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Leading Fort Lauderdale: An Interview with Acting City Manager Susan Grant

Posted at 11:50 AM, Jul 01, 2024

Disclaimer: This Inside South Florida segment is sponsored by City of Fort Lauderdale. All opinions and views are of the advertiser and does not reflect the same of WSFL-TV.

Fort Lauderdale, renowned for its beautiful beaches and vibrant community, is led by a dedicated team working tirelessly to ensure the city's growth and resilience. Susan Grant, the Acting City Manager, joined Inside South Florida to discuss her role and the exciting initiatives underway.

"I've been with the City of Fort Lauderdale for almost five years in [various] roles, most recently as the Acting City Manager," Grant shares. As the Chief Executive Officer of the city, she oversees approximately 3,000 employees and serves nearly 190,000 residents, along with countless visitors. "Our departments [range] from police and fire services to public works, parks and recreation, and internal services like finance, IT, marketing, communications, and human resources. It's varied and super interesting."

Grant's journey is particularly inspiring as a woman in a predominantly male field. "When you look at city managers across the nation, most of them will be males," she notes. However, she's no stranger to breaking barriers. "I'm an accountant by trade, a Florida CPA, and when I was an accounting major at the University of Florida, the girls in the classes were a very small minority… It's not like I picked it because I was trying to be break a glass ceiling or be a trendsetter. Believe it or not, accounting was something that I really liked. The message would be… pick something you like. And if it turns out to be that you break a glass ceiling on the way, that's great."

Grant's career spans various roles, including controller, HR director, finance director, and Deputy City Manager in Coral Springs before taking on her current role in Fort Lauderdale. "It's all about serving the public and our employees," she emphasizes.

Among the city's current priorities are expanding parks and improving stormwater systems. "Several years back, our voters approved a $200 million initiative… to add new parks and amenities… Parks are so important for our residents," Grant explains.

Resiliency is another significant focus, particularly following the 1000-year rainstorm that hit Fort Lauderdale in April 2023. "We had already been starting a phase one of a stormwater plan initiative. And based on what happened last April, we've expanded and… we're adding 17 [neighborhoods] to it. Over the next 10 years, we'll be spending $700 million on stormwater systems that are going to make those neighborhoods… more resilient," she says.

Fort Lauderdale is gearing up for several exciting events, including the July 4th Spectacular. The all-day family event will take place on the beach at Las Olas and A1A, with a concert by En Vogue at 7:30 PM, and fireworks display at dusk.

For more details on city events and initiatives, visit fortlauderdale.gov.

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

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