In historical terms, a legacy is something handed down from one period of time to another. Legacies are, more or less, what we remember about a person, a people, or a nation. What is done in one period of time may, in the future, be regarded as important enough to be thought of as a legacy from that era. Each year we celebrate many legacies of various people and national occurrences remembered because of the impact that was made on humankind.
February is a month that we celebrate the legacy of a people. What is called Black History Month originated in 1926, founded by Carter G Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln who were both born in that month. The son of a slave, Carter G Woodson was born in New Canton, Virginia on December 19, 1875. He began high school at the age of 20 and proceeded to study at Berea College, the University of Chicago, the Sorbonne, and Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1912. Carter G Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915 to train Black historians and to collect, preserve, and publish documents on Black life and Black people. He also founded the Journal of Negro History (1916), Associated Publishers (1922), and the Negro Bulletin (1937). Woodson spent his life working to educate people about the vast contributions made by Black men and women throughout history. Woodson died on April 3, 1950, and Black History Month is his legacy.
Today Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans bin U.S. history. Other countries around the world, including Canada, and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history. Each of us, regardless of our vocation and degree of influence that we have in our home, city, state, or nation, are called to practice what I call “charity towards our fellowman.” God tells us that when we are stirred by charity and commitment to the common good we have a greater worth than any secular or political stand. Dr. Martin Luther King was one that lived and left behind a legacy. We remember him because he lived and died standing for the common good. He was not neutral in situations of injustice. He chose the side of the oppressed. Dr. King left a legacy not only to be remembered but one to be followed.
Each year as we celebrate legacies we can leave speaking of Doing Good, or we can Do Good. I quote Dr. King when he said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Our city has a legacy in its own right. From our inception until today we have made numerous strives toward a better city each year. Listed below are just a few from the year of 2012.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF 2012
• Completed the codification of our ordinances, thus making the City’s policies available worldwide, via the Internet.
• With the continuation of dedicated services to our residents and businesses, we were successful in increasing the number of businesses in the City, thus generating 15% increase in businesses tax revenue.
• Worked with the County’s Supervisor of Elections office in administering a successful city election.
• Successfully dedicated State Road 7 (Federal Highway 441) as West Park Boulevard from County Line to Pembroke Road.
• Completed McTyre Park Master Plan. • Completed construction design plans for the bus shelters and bus benches along Pembroke Road and Hallandale Beach Boulevard. • Completed Traffic Calming studies for Areas “A” and “B.”.
• Completed Traffic Calming Phase 1 construction along Ronald Road, Sutton Road, and Harvard Road.
• Commenced Traffic Calming Study for Area “C.”.
• Completed the installation of safety surface for McTyre Parks’ playground.
• Completed construction design plans for Martin Luther King Jr. (SW 56 Avenue) Improvements.
• Completed storm water drainage system maintenance.
• Implemented the Red Light Camera Program.
• Implemented the Nuisance Abatement Program.
• Commenced The Code Enforcement Liens and Fines Amnesty Program.
• Completed the construction of the City’s Welcome Sign along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, just north of County-line Road.
• Successfully negotiated law enforcement service agreements for a reduction in expenses for the 2012-13 Fiscal Year.
• Successfully implemented all the City’s events and programs, to include:
• Mary Kendrick Thanksgiving Feed The Needy Feast
• Holiday Toy Drive
• Earth Day/Recycling Program
• Mother’s Day Breakfast
• Father’s Day Picnic
• Relay for Lif
• Bahamian Independence/Goombay Festival
• Summer Camp (Camp Bravery)
• Senior Program
• Established West Park Football & Cheerleading Program
• Established the Youth Advisory Council
• We secured approximately half a million dollars ($500,000) in grants and donations for the following projects and programs:
• Recycling Program
• Outdoor Fitness Equipment at the Park
• Security Cameras Installation at the Parks
• McTyre Park Tot Lot Safety Surface
• McTyre Park Parking Lot Drainage Improvements
• Construction of The City’s Welcome Sign along SW 56 Avenue
• Neighborhood Traffic Calming Study Area “C”
• Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (SW 56th Ave.) Improvement Construction Cost.
We have come a long way and still have a ways to go. With a successful past behind us and a committed Commission, staff, and your support we will go farther as long as we are willing to continue to pay the price. Cost and self-sacrifice do not make something hard. Nobody feels sorry for the athlete who wins an Olympic medal, even though the person paid an incredible price through grueling effort behind the scenes, denying himself or herself certain things, probably for several years, all for one hopeful brief moment of glory. There are costs and self-sacrifice to be made, but that does not mean it is hard to achieve your goal. Hard is when you compete but never win, invest but lose everything, work but receive nothing for your efforts, and show love, but receive hate in return. When we compare our costs and self-sacrifices as a city what we have already received and will receive in return, the costs and selfsacrifices are insignificant!