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One of the most underpaid police forces in Broward County is getting a raise. At their meeting on Oct. 11, city commissioners voted a 7% across-the-board raise for Wilton Manors officers.

The vote was 4-0, with Commissioner Gary Resnick declining to attend the meeting in person or by phone.

Commissioners came under pressure to increase police pay after voting themselves a raise. That required reopening their contract with the Broward County PBA to adjust the last year of the contract. The original deal called for a .5% raise for everyone and a 3% merit-based raise for those deemed worthy. This essentially doubles the scheduled raise and gives it to all officers.

The negotiation took a while.

“The officers in Wilton Manors are grossly and substantially underpaid,” Don Huneke, Broward County PBA Secretary, said. “We try to retain these officers who know your community, who work in your community, embrace your community and are part of it in many aspects. We don’t want the residents to lose them.”

Retention is key, as many experienced officers will go to other law enforcement agencies because the money is better.

As mentioned, this only modifies the existing contract. The city and the PBA will start negotiations on a new, long-term contract in early 2023. 

City of the Arts

Commissioner Chris Caputo introduced plans for a public art program, which is one of the city’s strategic goals.

“One of the goals is to come up with a public art master plan that could be a living document we could work through.”

He points out a lot that goes into that type of program, including funding, administration, site selection, and how to evaluate and maintain the art. His presentation was well received by fellow commissioners and the idea was referred to the City Manager’s office to work with Caputo.

Property Taxes

Broward County Property Appraiser, Marty Kiar, came in to give people a breakdown of how much revenue property taxes give to the city and how much they can expect going forward. Like much of Broward County, housing prices in Wilton Manors are skyrocketing, up 19% in a year.

However, thanks to the Homestead Exemption, increases in assessed value are capped at 3% annually no matter how much the value may increase. Since that covers most of the homes in Wilton, increased revenue will come from new development. New sales will be taxed at the real value.

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