Police officers and vehicles

Moving Forward

By Alex Lama, Commissioner

(Wednesday, November 2, 2022) – I would like to commend and thank the Police Department, City Manager’s Office, the city staff and my fellow commissioners on the accomplishments we have been able to achieve so far in 2022.

As public servants and city employees, our number one priority is to work for the well-being of the residents and good of the community. With this mindset, and through focus and diligent effort, we have been able to make much needed improvements on several fronts, including:

Public Safety

  • Appointed Edward Santiago as Chief of Police who has been with the city’s PD since its inception 24 years ago.
  • Hired 8 police officers and 4 dispatchers.
  • Increased traffic enforcement and beach patrol.
  • Placed school crossing guards at 174 Street & Collins and 174 Street & North Bay Road.
  • Purchased new and needed equipment for the PD, including vehicles and electronic ticketing machines.
  • Invigorated the accreditation process for our PD.
  • Began exploring and analyzing the construction of a stand-alone police station for further visibility and enhanced security of our city.

Public Involvement and Outreach

  • Established the resident-led Environment Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) and Mobility & Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee (MAPSAC).
  • Established the Residents’ Academy to teach residents about the inner workings and functions of local government and to promote civic engagement.
  • Established demographic-based groups including Teen Talk and Senior Roundtable where residents of each demographic can meet and discuss ideas on how the city can serve and improve their specific needs.
  • Launched the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Study.

Taxes and Financials

  • Lowered the city’s property taxes for residents to a millage rate of 2.0 (2.0 mils per $1,000 in the property’s assessed value). This is the lowest rate in the city’s history.
  • Our 2022-2023 budget reflects the largest reserves in the city’s history.
  • The budget also reflects a conservative and responsible 4% increase (one of the lowest increases in the city’s history) with which we were able to accommodate the hiring of new police and administrative staff and fair wages that will help us attract and retain talent.
  • I also want to thank this current Police Department, city staff and Commission for the teamwork, sharing of information, camaraderie and willingness to expedite solutions and ideas that will raise the quality of life of our residents. Let’s keep moving forward together.

Contact Commissioner Alex Lama at seat2@sibfl.net or 305.792.1752.