Monday, September 8, 2014

COUNCIL WATCH: Liveblogging your city at work, because somebody ought to

Posted on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Well hello!!!! Welcome to our gracious blogging room. It's been a bit since your dais darlings have convened for a game of Go Fish (it was totally a month ago), mostly because they've been cobbling together the next fiscal year's budget (we won't be sitting around for that production at 5:01 p.m.) where they will likely discuss raising your property taxes to pay for their chandeliers ... or venues. Speaking of, this week sees the 19TH - NINETEENTH - amendment to the Dr. Phillips Center construction agreement, which means, naturally, more money. $3.4 million extra will do nicely, thank you. Oh, and strange entity of wandering thoughts CityArts Factory will continue its free ride to the tune of $630k over the next two years. Bricks. Everywhere. This morning, apparently, city leaders wrung their hands over the ILLEGAL operations of Uber and Lyft in the city, trying to come up with a stop-stick for rampant captialism funded by the GOP; the results of that grumbling won't materialize for months, because love takes time.

But, oh, dear reader, we don't mean to be so mean just yet. Nothing has even happened! (It's all already happened in the offices behind the council hall actually, but who is counting?). Join us at 2 p.m. for a play-by-play. You can get your nails done at the same time, new urbanist. You deserve nice things.

2 p.m.: IT'S HAPPENING ON TIME. THIS IS A GOOD SIGN. (Not really). Invocation, ERECT!

2:03 p.m.: Shut up, we have a quorum.

2:04 p.m.: YOU GUYS, IT'S INTERNATIONAL HOUSEKEEPERS WEEK IN ORLANDO!!!!! The IEHA (union) started in the 1930s, and since 1981 there has been a week in which you should recognize your housekeepers, jerks. OH, OK, the president of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association – which fought against sick time for its housekeepers – and a rep who manages the cleaners of City Hall are the people here to represent. Go ahead and bury that disconnect beneath the $34 billion in tourism bloviation you're offering. Honor the executives; the cleaners are busy.

2:08 p.m.: For the record, three housecleaners (apparently) were invited. Good on you, CFHLA.

2:10 p.m.: Goddess Regina Hill is speaking to honor Second Harvest and Amerigroup Florida for feeding people in the ever-dwindling Parramore community. "Who's the biggest food bank?" was just a rhetorical question, answered by, "That shouldn't be the question." Which is nice. Second Harvest guy is saying one plus one plus one equals four, and then talking about the "kinds of calories" we're providing. HIPPOCRATES REFERENCE: FOOD IS MEDICINE, AND MEDICINE IS FOOD.

2:15 p.m.: TIME FOR THE MAYOR'S UPDATE! Ugh, we're referencing 9/11 13 years ago and having a moment of silence. Le sigh. NEVER FORGET! Dyer is talking in broadstrokes about national military stuff, including prisoners of war. We're having a POW-MIA ceremony in the rotunda on Sept. 26. AND THAT IS ALL FROM BUDDY.

2:16 p.m.: Goddess Regina Hill has been everywhere in the past month, including the Mad Cow on Church Street. She also went to Belvin Perry's retirement ceremonies; he is one of Hill's heroes. There was a back-to-school health fair on Aug. 23 with "nutritional" offerings. "Close that digital divide" in district 5, says Hill, about "Tech." Seems that Hill is cool about the Tinker Field situation at the Citrus Bowl: "It's just an amazing view." CAN I JUST SAY THAT I LOVE THAT THERE IS A LAKE LORNA DOONE IN ORLANDO?  Oh, Regina, you go on a bit, don't you?

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2:20 p.m.: There is talk of shopping carts, but in a good way, in terms of the SNAP program (food stamps). Not shopping carts like this, my first official news story eight years ago.

2:22 p.m.: Regina had dinner with THE WHOLE FIRE STATION NUMBER TWO. They had chicken pot pie with fresh vegetables, in case you wondered. ... Some tennis talk ... And some Baptist talk. Phew. NOW INGS.

2:24 p.m.: mumblegrumblemumblegrumblemumblegrumblemumblegrumble. SAM INGS IS NOT DISCUSSING MUCH BUT HE IS SAYING PLENTY. You know what, Sam. I meet people a lot, too. We're totally the same person. FUN SPOT TALK! Another back-to-school thing, with Grand Avenue and Holden Heights. DON'T TELL THE SCHOOL BOARD.

2:27 p.m.: Huge horse and Orlando City Soccer and Experience Church and Fire Union and Nickelodeon all in one run-on sentence.

2:29 p.m.: New deputy chief of OPD used to "work for me," says Ings, because that matters. Oh, and a "celebrity golf extravaganza" with 128 golfers (minus celebrities). Sports talk ensues. Names don't register in this head. There was an actor from "Power" on the STARZ network there. So was Reddick Bowe, whose "fists are just as big" as they are on television, says Ings.

2:32 p.m.: pee break. Thanks, Sam.

2:33 p.m.: Jim Gray is actually mentioning something on the agenda, because he has a "conflict of interest." And he's done.

2:35 p.m.: Tony Ortiz might have trimmed his hair, but his mustache floweth over. He's talking about "what a great park" we're going to have for your dogs. "Let's leave it at that for now," he says. What? Ortiz is now explaining that counties and cities aren't quite the same thing in the Latino community, which is kind of cool. Except our county and our city make it more confusing, do they not?

2:37 p.m.: Tony Ortiz just begged for party invites "upstairs." Yes, he did.

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2:38 p.m.: Robert "Bobby" Stuart just talked about the College Park Community Newspaper party and how much he liked meeting the "writers" over there. We, meanwhile, are rather bitter about this.

2:40 p.m.: OH, SOME TALK ABOUT MILITARY VEHICLES? Not even sure what just happened.

2:42 p.m.: Patty Sheehan is talking about the arsonist who was arrested after 14 arsons in Thornton Park, and the burglary suspect in Lake Eola Heights. "Don't talk about it on social media," Sheehan says. Call the police first.

2:43 p.m.: YOU CAN SOON USE CREDIT CARDS IN THE PARKING METERS DOWNTOWN. Related: They will make a lot of money off of you. Relax Grill will stay on Lake Eola. The wastewater treatment at Milennia is paid for; things will stink less. Lake Eola Farmers Market will continue to get cheap/free rent because it's awesome. LONG LIVE THE LAKE.

2:45 p.m.: We are in the CRA. Which means not a lot, unless Thomas Chatmon is going to come up and talk very deeply and slowly. LET'S HOPE SO.

2:46 p.m.: HERE HE IS: THOMAS CHATMON!!!! He is going to sing very deeply and slowly about the 2014-2015 CRA budget.

2:47 p.m.: MORE CRA TALKING. You know what the CRA is, right? It's the added tax on the downtown properties that comprise an area that used to need to be improved, thus: community redevelopment agency. Problem is, there is nothing about the CRA that needs to be "re"-developed right now, so basically it's just a tax-hole for the #condolife

2:50 p.m.: OMG, THE FUNDING FOR CITYARTS EXPIRED IN 2013? AND YET IT STILL STANDS? Oh, we can go back and grandfather the unpaid period and carry it through 2016. Nothing shifty here. Nobody disagrees.

2:52 p.m.: POWERPOINT about a facade agreement, this time for a real estate holding company in Parramore called AS Peleus. They have an office on Parramore, and are putting $160k out of their own pocket into this. So the city owes AS Peleus LLC $20,000. It's only right.

2:54 p.m.: There is something called the "Creative Village Moving Parramore Forward Project," because opposites attract.

2:56 p.m.: WE ARE INTO HEARINGS! Greater Orlando Aviation Authority rep says his second appearance at the podium is "just another day in paradise" in the deepest southern drawl the front of my pants can handle.

2:57 p.m.: There is pure Stockhold Syndrome going on with the GOAA CFO standing next to my redneck dreamboat right now. GOAA is begging for a budget increase because baggage and security.

3 p.m.: Some Lake Nona nonsense - does Lake Nona actually exist? - has been deferred.

3:01 p.m.: There is a motion to state that the Central Florida Fair's "agricultural education and promotion program" actually "serves a public purpose." Yeah, it does. Purple jackets ahoy!

3:02 p.m.: ALL THE ORDINANCES. These aren't fun ones, though. Although an "education village" sounds suspicious. VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED.

3:04 p.m.: LIKE SANDS THROUGH LAKE HOURGLASS, so goes the rezoning of the area right around the corner from my house to "single family" and away from "planned development with traditional city overlay." I've had a few traditional city overlays.

3:06 p.m.: We are racing through the end here. Some part of E. Orlando Street just got abandoned. HOPE YOU DON'T LIVE THERE, SEWER HOGS.

3:07 p.m.: Sheehan just applauded a first-read ordinance that lightens regulations on redevelopment projects. WE NEED MORE DEVELOPMENT.

3:08 p.m.: Mayor Dyer has just put this thing to bed, because none of this bullshit is what anyone is really concerned about anyway. Everyone needs to run out and get their B-12/cocaine so that they can endure the post 5 p.m. happy hour of a first budget hearing. We'll probably hang out for the second budget hearing; the first is too boring an too long from now. Thanks for playing.

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