City Attorney Kerry Ezrol spelled out his interpretation of the city charter and I really don’t see much for interpretation. We are leaving the city council seat vacated by Mark Hyatt open until the Nov. 3 election.
The charter states that a special election, if convenient, can be held if a seat becomes vacant with more than six months on a term. Mr. Hyatt, who passed away Feb. 4, had eight months left.
Ideally, candidates could have filed quickly and Plantation voters could have made their choice during the March 17 presidential primary. But the Broward County Supervisor of Elections said that turnaround time is too tight to work. They’ve already sent out absentee ballots, for example.
That puts the next convenient date as the Aug. 18 general primary. But that election winner would be serving a term of fewer than three months. (Again, not convenient.) We also felt that requiring candidates to run in a special election in conjunction with the August primaries is not optimal, because they they’d have to turn around immediately for the November race.
So on Nov. 3, Seat 3 (occupied by Ron Jacobs), Seat 4 (vacant) and Seat 5 (held by me) will be up.
I am a member of the city’s employee pension board and we met Monday to make sure everything is on track. We usually meet at 8:30 a.m. every two months, but some members are suggesting a meeting, say at 5 p.m., so employee can attend and we can do a deeper explanation of how the pension plan works. We are hoping to do this in June.
The Complete Count Committee, created to make sure we get maximum responses to the census, gathered Tuesday morning (I am the co-chair). You’ll see seeing a lot more activity at city events and other gatherings, with our volunteers spreading the word on how the census works and, hopefully, allaying any fears of what the government does with the data. (It’s sealed for 72 years, FYI.)
The city council met Wednesday and there are three items that I’ll eventually come back to. First off, the city authorized $581,439 to be spend on a new “horizontal grinder” machine vital to our recycling and debris cleanup program. When it arrives, I’ll take a photo and share it. Also, we approved the comprehensive park plan, after reviewing the tentative plan a few weeks earlier. The parks plan is part of the accreditation process, and the act of asking questions that we had not considered before, make the endeavor worthwhile, officials say. There’s also a $4.6 million agreement for a water meter and transmitter change out that will upgrade the efficiency of reading water bills, as well as being much more customer-friendly.
On the restaurant front, the construction of the Kaluz restaurant was delayed a few months because a change in ownership at a nearby business has affected the Kaluz parking plan. When the parties have a clearer message to share, I’ll put it here.
Nick Sortal is president of the Plantation City Council. He can be reached at NSortal@Plantation.org or 954-498-5337. This newsletter is published via NickSortal.com and shared via various platforms.