District 1 commissioner Phil Diamond was out with the flu, which meant there would be no reassuring winks, no thoughtful contention and a generally arrhythmic pacing to this week's civic confab. In place of those things, there was talk about swans and gay people from commissioner Sheehan, self-conscious fadeout-speak from commissioner Lynum and inscrutable loud gurgling from commissioner Ortiz.


Oh, and commissioner Sam Ings, finishing his laundry list of people who even looked at him this week, ended with something almost sexual with a 90-year-old constituent named Irene and a card she sent him. "I know it's an affectionate thing, but at 90 years old I would hope …" he rambled. Gross.


Item: The city approves a memorandum of understanding between the City of Orlando and Eola Capital LLC relating to a possible exchange of properties generally located at the northwest intersection of East Central Boulevard and North Eola Drive.


Translation: Way back in March, Eola Capital picked a big fight with downtown residents best described as "concerned" when the company unveiled their plans for a super-new business high-rise right on Lake Eola. At an April Metropolitan Planning Board meeting, Eola Capital pulled the big dick move of withdrawing their request for reconsideration, forcing those who took the day off work to express their historically hued opinions rhetorically and effectively off the record. Their beef? There would be soul-sucking shadows over the playground, a parking nightmare, and basically Orlando would not be Orlando anymore and stuff. Well, now Eola Capital is creeping back (as suspected) with this nonbinding agreement with the city that allows, hey, maybe we'll look into the part of Lake Eola Park that's already a park and abutting high-rise-happy Central Boulevard. It's a savvy move on the city's part to throw this into the mix, but also a good one for Eola Capital, which wants to be part of the city's growth management plan. It could also be just the smoke and mirrors required to deflect the olds and construct another flashy eyesore.


Item: The city approves award of contracts to Polydyne Inc. and 3F Chimica Americas/U.S. Polymers Inc. for the purchase of cationic polymer.


Translation: Oh, the plight of the wastewater division. Not only does their naming immediately bring to mind the foul excretions of only the ugliest people, but it also actually requires them to spend huge amounts of your cash on things that you would never even want to understand. Cationic polymer – which is sold by weight in dry tons – is "required for the process of dewatering sludge," so it basically makes it easier to haul said sludge elsewhere. Anyway, the city is filtering $537,404 to Polydyne and $123,900 to 3F Chimica in an effort to make certain that your life is not covered in sludge.


Item: The city approves an agreement with HNTB Architecture Inc. to provide architectural and engineering services for the Citrus Bowl stadium renovation.


Translation: It's almost sad to watch the city still pulling out its checkbook to erect venues to the (monster truck) gods while the rest of us are treating glances at our 401(k)s with the same displeasure we usually reserve for papercuts on our eyeballs. This agreement separates the planning segment of our stadium pipe dream into two segments. The first, at $4.1 million, involves the preparation of "design documents" for the project and should be done by May of next year. The second, at $6.8 million, covers construction documents and construction administration. So, after almost $11 million, we'll have a blue piece of paper to show us what we can no longer afford.


Item:The city approves an extension of its annual agreement with United Healthcare for group health plan coverage.


Translation: It's got the gays in it! Citing "fairness" or whatever, the city will now extend health benefits to its domestic partners who can prove that they are domestic partners (joint checking, bitches!) and not just roomies who sometimes, you know, help each other out. This long-time-coming addition to the city employees benefits package will reportedly only cost $37,000 (out of the total plan cost of $33 million), meaning that either the plan sucks or nobody's gay on the city's watch (we can count at least three, natch). The best part is that this agreement excludes the straights. Why? Because they can get married, and we certainly wouldn't want to do anything to mess with their "sanctity." Suck it, straights!


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