Dania Beach is certainly one of Broward’s smallest cities, with a populace 30,000. However, the travel finances for commissioners within the county’s oldest town now eclipse those of cities like Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, where the population is approaching 200,000.

“We’re soliciting for $80,000 for a journey for a city the dimensions of Dania Beach,” Mayor Lori Lewellen said earlier than Tuesday night’s vote. “This appears egregious. It seems excessive.”

Here’s how it breaks down: Each commissioner gets $10,000 for 12 months for their tour.


And in an unprecedented circulation, commissioners additionally gave themselves every other $6,000 a year for travel as a part of their function as board contributors of the town’s Community Redevelopment Agency — a perk maximum city for the duration of Broward County doesn’t offer.

“Most other cities no longer have a separate [CRA travel] budget,” Lewellen said for Tuesday’s meeting.
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Vice Mayor Lauren Odman and Commissioners Bill Harris and Tamara James defended their choice to amp up their tour price range, saying the meetings they attend will assist them in making higher decisions as elected officials.

Said Odman: “We are so tired of defending our requests for schooling as electeds. This board desires to continue to do higher for our residents.”

Commissioner Chickie Brandimarte stated she doesn’t plan to journey as good a deal as her colleagues at the dais, but she voted for the increase.

“I don’t see why we’re arguing over a rate for persevering with schooling,” she stated. “The folks who elected us trust us to recognize what’s pleasant.”

The commissioners additionally supersized their man or woman price range. That went from $6,000 in line with the commissioner to $10,000 yearly, a sixty-seven percent boom. Taxpayers might be choosing up the $50,000 tab for that, too.

The suggestion surpassed four, with the mayor casting the lone no vote.
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Dania ranks higher than Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Hallandale Beach regarding journey and expense budgets for elected officials.

In Fort Lauderdale, each commission member receives a tour budget of $five 397 to wait for conferences and meetings. The mayor receives a yearly fee allowance of $6,000 while the commissioners get $3 six hundred.

In Hollywood, the mayor and commissioners receive $1,857 each for travel and $679 for expenses each year.

In Hallandale Beach, each fee member receives a $9,000 annual travel budget. They also get $6,000 a year each to cover expenses for local journeys within the tri-county region. Each commissioner also gets $500 to cover miscellaneous costs for the year.

Unlike Dania Beach, none of these three towns have separate CRA tour finance.

A trip to Hawaii is on the horizon for three elected officials from Dania.
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The mayor could fly to Honolulu at the end of June to wait for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’s annual assembly. Also tagging along Commissioners Harris and James.

Lewellen’s ride could be the cheapest at $three three hundred. Harris plans to spend $ three 500. James has asked for $5,000 to cover her tour costs.

“I’m going,” James stated. “Commissioner Harris is going. The mayor is going. I locate it offensive and insulting [to explain my travel requests].”