COUNCIL WATCH: Liveblogging your city at work

HEY YOU GUYS! It's the other Monday – as in "every other Monday" – so while we manage to bring ourselves back to life to face down a busy week, your city council is doing the same, only for (usually) two weeks! This week's agenda looks pretty dry. The most important thing we see is the new home for the embattled Orlando Ballet for a scant $1 a month in Loch Haven Park and, well, a new initiative to put our "Best Foot Forward" for pedestrian safety. Speaking of body parts, there's an event being approved called "Go Nuts with Testicular Cancer Foundation." Oh dear. Join in as we liveblog the boredom of all boredoms. Maybe something funny will happen! It always does! Sort of!

2:07 p.m.: There's a prayer happening. Everybody bow your head while at your desk.

2:08 p.m.: Can I just tell you that there was a workshop this morning in which city CFO Rebecca Sutton pointed out that, unlike last year when we had $25.9 million in tax revenue to throw into the general revenue pool, this year we have zero. I WONDER WHY. WE DON'T SPEND NEARLY ENOUGH MONEY.

2:10 p.m.: Sgt. Patrick (PAT!) Guckian is a BIG DEAL in the human trafficking sad world, so he just got the Public Citizen of the Year Award from some Broward social worker group. STANDING O FOR PAT. Pat is also a member of our friends and oppressors the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, which means his suit fits awkwardly. At least he tried.

2:12 p.m.: EVERYBODY GRAB A PINEAPPLE. IT'S NATIONAL TRAVEL AND TOURISM WEEK. City employee and weird booster of every project Brooke Bonnett is talking about it, while each of the commissioners stare at the pineapples they've been given, like real pineapples. It's not absurd at all. Also, Visit Orlando and Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association – the lobby that helped kill sick time – are in the chambers, too. They singlehandedly made $50 billion for the local community, says Bonnett.

2:15 p.m.: Mayor Buddy Dyer sort of resembles a pineapple when he says "whereas" 20 times during a proclamation talking about "leisure travel."

2:17 p.m.: MAYOR'S UPDATE! Orlando Solar Bears beat the Cincy Cyclones Saturday. Because we all watch hockey and dress in purple for Solar Bears. OH, GUESS WHAT. THIS WEEK SUNRAIL STARTS. April 30 is the first phase, so there will be some dumb event where local electeds will jump on the train at their assigned places. IT'S A WHISTLESTOP TOUR! It will likely smell of money and cologne and bourbon. Free service for the first two weeks, apparently. Go find out for yourself at

2:19 p.m.: He's talking about "Best Foot Forward" and pedestrians, and has made us aware that it's not NEW. It started in 2012. OH, a qualified tax incentive thing for 45 jobs in veterinary diagnostics. FREE MONEY!

2:21 p.m.: Buddy just made a joke about the whole dais being lazy fat people, at least compared to all the ballet dancing kids from the Orlando Ballet who have been trotted out for appearances. "It's partnerships like these that really help to grow the artistic community." YEAH, LIKE DPAC, WHICH IS BASICALLY KILLING THE BALLET ON EVERY IMAGINABLE LEVEL.


2:23 p.m.: Commissioner Patty Sheehan is talking about the "dancers coming and going" and "wonderful energy." Talking now about losing our symphony and our opera. Also, her hair next to a pineapple is so confounding. WE STILL SUPPORT PATTY'S HAIR. This ballet thing is a wonderful thing, she says. A very creative solution. OH, a pedestrian bridge at Milennia! Patty's claiming it cuz it used to be in her district, now it's in Commissioner Sam Ings'. Speaking of, we don't want to hear him in a few minutes.

2:26 p.m.: THIS IS DAISY LYNUM'S SECOND TO LAST MEETING. "You can have Ings' time," says Dyer. Lynum is talking about how she used to be a writer, played first clarinet in college, "MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW I HAVE A DATE WITH A COMMISSIONER UP HERE." I don't think I know what she's talking about. She just did a "mmmmkay girls, i'm gonna have junior for a night!" WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Daisy's poo-pooing SunRail in lieu of light rail, which Gov. Rick Scott threw away the money for. "I feel like Joe Biden, 'This is a --- big deal,'" says Lynum. Oh, dear.

2:29 p.m.: Daisy's talking about Pathways to Parramore and specifically Parramore Village, which is a project she never got done even thought it's been in the works since 1998 or somesuch. Our friend Mark Schlueb wrote about it here. She also likes the "prefab homes" she brought to Parramore. Daisy is going to give away houses to veterans in Parramore because "infill," which sounds sweet. She's just as "excited as can be."

2:33 p.m.: Commissioner Sam Ings is rattling as he does, basically reiterating everything everyone else has said. Just waiting for that moment when he starts talking about WHAT HE DID FOR TWO WEEKS, day by day. For now he's talking about an NAACP banquet in honor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But it's quickly dwindling into "where did Sam go?" with a side of namedropping already, so pardon us if we zone out.



2:41 p.m.: Nobody else ever talks for that long.

2:42 p.m.: Commissioner Jim Gray just pointed out a high school senior who felt like spending all day seeing how the city works. Everybody applauded. Gray is really into the QTI for the veterinarians. Gray IS SOMEHOW AGAINST THE BALLET LEASE, and now has to face down a bunch of children. "Unfortunately there's a piece in there called economics," he says. Gray will be voting no on the girl in the tiara, is afraid of flying pineapples.

2:44 p.m.: Commissioner Tony Ortiz's mustache just made a joke about the ballet, before getting all serious and saying things about "our future." Gray's vote was fully symbolic of his conservatism, obvs. Gray's suit was, too. SEITO SUSHI SHOUTOUT. We want sushi now. SunRail, blah, blah. Ortiz is getting dangerously close to Ings territory here, reading his daytimer to prove he's doing something. He did CPR at some event, probably on a dummy? Could you imagine the stache-burn? Oh, also, he got to go up on a ladder with the fire department and it freaked him out. "I think I'm losing it," he says.

2:48 p.m.: Commissioner Bobby Stuart is talking about homeowners association meet-up stuff. Leu Gardens events (Jazz and Blues stroll, plant sale). JUST GOT FEATURED IN THE PLANT SECTION OF THE MIAMI HERALD. Because the Herald has a "plant section."

2:50 p.m.: Go make out with Robert Stuart during the Leu Gardens showing of Streetcar Named Desire next week. You really should.

2:51 p.m.: Bobby is giving a statement about the ballet thing, one that includes a long history of everything and everyone just like the good times at the Stuart family table. Bobby once went to a Footloose secret dance in Loch Haven back in "the day." Ballet will "continue to make its home in the city, and especially District 3." Can we all remember when DPAC was supposed to hold the offices for all the arts groups?

2:54 p.m.: THE BALLET IS SAVED. EVERYONE IS CLAPPING. EVERYONE IS LEAVING. We're going to take a 1 minute break so everyone can leave and that girl in the tiara can awkwardly shake everyone's hand and microphone.

2:56 p.m.: Robert Stuart's brother Jacob just had his second grandchild, because kids. are. everything.

(just posted by city attorney Mayanne Downs on facebook. SEE HOW CUTE!)

3 p.m.: Ordinance about sidewalk cafes; seems to making it easier for sidewalk cafes.

3:01 p.m.: Ordinance rezoning some land has brought out two public commenter folks. Looking for clarification on effects on Lake Druid park and a bike track and security access and "transients going through the park" and it should all have a six-foot fence. "The ordinance is very vague," says the guy, before mentioning "apartments" and "drugs" and "transients" again. NIMBY!

3:03 p.m.: Second guy also "not opposed" but wants to address items in the ordinance. "Page 5, Line 80," he says, because OMG GET A LIFE. He's talking about THE DUMPSTERS AND COMPACTORS NOT BEING ROOFED. They are literally going to be in his BACK YARD. Things could get loud. Oh, and also, "Page 6, Line 221," a "variance" is allowing three-story buildings. THREE-STORY BUILDINGS. People on third floors are afraid that people will peek into their windows, "privacy concerns," etc.

3:06 p.m.: Former commish Bill Bagley is here in an attorney capacity representing the developer, because that's the career path that always happens. He is encouraging "multiple religions" vis a vis the use of the compactor? Also, we're a 24-hour city, so no limits needed. Also, the condos in question have no windows facing the houses, so shuddup guy. "On a separate matter," congratulating the dais on SunRail, because, uh, he started it in the '80s.

3:13 p.m.: We're still deep in this compactor and dumpster confab, so legal has been brought in.

3:17 p.m.: Daisy just said Bagley was the smartest commissioner she ever worked with. COLD.

3:18 p.m.: Daisy also had something moved from consent to "new business," something from within the Historic Preservation Board meeting minutes. oOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOHHHHH, it's the Tinker Field thing. Legal is saying that this isn't even a final decision - to mark the spot as historical - so it should be approved on "appropriateness." It still has several hoops to hop through.

3:20 p.m.: Daisy is doing the big history of the Citrus Bowl and Tinker Field situation, and how some people are "ill-informed." She sees economic benefit from DESTROYING TINKER FIELD. She just wants a reasonable baseball field in District 5. She is pissing off some people so hard right now. It's not that she doesn't like Tinker Field, she just wants to move all of its history over to McCracken field or somesuch. "IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME TO HAVE BASEBALL; NOT A MEMORIAL."

3:23 p.m.: Daisy wants to have the LONG TALK about landmarking Tinker Field so that it doesn't happen. She believes landmarking the whole field would be "financially imprudent" because Citrus Bowl reno will render it unusable for regulation baseball. Maybe just landmark the Tinker baseball diamond. "If we tried to preserve everywhere Dr. King spoke," etc. Oh, Daisy.

3:26 p.m.: Uh-oh, Patty is on the case. The fact that the Historic board voted yes on landmarking shouldn't be second guessed; she also believes in preserving the diamond. She thinks city staff is working against historic preservation. "People want to destroy the thing the very thing that they like" in historic hoods, she says. NO VINYL WINDOWS. She does not support "smacking our boards in the face."

3:29 p.m.: Buddy is biting back at Patty. It's not "smacking," it's a 16-year legacy commissioner doing what she is good at? Lynum deserves a voice cuz she's leaving? Robert Stuart is having a problem with "process and procedure." There's a problem with the "minutes" from the Historic Preservation Board. Bored. Bored. Bored.

3:32 p.m.: We're really playing semantics here. I'm not even getting into it. Stuart's phone just rang and he ignored it because he's a badass and HE'S TALKING ABOUT NOTHING RIGHT NOW.

3:37 p.m.: "Maybe the wording in the future the wording can be a little more careful," says Stuart. Buddy is trying to explain Daisy's remarks which is NOT AN EASY THING TO DO EVER. God we'll miss her. OK, ROBERT STUART STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS. Let's kick the can down the road, Stuart suggests, so that there can be more public hearing. "There seems to be a level of fact that needs to come out," he says. Delay the decision! Let Daisy have the final word! On her final day! "That may be the world's longest sentence," Stuart just said, which is true if the numbness of my face is any indication. Dyer would "rather not have testimony" on a simple volunteer board vote, so he wants to move this along. We mean, he REALLY wants to move this along. Stuart contends that he's hearing too much from the public about it, and he wants history and fact to be measured appropriately.

3:44 p.m.: This is all we are hearing right now inside our ears.

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3:46 p.m.: "We've got all night," Lynum says. NO WE DO NOT.

3:50 p.m.: The "friendly amendment" situation that Stuart presented for nothing is now not happening thanks to legal. BUT NOW SAM INGS IS TALKING ABOUT IT. Seriously. This has been an hour about "acknowledging" meeting minutes. Ortiz jumps in and says nothing. Lynum "doesn't know what" Ings or Sheehan were talking about when they questioned her smackdown of the historic board.

3:53 p.m.: Sam and Patty turn around and symbolically vote against Daisy. There will be fights later.

HOORAY IT'S OVER. Thanks for playing along. I'll be hanging here in my tutu and tiara.




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