As of this month, we are officially entering our 14th year as a City! We are celebrating our 13th Anniversary on March 5th, and many thought we wouldn’t make it through our first year.  I would like to congratulate my colleagues on the City Commission for ensuring that we continue to prove the naysayers wrong.  It hasn’t always been easy, but we have made it work through hard work and dedicated staff.  I extend a special Thank You to our staff, some of the best staff in the County, for continuing to work to make me proud to live in and represent such a great city.

While we celebrate this accomplishment, unfortunately, it comes at a time of sorrow for our neighbors in the City of Parkland.  I would like to extend my deepest condolences to our colleagues and neighbors in Parkland and more specifically the staff, students and families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, for the horrific occurrence on February 14th

Many of you know that I have been an active member of the League of Women Voters of Broward County for many years and I applaud their efforts working with the State League to help enact stricter gun control measures across the state.  While I do not support banning all guns, as a wise man (and gun enthusiast) told me, “If you take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, only the criminals will have them”. I can appreciate what he is saying, however, I will never understand the need for military style weapons for self-defense. 

Preventing gun violence is not a Second Amendment issue, it is a public safety issue!  As a Commission, we were one of the first cities in Broward County to sign a resolution supporting the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, and I am happy to say that most other cities in Broward County have done the same, long before we lost 17 souls at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.  While there isn’t much that we as a Commission can do on a local level, due to Florida Statute 790.33, we are preempted from creating an ordinance regulating firearms and ammunition. If tried, we as Commissioners can be held personally liable with a $5,000 fine and removal from office, and the City itself could face up to $100,000 in legal damages as well for violating State law. I stand with the City of Parkland and support others in the effort to enact stricter laws to help lessen gun violence.

I am committed to continuing to work with the League of Women Voters of Broward County and their partner organizations to work towards responsible gun legislation. For more information on the Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, check out their website at www.preventgunviolenceflorida.org

I would like to hear your thoughts on this issue, and any other concerns you may have, so please email me at kjudeikis@cityofwestpark.org.   

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