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In a unanimous decision, Wilton Manors commissioners voted to gender neutralize the city charter.

There was no discussion as all five commissioners agreed to amend the city charter and remove gender markers. Wilton Manors joins cities such as Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon and Tulsa, Oklahoma which have gone gender-neutral in their charters.

Elsewhere, many other issues were addressed at Tuesday night’s regular commission meeting, including a vote on home rule. Commissioner Mike Bracchi asked for a vote on home rule following confusion over vacation rentals at the last commission meeting.

“I don’t want our municipality rights to be taken away,” Bracchi told the Gazette in a telephone call.

The vote was unanimous.

Commissioner Gary Resnick warned Republicans in Tallahassee were advancing bills in both the House and Senate that would limit municipalities’ powers.

The commission continued to support hosting a Stonewall Parade and Festival this summer provided organizers can get approval from Broward County. A decision from the county is expected next week, said Resnick.

City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson reported 540 people had been vaccinated at the city’s COVID-19 vaccination site at Richardson Park and commended the work of Human Resources & Risk Management Director Dio Sanchez for overseeing the operation.

Mayor Scott Newton pushed forward a new ordinance that would require landscapers to install technology in sprinkler systems so as to not overwater lawns. Newton is also scheduled to participate in a suicide prevention town hall on March 18 in partnership with the City of Oakland Park.

Comments from the public ranged from the continual condemnation of short-term vacation rentals to a critique of the newly installed memorial to departed former Mayor Justin Flippen.

“The city really missed the mark on that one,” said resident Michael Rajner, who referred to Flippen’s memorial as a “gravestone.”

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