Mayor Buddy Dyer's
Oath of Office Address
Thank you Mayor Frederick for those
kind words of introduction. We all owe a debt of gratitude to
Mayor Bill Frederick. He was truly one of Orlando's great
Mayor's and so many of his accomplishments shaped this city and
are still very evident today. I particularly have appreciated
his counsel and advice during my first term. Although I suspect
he would like me to add the disclaimer that he played no role in
some of our decisions. With that being said, I can tell you that
one of the highlights of my first term was the dedication of
Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake in his honor. Thank you Mayor
Well it's been 15 months -- 15 months since I was sworn in as
Orlando's 32nd Mayor. It has been a challenging 15 months and a
rewarding 15 months. I can say without any hesitation it has
been the best 15 months of my professional and political life
and I have enjoyed every minute of it...even when I read the
So today I want to say thank you to the citizens of Orlando for
entrusting me with this job for a full four-year term. Karen and
I want to especially thank the people here today in our audience
who worked so hard to get us here.
Those of you who stood with us during this election will never
Let me just take a minute to publicly say thank you to Orlando's
first lady and the love my life, my wife Karen Dyer and our two
sons, Trey and Drew.
I want to congratulate Commissioners Sheehan, Wyman and Page on
their reelections and welcome all of you to this inaugural day.
Fifteen months ago I stood on these steps and outlined a vision
and direction for our city. I asked you then to imagine a great
city and my hope then, as it is today, is that this
administration will be remembered for creating the Orlando
Comeback that did just that.
It was a grand vision, not without hurdles and I know many in
the audience that day and indeed a few in the press snickered at
an agenda so vast and consuming saying it could not be
accomplished in four years much less over the course of just one
They were counting on us playing it safe, following the beaten
path and keeping our heads down until after reelection.
After all, how could we possibly restore our working
relationship with Orange County government, pass a living wage,
reinvigorate a downtown that had been deteriorating for years,
continue to strengthen our neighborhoods, work to diversify our
economy, then find the necessary dollars for new Pre-K
classrooms for our children and and do it all without raising
And that was the question many asked before we walked through
these doors last February to hear the news regarding the city’s
But we took an attitude into City Hall that carries over to this
day. We are not here to tread water. Simply put, can't do won't
do in our administration.
I stand here today, not to offer a new vision or direction after
just a year in office but to report to you that we are steadfast
and resolute in our determination to create that great city I
asked all of us to imagine and to let you know that we have laid
the foundation to do just that.
The great city that I challenged us all to envision included a
vibrant downtown with retail, restaurants, professional sports,
the arts and entertainment, including a new Performing Arts
Center…a city that would maintain its posture as the economic
hub of Orange County and the Central Florida region. Today we
are well on our way to eliminating the For Rent signs and empty
storefronts that have plagued our downtown. Those signs will
soon be replaced by spectacular new buildings, but more
importantly, new residents in our downtown who will not only
work in and around our urban core, but who will live downtown
creating the life blood for the heart of our city.
Today we reconfirm our commitment to resolve the challenges of
the Parramore neighborhood…challenges that include our ability
to provide decent and affordable housing and rid that
neighborhood of the vices that destroy human lives, drugs and
prostitution. Our Parramore Task Force has completed its work
and the time to act to make Parramore the shining star in our
galaxy of neighborhoods is upon us.
Let me take this opportunity to reassure the residents of
Parramore that there will always be a place in YOUR neighborhood
for you. And on the issue of crime, drugs and prostitution in
your neighborhood...saying Parramore isn't as bad as used to be,
doesn't mean it is as good as it can be. In the coming weeks
Police Chief McCoy and I will bring to City Council a plan that
will make it very,very difficult for drug dealers an criminals
to continue to call Parramore home.
In the last fifteen months we have passed a living wage for our
city employees and an ordinance that requires that those
businesses that work with the city also pay their employees a
living wage. We’re in the process of completing a two-year
capital construction plan that will include new community
centers for Rosemont and College Park and a new pool at the
Smith Center in Washington Shores. And most importantly, we have
balanced our budget and created a budget process that is open
for all of our citizens to review.
These challenges were not met alone. Let me take this
opportunity to publicly thank our City Council for their work
and their willingness to cast the tough votes that have been
required to move this city forward! Their support and approach
to building this great city is what makes most of what I have
talked about here this evening possible.
My friends, I believe the next four years will be one of the
most dynamic and exciting periods in our city’s history with
even bigger challenges.
The success we have had in laying a foundation to achieve our
goals must be carried forward to address the larger strategic
challenges that we face and we must address those challenges
head on if we are to be a successful city.
First, we must find a way to bridle growth and make it work for
us and not against us.
By all estimates over the next four years Orlando and the
Central Florida region will grow and flourish at an
unprecedented rate. Each day hundreds of people move into the
state of Florida and many of them are headed to Central Florida.
As we deal with growth it is imperative that as a community we
seek the path of communication and collegiality that Chairman
Crotty and I have fostered and that we work together as a
community, as a county and in concert with our school board as
we grow our city and our region.
While the most recent public issue has been education
infrastructure as it relates to growth, it’s also the most
important long-term issue that we as a city and a region must
Throughout my political life, there has been no single issue
more important to me than the education of our children. On this
issue I have learned that rarely do sound bites and political
posturing help to build the schools we need so desperately for
the children that live here today, nor will it help us plan the
schools we need for tomorrow. Solid solutions arrived at in
concert with all parties, a willingness to expend political
capitol to do what is right for children and an action agenda
that will require we move with dispatch once we arrive at
solutions that work for all of us, is the prescription we need
when it comes to our children.
Later this month, I will introduce an urban school plan and I
will ask our City Commission and School Board to consider
implementing this plan, which if put in place, will provide more
specific school capacity requirements than are engrained in the
Martinez doctrine and will also renew our partnership with the
school board in the planning of new schools.
The Orlando Comeback we have created must include a guarantee
that no child living within the boundaries of our city will be
penalized as a result of new growth within our city limits. Our
plan will do just that.
The second problem we face with growth is transportation. In the
coming months we need to muster the political will to offer our
constituents solutions that will fix the transportation problems
we face today and put in place measures that address our
transportation needs in the future.
We must work towards a long-term solution to our transportation
problems and if we face rejection at the ballot box of one idea
or another, we need not be afraid to offer alternative solutions
until we get it right.
Third, while the city has been successful in creating the
environment for our major projects to stimulate the
revitalization of our downtown, we need to make sure that these
projects we help bring to fruition benefit the skilled workers
living here in our city and region.
It is time we put into place a measure that will help ensure
that skilled tradesmen and women can compete for work on these
new building sites and not be forced to bid against companies or
contractors who hire people who will work for less than minimum
wage and without healthcare...it is unfair to the undocumented
worker who came to this country seeking a better life but it is
even more unfair to the Florida worker who can't compete against
wage levels of a third world country.
To that end on June 7th I will ask the City Council to pass a
responsible contractor policy which will ensure that
construction projects that utilize city funds will be required
to hire skilled and trained workers for those job sites.
Fourth, we need to shift our economic development focus from new
buildings for our downtown to pursuing new jobs for our city. We
have created a new environment and now we need to spend our time
and energy letting people know about Orlando, here in our
region, our state and around the world. I will continue to
pursue creating an economy of the mind for Orlando taking
advantage of the electronic highways we already have and the
assets that the University of Central Florida can bring to our
downtown. Working in concert with the University we can find
ways to create and pursue jobs and opportunities that will
create the economy we want for us and for our children.
Finally, my fellow citizens of Orlando and distinguished guests
here today, we must address the silent crisis that exists in our
community and in the long term affects all of us. Today half of
the children who live within the boundaries of our community are
neglected, abused or facing economic hardship. I am proud of the
success we have had in expanding Pre-K classrooms here in the
city but we must come together as a community and begin to
address how we can better the lives of our most precious
resource, our children.
Fifteen months ago I reminded all you of the poet's words,
"Happy are those who dream dreams and have the courage to make
them come true." It is my hope that we have proven our muster
regarding our courage to make our dreams a reality for this
There should be no doubt or question in any quarter regarding
our willingness to make the tough decisions necessary to move
this city forward. While that approach may not make everyone
happy or be a recipe for large margin political wins, it is a
formula for progress that will always be followed by our
And I believe our willingness to act is why you have given me a
I can promise you here today that, THAT attitude, spirit and
willingness to do what is right and necessary for our city will
be carried forward these next four years in each and every
endeavor we undertake.
I thank you again for the trust you have placed in me by giving
me this honor and privilege to serve as the 32nd Mayor of the
City of Orlando.
May God bless our soldiers who stand at posts overseas so that
we may meet here today.
May God Bless America.
And, God Bless Orlando.