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Column: City Budgets, Affordable Housing and the Wilton Drive Project…Oh My!

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Keeping with Island City tradition, our Mayor and City Commissioners voted to cancel the first scheduled City Commission meeting in August for summer break. There will certainly be plenty on the agenda when they return on August 28.   

Finalizing the city’s budget for the next fiscal year will be a top priority, followed by the Pride Center’s proposed 42 units of low-income supportive housing with no dedicated parking for the aging tenants.  Andrews Ave./Oakland Park Corridor Land Use also ranks high, along with the beginning of the Wilton Drive project.  Add to the mix the upcoming municipal elections for our new Mayor and two City Commission seats, and you have a very busy and uncertain few months ahead.  

For some like me who grew up further north, it still seems a bit weird that as we are talking about summer breaks, area schools are readying for the new school year. Broward schools opened last Wednesday and Broward College started classes on Monday. This is way earlier than going back to school after the un-official end of the summer holiday weekend of Labor Day.  

I am still scrambling to get my head around it all as I try to get registered for classes at Broward College so early in the month of August. Fall Semesters should start in mid-September, not mid-August.  Since I’m finally set to finish some schooling started many years ago, this early start date will be just one of many interesting challenges ahead.  

Unfortunately, relief from the summer’s hot and humid weather, along with the high electric bills, will not be coming any time soon. As we wait for cooler nights, we can turn our attention to the upcoming primary elections on August 28 and then on to the general election in November. Looking beyond our Island City’s municipal elections, the office of Governor for the State of Florida should be of major importance to us all.  

As the algae blooms and red tides downstream from Lake Okeechobee become worse each year and wreak havoc in many communities, the blame game being played by our current Governor, Rick Scott, is just pathetic. Rather than take responsibility for his eight years of neglect, he attempts to blame his opponent in the race for the United States Senate seat.  

An executive office holder should claim that “the buck stops here,” unfortunately for us our chief executive likes to cast blame instead. On Election Day, South Floridians need to remember just who to blame. So, while Rick Scott takes aim at the honorable Senator Bill Nelson, voters need to remember just how dishonorable Rick Scott really is.  

Someone who ran a company that defrauded Medicare before he became Governor is not the type of person that should represent the great State of Florida in the United States Senate. Moving past the contentious labels of Republican and Democrat, Rick Scott has been a disaster for Floridians, and we should dump him in the piles of dead fish washing up on our shorelines rather than reward him with a seat as our Senator.  

Primary Day in August is also when we have the opportunity to elect local judges. This is probably the most un-informed choice many of us make comes election time, yet those elected play a very important role in our community. Voters need to become more informed of the choices the make before heading to the polls. 

So, if you are registered to vote, make sure to exercise that right in the Florida Primary Election on Tuesday, August 28. Convenient early voting has already begun and will run through August 26 right here in Wilton Manor’s City Commission chambers between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

Now if you are not registered to vote, no need to bitch and complain about elected officials, taxes, or anything else to do with how government operates. That right is reserved for those who vote and participate in the process. Now if you are interested in registering to vote, you have until October 9 to register for the November General Election. Just check out the Broward County Supervisor of Elections website at Browardsoe.org.  

While many are getting ready for back-to-school, the dog days of summer will still be blazing away here in South Florida. September is just a few weeks away, and then it’s only a hop skip and jump to the Holiday Season.  Get more involved in your local government, get out and vote, and look for ways to participate in making life here in our Island City just better and better.  


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