As we move past Election Day here in the Island City and around the nation, a sense of optimism is in the air.

Our new President-elect Joe Biden is reaching out to all Americans to join together in tackling the troubles that lie ahead due to COVID-19 pandemic and our economy.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris makes history as she breaks through the glass ceiling becoming the first female vice president. Hope and optimism are essential to achieving success over the challenges that lie ahead.

The beautiful unknown draws us forward fueled by knowledge, hope, unity, and strength, unlike the darkness of fear and lies. Let the sun shine through the storm clouds of the last four years as we bask in its splendor and hope.

Storm clouds over our Island City have moved away for now, but not before leaving much of our city and region covered in water. Unfortunately many residents suffered flooding within their homes. Many others found themselves looking out their windows to what looked like lakefront property. Lawns, driveways and streets filled with stormwater turning large areas of our city into flood zones. Understandably, such an unprecedented amount of rain just overwhelmed much of our city’s infrastructure, but the extent of the flooding and related issues leaves many in our city dazed, frustrated, and very concerned about what the next storm might bring.

As floodwater was still receding throughout neighborhoods of our city, our newly elected Mayor and two new city commissioners were sworn-in this week. In doing so we first had to say goodbye to out-going Commissioners Tom Green and Julie Carson. Sometimes as we move ahead to better days, we have the bittersweet goodbyes to those so instrumental in getting us to where we are today. Thank you again Tom and Julie for your tremendous contributions to our Island City, best wishes and much appreciation!

Scott Newton, Chris Caputo and Mike Bracchi were sworn in this past Tuesday night within the Commission chambers. Residents should feel confident that our new mayor and city commissioners, along with veteran Commissioners Paul Rolli and Gary Resnick will lead our great city into the beautiful unknown.

Much lies ahead on that road for our Island City. Dealing with recent weather events, infrastructure improvements will be a looming issue that will have to be dealt with, along with the continued maintenance of existing infrastructure, buildings, parks and facilities. The reality of governance will be waiting for our new City Commission with less glamorous issues such as the cost of infrastructure and residents demand better services. There is much confidence that this Commission is ready for the task at hand and with the support of dedicated and professional city staff, residents should be optimistic about better days ahead for our Island city.

Many remain hopeful that those who also participated in this past election will continue their involvement with our city and not just disappear off the scene as many in years past.

During the campaign we heard from a pool of very talented and inspirational candidates, hopefully some will continue their involvement. Unfortunately Doug Blevins was the only one who made comments at the City Commission meeting this week during the swearing-in ceremony.

Other candidates had an opportunity to offer words of congratulations to the newly elected officials and state their willingness to continue serving the needs of our city, however this was a missed opportunity.

Doug, thank you for your continued commitment to our city.

So as we now launch off to the beautiful unknown, both here in our Island City and in our nation, let us continue with hope, optimism, and camaraderie. As we tackle the problems that need fixing, as we securely plan for future needs, as we safely deal with COVID-19 and future crises, let us never stop being crazy or foolish at times to dream.

Dreaming of what could be, if we are only willing to take that leap of faith, is what truly moves us ahead. Let us take that leap of faith with our neighbors, our community, our elected officials, our city staff and let’s dream of making life just better here…

Sal Torre has been a columnist for the Wilton Manors Gazette since its inception. Sal has served on the Wilton Drive Task Force, Budget Review Advisory Board, and Charter Review Board, among others. Sal is currently President of the Westside Association of Wilton Manors and Secretary for the Friend of the Wilton Manors Library. He is employed with Broward County in the Human Services Division.