First and foremost, it is with sincere humility and great appreciation that I give thanks to all who voted for me, and also to those who did not vote for me. It is in this great country of ours that we have the freedom of speech to voice our votes and opinions at the polls, and I embrace the process with pride.
I sincerely appreciate your confidence in my ability to lead Plantation into a new era. I look back on many of the traditions and values that previous administrations have forged during the past 65 years, and I am thankful for the hard work, dedication, and leadership our past Elected Officials have shown. It has made Plantation one of the top communities for families and businesses in South Florida.
Now, it is time to look forward. I want to send a heartfelt “Congratulations!” to our new Councilmembers, Erik Anderson, Denise Horland, and Nick Sortal. Together with Councilmembers Mark Hyatt and Ron Jacobs we will embark on moving the City forward.
My first formal involvement in public service began with my appointment to the County’s Small Business Advisory Board in 2004, and I’ve never looked back. My advocacy for small businesses is unwavering, and one of my first objectives as Mayor is to review the City’s economic development policies, and work with businesses in the Midtown and Gateway districts, as well as throughout the City, to find ways to improve communication between businesses and the City, help with marketing and outreach efforts, and bring businesses and jobs to Plantation. In a downturned economy, Economic Development should be a top priority, not an afterthought.
Plantation is the geographic center of Broward County. Each day, thousands of cars pour through our City’s major thoroughfares. And while the majority of local traffic is not generated by Plantation residents and businesses, I am keenly aware that it is a valid concern for our residents, and something we need to contend with. Most major roads in Plantation are County or State jurisdictional roads. I have supported past efforts by our Engineering staff to coordinate with State and County agencies to help improve traffic conditions in the City. To further those efforts, the City of Plantation has a great working relationship with the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization, which seeks to address overall transportation and mobility needs within the County. I also plan to meet with the Mayors of Sunrise, Lauderhill, and Davie to discuss regional solutions that will benefit us all.
Customer service is also one of my top priorities. I firmly believe that employees should be empowered to do what is necessary to ensure customers who visit our departments walk away from the counter or hang up the phone having the best possible experience. I am also deeply committed to ensuring employees have the appropriate technology to do their jobs in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Processes and procedures are important, but “we’ve always done it that way,” won’t work in today’s society. I will be looking at how we do business here in the City, and work to ensure every customer walks away satisfied.
Not all my ideas and plans will work, but I can assure you that together with City employees and Elected Officials, we will leave no stone unturned, no program unexamined. I am very excited – and a little nervous – as I look ahead at the task before me. But I am confident that together, we will make Plantation the best version of itself.