Outgoing Broward County Mayor, Jamaican-born Dale V.C. Holness ended his one- year term yesterday with the State of the County Address that noted the County’s accomplishments in the face of COVID-19 and racial protests.
“So, what is the State of the County? I would say it is on the road to recovery. A road that will sometimes be straight forward and smooth, and at other times bumpy,” said Holness.
Holness was sworn into office once again to serve as District 9 Commissioner. He has been a County Commissioner since 2010, winning re-election in 2012, 2016 and 2020. He served as Vice Mayor in 2018 and Mayor this past year.
He noted that when he was chosen by the Commission to serve as Mayor, he planned the year ahead to be one of “Prosperity for All.” But, COVID-19 struck Broward County in March, seriously damaging the economy as businesses shutdown in the wake of the highly contagious coronavirus.
“These were unprecedented times. No government had ever told us to stay home, shut down our businesses, leave our jobs. No one had ever told us to stay away from each other” said Holness.
In May, the death of George Floyd would bring peaceful protests and some civil unrest.
“People took to the streets and made their voices heard,” said Holness. “Black lives matter.”
Holness talked about the many accomplishments in the face of unprecedented challenges. During the past year:
- Commissioners approved the formation of a Police and Criminal Justice Review Board.
- Approved $120 million to fund city planned transportation projects under the voter-approved Mobility Advancement Plan, projected to create nearly 1,500 new jobs.
- Completed the $95-million reconstruction of the North Runway at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, that brought payments to small businesses of more than $90 million in ongoing aviation contracts.
- Port Everglades received funding of $29 million from the U.S. Corps of Engineers to begin widening and deepening projects to build a new U.S. Coast Guard Station.
- Broward Commissioners also passed a $5.3 billion budget without raising the millage (property tax) rate.
“We know that 2020 will definitely go down in history, it is my hope that it will change history as we strive to build a better, fairer, more equitable future for everyone,” said Holness.
The Broward County Charter stipulates that Commissioners, elected from single-member districts, vote annually in November for the position of Mayor and Vice Mayor.