Op-Ed: Planners StrikeOut at the Plaza 

If Brenda Snipes can be removed from her constitutionally elected office for incompetence, then the persons responsible for planning the construction on Wilton Drive can be tarred and feathered.

Who in the room has not heard the popular Americanism, I am from the government, and I am here to help you.

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Let’s deal with reality.

Whoever or whatever orchestrated this reconstruction plan should be fired, or at least sent on an indefinite vacation. It is one thing to ask businesses to bear with you during construction to build a better tomorrow. It is quite another to strip them bare in the process so there is no tomorrow.

 First, we readily acknowledge that the remaking of the Shoppes of Wilton Manors and plaza is a good thing. However, it is an overdue undertaking off to a very bad start. Years down the road, a more pedestrian-friendly drive will enhance businesses while making life more livable for all our residents.  

We applaud the initiative. 

Now lets hope the businesses still there are alive to appreciate it when the project is completed.

Unfortunately, for everyone from the tenant businesses to the alcoholics standing on the corner asking for loose change, the reconstruction has created a financial nightmare. It is hard to have a Bloody Mary when you must get blood on your body to reach one.

The states answer to the businesses strangled with the reconstruction plan has been to post small blue and white signs along the drive reading, Businesses Still Open.” 

Oh, really? Well, not for long, thanks to your piss-poor planning.

 Despite the states embarrassing outreach and lame notice, ingress and egress to the plaza is strangled. You reasonably should be asking, “How did this happen?” There are no justifiable excuses. Kids with an Etch a Sketch pad could have planned better. 

At SFGN, we are newspaper publishers, not design architects. We could lay out what the state could have done better during this transition. That is a task better left to city planning and zoning officials, meeting in conjunction with the state.

Even our distribution network has been incredibly compromised by the lack of planning. We had ten red news boxes on the drive that have all had to be removed during the reconstruction process.

Our reward for retaining some boxes, thereby salvaging a few spots where you could still find and reach the paper was to have the citys code enforcement inspectors issue us a citation and impose a $150 fine. You gotta be kidding. Still, what is happening to us is nothing compared to what the businesses are going through. 

Clearly, the re-design plan for businesses and residents was not thought out carefully enough. You have a right to be critical. It could have been done better. As a result, businesses in the shoppes are hurting.

Down the road, places like the new Burgers and Beers, along with Smoke and Vape next door to them are currently obstructed, and nearly inaccessible. It did not have to be that way. Temporary parking could have been arranged.

 This is a good time for customers and consumers to support businesses on the drive. Besides, there is nothing like a great burger while vaping. 

Anyway, do what you can to support our neighbors today, even if it means negotiating a few military style barricades and blockades. They wont be there much longer. Donald Trump is having them moved to our southern border.

Finally, dont be afraid to criticize the state. Administrators and planners could and should have done a better job. Dont blame us. We are the news media; just the legless guys who teach running. We can find a little bad in the best of things.      

Have a great day, and dont forget to send your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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