Wilton Manors is about halfway through its strategic plan for 2021-2026 and, like most big, long-term projects, things are always in a state of flux.
During the city commission meeting on Oct. 24, Finance Director Pennie Zuercher updated commissioners how the city is accomplishing preset standards and goals.
Goal one: infrastructure improvements. Waste water use is up in the city for the year. The city had about two feet more of rain, much of it coming from the devastating April flood.
Next is to promote economic development. Storefront occupancy is generally around 90%+ in Wilton Manors, and the city has not filled the vacant economic development position, which has been vacant for about a year. There’s been talk of redefining the role and spreading the duties over different departments. However, business permits are on track to hold steady for the year. Total job cost for permitted work is up about 20%.
Third are quality of life and livability. Two indicators of better living are park use and code compliance. A new code officer is out on the streets, and citations are up about a third. However, use of parks programs and facilities are down across all ages to pre-pandemic levels.
Fourth, they want to create and retain a highly efficient workforce. Retention numbers can be deceiving. Turnover was 22%, up from 19.7% YOY. That seems bad, but Zuercher points out that most of the people leaving departed in their first year of employment, meaning the city’s not suffering a “brain drain” or losing decades of experience walking out the door.
Also, an increase in fiscal responsibility. That includes finding quality grants to help fund city projects. This year saw the same number of grants given to the city as last year, nine. But the amount derived is up nearly 300%.
Finally, is environmental sustainability. Currently, about ⅓ of the city’s recycling is contaminated, or unusable. The goal is to get that down to 10%. Wilton is also buying electric or ultra-fuel-efficient vehicles. This year saw fuel use drop 1,500 gallons. The goal is to lower that number by two percent per year.