Plantation voters will go to the polls in November to choose new council members for three of its five seats.
Board members help set policy and approve the budget, including the tax rate, and develop new initiatives. Board races should revolve around development.
Voters will also choose a new mayor. This race is between incumbent Mayor Lynn Stoner and challenger Councilman Nick Sortal. The mayor and council members are elected citywide for a four-year term.
Here’s a look at the candidates vying for city council seats.
The Group 1 seat is a race between Erik Anderson, the incumbent, and Carol Ann Sword.
Anderson was first elected to the Plantation City Council in November 2018, then reassigned from Tropical Elementary – where, as an alum, he was the principal – to “remove any perceived conflict of interest” at the school. primary Davie.
He has lived on Plantation all his life, moving to town as a baby.
Among its challenges: “developing and maintaining our high quality of life”. He said the city had to deal with traffic and congestion, as well as “the growth of high-density and tall buildings. That’s not to say it shouldn’t happen, it’s handling it well to get what the city needs. You can’t have growth, we want successful businesses, but we don’t want it so bad that it takes 45 minutes to drive across town. It’s smart growth.
Anderson said he spent “54 years living, working and playing here, just like my parents, my brothers, nieces and nephews, my own children,” he said. “I am invested in the city. I want his success, I want people to want to be here and stay here, put down roots and grow.
Sword, who said she served two elected four-year terms on a neighborhood council while living in Waikiki, Hawaii, is a retired travel agent and has lived in Plantation since 2009. Maintaining the property value for homeowners is her top priority if elected.
“I’m very upset with the way apartment complexes are popping up,” she said. “My No. 1 campaign issue is to preserve our neighborhoods.”
She said she feared “the traffic will be terrible” and what will be impacted will be “our way of life, our peaceful life in the community”.
She said it was not helpful that property values ”are surrounded by tall apartment buildings” and that massive growth has the potential to become “at the expense of residents”.
Group 2 newcomer James Frommert attempts to overthrow starter Denise Horland.
Frommert said he had lived on Plantation for two years and was a commercial insurance agent. He declined to answer additional questions about his campaign goals or why he is running for office and did not respond to a follow-up text, email or phone call.
Horland, who has served on the board since November 2018, has lived on Plantation for 29 years. She has been a full-time community activist, including president of the PTA, since the birth of her son 26 years ago. Now, as a consultant, “I see it as a full-time job.”
She said one of her issues is city-wide planning and that she will be pushing for a full strategic planning session so that “we can really decide what we want to see in terms of development and public security needs”. She also wants to “launch a survey of residents and the business community to get their feedback on what they want to see.”
She also wants the city to come up with “creative ways to develop areas, we need to look at strip malls” as possible places for redevelopment.
She said the city must also look for areas where single-family homes and condos can be built for purchase, and not gobbled up by investors. “It’s hard to create generational wealth if they don’t find something,” she said.
Horland also argued before the Florida Legislature for the city, addressing lawmakers opposed to a home-based business bill that eventually passed. Critics said state law would allow any business in a neighborhood, and a town in Broward briefly struggled with a proposal for an ammunition supply company, which ultimately failed.
“I promised them I would be their voice,” she said of the locals.
The final council seat, empty because Sortal resigned to run for mayor, is between three candidates.
Dylan Cole, a social studies and criminal justice teacher at the Henry D. Perry Education Center High School, has lived on Plantation for more than 10 years.
He said he wanted to improve the fire and paramedic services and “make sure we’re doing everything we can for a quick response time, make sure we’re ready for an incident that makes many victims” in the event of a tragedy. He said it was about “proactivity versus reactivity”.
He wants to focus on the right amount of development and improve the city’s relationship with schools.
At 25, he would be the youngest member of the council, and he said his young perspective would be that of the “new generation of Plantation residents. I’m the best choice, bringing new ideas, a new perspective.
Louis Reinstein, a former schoolteacher who is now an appellate attorney and mediator, has lived on Plantation since childhood, moving briefly for high school, but since graduating from college in 1999. He now serves on the Board of Parks and of the city’s recreation and president of its nonprofit foundation, responsible for funding improvements to Plantation Park.
Among its issues are controlling overdevelopment and ensuring that schools get attention for their share of the money.
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“I am not new to these issues and these are issues that I have been active in and concerned about for many years,” he said, “as an active and concerned resident where people can consult my record on the advisory councils to see that I am not afraid to speak up about the issues and I will do the same on the stage.
He said he would “listen, be responsive and available. And I already do it in the various functions I have held.
Harold “Wayne” Clark Jr., an attorney who represents companies including an international hotel chain, is also a former sheriff’s candidate. He has lived in Plantation since 2001.
He said he wanted to find a balance in the divide over development and wanted to make sure that police and fire services grow as the population grows, “that first responders are taken care of charge”.
Clark, whose son is in middle school, said he was a school safety advocate.
As the country worries about a possible recession, he said he wants to help the city “navigate” through any problems. “I’m financially conservative and want to make sure we stay healthy as a city, make sure as a city we’re financially stable and secure.”
Clark said, “I want to make sure we’re going in the right direction. I don’t want to see Plantation change, I don’t want to see it go the way of some of these other towns. I want to make sure Plantation always shines.