Twenty twenty-two is an election year. While most political attention and money in Florida will be fixated on the race for governor and congressional seats, local elections can have the most immediate impact on day-to-day life in our neighborhoods. 

Wilton Manors is electing a mayor and city commissioners. Commissioner Paul Rolli recently announced his re-election campaign and now is talking with the Gazette about his plans for a new term.

“I love Wilton Manors, and the reason I want to run again is to bring to fruition what we’ve started in the last four years.”

Rolli said he wants to solidify the work he and fellow Wilton Manors leaders have started, including automation to the city, long-term infrastructure plans, and a financially sound city.

“We have one of the best-run governments in Broward County,” Rolli said. “We’re fiscally sustainable and have some top-notch people. I’d like to see the top-notch people become great.”

Cohesive Vision

Rolli says he came in during a tough time in Wilton Manors history, which included the sudden death of Mayor Justin Flippen. Since being elected, he’s been part of a coalition that includes Commissioners Chris Caputo and Mike Bracchi, as well as Mayor Scott Newton, who is also running for another term.

“We have an excellent commission now, a commission that is focused, collaborative, and works together as a team, and I think we haven’t had that for many, many years.”

Working with surrounding cities is also a key component of Rolli’s strategy. You can’t access Wilton Manors without going through other cities.

“No man is an island, even though we’re the Island City.”

From infrastructure to a variety of regulations, Rolli believes it’s imperative to have consistency through our part of Broward County. He cites the COVID-19 pandemic as an example.

“We didn’t want to have other rules than Fort Lauderdale because the average person doesn’t know if they’re in Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manors, especially at the edges, and then you’re in Oakland Park.”

Preparing For the Future

The city’s infrastructure master plan stretches 20-30 years into the future, when everyone currently serving in elected positions will likely be long retired. Short-term plans, including revamped zoning to allow new housing and business opportunities, will have a more immediate impact. But both will be at critical junctures over the next several years. Nurturing those plans are what Rolli says are his key goals of a new term. That includes leadership and change-management training for city employees.

As for his future, he’s intimated that this will be his last run for city office. But Rolli also knows to never say never.

“I’ve learned over the years that everybody says ‘This is my last run.’ Then when the time comes they change their mind. I could be one of those people, but I was really just looking to do one more term.”

The election is scheduled for Nov. 8. Early voting runs Oct. 24 through Nov. 6.


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