;Now for something completely

;different! The mood around the pale wood and starburst tile of Orlando's precious governance – of late so far up its own boosterism bottom that the lights could have gone out and nobody would have noticed – had all of a sudden gone from that of a gated community association meeting (minus the truffles) to that of a lively episode of Let's Make a Deal. There were native costumes, tiny ballerinas, tiaras, bongos and a certain beauty queen present, all shuffling in their seats for their big moment.


;What gives?


;Well, The Chocolate Nutcracker — a "multicultural" take on the Tchaikovsky holiday classic put on by kids from the "underserved" side of the tracks, coming to Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre Nov. 30. Oh, the hilarity of Mayor Dyer accepting a "chocolate nutcracker" of his own as a gift. Where would he display it?


;Some dispute followed later over the proposed "pedicab ordinance" – a bevy of new restrictions for the hotties on bikes – during which we learned that Commissioner Robert Stuart was nearly run down by a wayward bike while walking with his family on July 4. Now he hates pedicabs.


;Item: The city approves an occupancy agreement for caretakers at Greenwood Cemetery.

;;Translation: Because Stephen King novels were meant to be lived, not merely read, two Greenwood caretakers will be allowed to move into a graveyard-adjacent residence on 426 South Hampton Ave. and literally take their ghoulish work home with them. In lieu of paying rent, the terrifying twosome will assume security duties between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., reporting "unusual activities" (like zombies or goth-teen sex) and locking and unlocking the gates at the appropriate times. But hidden in the agreement is this toxic nugget: "RADON GAS: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when it has accumulated in the building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons who are exposed to it over time." Are dead babies radioactive?


;Item: The city approves the establishment of the Downtown Ambassador Program – which will be operated by the Downtown Development Board – and the transfer of $893,000 from the Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Trust Fund to the DDB to fund the program.

;;Translation: Yikes! Bring on the $10-an-hour (no benefits!) do-gooders on Segways whizzing around the downtown corridor with two-way radios and wagging fingers. While the city suggests that these wheel-footed hall monitors "will be equally able to direct a lost tourist, radio police as necessary, provide public infrastructure damage reports or offer outreach to homeless individuals," it's entirely more likely that they'll be as annoying as children with wheels in their shoes tripping their way through Wal-Mart. Come to think of it, Orlando is a lot like Wal-Mart.


;Item: The city approves an award of agreement to Spherion Atlantic Enterprises LLC for ushering and ticket-taking services at the Centroplex facilities.

;;Translation: Remember that old, run-down building at the corner of West Amelia Street and Parramore Avenue? That hangar-like monument to obsolescence and shitty basketball? Well, to our utter embarrassment, it has to sustain us until the satin ribbon is cut on Rich DeVos' Golden Pleasure Dome™. In order to rip your stub and make you feel uncomfortable about your inability to find your own seat, the city hopped at the lowest bidder – Spherion Atlantic Enterprises – whose services, on perceived 45 games-per-season Magic average, will come in at about $216,821.93.


;Item: The city approves an employment agreement with Tim Ackert, Community Venues Project Director.

;;Translation: Ackert's previous experiences in South Florida – the righting of the notoriously wronged Miami performing arts center ship, helming discussions on a new stadium for the Florida Marlins – have earned him this city's trust and a yearly salary of $215,000. He'll oversee and manage the $1.8 billion overhaul, at least for two years (he's expected to stay on through 2012, assuming his performance is "satisfactory"). On his résumé, he states that in his 30 years in the construction industry, he's "successfully executed" contracts in excess of $1.5 billion. Now he can double that. Welcome to Orlando! A great place to pad your résumé!


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