You’ve got to feel for Hollywood residents, who after those in Lauderhill and Lauderdale Lakes, pay the highest tax rate of Broward County’s 31 cities. The cost hits home not only at tax time, but when they try to sell their property and see the sticker shock on buyers’ faces.

Because of generous union contracts awarded over the years, $50 million of Hollywood’s $282 million annual budget goes to pay legacy pension costs — money that could otherwise have funded a badly needed city facelift.

Instead, city commissioners are asking voters on March 12 to approve three bond referendums — $78 million for a new police headquarters; $64 million for city parks, golf courses and cultural facilities; and $23 million for neighborhood improvements, including seawalls, sound walls and signage.

We encourage taxpayers to dig deep and vote yes on all three. The city will be better for it.

That said, passing these bonds means the cost of living in Hollywood will increase again. For a home with a taxable value of $165,000, the three bonds would add $106 to the annual property tax bill. That’s not an insignificant sum in a city where half the residents are what Mayor Josh Levy calls “income constrained.”

Plus, if the city commission soon passes a $400 million bond for a needed septic-to-sewer program, water rates will also increase. And don’t forget the county sales tax just increased by a penny for transportation.

It’s clear that Hollywood has rebounded from the dark days of 2011, when it faced a $38 million budget shortfall. The last two years, its budget grew 9 percent a year, with taxable property values jumping from $13.2 billion to $16.4 billion today. (Every new billion of value adds $7.5 million to the city’s general fund.)

With the clouds having parted, the city last month eased years of strained relations with the police union by restoring the pension benefits it cut in 2011. In return, officers agreed to take lower cost-of-living increases, forego merit increases through September 2021, and contribute more toward their pensions and health insurance costs.

Now, commissioners want to address the city’s look and feel.

When these bond proposals first surfaced last year, we were skeptical. But the city has listened, made adjustments and created proposals certain to improve the city’s appearance and the residents’ quality of life.

Among other things, the plans call for:

— Building a 120,000-square-foot police headquarters — almost twice the size of the current headquarters — on the site of the driving range at Orangebrook Golf and Country Club. A 450-space parking garage also is planned.

By moving the police station off Hollywood Boulevard, the city would open a prime, two-acre site for something that would enhance the boulevard and boost the city’s tax rolls. It’s an appealing idea.

That said, the city should be embarrassed for having allowed this building to become such a rundown moldy mess. It’s one thing to argue that the police force has outgrown a building built in the 1970s, when the force was half its size. It’s another to see photos of its shocking state of disrepair. Some governments manage to keep buildings healthy for hundreds of years. This one is only 50. There’s no excuse.

— Revamping the 265-acre Orangebrook complex in a way that preserves, yet enhances, two 18-hole courses. One course would be designed to meet championship-level standards, something that would become a destination and enhance the city’s sizzle. Plans call for a new clubhouse and a hotel, though no one can yet say which brand. The complex would be wrapped by a perimeter trail for walkers, joggers and bikers.

— Updating the Hollywood Beach Golf Course designed in 1924 by Donald Ross, a revered name in golf course architecture. A new clubhouse would be built where the old one was torn down. A perimeter park with walking trails would invite non-golfers. And with fences replaced by a more natural buffer, it would enhance city life near downtown’s Young Circle.

— Adding about 14,000 feet of seawalls around North Lake and South Lake, built in two phases and only on public property. Where there is now rocky rip-rap, seawalls would be built to the county’s new 5-foot (NAVD) height requirement. For existing seawalls, that means a likely rise of about 2.5 feet. These new structures are sure to alter the view, but they are sorely needed in neighborhoods on the front lines of sea-level rise.

— Adding sounds walls to protect three communities from traffic and other noise.

— Updating old and weathered neighborhood entry signs.

— Acquiring, if a fair price can be negotiated, the former Sunset Golf Course, which would be turned into a nature preserve with walking trails. The site could help with water retention and stormwater management. And decades from now, as the sea level rises, it could become a reservoir or “aqua-park.”

— Finishing the undergrounding of power lines in North Beach — those outside the boundaries of the Community Redevelopment Area — so all power lines on the barrier island would be buried.

— Holding off on plans to ask taxpayers to fund a new city hall. “We know we have issues, but right now, it’s not a necessity,” Levy said. “The community told us, ‘You need to stay with your existing city hall.’”

That said, Levy believes City Hall Circle is an underutilized site. He thinks it would make sense to explore a private-public partnership for its redevelopment. Nothing is in the works, he says, but “if an opportunity comes up, we shouldn’t shy away.”

South Florida is no longer a cheap place to live. And some of us are really struggling.

That said, Hollywood needs sprucing up.

Given its location and natural beauty, Hollywood should be so much grander than it is.

It’s not possible to pay for big improvements on a pay-as-you-go basis, Levy argues, and you can’t reduce the tax rate until you get growth in value.

These bonds will go a long way toward helping Hollywood gussy itself up and attract the kind of growth that will make residents proud. They deserve your support.

Editorials are the opinion of the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board and written by one of its members or a designee. The Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Rosemary O’Hara, Sergio Bustos and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson.

 

Source: https://www.sun-sentinel.com

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Welcome to the Dew Sweeper, your one-stop shop to catch up on the weekend action from the golf world. From the professional tours, trending news, social media headlines and upcoming events, here’s every golf-related thing you need to know for the morning of Jan. 28.

Rose continues historic tear
Justin Rose became No. 1 for the first time in his career last season. Don’t expect the Englishman to cede the title anytime soon.

The 38-year-old turned in a three-under 69 to win the Farmers Insurance Open by two over Adam Scott.

 

It was far from a Sunday stroll on the front, with Rose stumbling to the tune of three bogeys in the first five holes, and a par on the par-5 fifth did little to alleviate concerns. However, he righted the ship with birdies on the seventh, ninth and 10th holes, subtracting any drama from Torrey Pines’ closing stretch.

“A couple things that didn’t go my way and then it starts to look and feel a bit shaky for sure,” Rose said. “But I always felt somewhat in control. I did a good job today of staying patient and never panicking. I think that was probably a bit of experience coming through that wouldn’t have been the same.”

Experience is putting it lightly. This sounds bombastic, but the numbers back it up: Rose has been downright Woods-ian since the end of 2017. Torrey Pines marked his 15th top-3 finish in the last two years, and his 13th top-10 finish in his last 17 starts. The only thing missing from his 24-month tear is a major, his 2013 triumph at Merion enduring as his lone victory on the big stage.

Of course, he’s currently the Masters favorite. You better believe Jim Nantz is practicing, “A Rose blooms at Augusta!” victory calls.

Tiger finishes with strong Sunday in first 2019 start
There was rust, which was to be expected. And his putter didn’t get the memo that hibernation was over. But Tiger Woods’ first outing of the 2019 season, while not memorable, was constructive, highlighted by a final-round 67.

“I think this whole week was good, very positive,” Woods said. “I didn’t quite start out the way I wanted to this week, wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be, but each and every day it got a little better.”

On the surface, a T-20 finish for Woods should be of little consequence. This was Torrey Pines, after all, Tiger’s de facto stomping grounds, and off that breathtaking finish to 2018, the 43-year-old’s continued comeback is past the point of moral victories.

In that same breath, save for the flat stick, his performance was impressive (10th in strokes gained/tee-to-green), especially so given he had new sticks in the bag. That he hit over 55 percent of fairways on the week, versus 30 percent in his return last year (worst in the field), underlines he’s coming out of the gates in a more formidable fashion than a season ago.

Besides, as Woods noted, the goal is to build towards a certain tournament in the spring.

“If you look at where I was Thursday and look at where I’m at now, Sunday, I got a little bit better,” Woods said. “I drove the ball better, hit my irons a litle bit cleaner. Again, I hit some good putts. Just continue with the track. I have a couple more months of prep before April [and the Masters], so things are heading in the right direction.”

Woods is off the next two weeks before his next scheduled start in the Genesis Open at Riviera.

Spieth, Reed squash beef
Fans were expecting—perhaps even hoping for—an icy exchange. At minimum, it promised to be awkward.

Instead, the tension quickly surrendered to a show of détente.

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were paired together on Saturday, the first time they’ve teed it up since the reigning Masters champ took a flamethrower to the three-time major winner in a post-Ryder Cup interview. The strained relationship, with an origin story straight out of a comic book, ostensibly gave golf something it hasn’t had in quite some time: a genuine villain, and discord between two of its stars.

While the former holds, the latter was distinguished by Spieth, who greeted his former American teammate with a hug on the first tee:

 

Frazier-Ali, this is not.

“Yeah, I laughed,” Spieth said. “I think he did, too. It was more sarcasm towards y’all (media). We’ve seen each other plenty of times at Sony and here and everything’s been the way it normally is. We knew the cameras were on and we knew people were interested in that, so I just thought it would be kind of funny.”

Added Reed: “Literally when we got off the plane (from Paris) it was old news and we all moved on from there.” Granted, that doesn’t jive with what Reed said in December—he told the New York Post that if Spieth wanted to smooth things out, “He has my number”—but hey, all for revisionist history in the name of love.

In one sense, probably for the best that this strife, real or imagined, was defused. It makes for a juicy narrative, yes, particularly in a sport that’s guilty of being overly neighborly. But a player of Spieth’s prestige doesn’t need to be riddled with such nonsense, the acidity outweighing any possible benefits to the rivalry.

And rest assured, a potential Spieth victory at Augusta National—remember, Reed would be the one awarding the green jacket—remains just as tantalizing.

 

Bryson wins for fourth time in nine starts
On Saturday, Bryson DeChambeau claimed he was “just not 100 percent with my golf game.” This after acknowledging on Friday he didn’t have the right sensations and “proprioception”—for those sans dictionary, that’s the the sense of the relative position of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement—over his shots.

That lack of symphony matter nada.

The World No. 5 cruised to his fifth victory in the last eight months—and fourth in his last nine starts—in Dubai, dropping a Sunday 64 to win the Omega Desert Classic by seven shots. A display even the Mad Scientist had to appreciate.

“Today I was happy with my game. I executed a lot of great shots,” DeChambeau said. “It’s a lot of hard work with my caddie, really grinding and trying to figure out how to take account of all the variables out there—air pressure, firmness values, mile-per-hour on the speed, putts and ball speed, spin rates. We’re trying to figure out as much as possible so I can be as successful as possible, and obviously it’s shown.”

Has it ever. This time last year DeChambeau was barely inside the top 100, his curious ways mostly ridiculed. Now he’s one of the game’s biggest names, a marquee attraction for all the right reasons.

His detractors, of which there are many, still deem his divergent methods fit for a looney bin. Or maybe they’re just blinded by the glare off DeChambeau’s ever-growing trophy case.

A costly, and dubious, rules controversy
Even by the notorious rigidity of the Rules of Golf, this is cold-blooded.

In his final round in Dubai, Haotong Li was hit with a two-shot penalty on the final hole because…his caddie was lined up behind putt. A new rule specifies that from the time a player “begins to take a stance for the stroke” until the stroke is made, a caddie “must not deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.” As Ryan Herrington notes, Li could have avoided the penalty had he backed off the stroke and retaken his stance.

However, video puts the validity of that penalty into question, as Li is barely into the stance in question:

And you thought the Saints-Rams refs were bad.

The penalty dropped Li from a T-3 to a T-12 finish, which translated to loss of $100,000 in earnings. Li did not speak to reporters afterwards. Not that he needed to; that replay idiotically speaks for itself.

 

Sourcegolfdigest.com

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Ryan Herrington

 

Branden Grace finished T-34 on Sunday at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, shooting a one-under 287 for the week at Leopard Creek Golf Club, but it was as good as a victory for the 30-year-old South African. The finish, 13 strokes back of winner David Lipsky, in the last European Tour event of 2018 will likely be enough to keep him at the No. 48 spot in the World Ranking when the year’s final list comes out in two weeks.

And with that he’ll be playing in the Masters in April.

All players in the top 50 in the year’s final ranking earn invitations to compete at Augusta National Golf Club. Grace is one of 13 golfers in the projected top 50 who hasn’t already qualified for the first major of 2019.

Here’s a look at the projected final ranking of the year:

 

And here’s a list of the others that are projected to qualify who weren’t in the field already:

 

Alex Noren
Tyrrell Hatton
Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Eddie Pepperell
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Matthew Fitzpatrick
Ian Poulter
Li Haotong
Thorbjorn Olesen
Matt Wallace
Lucas Bjerregaard
Emiliano Grillo
Branden Grace

No. 51 on the projected final ranking is Aaron Wise, who already is going to Augusta by virtue of his AT&T Byron Nelson win in May. Of those between Nos. 51 and 60, seven must now find another way to earn a spot into the Masters.

52 Ben An
53. Shugo Imahira
54. Brian Harman
56. Abraham Ancer
57. Luke List
59. Alexander Bjork
60. Daniel Berger

Between January and April, winners of any PGA Tour event awarding full FedEx Cup points will earn a spot. Also players inside the top 50 in the World Ranking a week before the Masters will be added to the field.

To those still on the outside looking in, best of luck gentlemen. You’ve got your work cut out for you.

 

Sourcewww.golfdigest.com