Zoning, Midtown and education among topics covered

Like other council members, I have completed my appointments to seven city boards. But that’s just the start to getting people involved.

The city has formed boards of volunteers to dig deeper on issues vital to Plantation. I am grateful for their service and I am also grateful that they make my job easier: My workload will be reduced some by their ability to focus on their particular topic.

My appointees: Andrew Dolberg, Educational Advisory Board; Donna Ewert, library board; Arielle Berg, nuisance abatement board; Phyllis Lind, parks and recreation; David Siegel and Dr. Edward Szerlip (alternate), Planning and Zoning; Davis Pullikken, Gateway; Barbara Simmons, Plantation Midtown; Gene Herman, unsafe structures.

Again, I’m a big believer in having as many people who are willing to be involved in our city government. I think some of you know me well enough that I am willing to look at topics from angles that might be different from my own. These committees have varied meeting schedules. Follow on Plantation.org for specific times. And I also encourage you contacting the board members, or me, to address issues that fall under them. Either email me or our city clerk for their contact information.

School talk

Other council members and I are continuing to work our relationship between the city and school leaders. We understand that the school board runs the system, so our role is to do more listening and communicating.

Principals from both our feeder patterns – elementary and middle schools that funnel through Plantation High and South Plantation – gathered Friday at the Helen B. Hoffman Library for a dual meeting, open to the public. Council members Erik Anderson (also principal at Tropical Elementary) and Denise Horland (a stellar schools activist) and I were there.

What’d we learn? Well, elementary schools are showing an interest in debate. There’s a variety of clubs and activities that are worth supporting and parent-oriented activities such as the one on internet safety at South Plantation High at 6 p.m. Wednesday. I expect you’ll see us on school campuses more often than in the past. That includes Mayor Lynn Stoner, who met with Plantation Middle principal Dr. Sherri Wilson last week.

Meanwhile, Mr. Don Hinshew, who leads a chess program at the library, encouraged the principals to  support forming chess clubs on their campuses. The mental acuity developed in the game transfers over to other facets of education, he points out. My take is that usually a program like that grows due to one person on a campus having the passion and taking the reins. If you’re such a person, contact him at PlantationChess@gmail.com.

Traffic blitz

If you drove our main roads Thursday afternoon, you likely saw several police cars. The city put on a “traffic blitz” from 1-5 p.m. The idea is to slow down our major thoroughfares. Plantation Police received help from Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines and other officers to hyper-staff the roads.

Police update

The Plantation police union on Jan. 28 rejected a contract offer that the city council approved last month in an executive session. The council will have another session, closed to the public, at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss. The regular council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and the agenda is at Plantation.org.

Two activities

Yoga in the Park continues at 9 a.m. Saturday at Liberty Tree Park. I was among the record crowd of 50 there last Saturday. Bring your loved ones, don’t worry about being “good at yoga” and enjoy the weather. Also bring a mat.

The 14th annual Run Through Central Park is at 7 a.m. Sunday and benefits C.O.P.S.: Concerns of Police Survivors. I’ll be visiting my son in Syracuse this weekend so everyone else can have a chance to win. Go to SplitSecondTiming.com.

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.