This is the last in a series of articles about the City of Wilton Manors Strategic Plan, and the success we’ve had in achieving the goals of that plan. The fourth and final priority area is Innovating and Adapting for the Future. How do we prepare for the future and grow responsibly?
We have to find ways to treat our environment more gently and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and this priority area focuses on that goal. The technology in this realm is rapidly developing, but despite developing technologies, fossil fuel currently and unfortunately remains the most inexpensive option.
City staff has nonetheless worked to purchase fuel efficient vehicles to the greatest extent possible, but it may be shocking to learn that even in 2019, there is no widely accepted, affordable, fuel efficient police pursuit vehicle. The Wilton Manors Police Department fleet makes up the greatest portion of the city fleet, and while administrators and code compliance officers are utilizing hybrids, the patrol cars currently remain traditional gasoline fueled. We are looking forward to progress in that area over the next year, and the city should remain committed to the acquisition of green and cleaner technology and equipment that meets our public safety needs.
In addition, in the last few years we’ve implemented an innovative technology called “pipe-bursting” which extends the life of our potable water pipe system, minimizes the construction impacts to neighborhoods, and maintains the integrity of the infrastructure. Recently the city commission approved a contract for a Sewer and Storm Water Management Master Plan which will offer a comprehensive plan for preparing for sea level rise and ensuring capacity into the next 25 years. We are also exploring pilot projects like water reuse.
Reducing our municipal energy consumption through a variety of strategies is an ongoing effort and includes reducing paper, eliminating styrofoam, and phasing out as many printers as possible. Look for increased online services in the near future, like paying for classes (which will reduce vehicle miles traveled). Creating transit oriented corridors will reshape where and how we build in the future and how we move from place to place.
The city will also encourage environmentally sustainable practices by our residents and businesses, and you’ll hear more about that next month when I share the good news about the Oakland Park/Wilton Manors Joint Climate Action Plan.
Finally, the Strategic Plan calls for the city to utilize relationships with other jurisdictions to address future regional needs. Your city commission is very proactive in its efforts to advocate on issues of funding as well as legislative and regulatory concerns. My goal is to be a role model for other cities across the country, and to demonstrate how a municipality and community can prosper from being inclusive and accepting from policy to practice.
Justin S. Flippen, J.D.
"The People's Mayor"
City of Wilton Manors