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Listening to Local Residents' Concerns for the Community

Listening to Local Residents' Concerns for the Community

Michele Lazarow's sense of civic responsibility began as a result of the inability of local government to prohibit a pet store from selling chronically ill puppies to unsuspecting consumers.

Michele Lazarow is an Activist, Leader and Organizer

Michele Lazarow is an Activist, Leader and Organizer

"Elected as your City Commissioner, I will speak my mind, fight for what is right, and stay the course until I achieve my goals."

Experienced Hallandale Beach Business Owner Will Fight For You

Experienced Hallandale Beach Business Owner Will Fight For You

After purchasing my Venetian Park home in 2001, I followed my mother’s lead and opened my business, Absolutely Fabulous, on the street formerly known as “Schmata Row.”

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Experience Counts!

As an experienced local business owner, I will help to strengthen our local economy and provide opportunities for business development and growth.

South Florida Officials seek help controlling plastic bags

TALLAHASSEE 

Plastic bags litter the Miami Beach shoreline. They get wrapped around the mangroves and clog the drainage system.

But there’s little city leaders can do because Florida law prohibits local governments from regulating or banning disposable plastic bags.

Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, is hoping to change that. He’s filed a bill that would allow coastal communities with fewer than 100,000 residents to create pilot programs addressing the issue.

The proposal won the unanimous support of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee Wednesday, thanks partly to testimony from South Florida municipal leaders.

Related

Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, has filed a bill that would allow coastal communities with fewer than 100,000 residents to create pilot programs addressing the issue. The bill faces long odds in the Legislature. | Steve Cannon Associated Press

“We need your help,” Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco told state lawmakers, pointing out that hundreds of thousands of tourists go shopping in his city.

Still, the proposal is a long shot. The powerful retail industry is against it, and its companion in the House (HB 661) has stalled.

“We talk about the environment all of the time,” Bullard said. “A majority of voters passed Amendment One to protect our natural areas and the Everglades. This bill falls in line with those goals.”

Bullard said the idea came from students at Dr. Edward L. Whigham Elementary in Cutler Bay. They asked the town council in 2009 to place restrictions on plastic bags — only to learn that the state did not allow it.

The children turned to Bullard, then a state representative.

Bullard could not pass a plastic bill proposal in the House. He tried as a member of the Florida Senate in 2013 and 2014, but was unsuccessful.

This year, Bullard limited his proposal to small municipalities on the coast. Those communities would be able to establish 30-month pilot programs to regulate or ban plastic bags.

“It allows them to figure out what is best for their communities,” he said.

On Wednesday, Hallandale Beach Commissioner Michelle Lazarow said plastic bags often get caught in her city’s waterways and sand dunes.

“They are also impacting our storm water system,” she said, noting the only remedy is “costly storm drain cleaning maintenance.”

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said two cities in her commission district were already interested in starting pilot programs: Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

“It is a sensitive environmental area and they join me in support of this first step,” she said.

Elected officials from Cape Canaveral and Fernandina Beach voiced their support, too, as did representatives from several environmental groups.

But the the Florida Retail Federation insisted the bill wasn’t practical.

“Millions of visitors come to Florida each year,” general counsel Samantha Padgett said. “They are going to purchase items and they have to have some means of carrying those items.”

Other types of bags, Padgett said, wouldn’t cut it. Reusable bags collect germs. And paper bags “can be very inconvenient for consumers on a rainy day,” she said.

An analysis of the bill noted that “a ban or restriction on the use of disposable plastic bags will result in an indeterminate negative fiscal impact on businesses, consumers, or both, depending on the costs of alternatives.”

Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner, however, said she saw it as an opportunity to “think creatively and work collaboratively” with local business owners.

“We have never been in a position where we want to take on our local businesses, restaurants and local store owners and make their lives more difficult,” she said.

Contact Kathleen McGrory at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article17888216.html#/tabPane=tabs-b0710947-1-1#storylink=cpy

Photo Gallery

Commission meeting
Bob
Four girls
michele lazarow with ava at MLK parade
photo of broward county planning council
Hepburn Center Thanksgiving
Michele Lazarow Good Government Initiative Certificate
Two Removing the Tracks
Removing the Tracks

Contact

Commissioner
Michele Lazarow

400 South Federal Highway
Hallandale Beach 33009

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

954-457-1320