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This past week, we remembered the late Mayor Justin Flippen. He was affectionately referred to as “the Peoples’ Mayor,” a title he undoubtedly deserved.

Justin was both a friend and a mentor to me. I can personally attest that he was a passionate public servant who always wanted the greatest good for his community and always had integrity and love in his heart. Our city was lucky to have him. He passed entirely too young at the age of 41.

This week, the City of Wilton Manors announced significant progress on a project that Justin Flippen was personally responsible and passionate about. That project is the painting of the bridge, entering Wilton Manors from the South along Wilton Drive, with the “Love Wins” message. Our city has begun the month-long process of cleaning and painting the bridge. The “Love Wins” expression reflects my values as a City Commissioner as well as our values as a community. I cannot think of a higher honor to Justin Flippen’s efforts as our Mayor than the message this bridge will communicate to residents and visitors entering our city. I would be amiss if I didn’t mention that this project would not have come to fruition without the efforts of Todd De Jesus and Claudia Castillo.

Not only is this project an expression of Justin’s values and vibe, but it’s also a great continuation of our city’s growing commitment to public art. As your City Commissioner, I am committed to finding creative ways to express Justin’s legacy — and the legacy of many great leaders in our community — through public art.

As a body of elected officials, our City Commission does not agree on everything. On more than one occasion in the last week, I found myself in the dissenting vote. Projects like this one are a strong reminder that we are one community, we share a strong immutable set of core values, and we don’t all have to agree to love one another.

Thank you, Justin, for the legacy you have left behind you and the indelible impact you made on our community.

— Chris Caputo

Wilton Manors City Commissioner