‘Home Rule’ under duress  in Tallahassee

If our state legislators in Tallahassee have their way, I could be looking at less work in my role as a Plantation city councilmember. And I don’t like it.

A handful of measures, all designed to give state government more control, are in varying stages of approval during this year’s legislative session.

For example, House lawmakers voted largely on party lines Thursday to place limits on local governments’ ability to set ceilings for rents or home sale prices, The Miami Herald reported. That’s despite concerns that the move could imperil mandatory affordable housing requirements that counties and municipalities can enact now.

There are also laws proposed to unify state wide rules against vacation rentals – thankfully that one ran into some roadblocks – as well as bills to constrain local tax referenda and control of charter schools.

Home rule is the ability of local governments, such as Plantation’s, to tailor laws to fit their unique environment and constituents. It was added to the state constitution 1968. But in recent years, there has been more preemption by state legislators.

Local legislators have been voicing their concerns throughout the session, as is the Florida League of Cities. The easy argument is that the state of Florida doesn’t like it when the federal government mandates something for them, so why should it be wise for the state of Florida to mandate something for the local level?

While a person could argue that making more laws at the state level would bring consistency throughout Florida, there’s also the question of you, the resident. I’d like to think almost every Plantation resident is familiar with at least one of our elected officials, so accessing us and delivering your point of view is much more feasible. And Plantation City Hall is only a few minutes away, as opposed to our state capitol.

The American Heart Association has jumped in, asking residents to tell legislators to vote against a proposal that would prevent local municipalities from passing stricter anti-tobacco laws that the state has in place. Here’s the link: https://act.yourethecure.org/ALNqeNr

A couple of more links::


More searchable interactive links at

Scouts honor

I had the opportunity to talk about city government with a group of scouts from Plantation Cub Scout Pack 180 on Wednesday. They asked about recycling, our city budget and other matters. I enjoy these things, so that got me to thinking: I am offering to do a “youth civics” gathering at city hall before meetings.

The format would be to meet at city hall at 6:30 p.m., go into the nearby conference room and explain to children (and parents) how our city works. If you want to book a gathering, email me at NSortal@Plantation.org or call 954-498-5337.

Coming up

Yoga returns to Liberty Tree Park at 9 a.m. the next two Saturdays. Bring a mat and hydration. You’ll find it’s a very easygoing vibe, yet sitting outside under blue skies and swaying trees can put you in a good place. Beginners and children welcome.

Negotiations between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police resume at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The annual Teddy Bear Picnic is at 11:30 a.m. at the Helen B. Hoffman Library, 501 N. Fig Tree Lane. Bring your lunch, a blanket and your favorite teddy bear.

This newsletter originates on NickSortal.com and is shared via various platforms. The best way to get it is to subscribe to my Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/NickSortalPlantationCityCouncil. Sharing is encouraged. My email is NSortal@Plantation.org and my phone is 954-498-5337.