COUNCIL WATCH 


Perhaps  there  was  something in the water. Unexpectedly and totally off-agenda, this week’s slush of boozy boosterism melted down into a perfectly boring discussion of water politics, led ably by the inexplicably enviro-excitable public works director, Alan Oyler. This Oyler mixed well with the clear stuff, allowing his anecdotal intensity to drip on for the better part of a half-hour: We need to conserve, southeast Orlando is now under restrictions, soon everybody will be, etc. The focus, naturally, was on sprinkler systems depleting the city’s reclaimed water supply. “Hose draggers,” Oyler clarified, needn’t be too worried yet.
But what about people who bathe?
“I read somewhere that it’s better to take baths after 9 p.m.,” Commissioner Lynum picked another feather from the bird bath in her brain. “And when’s the best time to do laundry?”
She’s a clean one, that Lynum.

Item: The city approves an agreement between the Florida Community Loan Fund and the city of Orlando.
Translation: Talk about a sign of the times. Back in 2006, the city joined up with the Health Council of East Central Florida to fund Transition House – a renovated six-unit apartment complex intended to house families dealing with HIV/AIDS – to the tune of $512,500. Very nice. But the property was actually acquired for $625,000 and required $200,000 of additional rehabilitation. Transition House used $312,000 of the city’s loan towards the acquisition of the property and the remaining $200,000 for the rehab. That left them with a $312,500 balance tied up in a loan held by the property’s seller. And, surprise! That loan is going to balloon in 2009, adding foreclosure to this topical stew. So, now Transition House wants the city to bail them out with a fairer loan to buy them out of the ballooning one. Somehow via the passing of time, the loans on the property have increased to above its appraisal value, leaving a $90,900 shortfall, something the city says “will be absorbed by the continued depreciation of the city’s loan.”
Okay, whatever. Math hurts. We’re all going to die.

Item: The city approves Sparky’s Pet Resort at 417 W. Robinson Street.
Translation: Puppies! Puppies never die, and to see to that little life truth, the city is working with Sparky’s Pet Resort to replat a couple of Robinson Street warehouse lots into a fetching getaway for primped pooches. They’ll offer boarding, grooming and doggie day care, hopefully providing much-needed comfort for our silent partners as they face this unspeakable recession nose-on.

Item: The city purchases 78 electric golf carts from Club Car Inc.
Translation: Also of great importance are the miniature transportation needs of the recession-repellent leisure class: the men in pleated khakis who wave sticks at balls and then put their hands to the brims of their visors to divine the distance of their competitive worth. The city knows this, and on the eve of the re-opening of Dubsdread in July, they’re getting down to the business of making certain that not one drunk man with sun poisoning has to actually use his legs in any manner other than that of a pivot. The city received two bids on the contract, but the cheaper one – E-Z Go Textron Inc.’s $272,532 – wasn’t up to snuff. Club Car Inc. is offering a superior 48-volt electrical system (longer), an aluminum – rather than coated steel – frame (harder) and a 3.2 horsepower motor (faster), all for the mere pocket lint of $285,090 for 78 vehicles.

Item: The city purchases one aerial bucket fire rescue truck from Sutphen Corp.
Translation: As part of its “standardization” program, the city wants to purchase its first high-climbing fire apparatus since December 2006. That one went up 95 feet and cost $820,018. This new one will be like its little sister, rising 70 feet, and after a pay-up-front discount from Sutphen, will cost only $761,247.11. Treed cats can now rejoice.

Item: The city accepts its 2007 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.
Translation: We are so awesome. How awesome? The city is submitting its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ending September 2007 – one that is either highlighting how its Green Works program is saving the world, or is completely covered in green highlighter markings – to the Special Review Committee of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for evaluation. If we’re as awesome as we think we are, we’re bound to get a certificate. So freakin’ awesome.


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