Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s Strategic Annexation in 2010

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea pic
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Image: lauderdalebythesea-fl.gov

Now the city manager of Dania Beach, Florida, Robert Baldwin has held this position in several Florida cities. During his tenure as city manager of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Robert Baldwin spearheaded an annexation initiative to boost revenue and lower taxes.

In 2010, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea annexed an oceanfront 1,800-resident condo complex called Sea Ranch Lakes. The annexation of the complex from unincorporated Broward County required the town to pay $112,000 to Pompano Beach in order to add the complex to the town’s sewage disposal plan. Despite a rise in sewage rates for residents, the annexation lowered taxes by expanding the town’s tax base by 58 percent, taking its total taxable value to $428 million.

Further, the initiative helped Lauderdale-By-The-Sea fund its $4.1 million budget that year, which was more than $818,000 higher than that of the previous year. Much of the extra revenue went toward fulfilling agreements with Sea Ranch Lakes, such as hiring two police officers for beach patrol, a part-time technician to repair parking meters, a part-time grant writer, and a part-time planner. However, the annexation allowed the town to increase its reserves from $300,000 to more than $1 million.

University of Florida Team Enjoys Success at MuniMod Civic Competition

University of Florida  pic
University of Florida
Image: news.ufl.edu

A municipal manager with more than 20 years of experience, Robert Baldwin serves as city manager of Dania Beach, Florida. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience to this city manager role, Robert Baldwin holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Florida (UF), which announced that a team of four UF students won second place in the MuniMod civic tech competition.

The first annual MuniMod civic tech competition brought together students from throughout Florida for a 24-hour hackathon in Orlando. Sponsored by Domi Station and the Florida League of Cities, the competition required that students devise solutions to challenges facing Florida cities.

The UF team created a mobile platform called IdenCity, which is designed to facilitate communication between city governments and citizens in an effort to foster civic engagement, which is lacking in the state of Florida. The team collaborated for months to build a prototype of IdenCity, gathering feedback from city officials and developing wireframes with an app called AppCooker.

After close deliberation, the competition’s judges awarded the $10,000 prize to the team of students from Florida State University to continue developing their idea. However, UF’s team made a strong impression on the judges, who made a last-minute decision to award the team a second-place prize of $5,000.