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[Call to Order]

[00:00:06]

>> GOOD EVENING, EVERYBODY. I WOULD LIKE TO CALL THE CITY COMMISSION WORKSHOP TO ORDER.

PLEASE RISE FOR THE PLEDGE.

>> COMMISSIONER WALKER. >> HERE. >> COMMISSIONER KAGAN.

>> HERE. >> MICE MAJOR MAYERSOHN. >> HERE.

[Item 4]

>> WE HAVE AUTISM FRIENDLY CITY. >> GOOD EVENING. WITH ME THIS EVENING IS CAROL VANERY, THE DIRECTOR OF THE CARD PROGRAM. THEY'RE THE PEOPLE WHO ADMINISTER THE AUTISM FRIENDLY PROGRAM. THE AUTISM FRIENDLY PROGRAM IS FAIRLY NEW. IT REALLY JUST KICKED OFF IN 2019.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY TWO IN BROWARD COUNTY THAT HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED AUTISM FRIENDLY.

ONE BEING THE ART MUSEUM AND THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. SO THIS WOULD BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO STEP INTO SOMETHING NEW. THE PROGRAM ITSELF IS FREE.

THEY WOULD WORK WITH US TO STRUCTURE A PROGRAM TO MEET OUR NEEDS.

THEY LOOK AT ESSENTIALLY THREE LEVELS. THE FIRST LEVEL BEING TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES. SO FIRST THING THAT THEY WOULD DO, STAFF WOULD COME IN, TRAIN OUR EMPLOYEES ON TECHNIQUES TO USE IN DEALING WITH RESIDENTS WHO MIGHT BE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM, PARTICIPANTS IN OUR SPORTS PROGRAMS OR WHATEVER ROLE THEY MIGHT BE PLAYING.

THE SECOND LEVEL, THEY WOULD START TO LOOK AT OUR FACILITIES AND MAKE SOME RECOMMENDATIONS TO HOW WE MIGHT BE MORE AUTISM FRIENDLY. AND THIRD LEVEL WOULD ACTUALLY START TO ADDRESS EMPLOYMENT, PERSONS WHO ARE ON THE SPECTRUM. THE FEELING, THE SENTIMENT BEHIND IT IS THAT AS YOU LEARN TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM, THE TECHNIQUES THAT YOU WOULD LEARN ARE THOSE THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO YOU IN DEALING WITH OTHER RESIDENTS WHO MIGHT BE DEALING WITH IT. DID I LEAVE ANYTHING OUT?

>> CAROL IS OBVIOUSLY THE EXPERT SO IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, I WILL YIELD TO HER.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WELL, LIKE I SAID, THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT I HEARD ABOUT WHAT WAS DONE UP IN PALM BEACH COUNTY. GIVEN THE WHOLE HISTORY AND THE THINGS WE ALREADY HAVE GOING ON IN OUR CITY, WHETHER IT BE PARKLAND BUDDY SPORTS, WHETHER IT BE THE RISING TIDE CAR WASH. NOW WE HAVE CHALLENGER BASEBALL COMING ON.

THIS SEEMED -- WE ALSO HAVE WHERE YOU CAN REGISTER SOMEONE WITH THE POLICE PROGRAM.

AND THEN WE ADDED LAST YEAR THE VALUES OF COMPASSION AND INCLUSION TO OUR -- SO THIS JUST SEEMED TO ME LIKE THIS IS SOMETHING WE ARE ALREADY DOING. THIS IS A PATH WE'VE ALREADY NATURALLY BEEN ON AS A CITY. TO HAVE THE DESIGNATION ESPECIALLY IF WE COULD BE THE FIRST CITY IN BROWARD COUNTY TO HAVE THAT DESIGNATION, IT REALLY IS JUST ONE THING THAT JUST UNDERSCORES WHAT THE CITY'S ALREADY BEEN DOING, BUT IT ALSO SHOWS A DIFFERENT SIDE OF OUR CITY THAT NOT EVERYBODY MIGHT BE AWARE OF. IT MAKES OUR CITY FAMILY FRIENDLY TO ALL PEOPLE. SO I THINK WE SHOULD -- PERSONALLY, WE SHOULD START OFF WITH LEVEL ONE AND WORK ON, I DON'T KNOW HOW QUICKLY THE DESIGNATION HAPPENS, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THAT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I THINK THAT'S ALSO GOING TO ENCOURAGE MAYBE OTHER PROGRAMS OUT THERE THAT WOULD LIKE TO COME INTO THE CITY.

MAYBE OTHER BUSINESSES IN THE CITY THAT WOULD LIKE TO DO SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF

WHAT RISING TIDE CAR WASH DOES. ANYWAY, THOSE ARE MY THOUGHTS. >> MICE MAYOR MAYERSOHN.

>> I'M NOT GOING TO BE THAT DETAILED. I SUPPORT THE PROGRAM.

>> COMMISSIONER WALKER? >> I CONCUR WITH VICE MAYOR MAYERSOHN.

BASICALLY, WHAT YOU SAID, MAYOR, IS 100% CORRECT. I'M ALL IN FAVOR OF MOVING TO

LEVEL ONE OR PROCEEDING FORWARD, WHATEVER THAT IS. >> COMMISSIONER CUTLER?

>> I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT ELSE WE, AS A COMMISSION, CAN DO TO HELP YOU WITH THIS PROGRAM AND TO GET THE WORD OUT AND THINGS LIKE THAT. I MEAN, I THINK IT'S FANTASTIC.

[00:05:03]

MY DAUGHTER IS INVOLVED IN THE FRIENDSHIP JOURNEY, AND SHE WAS A HEART RECIPIENT OF ONE OF THEIR AWARDS. I CAN TELL YOU THAT WHATEVER YOU GUYS NEED, I'M 100% BEHIND.

HOW ELSE CAN WE HELP YOU? LET US KNOW. I'M SURE WE'LL TRY TO MAKE THAT

HAPPEN. >> THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER CUTLER.

>> THERE ARE MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE CITY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S FRUSTRATING IS A FINITE IDEA OF WHAT IT IS TO BECOME AUTISM FRIENDLY.

WE DON'T DO IT THAT WAY BECAUSE WE DON'T SEE OUR ROLE AS DICTATING TO ANYONE TO WHAT THEY SHOULD DO TO MEET THEIR NEEDS. WHAT WE LOOK AT INITIALLY IS, IF YOU APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM, GET ACCEPTED TO THE PROGRAM, THEN WE START OFF WITH AN INITIAL MEETING WHERE WE JUST TRY TO LEARN FROM YOU. WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES? WHAT ARE YOUR SERVICES? WHERE ARE THE OPPORTUNITYS? LET'S PICK SOME LOW HANGING FRUIT.

WE PROPOSE SOME IDEAS TO YOU FOR THINGS THAT COULD BE POSSIBILITIES FOR YOUR COMMUNITY. THEN YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT WHAT FITS YOUR BUDGET SITUATION, WHAT FITS ALL THE OTHER OBLIGATIONS THAT YOU HAVE, AND WE MOVE FORWARD FROM THERE.

SO THE INITIAL ENTREE IS REALLY ABOUT A 1.5 HOUR TRAINING FOR YOUR PUBLIC FACING EMPLOYEES.

THOSE WOULD BE FOLKS LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER FAMILIES OR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM AND THEIR DAY TO DAY RESPONSIBILITIES. NOT EVERY DAY, NOT EVERY WEEK, MIGHT BE ONCE A MONTH.

BUT JUST HOW TO RESPOND AND THINGS ABOUT THEIR JOB THAT COULD MAKE IT MORE WELCOMING TO AN INDIVIDUAL WITH AUTISM. AND THEN BEYOND THAT, IT'S REALLY BASED ON WHAT YOUR PRIORITIES ARE. SO I KNOW THAT PARKLAND DOES A LT OF PROGRAMMING IN PARKS AND REC. THE AREAS WHERE YOU ARE MOST HELPFUL TO MUNICIPALITIES WOULD BE PARKS AND REC, SPECIAL EVENTS, YOUR LIBRARY PROGRAMS. PUBLIC SAFETY.

I KNOW YOU GUYS WORK WITH DSL. EVEN SO, YOU HAVE INFLUENCE ON HOW THEY DO BUSINESS.

WE CAN PROVIDE FREE TRAINING TO THEM, BUT THEY HAVE TO WANT TO DO IT.

WE DO FUND-RAISING AND WE BRING SOMEBODY IN WHO IS AN AUTISM PERSON FORMERLY LIVING HERE IN BROWARD COUNTY, ALSO A LIEUTENANT AND A TRAINER AND TRAINS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

HE DOESN'T DO AS MUCH IN BROWARD AS WE WOULD LIKE HIM TO DO, BUT THE MORE THAT CITIES LIKE YOURS WHO SAY INCLUSION IS A VALUE, SPEAK TO THOSE FOLKS AND SAY, THIS IS IMPORTANT TO US.

WE REALLY WANT THE SRO'S WHO SERVE PARKLAND SCHOOLS, WE WANT TO KNOW THAT THEY HAVE THIS TRAINING. IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST MAKE IT AVAILABLE.

WE WANT TO KNOW THAT THEY HAVE THAT TRAINING. IT CAN BE THINGS LIKE THAT.

INTERFACING WITH EDUCATION. I KNOW YOU HAVE PLANS FOR A NEW CHARTER SCHOOL.

SOMETIMES WE CAN BE HELPFUL IN THE AREA OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS.

INTERFACING WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. YOU ALREADY MENTIONED FIRMING UP TIES. ALSO IN THE AREAS OF HOUSING AND HEALTHCARE.

SO A LOT OF IT IS JUST HELPING THOSE PEOPLE THAT YOU PARTNER WITH KNOW THAT THIS IS A VALUE TO YOU, RIGHT? AND YOU WANT THEM TO BE RESPONSIVE TO IT.

WE CAN KIND OF TAKE IT FROM THERE, IN TERMS OF PROVIDING ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO THEM.

BUT FOR US TO GO TO THEM IS VERY SELF-SERVING AND IT'S RECEIVED VERY DIFFERENTLY THAN IF THEY ARE COMING TO YOU LOOKING FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE PERHAPS OR A ZONING PREFERENTIAL, I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE TERMINOLOGY IS. BUT IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING THAT THEY NEED, RIGHT? BEING ABLE TO SAY TO THEM THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S OF VALUE TO US FOR YOU TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN IN OUR COMMUNITY, WE WANT YOUR COMMITMENT TO VALUE AS WELL.

THAT CAN BE VERY HELPFUL. IN TERMS OF YOUR DIRECT SERVICES, LIKE I SAID, SPECIAL EVENTS, PARKS AND RECREATIONS TEND TO BE WHERE WE CAN PROVIDE A LOT OF VALUE.

AND SO IN THE PROGRAMS THAT WE'VE DONE AT BROWARD CENTER OF THE PERFORMING ARTS, OUR FIRST TWO THAT WE STARTED WITH IN 2019, THEY ARE ABLE TO OFFER SERVICES THAT THEY COULDN'T DO BEFORE. SO WE TRAINED CAMP STAFF SO THEY NOW -- THEY WERE ALWAYS GETTING KIDS WITH AUTISM WHETHER THEY KNEW IT OR NOT. BUT NOW THEY CAN ADVERTISE AND TAKE IN ADDITIONAL KIDS THAT HAVE THAT DIAGNOSIS. THEY CAN EXPAND THEIR OUTREACH PROGRAMS IN BROWARD COUNTY SCHOOLS. NOW JUST NOT TO TYPICALLY -- CLASSROOMS TYPICALLY EVALUATING KIDS BUT ALSO FOR SPECIAL KIDS CHILDREN.

IT'S ALLOWED THEM TO EXPAND THEIR HORIZONS IN TERMS OF OFFERINGS.

[00:10:01]

ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING THINGS FOR US IN THAT PARTNERSHIP WAS REINFORCEMENT IN OUR BELIEF THAT YOU CAN DO GOOD AND DO WELL. AND, IN FACT, SALES OF THEIR ANNUAL PASSES INCREASED CONSIDERABLY RIGHT THROUGH THIS INITIATIVE THAT WE HAD. THEY WERE INVITED TO PRESENT TO THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM. YOU COULD DO WORSE THAN THAT. WE REALLY DO BELIEVE IF WE DO THIS THOUGHTFULLY AND PARTNERSHIP THROUGH COLLABORATION WITH OUR PARTNERS, WE CAN FIND WAYS TO ELEVATE THE LEVELS OF INCLUSIVITY. THAT'S A LONG ANSWER.

>> NO, THAT WAS A GREAT ANSWER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. APPRECIATE ALL THAT YOU DO.

>> SURE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. >> IF IT'S ALL RIGHT, I WANT TO SEE WHERE THE COMMISSION IS, I THINK WE SHOULD DEFINITELY START WITH THE TRAINING PORTION, IF STAFF IS AMENABLE TO THAT. I DO LIKE THE IDEA OF REACHING OUT TO THE POLICE TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY IS ALSO TRAINED WHO'S INTERFACING WITH THE PUBLIC HERE.

THERE WAS AN INCIDENT IN MIAMI ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO WHERE SOMEBODY WHO HAD AUTISM REACTED IN A WAY THAT THE POLICE WEREN'T FAMILIAR WITH AND THEY MISINTERPRETED THE REACTION.

AND SO ANY KIND OF TRAINING THAT CAN BE DONE WITH THAT, I KNOW CAPTAIN MULL BEGAN HAS BEEN GREAT WITH THE PROGRAM ALREADY REGISTERING. SO I THINK THAT PARTNERSHIP

WOULD ALSO BE PHENOMENAL. >> AND, YOU KNOW, OUR MAIN GRANT COMES THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI. SO WE HAVE A VERY ACTIVE PRESENCE INDEED.

WE ARE ABLE TO TRAIN 90% OF THE AUTHORITIES IN DADE COUNTY. >> IF WE GET THAT TRAINING FOR OUR PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES AND GET THE TRAINING FOR THE PUBLIC FACING EMPLOYEES HERE, THAT'S ALREADY A GREAT FIRST STEP. COMMISSIONER KAGAN, YOU HAD COMMENTS?

>> YES. THANK YOU, MAYOR. I THINK THIS PROGRAM IS FANTASTIC. WHEN THE CITY MANAGER SHOWED IT TO ME, I WAS HAPPY THAT IT WAS HOPEFULLY COMING TO PARKLAND. IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT IF WE'RE ABLE FOR US TO ATTEND SOME OF THE TRAINING BECAUSE WE'RE OUT AND WE DEAL WITH THE PUBLIC ON A REGULAR BASIS.

I THINK THAT THAT WOULD ENHANCE OUR RELATIONSHIP AS WELL WITH OUR COMMUNITY.

SO I DON'T KNOW HOW EVERYBODY FEELS ABOUT THAT. I WOULD REALLY LIKE THAT.

>> MAYOR MAYERSOHN? >> WE ALSO HAVE, AND JACKIE AND SHANNON DO A GREAT JOB.

WE ALSO BRING IN THE PROGRAM THAT COMES IN ON A WEEKLY BASIS FROM DOUGLAS.

SO A LOT OF OUR EMPLOYEES HAVE TOUCHED THOSE KIDS AND HAVE WORKED WITH THEM.

AND I THINK THIS IS, OBVIOUSLY, JUST AN ADDED BONUS TO HELP THEM IDENTIFY SOME MAYBE BETTER WAYS TO ADJUST THAT. THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO START. I'M FOR THE WHOLE THING.

BUT AS WE GO IN STEPS. >> EVERYBODY GOOD? ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THAT IS IT FOR OUR WORKSHOP AGENDA.

WITH THAT, I HAVE A MOTION TO ADJOURN? >> SECOND.

>> ALL IN FAVOR SIGNIFY BY SAYING AYE. WORKSHOP ADJO

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.