Mayor Newton Runs for Re-Election

Photo via Scott Newton Mayor of Wilton Manors, Facebook.

“You’re the first one I’ve publicly said this to,” Scott Newton said after telling OutSFL he will run for another term as Wilton Manors’ mayor.

“We need to make sure the growth in Wilton Manors is stable, the stability of our infrastructure, the stability of our sea level rise. It’s not finished yet.”

Newton sat down for an extensive interview to discuss immediate and long-term challenges facing the city. He just got back from Tallahassee, where he met with lawmakers who decide which projects get approved and how much the state will pay.

He got a first-hand look at the numbers legislators are working with, and there are a lot of cities looking for big pieces of small pies. Lobbying for the city is nothing new for the mayor. But numbers rule more than ever. Not just the partisan numbers, but the bottom line of projects.

The mayor remembers when there were more outside activities, like pickleball games before or after work. Opportunities to get to know lawmakers and teach them about your city are fading.

Wilton Manors is going to need those funds. All infrastructure is in constant need of maintenance. The water/sewage system, which is reliant on Fort Lauderdale, has been a big problem in recent years. While the new pipe liners are working well, the joints and seals don’t last as long. Issues of backflow into the streets has been a problem for years, often turning Five Points into a sewage lake.

“We have a company that runs cameras through the lines of the entire city. Many have been camera’d, lined, and fixed.”

Water that seeps into the lines goes back to Fort Lauderdale, which charges for processing it back.

He also sees a very large, very expensive upgrade on the horizon: sea walls.

“We have to put sea walls along every single entire spot. You only have to have one break at one or two houses, and it’s going to go everywhere.”

That will be a state and federal project along with the city. Wilton is, literally, an island city and protecting it from rising seas is an all-or-nothing proposition. If one section is left unfinished, devastating floods will rush in.

The city has already received a sea level report that projects decades into the future. But the time and money that needs to be spent is massive, and there is an urgent need to get started.

Newton is also bullish on the city’s business future. Major projects at Alibi Plaza and on 24th St. by the Metropolitan were just approved. A hotel on Dixie Hwy. is likely to get approved this year.

That could mean three major projects simultaneously, all within a half mile of each other. Newton and past commissions revamped the city code and TOCs (transit-oriented corridors) to encourage new development. Newton says it shouldn’t be a problem.

“I think they’re far enough away that it won’t cause too much [congestion/safety issues]. They’re never gonna close down Wilton Drive. I just want to make sure developers are mindful of the neighbors. They’re the ones who spent their money years ago.”

While these will be luxury units, Newton wants people who work here to be able to live here.

“We need workforce housing.”

As for his political future, he wants to stay on and make sure the projects have a good start.

“As a mayor, you only get two years. You get in, you get a year gone, and people start talking about what you’re going to run for again.”

Vice Mayor Mike Bracchi and Commissioner Chris Caputo’s terms are up this year, and neither have announced their plans. Newton hopes they stay.

“If they run, I will support them. This commission is running very well right now.”

And, despite saying something similar two years ago, Newton says this is his last dance.

“I’m going to finish what I think needs to be finished. I can’t do that in the next six months. I’m sure I can get it done in the next two and a half years. If I can’t, I’m gonna still stop running. I’ll be done.”


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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