December 3, 2012
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City Council Meeting Moved
Our City Council meeting schedule for Monday, December 17th has
been moved to Wednesday, December 19th.
HOLA Volunteer Passing
I’d like to start our meeting out by remembering our first and most
active HOLA volunteer, Oscar Alicea who passed last week after
battling Pulmonary Fibrosis.
I am extremely grateful for everything Oscar did for our community.
He gave generously of his energies and talents and worked tirelessly
to improve the quality of life for our Hispanic residents throughout
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Oscar’s family and friends during
this difficult time.
Commission Stuart Birthday
I want to wish Commissioner Stuart a happy belated birthday. He
celebrated his birthday last week on November 27th. Happy Birthday,
Today you might be wondering why I am wearing a Tulsa Hurricane
jersey. Well, I made a friendly wager with the Mayor of Tulsa that
the Mayor of the city who did not win the Conference USA
championship game this past weekend would wear the other team’s
jersey at their upcoming City Council meeting.
Unfortunately, this past Saturday, the UCF Knights lost 27-33 in
overtime to the University of Tulsa (UT) Golden Hurricanes at the
C-USA Championship game.
In addition, as part of the wager, today one of our local
businesses, The Tap Room at Dubsdread, is sending a key lime pie to
Tulsa Mayor Bartlett in Oklahoma.
Operation Positive Direction
In 2008, the Orlando Police Department established a new youth
mentoring program, Operation Positive Direction. Currently, 35
Orlando Police officers serve as youth mentors through the program,
offering mentoring, tutoring, community service projects, goal
setting and incentives for success to children 12-18 years old
facing a variety of challenges.
Happy Holidays Green Message
I’d like to encourage everyone to “go green” this holiday season and
join us in our goal of making Orlando the most environmentally
friendly city in the country!
From shopping locally for gifts, to using LED lights on your house
or tree, to recycling maps, scarves and paper bags and using them as
wrapping paper; there are a ton of ways to help save the environment
this winter holiday season.
GreenWorksOrlando.com for more ways
to “go green” this holiday season and I hope you and your family and
friends have a joyous holiday season.
Best Foot Forward
Sadly, a pedestrian was killed early Sunday morning after being
struck by a pickup truck on International Drive. Commissioners, I
think this continues to show the importance of our Best Foot Forward
initiative focused on preventing these types of pedestrian deaths
and injuries in our community.
Since the program launch, we have seen results such as:
- Nearly 1,700 drivers have been issued
warnings for failing to yield to a pedestrian at targeted
intersections within City limits.
- OPD has cited almost 200 drivers with tickets
or violating the yield law at targeted intersections.
- Compliance (yield rate) has gone from 9% at
the start of education to 36% in the City.
Most importantly, behaviors are changing with Best
Foot Forward, but I want to continue to encourage everyone to yield
to pedestrians and join us in this mission to prevent accidents and
improve safety, while encouraging walking as a safe, fun form of
transportation and healthy activity.
Bicycle Friendly Designation
And speaking of safety, the City of Orlando has just received
recognition again as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of
The City of Orlando has received this recognition consistently since
2000 and is currently home to more than 290 miles of urban bicycling
trails, signed routes and lanes.
Main Street Bike Racks
And one more transportation initiative I’d like to highlight today
is an agenda item to make way for the College Park Partnership to
install an innovative bicycle parking system near Albert Park. This
uniquely designed bike rack will further enhance the aesthetic of
the park while providing residents a safe and stylish place to park
their bikes and enjoy the amenities of College Park. Once complete,
I believe that this project will become a model for creative
infrastructure improvements throughout the City.
Please join me in thanking Commissioner Stuart and the members of
the College Park Partnership for leading this effort.
Items of Note
Golf Channel QTI & QACF
Today, the Orlando City Council approved an economic development
incentive that could bring 75 new high-value, high-wage jobs to our
Golf Channel, which is headquartered in the City of Orlando and
already employs nearly 500, has plans to expand their operations by
relocating the production teams that handle the management of their
GolfChannel.com and GolfNow.com websites.
In addition to the City of Orlando, Golf Channel is considering
Stamford, CT for this expansion.
Should Golf Channel choose Orlando for its expansion plans, the
company would increase its existing space in District 6 by 22,000
square feet, making a nearly $2 million investment in our community.
The Orlando City Council also approved several Housing items that
will provide funding to local agencies. Agencies will use this
funding to provide assistance to the homeless and credit counseling
services to our residents who are either facing financial crises or
trying to achieve the American dream of homeownership.
Today's agenda items, along with the items approved at the last
meeting, represent more than $4 million dollars in federal awards.
These dollars are directly support the community by helping to keep
our neighborhoods sustainable, livable and safe.