COUNCIL WATCH 


A tall, hairy drink of Geraldo water sat in the place where the dark sunglasses of Betty Wyman used to lounge, and nobody knew what to expect. The mayor probably didn’t help new District 2 commissioner Tony Ortiz – with his cruel balancing act of first-day jitters and presentational smiles – when he mentioned Wyman’s 16-year-old shoes to fill, but maybe Ortiz would surprise. Maybe he would be just the bit of jumped-shark comic relief required for this aging cast of Friends. Maybe he would be dreamy.

Or not.

“Blurger, blurger, blurger, thank you, mayor,” Ortiz fumbled in a voice that sounded like a submarine with Barry White stuck in it. “Blurger, blurger, pretty tough election, blurger, blurger. You all make me feel blurger welcome. Blurger. I have no comments.”

Right, then. Back to Patty Sheehan’s crazy
global swan crusade and Daisy Lynum’s fear of minorities being priced off golf courses. In other words, politics as usual!

Item: The city approves a purchase of 50 automatic electronic defibrillators.

Translation: It wasn’t so long ago that defibrillators were reserved for 47th-minute climaxes involving flatlining city commissioners on very special episodes of Quincy, M.E. But in the post-ER, Big Pharma superfuture that is 2008, they’re as commonplace as Kinoki foot pads and juicers. You need one. The city apparently already features a few in the dark corners of its public places, but those defibrillators are “obsolete,” natch. Because the fire and police departments already have the new and improved Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3 Plus Automatic Electronic Defibrillators – they have text (!) and don’t require their users to actually know if a shock is needed; they figure that part out themselves – so shall the city. How much for 50 of these potent pieces of peace of mind? Only $86,700! But if you call now, they’ll also include 50 security-enabled, strobe-light-alarmed wall cabinets!

Item: The city approves a purchase from Classic Chevrolet of four additional 2008 Chevrolet Impala police pursuit vehicles.

Translation: Accidents will happen, but accidents that result in the totaling of four marked OPD patrol vehicles in as many months probably shouldn’t. Back on Jan. 14, the city dropped $1,842,526 on a bright, shiny new fleet of 74 2008 Impalas, because they are the best cars in the world according to people with potbellies and mustaches. But seeing as some cops apparently did a Superbad number on their taxpayer-funded rides, the city now needs four replacements. No biggie. That’s just $100,000 more dollars not to spend on firing Officer Trinidad.

Item: The city approves Dubsdread Golf Course rates and the creation of a repair and replacement account.

Translation: Golf is nothing if not self-contained. You could be sporting your best tartan knickers, chopping the finest birdies of your entire senior life, screaming things like “Fore!” until your dentures rattle out of your mouth and still, to the outside world, you wouldn’t look like you were doing much at all. Dubsdread hasn’t been doing much for a while now, except closing streets and pissing off neighbors. Come mid-July, though, sport-ish leisure will once again reign supreme when the remodeled municipal golf course swings again. To mark the occasion, the city is upping the rates for most of its membership packages by $200 a year, which, depending on your commitment and fear of walking, will cost you anywhere from $1,299 to $2,199. A hundred thousand dollars of that yearly ante-upping will go to repairing and replacing golf carts. And nobody outside the golf course will care.

Item: The city approves an employment agreement for After School All Stars president/chief executive officer/director.

Translation: Holy Schwarzenegger! City commissioner “emeritus” Betty Wyman really isn’t going anywhere. Anywhere but up, that is. Wyman will now be the CEO/Godhead of the Governator-touted program she ran while she was in office making a piddly $37,000 salary, only now she won’t have to pretend to worry (“Nothing going on in my district, Mayor!”) about the streetlights and prostitutes. Better still, she’ll be getting $75,004.80 – plus benefits – a year to do not as much work. Of course, only $30,000 of that comes from the city, while the rest drips out of the program’s coffers. Wow, defibrillators really do work on flatlining city commissioners!

Billy Manes

bmanes@orlandoweekly.com

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