Internal Audit Update
The month of May is recognized as International Internal Audit Awareness Month to highlight the contributions of internal auditors to the success of their organizations.
The City established its internal audit function in 1980 and over the years our internal audit staff has helped the City ensure our policies, procedures, and controls are in place and working efficiently and effectively.
Mayor Buddy Dyer called on the City’s Audit Director, George McGowan, to give the Council a brief update on the importance of the internal audit function and highlights of recent audit activities.
Commissioner Stuart’s Mother-In-Law
Council took a few moments to pray for Commissioner Stuart’s mother-in-law, Betty, who is severely ill.
Cinco de Mayo celebration
Mayor Dyer thanked Commissioner Ortiz for inviting him to join Consul of Mexico and Casa de Mexico to celebrate Cinco de Mayo last week at City Hall.
This event is part of our continued commitment to ensure we are a City for Everyone that embraces diversity, and provides cultural events and opportunities like the Cinco de Mayo celebration to bring our multicultural community together and honor the traditions and heritage of other countries.
College Signing Day
Our City of Orlando youth programs are part of our commitment to providing our community’s children the opportunities and tools that they need to have a successful future. Last Monday, we joined our partners at Orange County Public Schools to celebrate the success of our local high school seniors during a College Signing Day as part of the First Lady’s “Reach Higher” initiative.
During the signing day, the students, who have benefited from academic enrichment and health and wellness programs through our City programs, publicly committed to pursue higher education by announcing the school that they plan to attend.
Students included Stevenson Bassy, who received the Kevin Tyjeski Scholarship, which is dedicated to the memory of a longtime City employee who passed away in 2013. The son of Haitian immigrants, Stevenson has a 4.2 GPA at Jones High School and received support from our Parramore Kidz Zone and New Image Youth Center. He’ll attend the University of Florida after graduation and plans to study computer engineering.
Tri County League of Cities Awards
Mayor Dyer congratulated two Orlando citizens who won Tri County League of Cities awards recently.
Congratulations to Vinnie Cannady, president of the Carter Street Neighborhood Association for receiving the Tri County League of Cities Citizen of the Year Award.
And Congratulations to Thomas Sweitzer, our Manager of the City of Orlando’s Orlando Tennis Center, who won the Tri County League of Cities Employee of the Year Award.
Both of you are shining examples of how neighborhood leaders and City employees can have a real impact on enhancing our community and making it the best place in America to live, work, play and raise a family.
Items of Note:
Colonial Ped Overpass
Part of the City’s continued commitment to enhancing transportation options for our residents is ensuring safe connections throughout our City.
Council voted on an item that will help us further the construction of the new Colonial Pedestrian Overpass. The overpass will provide a dedicated bridge over the busy Colonial corridor and connect our Orlando Urban Trail to Gertrude’s Walk in our Downtown core and providing access to a network of transportation options including access to the LYNX Central station which provides bus, LYMMO service and access to SunRail.
Council approved a state-of-the-art training simulator for the Orlando Police Department. This new simulator will enhance the training our officers receive by offering realistic experiences, helping us to make Orlando an even safer place to live.
Nothing more fully prepares officers for what they will do during a patrol shift than placing them in realistic training situations. By combining driving, investigation and arrest training in a single session, officers do exactly the same things in the training room that they do on duty.
This new simulator will allow officers to receive and respond to calls in the patrol car, conduct an investigation and field interview, respond to varying levels of resistance presented by suspects and make a simulated arrest. The most valuable part of this training is that it takes the officer from the beginning to the end of a call.
This technology will continue to ensure our Orlando Police Department’s officers are trained at the highest of standards, at one of the best training facilities in the nation.
Council voted on an action to transform a currently vacant site in Parramore into a vibrant new residential development. InVictus Development plans to bring 211 new housing units, including a mix of affordable, market rate and permanent supportive housing units, to the vacant six acre site at the corner of Parramore and Conley across from Z.L. Riley Park.
This new residential development aligns with recommendations from the recently-completed Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan. It also furthers our efforts to revitalize Parramore and to ensure our residents have access to quality, safe and affordable housing.
Hearings/Ord/2nd Read – Civil Citations
Council held the second reading of an ordinance that would give Orlando police officers the ability to issue citations for the small amounts of marijuana rather than making an arrest. Mayor Dyer stated he is proud that here in Orlando we have been a leader in programs that provide opportunities for at-risk youth and second chances for offenders, this ordinance would continue to build on those efforts. This change in policy will help us protect the futures of our young people while allowing our officers to more efficiently utilize limited resources.
Mayor Dyer thanked Commissioner Stuart for working with staff to evaluate the suggestions given at the first hearing and helping to shape improvements to the ordinance.