Despite objections to its design, a plan to honor former Mayor Justin Flippen was approved by Wilton Manors Commissioners at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of a memorial marker to honor the late mayor. Signarama Fort Lauderdale was awarded a $10,815 contract for the memorial marker. It will be placed at Flippen Park, formerly known as Jaycee Park, at the intersection of Wilton Dr. and N.E. 21st Court.

“I think the marker is one thing that needs to be there for him,” said Mayor Scott Newton. “Does that need to be the only thing there? No, but I don’t want to rush it either.”

Flippen, 41, died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm on Feb. 25, 2020 en route to a commission meeting.

In a letter to the commission, resident Paul Kuta criticized the memorial’s design. 

“It looks depressingly like a gravestone that belongs in a cemetery,” wrote Kuta.

Kuta suggested a simple horizontal sign made of recycled materials held together by two posts three feet off the ground. 

“The sign would have dignity in its simplicity and people could see it,” Kuta wrote.

Commissioner Mike Bracchi said he was okay with the marker, noting “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Newton said the size of the marker was appropriate to Flippen’s character. 

“Justin was not a person of ‘show me big,’” Newton said. “He was a very hugging, loving person. I don’t think he would want something very big for himself there.”

Signarama’s contract calls for a routed structure and tree, an acrylic plaque, installation and permitting.


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