Miramar News | April - May 2021

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April - May 2021

MIRAMAR CELEBRATES VIETNAM VETERAN’S MEMORIAL DAY Ceremony Held to Honor the Nation’s Vietnam Veterans for their Service and Sacrifice

The City of Miramar partnered with the Everglades High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) Battalion to honor Vietnam Veterans who responded to the call to duty during the Vietnam War. The Ceremony was held on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. at the Miramar Town Center Plaza located at 2300 Civic Center Drive. Tribute Banners of Vietnam, WWII and Korea Wars Veterans adorned the Miramar City Hall courtyard. The Everglades High School JROTC cadets conducted interviews with

local veterans and the excerpts from their stories are now featured on these special tribute banners. During the March 3, 2021 Commission meeting, Miramar Mayor Wayne M. Messam and Commissioner Winston F. Barnes issued a proclamation to the Everglades High School Army JROTC Battalion and Veterans and Homefront Voices Founder and CEO, Conrad Ogletree. The proclamation recognizes March 29, 2021 as a day of recognition and gratitude to all who served in uniform during the Vietnam

conflict, and all who acted as the Homefront for those in uniform. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 officially designated March 29 as the annual Vietnam War Veterans Day. Mayor Wayne Messam stated, “All veterans and their families have made sacrifices in the line of duty to their country and it was only fitting that we partner with the Everglades High School JROTC Battalion to commemorate the service and valor shown by the over 450 veterans in our City who

responded to the call to duty during the Vietnam War.” Commissioner Winston Barnes added, “Our veterans hold a very special place in our hearts and I am honored to have been a part of this special tribute to recognize all of the men and women, especially those living in Miramar, who served our country to protect our freedom.” To learn more about upcoming events in the City of Miramar, visit MiramarFl.gov.


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MESSAGE FROM THE CITY MANAGER Dear Residents: Earlier in April, our City hosted the Miramar Invitational at Ansin Sports Complex. This was a premier track and field event that brought world-class athletes from around the US and the Caribbean. Miramar is Florida’s destination for sports and we continue to attract high caliber events that have regional and national appeal. Special thanks to the sponsors who helped to make the event a great success- The Ansin Foundation, Hazen & Sawyer, UDT,

Dr. Barbara Sharief, President & CEO of South Florida Pediatric Homecare and Dr. Angelo P. Thrower’s MedSpa. I am also happy to let you know that the State has opened up a permanent COVID-19 vaccination site at Vizcaya Park. The site is open 7 days as week from 9am to 5pm and it is in an ideal location to be easily accessible to our residents out west and our residents in historic Miramar. Please get the shot and continue to stay safe. We will get through this.

The Miramar City Commission on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 appointed Yvette Colbourne to serve as Vice Mayor for the City for a one-year term. She will serve as second in command and acting Mayor, when necessary. Vice Mayor Colbourne was first elected as Miramar Commissioner in 2013 and recently won re-election to her Commission Seat 2 in March of this year. Her greatest efforts have been anchored in the quality of life for the elderly, promoting diversity and advocating for the overall well-being of the entire City, “One Miramar”. This marks her third time serving as Vice Mayor for the City. She currently represents the City of Miramar on the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization board and on the Broward League of Cities. Vice Mayor Colbourne stated, “It is truly an honor to not only be re-elected to the Miramar City Commission for a new term, but to also be recognized and appointed by my colleagues on the Miramar City Commission to serve once again as Vice Mayor of this great City. My plan is to continue to push forward innovative and beautification projects and serve the community with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for all of our residents.” Colbourne has been a public servant for most of her adult life. Prior to elected office, she served 30 years as a Miami-Dade County Administrator, Miramar News is produced by the City of Miramar’s Office of Marketing & Communications

President of her Homeowners Association, Vice Chair of the City of Miramar Economic Development Board, Member of the Civil Service Advisory Board, and Member of the Broward County Diversity Committee. Colbourne has an exceptional record of public service. She is a graduate of the “Good Government Initiative” from the University of Miami’s Leaders of Excellence Program for Elected Officials. Other recognitions, include being the recipient of the ICABA’s 2012 Award for The Most Accomplished Black Community Leaders and Entrepreneurs; the 2015 Legacy Magazine’s Award for one of the 50 Most Powerful and Influential Professionals in Business and Industry; 2018 Paul Harris Award from The Rotary Club of Miramar-Pines; the 2019 “Leaders Who Shine” Award from the Broward Democrats and the Co- Chair of the Miramar Census Complete Committee. She has a Master of Public Administration degree, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Nova Southeastern University. She is of Jamaican descent and was born in Panama. Vice Mayor Colbourne and her husband have lived in the City of Miramar for the past 26 years where they raised their 2 children. To learn more about Vice Mayor Colbourne and the Miramar City Commission, visit MiramarFl.gov.

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Greetings My Fellow Miramarians, It has been a trying year and a half but thankfully, our city is moving forward and the path is clearer. As COVID-19 vaccines become more available, I wanted to let you know what is happening in our great city that will give you guidance regarding COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. For quite some time, we’ve had testing sites at Shirley Branca Park in Historic Miramar and the CVS at Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road and that will continue. In addition, I was able to secure a permanent vaccine location at Vizcaya Park in Miramar, 14200 SW 55th Street, Miramar FL 33027. Our vaccination site provides 400 doses per day. The State-Run site gives the community access to the Pfizer-BioNTech vac-

cines for both the first and second doses. Named the Miramar Health Equity Site, it is open 7 day per week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a first come, first served basis. No appointment needed. Please remember to bring proof of Florida residency such as a Florida Driver’s license. If you need additional information, please visit www.MiramarFL.gov/Vaccine. We at the City are always trying to do our best on behalf of our wonderful residents and will continue to do so. Our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our residents. I also wanted to let you know about some things we’ve been doing out of the Mayor’s office. Health & Fitness has always been a passion of mine personally and when I was elected Commissioner and subsequently Mayor of Miramar, I brought that effort to the residents as well. We began with the Annual 3k Run/WalkHealth & Fitness Fair and three years ago, increased that to a 5K RunHealth & Fitness Fair. We were able

Mayor Messam and participants in the Mayor's 5K Walk/Run on April 3rd.

to have our event this year, on a smaller, but none-the-less, wonderfully successful scale. To help our residents release and heal, for about a month now, we’ve been offering Free Yoga on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. at City Hall Plaza, by the Botanical Garden. This has become so popular, we’ve decided to extend the sessions another 10 weeks and will possibly be adding a weeknight offering of Free Yoga as well. Sponsored by my office and led by Yogi Rocki Roland, the sessions are for enthusiasts of all levels. Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for years or newly interested, I invite you to join us. You won’t regret it. My office continues to sponsor free Wi-Fi for families with school children who cannot afford to do so at this time. The program will continue for an additional six months, if you are a family in need, please contact your school administration and they will advise you. Please note, your school must be a Title 1 School in Miramar. Lastly, Commissioner Winston F.

Barnes and I co-hosted Vietnam Veterans Day on March 29th, in partnership with the Jr. ROTC at Everglades High School. These phenomenal Veterans have not always been received as they should have been and Commissioner Barnes and I joined together to recognize our Vets and extended our thanks for all they’ve done on behalf of our country. Yours in Service Wayne M. Messam


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Thank you Miramar! Thank-you to the Miramar Voters for re-electing me to my third term as your City Commissioner. I am humbled by the confidence that Miramar residents have placed in me and my ability to advocate on their behalf. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the wonderful City of Miramar, the City of Beauty and Progress. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Miramar set a new record for Voter Participation and Voter turn-out. Thank you, Miramar! Thank you to my friends, my family, and my campaign team for working so hard for my re-election, and to my amazing campaign team who dedicated their time to support my campaign, working tirelessly despite the COVID 19 pandemic. The voters overwhelmingly showed support, for the good work that this Commission is doing and the vision we have, for the future of Miramar. By working together as one body, my colleagues and I have many accomplishments. I am proud to serve with and I am proud to share the commission dais, with each of my colleagues. Together we have shown leadership and courage throughout this deadly Covid-19 pandemic. Programs such as delivering hot meals to our seniors and food distribution to our families are so very important. I am proud that no city employees were laid off or furloughed, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of our small businesses would not have survived, without the grant dollars that we provided. No longer is Historic (East) Miramar being neglected. Under this Commission, it is being revitalized. Just look at the B&M Shopping Plaza and the beautification wall around Sherman Circle! Working together, we are addressing the traffic congestion in west Miramar. The Pembroke Road extension, to US27- no longer is it just talk, it is now a project funded for design and a promise being kept. I look forward to accomplishing

much more over the next four years. Our seniors and our children are still the most vulnerable in our community and they will remain my top priority. I look forward to the adoption of a Citywide Pandemic Recovery Plan. And I encourage our residents to get vaccinated. Together we will get through this pandemic. To combat gentrification and homelessness, I am supporting an affordable homeownership program for first-time home buyers. Since we are the City of beauty and progress, let’s showcase to the world that Black Lives Matter in the ____________ Continued on next page

Opening of vaccine site at Vizcaya Park

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Swearing-in Ceremony at Miramar Amphitheater

City of Miramar. We stand united with our Asian brothers and sisters and we want everyone to be on notice: Hate crimes against Asian people, will never be tolerated in the City of Miramar.

Together we must continue to celebrate One Miramar. One Miramar, is a multicultural city, with people of all cultures, living, working, and socializing together as one community.

Vice Mayor at the Grand Opening of the Public Safety Complex in Historic Miramar

Miramar Invitational at Ansin Sports Complex

Vice Mayor at WAVS with Pat Montague

Tour of the East Water Treatment Plant

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MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER WINSTON BARNES The just ended month has been one of the most eventful four week time period I have spent during my eighteen years as a commissioner in the fair City of Miramar. It included my sixth election victory by a very decent margin considering I was challenged by four contenders. Way and above that experience however, was my interaction with Miramarian veterans who served their country in the wars of yesteryear. Most inspiring among them is one gentleman, now in his early 90s who served in three separate wars! It was also of much significance that one of the veterans was born in Trinidad and Tobago and another in Colombia. Sharp reminders of the multi-ethnic, multi cultural composition of the city of Miramar. As a Commissioner who has championed what I do as public service and not politics, the sharing with an appreciation of these women and men has served as a reminder of one of my life guides ‘if you are not helping someone you are not really living.’ So it is with much gratitude and thanksgiving that I salute every single veteran living within the confines of the city of Miramar, thanking them for their service to country. And too, hoping that the service I seek to render to our residents as a Commissioner, will be but a fraction as worthwhile and honorable. Commissioner Winston F. Barnes

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MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER MAXWELL B. CHAMBERS Dear Miramar Residents, Six years ago, we started this journey together. At the time, I didn’t think about the distance I would inevitably have to travel nor the destination. For me, it was always about the people that would accompany me on the journey. My passion for public service was the driving factor that propelled me to stay the course and with courage, commitment, and consistency, we have grown stronger together. I would like to thank YOU, the RESIDENTS of Miramar, for giving me the privilege to serve you for another four years as your elected official. I am truly humbled, honored and filled with gratitude for the confidence you have placed in me. 2020 brought us a global pandemic, civil unrest and the demand for equality, justice, and inclusion could be felt nationwide. No matter where in Miramar we reside, the effect is felt all over. Our economy has taken a hit, our businesses are suffering, we are faced with loss of jobs and possessions, sickness, and death. COVID-19 has left its mark with no regards to race, age, or gender. As I worked with you through many adverse situations caused by the pandemic, I found it brought us closer together and we became more connected. It called for me to leave my office and engage even more with the community. Through it all, the Spirit of Miramar shone through, and we stuck together. I saw people of remarkable resiliency and determination, and my hope for the future was renewed. I learnt to listen to you a little better and was moved to do all I could. Making sure that you had adequate nourishment was a top priority of mine, and so the food distribution sites and home deliveries were born. I knew Covid-19 testing was instru-

mental if we were ever to get through this virus and so I brought the pain-free saliva testing site to Miramar. In addition, it was evident that the need for financial assistance for utilities and rent had risen significantly, and so I increased the funding for programs that addressed these issues. I fought the furlough of our staff because I knew I could not do my job and accomplish all I did, and all I still have to do, without each person who works for this City.

love and for believing in me. I am truly grateful for each of you. Please know, my office is always open to you. Yours Faithfully, Commissioner Maxwell B. Chambers “The People’s Commissioner” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do so….hate cannot drive out hate, only love can.” Upcoming events:

Recently the City of Miramar announced two completed projects: EAST WATER TREATMENT PLANT: The safety and quality of life of our residents are of extreme importance to me. After being first elected to office, championing the rebuilding of the East Water Treatment Plant by upgrading from a lime-softening process to a state-of-theart technology became a top priority. I am pleased to see it completed and providing Historic Miramar with the highest quality drinking water.

MIRAMAR PUBLIC SAFETY COMPLEX: The second project was the completion of the Miramar Public Safety Complex situated at 6920 SW 35th Street, Miramar, Fl 33023. With the City’s substantial growth, engaging every section of our community is important to achieve and maintain our goal of being one of the safest cities in the country, and this community-based facility in Historic Miramar was long overdue. It will provide law enforcement services to

residents while allowing them to feel much safer in their homes, schools, and businesses. In addition, the community meeting room where residents are encouraged to engage with our Community Resource Officers will serve as an effective problem-solving tool and a place where the community can meet with their police department and be heard. The facility will also provide specialty services to support the Police Department with a Crime Scene Unit and evidence processing lab. I thank you for the patience and support you have shown over the years and I encourage you to utilize this facility for meetings and events beneficial to the community. For us to move forward with the work we must do to ensure recovery from the pandemic, it is going to take all of us united as One Miramar. I am currently working on programs that will address job loss, plans that will provide assistance to small businesses, other programs that will take into consideration mental health and public health issues, traffic calming devices in the areas that need it most, and I am proud to say that I am instrumental in the ongoing project to bring potable drinking water to Country Club Ranches. Please feel free to call my office at 954-602-3154 anytime to find out more on these programs. I look forward to the reopening of the City on May 15th and pray that you will remain healthy and safe. Once again, residents of Miramar, thank you for your patience, faith, hope,

Maxwell’s Mother’s Day Special – “The Baby Motha” starring Delcita in a hilarious Caribbean stage drama. May 9th, Miramar Cultural Center, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar, Fl 33025. Showtimes are 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm Miramar Family Night – a time to spend with the entire family enjoying FREE games, food and entertainment. May 28th, Miramar Regional Park, Miramar, Fl 33027, from 6 pm to 10 pm “When a Man Loves” Book Launch by Author Pete Kennedy and entertainment provided by Agent Sasco. May 29th, Miramar Regional Park, from 4 pm to 7 pm Memorial Day Celebration, TBD Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st , please call office for more information on this event. “Who Will Be the Father of the Year?” – 10 fathers will be honored for their contributions to their families and to society. June 20th, Miramar Banquet Hall, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar, Fl 33025, from 7 pm to 11 pm. Tickets cost $70.00 per person.

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Hello, Miramar! As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, with testing and vaccination rollouts we hope to be in a much better place by the summer of 2021. We must continue to wear our masks, social distance and practice proper hygiene. In January, we had a media kick-off, to highlight six weeks of events and activities which included the celebration of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Black History Month and Reggae Month. It was a pleasure to have been joined at the kick-off by Third World’s Richard Daley and AJ Brown as well as have performances by the Steele Away band and music by WZOP radio. I launched my initiative of the Art in Public Places legislation with a partnership with our local Bravo Supermarket in Historic Miramar. The community voted for a Caribbean marketplace scene painted by Ivan Roque to be placed as a mural on the facia of the building. January 18th, we had a reduced version of our annual MLK parade which included a motorcade parade through the eastern and central portions of the City. This was watched by the usual excited neighbors who always look out in anticipation for the annual parade. February, we celebrated Black History Month and this year we were pleased to have been able attend the Miramar Cultural Center for the ‘Art on the Go’ event which promoted the “In Time of Protest” art exhibit that was featured for the entire month. At the beginning of February, my Thursday “Drop & Go” weekly food distribution initiative for those residents that are unable to attend the drive-thru sites and receive free groceries was temporarily halted. I have since been able to estab-


lish a new partnership with Farm Share, Inc. and continue to deliver boxes of much needed food. I am grateful for all those who continue to volunteer their time to ensure that the food insecurities in our local community are mitigated. On February 9th, I was also proud to join my fellow Commissioners in welcoming new police officers to the Miramar Police Department and joined their families and friends at the swearing in at the ceremony. On February 11th, I hosted a collaboration with Jamaica and the City of Miramar in a panel discussion examining the contribution and role of reggae in rebellion and the struggle for freedom and justice, with a special look at the Black Lives Matter movement. Our panel was compromised of artists and influencers from the Jamaica reggae scene such as Kabaka Pyramid as well as attorney Alexandra Audate, professor Dr. Jeffrey Swain and Florida Senator Shervin Jones. The moderator for the event was Administrative Law Judge Norman Hemming. February continued with a free family movie night for the residents of Miramar who had an opportunity get out safely and enjoy a drive-in movie called “Selma” at the Ansin Sports Complex. We closed off Black History month with the Black History meets Reggae “Icon Awards” where I presented the Icon Award to Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin, founder of VP Records and Third World Band. The Marcus Garvey Award, a first for this award, was given to attorney and activist Alexandra Audate. March saw the tragic violence meted out to our Asian-American community in Atlanta, Georgia. I stood in solidarity at a prayer vigil with our brothers and sisters, condemning hate of any kind, in any form at Ghandi Square in Davie with other elected officials. March 23rd, I joined my fellow

Commissioners to open the new Harbour Lakes playground which was greatly needed for the residents in this area. The new state of the art East Water Treatment Plant had its grand opening on March 31st which provides for improved and superior water quality than lime softening, especially when high color and dissolved organics are present in ground water. March also saw the opening of a permanent State-run walk-up vaccination site at Vizcaya Park which is opened daily from 9am – 5pm and offers the Pfizer vaccine. For the month of April, the Miramar Police Department and I once again partnered on a Gun Buyback Program, Guns for Funds, that allowed for individuals to safely dispose of their guns. Guns for Funds was 100% anonymous where individuals received up to a $100 in gift cards for each handgun surrendered and up to a $150 in gift for cards for each assault rifle or shotgun. As part of the initiative, a Community & Cops event took place in Historic Miramar’s Bravo Supermarket, which gave residents an opportunity to meet their Community Resource Officers, where they found out what resources were available to them and how they could make an impact within their community with jobs and volunteer opportunities. On April 13th, I was pleased to have been able to attend the grand opening of the historic police substation which I had proposed back in 2013. We now have equitable police presence and facilities in West Miramar, Central and East Miramar. Save the Dates: • Haitian Cultural Celebration-

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Saturday, May 22, 2021 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Caribbean-American Heritage Month Launch – Tuesday June 1, 2021 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. • Taste of the Islands-Saturday, June 26, 2021 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Miramar Virtual Career & Education Fair – Wednesday June 30, 2021 Please take care of yourselves and each other. To contact my office regarding any concerns, please free to call (954) 602-3155 or email me at apdavis@miramarfl.gov. You may subscribe to receive email updates from my office at www.miramarfl.gov/Davis or follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @4AlexandraDavis.

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MIRAMAR PD- A.C. PERRY ELEMENTARY BOOK DONATION Members of the Miramar Police Department stopped by A.C. Perry Elementary with a collection of new books for students, hoping to inspire them to continue reading. We thank the Kiwanis Club of Miramar/Pembroke Pines for their contribution in this effort.

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Events in the City

Miramar PD swearing in - 2/9/2021

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day - 3/29/2021

Photo Credit: Mark James

Miramar Officials at the Swearing in Ceremony for Commissioner Maxwell Chambers and Commissioner Yvette Colbourne - 3/22/2021

Commissioner Maxwell Chambers being sworn in for a new term by his mother. Harbour Lakes Playground Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - 3/23/2021

Commissioner Yvette Colbourne being sworn in for her new term by Broward Commissioner, Dale Holness.

Eggstravaganza at Miramar Regional Park - 4/3/2021

Members of Third World band were in town to kick off Black History Month and were honored with the Reggae Icon Award.

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Miramar Invitational at Ansin Sports Complex Photo Credit: Gregory F. Reed

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A marketplace mural at Bravo Supermarket in the historic section of Miramar is now available for viewing. The mural adorns the fascia of the building facing Miramar Parkway. Local artists in the tri-county area were invited to submit their art entries for consideration under the theme Marketplace to reflect the vibrant and diverse cultural make-up of the City. The community was invited to vote for the winner who was selected from 4 finalists. Over 600 votes were cast by residents online and in-store. Ivan Roque, a visual street artist from Miami, was selected for his intriguing submission which uses vibrant color compositions to showcase a diverse variety of food sources. Roque was recognized and presented with a check for $300 at the Miramar Commission Meeting at City Hall on February 3, 2021. The mural is the result of an Art in Public Places Ordinance put forward by Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis which advocates for adding public art city-wide. Commissioner Davis stated, “We are very grateful to have partnered with Bravo Supermarket to make this

beautiful art installation a reality in the historic Miramar neighborhood. Bravo provides a unique location to put the City’s diversity on display.” Director of Cultural Affairs at the Miramar Cultural Center, Camasha Cevieux added, “Art and culture is an important part of the quality of life that our residents have come to expect in the City of Miramar. We are excited to once again showcase the unique talent of Ivan Roque as his work truly represents the Caribbean and Hispanic cultures. His winning artwork depicts some of the very ingredients that our residents shop for at Bravo.” Ivan Roque’s work is also featured at the Miramar Cultural Center’s Botanical Garden where one of the four building’s architectural cathedral arches serve as the canvas for his piece depicting Hispanic Heritage. All the murals on display pay tribute to the array of cultures that have shaped the city's arts and culture landscape. To learn more about the City’s Art in Public Places and to learn more about activities celebrating Black History Month, visit MiramarFL.gov/artinpublicplaces.

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MIRAMAR POLICE & COMMISSIONER ALEXANDRA P. DAVIS PARTNER TO GET GUNS OFF THE STREET 154 guns collected The Miramar Police Department and Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis will hold the third Gun Buyback Program, Guns for Funds, this Saturday April 24 from 10am-2pm at St. Stephen Protomartyr Catholic Church | 2000 South State Road 7, Miramar, FL 33023 Guns for Funds is 100% anonymous and allows for individuals to safely dispose of their guns. Individuals can receive up to a $100 gift card for each handgun surrendered and up to a $150 gift card for each assault rifle or shotgun turned in. All guns brought to the event must be unloaded and placed in the trunk of a vehicle. There is no limit to the number of guns dropped off and no identification is necessary. Earlier events held on April 10, 2021 resulted in a total of 90 guns being collected and on April 17, 2021, a total of 64 guns were collected. During previous events held in 2019, a total of 98 guns were turned in. Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis stated, “The Guns for Funds Program has been successful over the years and so far, we have exceeded the total amount of guns turned in at our last event in 2019. These gun buybacks held throughout the last few

weeks are so timely especially considering the mass shootings that have been on the rise in recent months. Anything we can do to remove unwanted guns, that could eventually get into the wrong hands is what we will continually strive for. I am also pleased to be partnering with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Crime Stoppers, the League of Women Voters, Community Access Center as well as Commissioner Joy B. Smith from the City of West Park.” Miramar Acting Police Chief Leonard Burgess added, “We are encouraged by the turn out so far and it is hoped that this final one in the gun buy-back series will be just as successful.” Upcoming Guns for Funds Event Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 | 10am-2pm St. Stephen Protomartyr Catholic Church | 2000 South State Road 7, Miramar, FL 33023 For more information, please call 954-602-4000 or visit www.MiramarPD.org/gunsforfunds

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Ten Steps to Financial Independence By Susan A. Gooding-Liburd, City of Miramar Chief Financial Officer April is Financial Literacy Month. This month I want to lay out a plan that could lead you to becoming financially independent if you follow the steps provided. “Financial Independence” is defined as having enough income to pay one’s living expenses for the rest of one’s life without having to be employed or dependent on others. Long-term thinking is an important component of having enough wealth to achieve financial independence. The following are my ten steps to financial independence: 1. You must want to be financial independent: Your journey to financial independence does result in you making changes in your life, but do not be afraid. The changes you make will not happen overnight; they start with tiny steps. If you are new to saving, you do not start saving half of your paycheck. You start with saving $5.00 weekly then increase it to $10.00 weekly, then when you feel comfortable, increase to $20.00, and so on. Before you know it, you will be hitting that goal of 10 to 15% of your salary. Some employers will match your contribution up to a certain amount. Let’s say your employer matches your contribution up to 5%, you can start with 1% and increase it until you are setting aside no less than what your employer is matching, then continue to set aside the amount you have establish to get you to being financially independent. Remember, we learn to crawl before we walk, and we fall many times so do not give up. Start with tiny steps before you take that bigger leap. 2. To become financially independent, you must commit to this change of lifestyle, including. • Define what financial independence means to you, as following someone else’s plan is not going to get you where you need to be. • Get that budget in place (if you do not have one), as it will paint a realistic picture of where you really are. • If you already have a budget review it and tweak it so you can and devise the right plan and do what you need to do to get you where you want to be. • Get a realistic idea of what you need to give up because you will have to give up some things to get where you want to go. • Get a realistic assessment of the obstacles that are in your path, and the challenges you will be facing when you decide to shift your mindset from dependency on others to financial independence. • Set you goals as that will help you to become financially independent. 3. Create a series of steps that will get you where you want to go: Ready, Set, Go.

Create a list of needs and wants to help you establish your financial priorities. Before you start setting goals, make sure they are SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding, timely). Also, you will need to categorize your goal as short (less than two years), mid (two to five years), and long-term (greater than five years), because your financial goals will differ in the length of time needed to achieve them. I would even recommend you include a legacy phase, which will be goals for the next three generations. These are your goals so set the appropriate time you need to achieve them. Becoming financially independent is not a single goal, but a series of sub-goals that when followed would lead you there, however, you must commit to your plan to become financially independent. Steps such as: a. Increase your income b. Control your spending habits c. Eliminate all debt (i.e. student loans, credits, car payment) d. Increase your savings e. Define your long-term financial goals f. Obtain the best life insurance for your family g. Legacy planning It is important to create such a list, with each step you must have goals that will correlate to each category. That will ensure you are moving your entire financial situation forward, rather than trying to do accomplish one category at a time. 4. Get Out and Stay Out of Debt: Review your debt situation. Get a copy of your credit reports and if there are errors on it, clean it up. Your credit reports can provide a snapshot of your overall financial situation, and it’s easy to obtain copies of your reports just visit annualcreditreport.com. Let’s be real, you can’t become financially independent when you owe money to other people. You should have a solid plan to get out of debt and to do it as soon as possible. Stop working for others instead of yourself. Have a plan to get out of debt within the next two to five years. Freedom from debt is an achievable goal for every family. The first step is to take control by taking an honest look at your current obligations. There’s no such thing as “good debt” when you’re trying to achieve financial independence. Once you get out of debt you will have so much more to invest. 5. Keep increasing your income: Make sure you are steadily increasing your earning power and maintaining your spending level to amounts below your income and you will reach all your financial goals before anticipated. You can increase your income by keeping your skills sharp, your mindset should always be in the adding

value mode, be-the-best-at position and keep yourself open for better opportunities with your employer as well as other employers. If you are self-employed, keep your business moving up to the next level. Ask your clients how you can best serve them or ask them what challenges they are facing and how can you better serve them. The better you can serve people, the more value you bring to the table and the more you increase your income. Investing in yourself is one of the best ways to ensure a great return on your investment. 6. Make a Promise To Pay Yourself First, No Matter Your Income: One of my favorite books “The Richest Man In Babylon” by George S. Clason, states to set aside one-tenth of your earnings to keep for yourself, that will start you on your road to financial independence. This way you will make sure to earn money for yourself before slaving for others. Start now, save now to start your road to financial independence. You should always be saving money no matter what’s happening. This is one of the best ways to make sure you are always progressing. Writing down your goals will help you start the process, but reviewing them weekly, having an accountable partner, and having honest conversations about where you are financially, will determine your success or failure in becoming financially free. Stay committed and leave the excuses behind as this will determine your success or failure in becoming financially independent. 7. Invest Everything Above Your Emergency Fund: You must expect the unexpected. You will need to create a safety net by having an emergency fund. If you learn to expect the unexpected, you can keep minor financial setbacks from turning into a major financial crisis. You will need to determine the amount of money you need in your emergency fund. The goal is to have three to six months of living expenses, if you are a self-employed then you will need six to twelve months. The goal is to make smart choices by planning. Once you have achieved that, start to invest. Plan to invest in equity, no matter how the market is doing, invest consistently and the best time to start is now. Don’t get me wrong, investing is risky, however, this is probably the best time to invest, since no one knows what the future holds or what the markets will do in the future. You should have a certain amount of money invested in stocks, fixed income investments, real estate, peer-to-peer lending, so you can diversify your investments across several different asset classes. 8. Secure Your Financial Future: Don’t

despair if you are behind on your retirement goals. If it is any consolation, you aren’t alone, most people are not adequately prepared for retirement, but you can change that and begin where you are now. You can catch up on your retirement contributions if you are 50 and over. Catch-up contribution provisions also exist for those who contribute to IRAs. For additional information, visit www.irs.gov/retirements-plans. Save extra in non-retirement accounts (Roth accounts). Change your retirement investment strategy and research other income sources, like starting a business or doing a side hustle that you can handle. 9. Make a Commitment: Remind yourself of your goals on a regular basis. Create a vision board if you must and keep it where you can see it every day (always keep your goals in front of you). In order to succeed, to really change your life, you must make a commitment to the process. Make a commitment on how you are going to live on less than you earn. I know it’s very easy to say, but not easy to do! The secret to keeping to your commitment is to make the plan something you can live and flexible enough to adjust to keep you on track. Remember to forgive yourself if you fall off the wagon and dust yourself off and get back on. If you don’t like where you are then make the commitment to change. Be realistic, be flexible, be forgiving and you will be successful! Set your goals, understand there will be challenges, clear your mind of any selfdoubt, clear away negativity, embrace change, stay on course, and show the world it can be done, that is how you spell SUCCESS! 10. Commit to Refocusing on Your Goal Regularly: To become financially independent, you will need to become fully committed to your plan. Make sure your goals are on track and keep yourself focused on your goal of becoming financially independent. This is incredibly important, particularly the latter. It's very easy to get sidetracked on the road to financial independence. For example, you may find yourself getting very comfortable about two thirds of the way there and start to spend more money and save less. Think of it as an affirmation in which you renew your commitment. You should do that at least annually, but you should do it as much as you need to. Becoming financially independent isn't easy. That's why you need a detailed plan, and a commitment and stick to it. Use this list as a guide and modify it to fit your own circumstances. You'll get there if you don't give up! I believe in you.

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MIRAMAR CELEBRATED WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH AND HONORED FEMALE LEADERS AT THE CITY WHO HAVE BLAZED THEIR OWN TRAIL AND MADE AN IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY The City of Miramar celebrated Women’s History Month by spotlighting female leaders who have impacted their community, shattered glass ceilings and who are considered present-day trailblazers. Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis spearheaded an effort to recognize all female leaders at the City and to spotlight one dynamic woman each week for the month of March to showcase their achievements and their dedicated service to others. To further mark the City’s commitment to the support and advancement of women, the City Commission created the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) Commission on the Status of Women Advisory Board, sponsored by Vice Mayor Yvette Colbourne. The purpose of the RBG Commission on the Status of Women is to identify and resolve economic, health and wellness, social, and all other issues concerning women's lives through education and advocacy. As part of the celebration for Women’s History Month, the Miramar Cultural Center | ArtsPark (MCC) invited Miramar High School students to submit an essay around the theme: Vice President Kamala Harris - achievement, opportunity, precedence, and purpose. Selected essays were displayed at the Miramar Cultural Center as well as on MiramarCulturalCenter.org. Select students were invited to read their essays during an during a Commission meeting.

The City also hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 entitled Finding Your Voice featuring women in leadership roles at the City as they shared their stories and insights about their journey and the challenges and barriers they had to overcome because of their gender. Assistant City Manager and City Spokesperson, Shaun Gayle stated, “As we celebrate Women's History Month, we recognize the incredible accomplishments of pioneering women right here in Miramar. These women aspire for greatness. In this month we celebrate them and recognize them for their many contributions to our community." She continued, “I am also pleased to have joined the Finding Your Voice panel

discussion where I shared my own remarkable journey with everyone.” To kick off the Women’s History Month feature, the City spotlighted Camasha Cevieux, an established City of Miramar professional who has served the City for 19 years and has been a Board Member for the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Tourist Development Council for the past 4 years. At the age of 44, she has penned a new book, The Ambitious Collective, which comes after her career in both public and private arenas. In her new book, Cevieux takes on her trials, tribulations, and triumphs; offering the reader a guide that supports Ambition and provides clear reasons to foster room for its maintenance and continuity. Cevieux, is the City’s Director of Cultural Affairs overseeing the Miramar Cultural Center and its Art in Public Places program. She has also made hometown history, having been crowned Florida’s 1st Black Junior Orange Bowl Queen which enlisted her into the Black Archives. Known as Camasha Alexander during her reign now Camasha Cevieux; she has grown up, married, given life to two girls; and now birth to the Ambitious Collective which can be found at theambitiouscollective.com. Cevieux added, “I am thrilled to be spotlighted for Women’s Month. I

have enjoyed serving the residents of Miramar. My new book venture stands as a cathartic release; noting trials and tribulations never come with a manual. I designed the Ambitious Collective to support others with a handbook that I didn’t have. It assures readers that their own Ambition is needed. The Ambitious Collective places the reader as a champion of their own life. I hope everyone will be able to benefit from the words that come directly from my experience.” Other leaders spotlighted for Women’s History Month included the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Susan Gooding-Liburd, who also serves as the Chair of the Government Finance Officers Association’s Black Caucus and was featured in the February edition of Government Finance Review. Susan also hosts a series of financial workshops to help individuals take charge of their money and build wealth. She also shares her money tips on a financial blog featured on the City’s website, www.MiramarFl.gov. Edna LaRoche, Executive Assistant to Mayor Wayne Messam was also featured. In addition to serving as the Mayor’s right hand, LaRoche is President and CEO of the Ohhlala Banana Bread Company which bakes up delicious varieties of banana breads. She turned her hobby into a business and is baking banana breads to change the world one palate at a time. Also in the spotlight was Aura Hayles-Thomas, Legislative Aide to Commissioner Alexandra P. Davis, who was named as Legacy Magazine South Florida's Top 40 under 40 in 2019. Prior to joining Commissioner Davis’s team, she generated success from Bjou Bjou, an online Afrocentric platform created to empower women artisans. This also led to the creation of SocialSoso.com, a digital media company dedicated to helping businesses build an online presence. To learn more about the City of Miramar’s female leaders who are making a difference, visit MiramarFL.gov/WomensMonth.

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MIRAMAR OFFERS TWO HOMES FOR SALE UNDER THE NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM The City of Miramar received funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). HERA included a foreclosure-related financial assistance program known as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) which was intended to address the effects of the housing foreclosure crisis. Over the years, the City acquired, rehabilitated, and sold several properties. The City used remaining NSP funds to purchase and rehabilitate two additional properties which are now available for sale to income qualified households. The sale will be done through a lottery process with down payment assistance from the City of up to $140,000. Miramar’s Community Development Director, Eric Silva stated, “Giving our residents access to affordable housing is very important to create stability for families. These homes will be available to very low-income families and are very affordable especially with financial assistance from the City. The NSP Program has greatly benefited our community and this is another great opportunity for two more families to find a place to call home.” Applicants who meet the income qualification of 50% AMI based on household size, can be entered into the lottery to purchase one of the following homes: • 9811 Heather Lane, Miramar, FL 33025- 3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms- Sale Price: $200,000 HOA: $100 per month View 360-virtual tour here: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=Wcm6Ee da4jy • 6749 Petunia Drive, Miramar, FL 33023- 4 bedrooms/2 bathrooms- Sale Price: $210,000 View 360-virtual tour here: https://my.matterport.com/models/w4QnHcdW iKK From March 29, 2021 through May 27, 2021, income qualified applicants can contact a lender to be pre-approved for a mortgage to purchase one of the two homes. Applicants may use any lender as long as the lender agrees to the NSP underwriting criteria located at www.crafla.com. A list of lenders who have worked with the program can be found on the same website. Community Redevelopment Associates of Florida staff will contact applicants to schedule an appointment to attend the open house upon receipt of the lender pre-approval letter. Preapproval letter must be received by May 27, 2021. Open House events will be held on June 2, 2021, June 5, 2021, and June 9, 2021. Applicants must have an appointment to attend an open house. Masks are required to enter the NSP Properties. On June 17, 2021 a lottery drawing to decide on

a buyer for each of the properties will take place at the Miramar Commission Chambers located at 2300 Civic Center Place, Miramar, Fl 33025 at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, please visit MiramarFL.gov/Neighborhood-StabilizationProgram-NSP or visit crafla.com/programs-by-city to learn more. Call 954-431-7866 ext. 111 for additional information.

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PERMANENT COVID-19 VACCINE SITE OPENS AT VIZCAYA PARK IN MIRAMAR Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam announced a partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) on the opening of a permanent COVID-19 vaccination site to located at Vizcaya Park in Miramar. The walk-up location gives the community access to the vaccine and both first and second dose COVID-19 vaccines being administered at the site. The state-run site, called the Miramar Health Equity Site, opened to the public on Friday, March 26, 2021 and will remain opened 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or until supplies run out. A total of 400 vaccines will be administered daily on a first come, first served basis. No appointments are necessary. In order to qualify, individuals must present proof of Florida residency like a valid Florida ID or driver’s license and must meet state guide-

lines which can be viewed at www.floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/. Individuals who have been deemed extremely vulnerable need to present the Florida Department of Health form when they arrive to the site. Mayor Wayne Messam stated, “We are excited that the State has decided to open this permanent location in the heart of Miramar. Our residents will greatly benefit from this location especially since no appointments will be required. Now vaccines will be more accessible to those who want to take their first or second dose. We are hopeful that this will eventually get us back to some sense of normalcy after a challenging pandemic year.” For updates about the vaccine distribution and the latest COVID-19 related news, please visit www.MiramarFL.gov/Vaccine.

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AMAZON ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW DELIVERY STATIONS IN SOUTH FLORIDA Amazon announces four new delivery stations in South Florida. The new delivery stations will power the last mile of Amazon’s order process and help increase efficiency of deliveries for customers in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Packages are shipped to delivery stations from neighboring Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers and loaded into vehicles for final delivery to customers. All four delivery stations will create over 400 new, full-time jobs, paying a $15 per hour starting wage and offering a variety of benefits packages from day one. Each of Amazon’s new delivery stations, including the new delivery stations in South Florida, are now designed to meet the needs of our electric delivery vehicles. Ranging from the physical layout to the electrical design, we are optimizing these spaces to offer flexibility and scale as we move closer toward putting 10,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road in 2022. Delivery stations also offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to build their own business delivering Amazon packages, as well as independent contrac-

tors the flexibility to be their own boss and create their own schedule delivering for Amazon Flex. Amazon is a great place to work with highly competitive pay, benefits from day-one, and training programs for in-demand jobs. To learn more, visit www.logistics.amazon.com and https://flex.amazon.com/. Amazon expects the new sites to open later in 2021. • DMI9 – SW 136th St. and SW 132nd Ave., Kendall, FL 33175 • DMF9 – 3750 Palm Dr., Homestead, FL 33035 • DVB6 – 3701 Flamingo Road, Miramar, FL 33027 • DFH1 – 1201 Northwest 64th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

City of Miramar Mayor Wayne M. Messam Mayor Wayne M. Messam stated: "Miramar continues to be a destination of choice for business expansion. Our city’s central location provides convenient and quick access to Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade Counties. We welcome Amazon and the jobs they will bring to our city.”

COPPER PIPE PINHOLE LEAKS SURVEY AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENTS The City of Miramar values our residents and is aware of your concerns regarding copper pipe issues. The City engaged the services of two independent firms that specialize in water treatment technology and corrosion control. The finding from each independent firm is that the City of Miramar remains compliant with the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), including the lead and copper rule (LCR), a Federal law that protects the public health by minimizing lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing water corrosivity. Please visit miramarfl.gov/copperpipepinholeleaks to read the presentations from the independent experts. The City continues to monitor our water quality to ensure continued compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Florida Department of Health, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). We care about our residents and welcome your feedback on how we can help

you through this difficult time. Please take a survey to provide your feedback: www.surveymonkey.com/r/PinHoleLeaks Survey runs through May 4, 2021.

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