I’m glad you asked. There are so many exciting things going on in your Island City! The budget process is in the home stretch, and the city commission will be approving the 2019-2020 Wilton Manors budget and millage rate on Monday, Sept. 23.
Keeping promises and delivering on both a campaign commitment when I ran for mayor and a forward-thinking focus for our future, my goal for our city’s budget includes two things.
First, the city commission has unanimously voted that the millage tax rate will NOT be raised.
Second, the budget needs to direct available resources toward the careful redevelopment of our aging commercial inventory. An important and strategic way to maintain the city’s level of services while keeping tax rates low is to expand the ad valorem base.
We will continue to ramp up our economic development efforts.
The road map for this path is the Wilton Manors Economic Development Strategic Plan (available online here) and begins with the revitalization of Wilton Drive. With the roadway work almost complete, phase two of that project should be underway shortly and will include installation of an irrigation system and finally, trees!
Next up will be the finalization of the Train Station Area Master Plan. Once that Concept Plan has been approved by the city commission, we will turn our attention to considering changes in density ONLY in specific transit oriented and commercial corridors while maintaining my commitment to protect our single family home neighborhoods. This process will be completed through the Urban Form and Density Study, currently underway and expected to be complete in late October or early November.
On a parallel path, we are moving toward consideration of the optimal and best use of the City Hall property. I strongly believe that the city commission needs a well-crafted plan for this signature space, and the Treasure Coat Planning Council is working to help us cultivate just that. In this way, should we decide we want to seek a recreation of the space, we will do so by providing developers with our own vision, created through outreach and consensus. The same philosophy will be applied in the coming year to the Andrews Avenue/Oakland Park Boulevard transit oriented corridor. While this area is a little behind the other two projects in terms of process, I am committed to progress in the coming year.
Every one of these projects offer multiple opportunities for public input, and we need yours. Please attend the workshops and hearings, and let us know your thoughts then or thereafter. Doing so will definitely make for a better end result and will also help the city commission reach consensus on key decisions.
Well planned growth, focused economic expansion, and continued operational excellence of your city are the keys to success in the coming year (and beyond) and are priorities I am proud to champion on your behalf.
The People’s Mayor