Recently, the Davie Town Council dedicated the open space at SW 26 Street and Flamingo Road for the purpose of preserving and protecting burrowing owls. This decision was based upon the efforts of Davie Vice Mayor Susan Starkey who worked tirelessly and passionately on behalf of our feathery friends. The park is one of the first of its kind in Florida.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission lists Florida’s burrowing owls as a species of special concern. Species of special concern are those facing a moderate risk of extinction in the future. Vice Mayor Starkey initiated the effort to protect the owls, and subsequently a passive park was designated in the area where the owls had made their homes.
The park named Owl’s Lookout is home to 11 burrowing owls. With the help of over 65 participants, including students from Indian Ridge Middle School, members of Broward County, South Florida Audubon Society, Project Perch, and town staff; Vice Mayor Starkey’s project to build three artificial burrows was completed.
“My vision of maintaining this site as open space and protecting the burrowing owls is a reality, and the Davie Town Council is proud of the efforts made to create a safe environment for the owls that will be enjoyed by our residents and their children”
– Reprinted, with permission, from the Davie Sport PAC newsletter by Michael Bartlett –
The May 11th meeting at the Old Davie School was well attended, and included Council Members Caryl Casey-Hattan, Susan Starkey, and Marlon Luis. Administrator Shimun’s opening remarks generally focused on Davie’s fiscal situation in this time of declining revenues- where the money comes from, and where it goes. After a short open forum the participants were asked to form small groups to formulate answers to three questions- what is our vision for Davie, what are our expectations, and what services should Davie provide.
The open forum, more of a “Town Hall” format, exposed the administrator to questions from the public and was the most useful to the attendees in the sense that it revealed the most about Mr. Shimun’s style, approach, background, and ability to engage with the residents. While the ‘breakout group’ approach was a great opportunity to meet some fellow residents and hash out some general ideas the ultimate value of generating these ideas will only be in the execution, not the presentation. If the meetings are for citizens to generate a mission statement for the administration that is a little bit different from the description on the Town’s web site.
Still, the opportunity to meet with residents, Council Members, and Mr. Shimun provided the opportunity for multiple conversations. The dialog at the open forum was challenging and specific, and gave residents the opportunity to directly question, praise, and criticize Mr. Shimun in a frank and open setting. There will be two more opportunities in this cycle–and one of the requests and suggestions is that residents have this opportunity on a permanent and regular basis, at least quarterly. In his opening remarks Mr. Shimun displayed a list of all the ways the Town communicates with residents, and adding regular open meetings with the Town Administrator, who after all is most responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Town, will be a huge step in the right direction for both Mr. Shimun and our fellow citizens. … Continue reading Report on Meeting with Gary Shimun (DavieSportsPAC.COM)→