COUNCIL WATCH 


A real mixed bag popped open upon the dais as this week's inauguration-hangover edition of your city at work whittled its way through another joyless civic hour. Mayor Buddy Dyer was lamenting the obvious with his acknowledgement of depleting tourist development taxes and what that means for the entertainment trifecta. ("We will work every angle we can," he said.) On the other, he was joined by several of the commissioners in trying to protect any possible "stimulus packet" funding for "shovel-ready" projects right here in the City Beautiful; a little bit of Crist-hating came into play here, oddly. Odd, because what exactly does our governor do besides be pretty and g(r)ay?

Daisy Lynum and Dyer chatted up their attendance at last week's D.C. inauguration, while commissioner Sam Ings complained that he got the tickets that made people get turned away. Commissioner Patty Sheehan referenced toilets, leading Lynum to rejoin with, "I do have some potty problems." Eww.

Item: The city approves an award to HD Supply Waterworks and Ferguson Waterworks for an annual purchase agreement for underground sewer and water pipe, fittings, couplings and supplies.

Translation: Ah, underground romance. The dark-room gropes and Eastern European ear-grunts; the leather, mustaches and "waterworks." Unfortunately, the city has not taken its dirty mind to Berlin, but has instead agreed upon a necessity very few people actually care about. Apparently, our impolite excretions are proving to be a heavy load, and some shiny new supplies are needed to keep it all flowing. These "couplings" — along with fittings, supplies and a pipe — will be coming from two different sources and are estimated to cost the city a total of $164,000. You don't even want to know how much your shit stinks. Seriously.

Item: The city approves a lease to Relax Grill at Lake Eola LLC for the property located at 211 Eola Parkway and supporting documentation needed for the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

Translation: For those who aren't homeless but do like to get drunk while staring at the plastic swans and food coloring of Lake Eola, this could be good news. Erik's on Lake Eola decided not to renew the lease on its alcoholic concession stand at the end of last year. Now, former manager Sam Chatah has decided to pull in a couple of moneyed partners — and his Frankie Goes to Hollywood collection — in order to keep the dream alive with Relax. The rent is cheap. The city will charge Chatah and his partners a scant $1,000 a month, plus 8 percent of the monthly receipts when (or if) they surpass $12,500. Best of all, pampered pooches will be allowed to bark at each other and poop, thanks to that heroic dog-friendly dining initiative that turned former state representative Sheri McInvale into the goddess of chew toys a couple of years ago. Woof!

Item: The city approves an award of annual agreement for the rental of traffic control devices.

Translation: What sort of traffic control devices? Humble, orange-and-white blinky things meant to urge you to stay away. The city's in the market for some barricades, because apparently there are more places that you shouldn't be visiting, and will spread the wealth between two Florida companies: Acme Barricades and Bob's Barricades. A cursory search of Bob's Internet site shows no sign of a "Bob" anywhere, which is suspicious, but nonetheless the city will throw him some $81,587 while shifting $83,132 of your money over to Acme.

Item: The city approves an award to LMG Inc. to provide and install acoustical treatments, a sound system and monitors in city council chambers that will replace outdated equipment.

Translation: Nothing is more exciting than attending an actual city council meeting these days; it's all glitz and glamour and holograms and plushies and flat-screens and every multimedia experience your senses can endure. However, some of these innovations intended to keep developers from dozing off while they await their "Sure, why not!" are outdated. The city is offering $77,000 to LMG Inc. to rid the chambers of their Color Me Badd, In Living Color 1991-isms and take us into the space age. The city is pretending it's not acting like a spoiled brat during a depression, and being all "We signed off on this in 2007 when everybody's heads were made of diamonds." Whatever gets you through the night.

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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