One objective I had after my election was to increase resident interaction. I was a journalist at the Sun-Sentinel for 30 years, and use my abilities to listen and understand all points of view to find the best possible options for our residents. The spirit of cooperation has improved in recent years and I take some credit for that. Attitude does make a difference.
But I’ve also spent every day learning as much as possible. I follow what other city councils do, I tap into the incredible resources of the Florida League of Cities and attend every webinar, workshop and presentation possible. So, naturally, my priorities have experienced a maturation process.
One new priority for me is encouraging our city to be tougher on homeowners who let their property deteriorate. For far too many council meetings, residents have stood up and told us stories of homes that have been nearly abandoned. That one home decreases the property value of everyone around them, yes, but it’s worse than that. It’s not right that neighbors should have to look at such eyesores. And unsecured items can be a hazard when hurricane season comes. I acknowledge that state laws can somewhat limit what we as a city can do (i.e., it is more difficult to take over a property than one might think) but we have far too many stories of horrors that have lasted for years.
Plantation is one of the county’s best at being a full-service police operation. But we can help our civil servants. I encourage more get-to-know-your-neighbors activities, which help reduce crime. I also would like to have more activities for students near our high schools and middle schools, to keep our teens busier during the afternoon. I also ask residents to punch in 954-797-2100, the city’s non-emergency number, into their phones for future use. So if you’re reading this, do that now! (If you happened to be at one of my presentations on city issues, you know that’s a pet suggestion of mine.) I have spent an extensive amount of time, also, weighing our police protocols. And although I’m comfortable with our procedures, this topic will remain on my radar.
Our city could face shortfalls because of Covid-19, with revenues destined to be weaker than they have in the past. Our administration is aware of this, but I am serving as another set of eyes — and ideas. My greater concern is Plantation’s economic recovery because of the pandemic. I will continually encourage administration to acquire as much federal aid as possible, and my experience attending our two CRA regular meetings — for areas along State Road 7 and Plantation Midtown — give me a greater working knowledge than most. Covid-19 gives us a chance to stop and catch our breath as we consider our economic future, and no other council member has studied the options more than I have.
If you’re on social media, you are probably aware of my name. I regularly post Nick’s Newsletter on Facebook, Nextdoor and other platforms, and with a dearth of newspaper reporters at our meetings, often times the information I share is the only way the public is informed. I also regularly share updates, tips and tidbits that are pertinent to Plantation residents. This isn’t by accident: I want our community to be as well informed as it possibly can be. It makes for a more efficient community all the way around. So making sure the public is informed is a priority for me, not just via social media but even person-to-person. Call my city cell at 954-498-5337 anytime to talk business. (Not campaign!)
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Nick Sortal for Plantation City Council, Group 5