CITY COUNCIL UPDATE
OFD Chaplain Vandegriff Recognition
City Council recognized Dr. Ragan Vandergriff’s 40 years of service to the Orlando community.
Dr. Ragan Vandegriff is a man of faith. He’s the Orlando Fire Department Chaplain, as well as the Chaplain of the Orange County Sheriff Office.
He arrives on active scenes and at hospital beds to console family and friends of tragedies. Chaplain Vandegriff has 40 dedicated years of spiritual guidance, confidential counsel, motivational education and trusting service to those who serve.
Civil Rights Awards/Fair Housing Anniversary
As part of our community’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, we hosted our first Civil Rights Awards Ceremony and Banquet last week. The event commemorated the untimely passing of Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated 50 years ago this month, and also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act.
During the ceremony, Justice James E.C. Perry was recognized as the City of Orlando Civil Rights Award Winner for his dedication in fighting for equality. Justice Perry was the first African American to be appointed to Florida’s Eighteenth Judicial Court.
Earth Day Workday
Earth Day is April 22 and we’ll be celebrating our community’s sustainability efforts all week, including Friday at our Earth Day Work Day event. From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. outside at City Hall Plaza you can join us for a lunchtime sustainability fair featuring games, giveaways, music and tips on how you can be green at work and at home. I hope you can join us for this free event.
And this week we’ll also join the City of Winter Park, The Nature Conservancy and Full Sail University to launch The Monarch Initiative, which aims to educate the community about the importance of pollinators through outreach and collaboration.
ITEMS OF NOTE
C#20 – Orlando Tech Pilot Program
As part of our economic development strategy, we continue to focus on growing and nurturing a strong tech and entrepreneurial community in Orlando. City Council voted on an item that would allocate $65,000 for a new matched-funding program to support technology-focused activities and programs.
This new program is the result of gaining input from leaders from the tech and startup community about how the city can support programs and events that build our tech talent pipeline and increase Orlando’s reputation as a tech hub.
We are pleased to partner with the Orlando Economic Partnership to help us administer this program which will be open for applications on May 1.
K#7 – The Village of Orlando/City/OUC Sustainability
Bringing new quality, safe affordable housing to Orlando is one of our top priorities and we are grateful for our partners who help us in this mission. One of those partners is Bishop Wiggins, the HOPE Church and The Village of Orlando who are renovating a formerly blighted 58-unit apartment complex into a vibrant community that houses homeless veterans with children and low-income individuals or families.
Council voted on an item supporting sustainability enhancements that are part of the rehabilitation including the installation of a solar array, an on-site community garden, Florida native landscaping and other features that will make this development a showcase project for our community, for its affordability and its sustainability.
New Business #1 – Authorization to Join Lawsuit to Challenge Penalties for Violating the Preemption of Firearms Regulation Under State Law
City Council considered a proposed resolution authorizing the City to join a lawsuit filed by the City of Weston and other Florida cities challenging the unprecedented penalties imposed on local elected officials by Florida’s firearms preemption statute.
This law threatens each of us with removal from office, a civil fine of up to $5,000, and unlimited lawsuits – all for doing what our federal and state leaders have repeatedly failed to do – enact commonsense gun reform laws.
Although the state has taken the first step, more can be done.
That is why, Mayor Dyer asked for support in the effort to protect local democracy and called on one of the city’s attorneys, to give us an overview of the lawsuit.
Hearings # 1 – Parcel U
This was a public hearing for the sale of a parcel of City-owned land valued in excess of $500,000, as required by Chapter 13, Section 7 of the City Charter. Notice of the hearing was published in the Orlando Sentinel on April 6, 2018, and approval of this transaction required a majority vote of all members of City Council.
The property is located in downtown Orlando within the Creative Village development site.
The buyer, MCRT Investments, LLC, is a third party purchaser pursuant to the Purchase Option Agreement between the City and Creative Village Development, LLC. MCRT will form a single purpose entity to act as the owner/developer of the multi-family residential housing project proposed for the site, and the City will deed the property to the single purpose entity.
The parcel is approximately 1.4 acres, and the purchase price is $5,500,00.00. The estimated fair market of the property is $5,500,000.00.