|Posted by Anne Siren on March 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM|
By Judy Wilson
Deerfield Beach – The Deerfield Café, the new restaurant at the fishing pier, will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. City Commissioners amended the lease with Toula Amanna Tuesday allowing her the extended hours. Amanna said the annual increase in revenue could be $500,000 a year, and to the city, another $40,000 in lease payments.
“This is beneficial to all concerned,” she said.
Amanna, the owner of FlashBack diners in Hallandale and Davie, said in her 22 years in business she has had no problems with late-night customers. “It is easier to have my people there all the time,” she said rather than closing at midnight as per the lease. No beer or wine will be served after 10 p.m., she added.
Mayor Peggy Noland did not see the request as a problem. The city’s is losing a Denny’s restaurant on US 1 so the Café could fill a need for 24-hour food service, Commissioner Joe Miller calling the concept “unique.”
Only Vice Mayor Bill Ganz was reluctant to give his okay. He said it could become a policing issue by bringing people to the beach who are not usually there. He questioned having the public on the beach at 2 or 3 a.m. “You see some ‘interesting’ stuff at 4 a.m. at Denny’s,” he said holding out for a 6 a.m. to midnight schedule.
Seeing how the other commissioners felt, Ganz said although he was against it, he would give the amendment the necessary fourth vote, but only after Commissioner Miller asked for a clause in the lease allowing the commission to shut the Café down at midnight if problems arise. City Attorney Andy Maurodis said the hours can be cut back by a simple majority vote rather than the super majority required to approve the lease.
The pier restaurant is still six weeks away from opening Amanna said. Because of its large menu, changes need to be made to the kitchen. “It was built for fast food,” she said.
She is also opening a fourth eatery in Boca Raton, converting the former Bova restaurant on US 1 to a diner.
Commission bans solicitors, but will take a second look
Deerfield Beach – Commissioner Ben Preston is asking the commission “not to close the door on door-to-door solicitors.” The city Tuesday approved an ordinance prohibiting such solicitation and canvassing, but Preston said the move “will eliminate some credible organizations.”
The commissioner from District 2 admitted he was concerned because, as a boy selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door, he learned “positive values” as well as a trip to Spain. “Kids out there depend on this structure,” he said.
Vice Mayor Bill Ganz said although he too went door-to-door as a kid, “It’s a different world now. It’s an opportunity for crime. My feedback is the residents don’t want this.”
Commissioner Joe Miller who said he started his pest control business getting customers door-to-door, also thought “times have changed” and Mayor Peggy Noland alluded to children being dropped off by adults to canvass neighborhoods.
Commissioner Preston said he would agree to background checks, a registration process and city IDs for solicitors and Ganz pointed out there would be a cost to the city. Miller said the cost had to be weighed against the benefits.
The commission did approve the ordinance with the general understanding revisions will be brought forward that will allow properly accredited solicitors.
City not looking to privatize sanitation department
Deerfield Beach – Vice Mayor Bill Ganz tried to squelch rumors Tuesday that the city will privatize its sanitation services. Ganz said such rumors are “flat out lies… people with no clue are saying we will privatize our trash collection.”
Rather, he said, the city does a “phenomenal job… there is no way I would ever privatize that department.” The vice mayor went on to say proof of his statement is the new garbage trucks being purchased by the city. Mayor Peggy Noland added, “not one of us have ever talked about privatizing our solid waste department.”
The city’s garbage collection service is generally considered to be outstanding. The mayor said of the city’s departments, she never gets a complaint about sanitation.
Commissioners eschew raise
Deerfield Beach –Looks like city commissioners won’t be taking a 10 percent salary increase as provided for in legislation passed in 2004. This week, Vice Mayor Bill Ganz said considering the concessions city employees have had to make to balance the budget, he would like to suspend the raise until employees get their wage increase.
City Attorney Andy Maurodis said he will present a resolution deferring the raises at the next meeting.