you be texting and driving too?
According to Florida's Department of Transportation's website, distracted driving is a "pressing concern" for traffic safety professionals since 5,474 people were killed on U.S. roadways, and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in reported distracted driving motor vehicle crashes in 2009. In Florida, over 4,500 accidents last year were attributed to drivers being distracted by their cell phones or other electronic communication devices. Two hundred and fifty-five of those crashes were directly linked to texting, although law enforcement officials say that the actual number of crashes caused by texting is probably much higher.
As of October 1st 2013, F.S. 316.305, otherwise known as the "Florida Ban on Texting While Driving” Law; will finally take effect thereby prohibiting texting, emailing, and instant messaging via a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
Link to the New Law
We at The Hollywood Professional Firefighters Association want to help spread this message and also increase awareness of the problem by launching our own “Stop the Texts / Stop the Wrecks” campaign to educate on the dangers of texting while driving, and hopefully help save lives and avoid tragedy. That’s why we’ve created a new brochure aimed at educating our Hollywood residents, and the South Florida Community at large about the dangerous effects of distracted driving.
We’ve also acquired a vehicle involved in an accident that we will set up at any location for your school or organization to host for a time, in order to emphasize the destruction that may be caused by a crash, and to visually drive home the point. Please utilize the link below to reserve the vehicle.
The brochure is free to all who want it. In addition to being able to download it, The Hollywood Professional Firefighters Association will also provide free brochures to HOAs, schools, and community organizations upon requests. Simply use the link below to order (limit 20 per request).
DOWNLOAD THE FREE BROCHURE (Adobe Reader needed to view/print)
SCHEDULE TO HOST THE VEHICLE
REQUEST BROCHURES (Limit 20 per request please)
Welcome to the new and always improving Hollywood Professional Firefighters Association website!
If you're a visitor we invite you to look around, learn about us, and view information from our Community Safety Section (coming soon). Also, feel free to sign our Guestbook, show your support by purchasing some cool items from our store, sign up for our News Letter or even donate to our Benevolent Association.
If you're a member, active or retired, please register for an account and utilize the features designed to benefit you.
If you have any questions, suggestions, comments or find any errors, please contact us at Info@HPFF1375.org
Thanks and enjoy!
Don't forget to visit and "Like" our new FaceBook page to receive periodic, non-secure information about our events and day-to-day news! Invite your family and friends to do so as well. Help make our voice a loud one!
Hollywood Professional Firefighters FaceBook Page