Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 072215 Contents 28 // 7.22 .2015 // SFGN.com //
JULY 22, 2015 • VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 14
2520 N. DIXIE HIGHWAY • WILTON MANORS, FL 33305
PHONE: 954-530-4970 FAX: 954-530-7943
PUBLISHER • NORM KENT
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2 • July 22, 2015
While reflecting on the success of last week’s Road Safety
Symposium that took place here in Wilton Manors, my
thoughts keep circling around what is the next step? How do
we move forward toward solving these critically important
As my thoughts raced forward, a culinary phrase popped
into my head, ‘Mise en place.’ A phase not thought about for
many years, probably not since French chefs drilled the phrase
into my brain while attending culinary school. The phrase
translates to, ‘putting in place,’ an essential first step toward
having everything that is required prepped and in place before
beginning to execute an important task. It was then I realized
that this community must put our mise en place together
as the first step before we can engage the regional planning
authorities and move our agenda forward to reality.
The Road Safety Symposium was a community driven event,
hosted by our neighborhood associations working together
with our soon to be new City Manager, Leigh Ann Henderson.
The packed house with standing room only was a clear
indication to the panelists and to our elected officials of the
importance these issues are within our community. We came
together seeking information and guidance from an amazing
panel representing various regional agencies. We listened and
learned how best to move these important issues ahead.
The panel laid out roadmaps, procedures and some reality
checks on what we need to do, what we can expect, and how to
get the results we are seeking. A list of items needed to have our
mise en place in order, ready to move ahead to the next step.
Sometimes moving ahead means leaving certain things
behind. This can be a large hurdle for some to move beyond.
Now is not the time to keep pushing outdated plans and
expectations when all the players involved are ready for
something new. We see a new approach by state officials at
FDOT. We have a new player in town, the Metropolitan Planning
Organization, who will have the source of funding needed for
such projects. We see new stewardship in our city government
with our new City Manager coming onboard. We see the reality
of the ‘Complete Streets’ planning model already having an
enormous effect in surrounding communities. So now is the
time to embrace these changes, to take the information learned
at the symposium, revise our expectations, define what we
need as a community and begin to make it happen. Once this
mise en place is in place, we will have the ability to work with
our regional partners and create a better, safer community for
residents, visitors, pedestrians, bicyclist and motorists.
In the coming weeks, the neighborhood association
officers will be meeting with our city officials to voice our
willingness to join together with various community leaders
and organizations to embark on a journey that will bring about
these important changes. The time is ripe to have our wish list
turned into a grand reality for our city. We have been given the
tools and information to make it happen.
Now it’s time to get to work!!!
Why? “because life is just better here...” WMG
Mise En Place...
By Sal Torre
Residents Want Pedestrian Safety
Improved With CDBG Funds
By Michael d’Oliveira
Community Development Block Grant
[CDBG] funding totaling $65,000 is waiting
to be spent on the Highland Estates
Located north of Northeast 26 Street and
east of Northeast 6 Street, Highland Estates
is the only area of the city that qualifies for
the funding. The funding, provided by the
U.S . Department of Housing and Urban
Development, is given to cities to address
unique community development needs.
In the past, Wilton Manors has used CDBG
funding to buy and develop the 14-space
overflow parking lot near Island City Park
Preserve. Other uses include fitness stations,
fencing, sidewalks, a drainage system, solar
lighting, landscaping and street resurfacing.
Resident Michael Rajner said the city hasn’t
looked “outside the [park’s] fences” enough
when using the funding to improve Highland
Estates. He suggested improving sidewalks
on Northeast 8 Avenue and said the city
needs to make Highland Estates, and the city
overall, more pedestrian friendly for people in
Carlos Fernandez agreed with Rajner.
Recently out of a wheelchair, Fernandez said
sidewalks are often ill-equipped to handle
wheelchairs and sometimes he had to get into
oncoming traffic to get around.
Resident Norman Schwartz also wants
to see sidewalks improve. In a letter to
commissioners, he said he regularly walks
around Highland Estates with his dog and
requested that more shade trees be added
along the streets. Like Rajner, he also wants
the city’s parks to be more dog-friendly.
“I enjoy being able to sit in our parks to
read a book on my walks, but with the city not
having dog welcoming parks within walking
distance, I rarely visit the parks to enjoy their
beauty,” wrote Schwartz.
Commissioner Julie Carson agreed that
parks should be more dog-friendly.
The commission will decide how the
CDBG funds are spent at a future commission
meeting. Residents can still submit their ideas
to the city manager’s office. Call 954-390-2100.
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