Who We Are
Hollywood Council of Civic Associations (HCCA)
is an umbrella organization for civic and homeowner associations in Hollywood. HCCA was founded on the belief that our neighborhood associations can become a more effective force for neighborhood improvement when we work together toward common goals. HCCA is the successor organization to the Central Council of Civic Associations founded in the late 1960s for much the same purpose. We believe that civic and homeowner associations need a central source of dependable information and representation in order to deal with common problems. Simultaneously, HCCA provides an effective communications link between the City and the individual civic associations. Of the City's 19 civic associations, 17 are HCCA members.
Each association designates a delegate to attend HCCA meetings. In some cases, the association president is the delegate. In others, the association president appoints a delegate. In either case, the delegate brings neighborhood information to HCCA and takes information from HCCA back to his or her association.
What We Do
We strive to (1) support one another in improving the quality of life in every neighborhood; (2) protect the integrity of our residential neighborhoods against commercial and other damaging encroachment; (3) work together with our government officials to assure our communities have equal opportunity in capital improvements, traffic and safety improvements, beautification and other neighborhood projects; (4) have an influential voice in city planning, zoning, and development matters that directly affect our homes, our neighborhoods, and our taxes; (5) have an active role in creating and carrying out a comprehensive vision for Hollywood's future; and (6) bring together the common concerns of the different neighborhoods and serve as a productive link between all the associations and the City.
Regional:In addition, HCCA is a member of the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership. This broad-based partnership includes private sector partners; water resource, housing, environmental and transportation agencies and organizations; local governments; non-profits; human services funders; health care associations; community-based and civic organizations; academia and research institutions; school boards and other educational partners; and economic development organizations. Partnership members are committed to the sustainable development and redevelopment of Southeast Florida.
Specific Projects in 2010-2011
First Neighborhoods Forum
March 31, 2011
After many months of planning, HCCA and the City of Hollywood Community Development Department jointly sponsored the First Neighborhoods Forum, which brought together nearly 100 residents from all across the city.
HCCA forum planners included John Passalacqua, President Hollywood North Beach Civic Association, Frank DeRisi, Vice President Hollywood Beach Civic Association, Terry Cantrell, President of Hollywood Lakes Section Civic Association, Helen Chervin, Treasurer, and Rosemary Sabino of United Neighbors of South Hollywood Civic Association, Cliff Germano, then Vice President, now President of North Central Hollywood Civic Association, and Sara Case, HCCA President. The program focused on strengthening civic associations to better serve all Hollywood’s neighborhoods. Victoria Johnson and her staff were extremely helpful to HCCA in this endeavor, particularly Donna Biederman and Dalila Rodriguez. Post-forum debriefing involved calls to many of the participants to get their feedback. This evaluation process produced ideas and suggestions that are useful in the planning now underway for the second neighborhood forum.
Second Neighborhoods Forum
November 3, 2011
HCCA and the City's Department of Community Development hosted the Second Neighborhoods Forum. This was a kick-off event for the City's Great Neighborhoods Challenge contest, launching a new approach to stabilizing and upgrading all of Hollywood's neighborhoods. The chief HCCA planners for this event were Jean Morford, President of Lawn Acres Civic Association and, Lenora Chuchla, President of Emerald Hills Civic Association. Helen Chervin, Treasurer of United Neighbors of South Hollywood Civic Association, Chris Lundy, Vice-President of Highland Gardens Civic Association, Mel Pollak, President of Hollywood Hills Civic Association, Cliff Germano, President of North Central Hollywood Civic Association, and HCCA President Sara Case assisted in planning for this event.
Citywide Budget Meeting
July 18, 2011
HCCA hosted the first financial urgency budget meeting for residents. The presentation by City Finance Director Matt Lalla and Interim City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark drew a standing-room-only crowd that filled the large room at David Park Community Center.
Citywide Pension Referendum Meeting
August 29, 2011
HCCA members requested a citywide meeting to learn what would happen if the pension referendum passed and what would happen if it failed. The Interim City Manager made the presentation at the Lippman Center, allowing residents and union representatives to ask questions and make comments. Nearly all the 150 seats were taken, with many standing at the back of the room.
Problem Solving – Water Bills
For many months, we’ve been hearing complaints from civic associations about residents who are having water-billing problems and have been unable to receive satisfactory answers from Customer Service. As a first step, Mel Pollak, President of Hollywood Hills Civic Association and HCCA President Sara Case met with then-City Manager Cameron Benson and Finance Director Matt Lalla to find a way to resolve these problems. Mel Pollak offered to accumulate written complaints from property owners through their individual civic associations. Mel then met with City staff and eventually worked out a system with Jerry Shapiro, Utility Contract Auditor, and his assistant Nisha Hope, whereby staff would research each complaint and provide historical patterns of use, which Mel then forwarded to the affected property owners, in many cases including a refund form for their use. Most of these complaints have now been resolved but a handful is still under review. One is so complicated that it involves the underground services and water engineers. Resolving these water bill problems is a good example of how HCCA can be a key link in helping the City to provide high quality services that otherwise can fall through the cracks.
Communications with the City
A common challenge for just about every association has been timely communication with the City. HCCA arranged two meetings with the City’s Public Relations Director, Raelin Storey, who was, at the time, preparing a new communications plan for City staff. HCCA wanted to be sure that this plan included a section on the importance of improved communication between City staff and Hollywood’s civic associations. After the first of these meetings, Hollywood Beach Civic Association Vice President, Frank DeRisi, prepared for Ms. Storey, with input from other HCCA members, the following list of common occurrences that we all felt require prior notification to the affected neighborhood associations.
1. Street work, repair, beatification or construction on neighborhood streets that will temporarily interfere with the normal flow of traffic or pedestrian use of sidewalks or any event or action that will alter the way of accessing the neighborhood.
2. Planned temporary suspension of utilities or modifications to Public Works Dept. activities such as garbage pickup or recycling pick-up schedules, etc.
3. Any temporary and/ or permanent changes related to safety and security or the neighborhood such as increase or decrease of police patrols, surveillance and other actions that may impact the neighborhood.
4. Any changes, suspensions or additions in public transportation that may change the availability of such service to neighbors.
5. Any construction and/or development projects that requires city approval.
We were pleased to see that the communications plan as finally released does include some of the HCCA suggestions and we hope the section on communicating with neighborhoods will be fully implemented. New Civic Association
Special Neighborhood Assistance
Idelma Quintana, a resident near the 441 corridor, in an area not represented by any civic association, asked HCCA for help in starting a new association. She had read about the plans for 441 upgrades and wanted to be part of the action. HCCA arranged a meeting for her with Rodney Edwards, President of Playland Estates Civic Association, Mel Pollak, President of Hollywood Hills Civic Association, and the HCCA President. Little more than a year later, the new Hollywood Gardens West Civic Association had adopted bylaws and already become an effective force for the neighborhood. Hollywood Gardens West Civic Association is HCCA's newest member.
Development and Land Use
For many years, HCCA has taken an active role in trying to encourage the kinds of development that enhance residential neighborhoods. Lack of development in some areas that are peppered with run-down strip malls, drug dealers, pawnshops, and storage lockers, has a negative impact on residents. Likewise, overly upscale and overbearing high-rise development in other parts of the city threatens to destabilize existing residential neighborhoods and reduce public access to the beach.
We have consistently opposed commercial and institutional intrusion in residential neighborhoods. Through the years, HCCA has worked hard to prevent a whole range of unsuitable projects. We have had some successes preventing such development (e.g., a proposed barbershop on a residential street in Liberia and a carwash in the Lakes) but many failures. The Beachside Montessori School in Lincoln Park was one of the most disruptive neighborhood projects in recent memory, and continues to be so when special school events cause swarms of cars to fan out on narrow residential streets, overflowing the school’s parking lot onto residents’ swales and other grassy space clearly not designated for parking.
We have worked over many years with city staff to identify key problem areas in the city's code enforcement process and to push for needed reforms such as better coordination among city departments, prevention of blight, ordinance updates, and innovative ways to achieve code compliance. Neighborhood improvement through code enforcement, supportive neighborhood services, and beautification has been an ongoing challenge for all of our neighborhoods.
HCCA member associations have been greatly concerned about the high rate of home foreclosures throughout the city. We held six seminars to inform homeowners threatened with foreclosure about their rights and how best to exercise them.
Ten years ago, the City of Hollywood was required to redraw its districts to comply with new census data. Various HCCA members worked with the City’s IT staff to come up with an appropriate redistricting scheme. Ultimately, the City Commission adopted the map created by the Hollywood Lakes Section Civic Association. Terry Cantrell who was a leader in the neighborhoods’ 2000 redistricting is now HCCA’s designee to oversee any redistricting that may be required by the 2010 census.