property taxes

Council’s unanimous consensus unravels in heated debate

Creating the 2016-17 City of Apopka Budget is a grind. It’s an arduous marathon that starts in March and concludes in October. The City Council worked through 700-plus pages on five workshop meetings that were estimated to have taken 20-plus hours.

There was contention and disagreement at certain moments within the workshops, but by its conclusion on August 23rd, there was a 5-0 consensus on a 726-page proposed budget, which totals just over $104 million and includes a millage rate increase to 3.7876 and $1.7 million taken from reserves in order to balance the budget.

Mayor Joe Kilsheimer: "All of this was worked out in the workshops."
Mayor Joe Kilsheimer: “The reserves we are proposing are not historical highs or lows.”

But at yesterday’s first City Council meeting that included public comments, that 5-0 consensus evaporated, and actually unraveled into a contentious debate over millage rates and spending.

After a short presentation by Finance Director Pamela Barclay, the Council took comments from the public before Commissioner Billie Dean shocked the room with a plan to cut spending and keep the millage rate at its 2015-16 level of 3.0916.

“I did some research on the subject, and I think we can keep the millage at the rate it was last year if we cut back on some things,” he said. “I don’t want any projects taken out of the budget, but I feel that the Gospel Fest could be reduced by $50,000, The Old Florida Festival $250,425, food and wine $30,000. These are things I feel could be cut back on and save the taxpayers a lot of money without raising the millage. Recreation $250,000, request capital $145,000.”

Dean also proposed cutting $40,000 for the Fourth of July event, and $250,000 for the splash pad project.

“That would make a total savings of $1,459,556,” Dean added. “If the millage rate is increased we will save $1,263,336.”I don’t want to see any of the projects eliminated, but we need to re-think the amount that’s been specified this year.”

There was a brief pause before Barclay asked Dean to drill-down on his proposed cuts.

“What specifically do you want to cut?” She asked. “What aspect of the recreation budget? We can’t just cut or reduce $250,000 without knowing what to cut.”

“Well, we’re charging each one of the Little League, Pop Warner and Soccer (leagues) I feel too much to the taxpayers and if we got a list of over-spending for these projects, we wouldn’t have to charge for use of the fields.”

City Administrator Glenn Irby re-directed the discussion back to the raw numbers of Dean’s proposed cuts.

“We still can’t get to the $1.2, 1.3 million that you said these numbers add up to,” he said. “We’re getting to about $580,000-600,000… about half. To reduce the millage a half-mill, we need to come up with $1,263,336 to cut. The way the budget is predicated is on specifics. So to come in and say ‘we want to cut $600,000, $1.2 million…she’s (Barclay) correct, we have to know specifically where that’s coming from.”

“Are we going into reserves to balance the budget for next year?” Dean asked.

“Yes sir,” said Irby.

“This is what I’m trying to avoid…dipping into the reserves,” said Dean.

“But if you reduce the millage, you dip into the reserves even more,” said Barclay.

Using the Gospel Fest as an example, Dean explained there is a possibility that local churches would want to get involved.

Commissioner Billie Dean: "I reserve the right to say what I want and vote how I want."
Commissioner Billie Dean: “I reserve the right to say what I want and vote how I want.”

“We could probably use churches in this vicinity to do exactly what we’re trying to budget thousands of dollars for, and it wouldn’t cost the taxpayers anything. ”

Commissioner Doug Bankson entered the discussion, surprised these costs were not already cut.

“If I can go ahead and add to that… I actually thought that’s what we were doing. I thought we had already cut that, along with the Wine Festival and those other things in order to re-focus how we approach that in the future… and because we have so many expenditures going out I thought we were pulling back.”

Commissioner Kyle Becker entered the discussion referring to the past budget workshops where these issues were discussed.

“I think we reduced some of these costs through the workshop sessions, but I think all of us up here know it was abundantly clear we want to reduce the amount we take from reserves and we don’t want to raise the millage rate unless it’s absolutely necessary,” he said. “Within the course of the workshops, I don’t think we were getting to a spot where we could cover the staffing positions, vehicle fleets, police and fire expansions without having to do those two things. And I agree with you if you want to try and save money on some of those festivals and recreation-type things, but I think we should budget for it, and then we try to spend less.”

“I’ve actually gone to the church community and talked with them about ways we can still do it (Gospel Fest) because I think it’s a fantastic idea,” said Bankson. “Everything that we’ve looked at, because there aren’t any of these things that I would like to see go away for their own sake, but it’s how we approach them. My understanding was that all of the increase would go back in to the reserves so that we weren’t taking them out of the reserves and it doesn’t look like that’s happening here so that’s my concern.”

Mayor Joe Kilsheimer entered the discussion with his recollection of those workshop deliberations.

“I think what we said at the final workshop is that we were reducing the reliance of reserves, but it was also clear in order to balance the budget as proposed that we would have to use some reserves.”

Commissioner Doug Bankson: "ommisioner Doug Bankson: "My understanding was that all of the increase would go back in to the reserves so that we weren't taking them out of the reserves and it doesn't look like that's happening here so that's my concern."
Commissioner Doug Bankson: “My understanding was that all of the increase would go back in to the reserves and it doesn’t look like that’s happening here.”

“That wasn’t my understanding,” said Bankson.

Kilsheimer continued after a graphic of the past 10 years of reserves in the City of Apopka was projected on the screen for the attendees at the meeting to view.

“The reserves that we are proposing are not historical highs or lows. They’re right in the middle of where the City of Apopka has been over the last 10 years. And over the last two years, we have put money back into reserve. So given the fact that we have to build a fire station, hire 18 new firefighters, build a new communications tower on the north side of town so we can have EMS services and do all of the things that we need to do from a public safety standpoint… and also given the notion that one of the things that cities do is provide for the quality of life in their community, which includes festivals, which allows Apopka to market itself not only to Apopka, but to the rest of Central Florida. It does cost money to put on a festival, but I don’t see the justification for trying to gut the money that we’re talking about spending on festivals because if you do that you reduce the quality of life in the community and if you cut the money for the festivals, you essentially kill the festival.”

Bankson considered future expenditures as too potentially high to risk so much quality of life spending.

“When I’m looking at the budget and I’m looking at the future of what we’re going to have to do and obviously we all know we’ve had some real heavy safety issues we’ve had to address and although our millage rate has been low…it sunk way back down, but we had to cut some necessary services and as we found out in these budget workshops, things were put off that needed to be purchased that now if we don’t we’re really getting behind… so now we’re trying to balance those things but now my concern is when we initially started with the budget it was $2.6 million we were dipping into reserves, and so we went through all of the workshops and my understanding…whether it was a misunderstanding or not was that the $1.96 million if we increased the millage rate would go back to reserves. And if I’m reading the numbers correct we’re still going to spend $1.7 million. My concern is we’re right at the 21.6-21.7% on our unrestricted reserves. So basically where my mindset was when we finished our workshops was we’re biting the bullet, but that all of that would go back to reserves… so my expectation was that we would not still be at 21.7%.

“Even with the reserves that we propose, we’re still five percentage points above the benchmark,” said Kilsheimer.

 Commissioner Diane Velazquez: ""I just wanted to add that I'm disappointed with the two commissioners who voted no, because we spent five workshops with 4-5 hours on each and we literally went page-by-page and expense-by-expense. So much time was dedicated to this not just by us but by staff... and here we are at a 3-2 vote."
Commissioner Diane Velazquez: “So much time was dedicated to this, and not just by us but by staff… and here we are at a 3-2 vote.”

“And that is my other contention, that our benchmark was at 20…”

“No Doug,” Kilsheimer said.

“Let me finish my sentence,” Bankson said.

“Let me just make my point,” Kilsheimer said. “The benchmark is 16%. Two months worth of spending. So 21% is five points more than 16.”

Bankson continued.

“Okay, now let me finish. It said in our proposed budget that it was 20, and that it was explained… and yes I was going to say that 16.7% is our benchmark, however in the same paragraph it says that’s a baseline, and then you add in other factors such as do you live in a storm area. I think there are some things we need to take a look at and say this is the baseline, but maybe we should add some cushion there. I just think it would be wise.”

Becker pointed out that a budget does not necessarily reflect actual spending.

“We do have the potential to do better than what we budget for, and that’s what I will challenge staff to do. I feel fully comfortable after going hours on end through this budget process, reading all 700-plus pages of this budget. And I feel comfortable with this millage rate, and I feel comfortable that we are lower than most municipalities around us.”

After discussion concluded, Kilsheimer called for a vote, which went 3-2 in favor of a millage rate of  3.7876 with Becker, Kilsheimer, and Velazquez voting in favor, while Bankson and Dean voted against it.

There were more public comments in regards to approving the proposed budget and then more comments by the Council.

Becker picked up the budget notebook and showed it to the audience.

“Pretty thick huh? We’ve gone through ever single word of this budget. Every single page of this budget…through workshops. We’ve ironed out and had conversations about every single line of this book. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Are there places we can trim the fat? Certainly. And we had those conversations…every single one of us up here during those five workshops. I think every one of us up here is busting their humps to be fiscally responsible for the City of Apopka.”

Commissioner Diane Velazquez remained relatively quiet during the discussions and the first vote, but before the final vote of the evening, she expressed her feelings toward the surprising turn of events.

Commissioner Kyle Becker: ""I think we reduced some of these costs through the workshop sessions, but I think all of us up here know it was abundantly clear we want to reduce the amount we take from reserves and we don't want to raise the millage rate unless it's absolutely necessary,"
Commissioner Kyle Becker: “I think everyone up here is busting their humps to be fiscally responsible for the City of Apopka.”

“I just wanted to add that I’m disappointed with the two commissioners who voted no, because we spent five workshops with 4-5 hours on each and we literally went page-by-page and expense-by-expense. So much time was dedicated to this not just by us but by staff… and here we are at a 3-2 vote.”

“Yes we all did work real hard and I feel like we did work together, but remember during those meetings not everything was agreed on,” said Bankson. “There was consensus and that’s the way we have to move – by consensus.”

Velazquez continued.

“But from the last workshop until today you had an opportunity to go to Glenn (City Administrator Irby) and say ‘can we tweak this?’ There was an opportunity for that and for us to come and ask the public to speak and all of a sudden we have two commissioners who say ‘let’s cut all these things out’. We don’t have the time to do what you’re asking.”

Dean shot back at Velazquez.

“I reserve the right to say what I want and vote how I want to vote,” he said.

“You do,” Velazquez said. “I never said you can’t.”

Kilsheimer finally gaveled the heated discussion to a close and called for a vote – which ended 3-2 in favor of the budget with Becker, Kilsheimer and Velazquez voting in favor while Bankson and Dean voted against.

The final act of this Shakespearean drama will be on September 28th at 5:05PM in the City Council Chambers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35 COMMENTS

  1. I thought it was two communication towers, not just one, to be built. Maybe I am wrong. If it is two towers, my question is, would if be necessary to build both towers, in the same year?

  2. Regarding festivals……..Old Florida Festival has been in the red since it started, even under Mayor Land. Mayor Kisheimer has tried it too and it is still losing money. He could continue to operate as normal, and most likely it would continue to lose money, but it could possibly break even, or possibly make money. Whether it is profitable or not for the future, is unknown due to many factors. That is a fact. So the mayor has proposed hiring a company to put on the festivals. I heard the mayor say that all three festivals could be done for the price of the Old Florida Festival. That means the Gospel Fest and the Food and Wine Fest also. I don’t doubt the mayor on that it could be done, I just myself don’t see how. But if the mayor can find a company to do the festivals, maybe it is a step in the right direction. I believe the mayor might be right. I will give him credit for trying something different to save money. However, I think the mayor’s proposal would work better for the Old Florida Festival and the Food and Wine Festival, and with the Gospel Fest, I think we should do that festival with the numerous churches we have. One thing Apopka has a lot of is churches! I can’t see bringing in a company to do that festival when obviously there is plenty of gospel minded people in our own community who would love to jump at the chance of being a part of the Gospel Fest. It would be a compromise for the council to consider to bridge differences. The mayor hires the company for the Old Florida Festival and the Food and Wine Festival, and the Gospel Fest would go on with the participation of the local church’s involvement. Just a thought to consider.

  3. Regarding the public comment period. I just don’t get it. Maybe I am thick- headed……it was my understanding that if something is on the agenda that requires a public hearing you fill out a white card and speak when the subject on the agenda comes up. That was what I did. The other public comment period where you fill out a green card for anything not on the agenda is suppose to be at the beginning of the council meeting is what we where told. Right after the prayer, and the pledge before the flag……but at the last meeting, the budget hearing meeting, the public comment period (green card) for other issues not on the agenda, came late in the meeting, and was about the subject at hand, the budget, and the ways the speakers offered to save money, so the taxes would not be raised stating their opinions. I just don’t get it.

  4. I don’t care when certain commissioners sit up there and boo- hoo and whine about how much time they spent going to the budget workshops, and how much time they devoted going over the 700 plus pages, of the budget book. You all told us you wanted the job when you ran for the election, and campaigned to be elected. If you don’t appreciate the opportunity to serve our city then resign! Someone else will be more than willing to fill your seats………and travel across the country, and enjoy expensive hotel rooms, expensive meals, spending the night or nights in expensive hotel rooms, get discretionary money to give away, get their portraits hung in city hall, get to go to all kind of events, and other perks, plus pay and a potential pension.

  5. Last year the public could speak at the budget workshops. At least, the last one, when the millage rate was tentatively set. I know because I spoke, and so did Sue. This year, that was all cut out. The public is not allowed to speak at any workshops, whether it is budget or a workshop for something else. Any commissioner that thinks there is not enough citizens attending and “witnessing” the budget process during the workshops, needs to know that why should a citizen even bother going? They can listen to the audio that is recorded, they are not allowed to offer suggestions to the council, they are not allowed to state their views about their taxes increasing, and they are not getting paid like the council members are.

  6. Plus if anyone did want to attend the budget workshops most would have wanted to go to the last ones….the last one in July and the last one in August. But two different times in July and August the budget workshops that were scheduled where canceled. Like the last one scheduled for Aug 24, it was canceled. So if anyone planned to go, it was cancelled. Then it was said that the public hearing on the millage rate would be Sept. 7. I announced I would attend and speak. Then that was changed too, to Sept. 14, 2016 being the first public hearing. Just another thought here to consider. People work different hours. Some work days, some work nights. Both public hearings are listed as starting at 5:05 pm. The next scheduled for Sept. 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm, and this is the final one for the proposed tax increase. It would be better if one public hearing was in the day, and one at night, to accommodate people who work different shifts. Whether they come and speak or not. It would give them a opportunity to attend and speak.

  7. One cautionary note to a hiring a company to handle the festivals. I do not want to see any event that is cruel to animals at the Old Florida Festival. I don’t know what a company may propose. Anything that is a potentially cruel to animals we must be on guard and look out for that doesn’t happen. I am not saying it will but to be aware of and watch out that it does not happen!

  8. So Commissioner Velazquez is disappointed?……..well I am disappointed too, at Commissioner Velazquez! She stated she was disappointed at the other commissioners who voted against the millage tax rate increase and wanted to start a war with them, after the 3-2 vote. She wanted to keep on keeping on about it and fussing. She got her way, as she got the millage rate increase that she wanted and that she voted in favor of. So what was the point in her starting a war with the other commissioners? Each council member can vote as they see fit. I am very disappointed at Commissioner Velazquez. She should know by now to expect the unexpected, when it comes to city related subjects, and exhibit some decorum in her dealing with her fellow council members.

  9. Glenn Irby, the City Administrator, had the best idea of all. Tell each department that makes up the total budget to take a certain percentage amount and reduce their own department budget down that percentage and that would take care of it. That way it would equalized across each department. After all we know that when the budget starts out the department heads are told to put everything they need in and can think of and don’t hold back. Glenn’s proposal made sense, but I think it is too late for that now, but I am not sure, I could be wrong.

  10. One final thought to keep it in perspective when I sit there and hear about all the work, time, and effort that went into the budget process during the workshops……they do the same process in the City of Debary that the Apopka City Council does working out a budget and determining the millage rates. For that, the each city commissioner only gets $ 400 per month salary, and the Debary Mayor is paid only $ 500 per month salary! They have a city manager, and we have a city administration. I don’t care to hear whining about your time and efforts spent working on the budget anymore! You were elected to do that.

  11. Correction: I meant to say, they have a city manager, and we have a city administrator ( didn’t mean a city administration, sorry) in the above posting……..

  12. To say I am disappointed about the millage tax increase that was voted for by 3 council members at Wednesday’s Apopka City Council’s first reading is an understatement! I was extremely disappointed in their votes to increase the citizen’s taxes. Why? I already explained all of the increased burdens that have been voted in against us already, and it is on record from the last audio from the Sept. 14, 2016 public hearing on the millage rate. Now please go to the Facebook/Apopka Chief Newspaper and scroll down to the article of July 18, 2016. I am referring to what I read there on that article. In that article it states that the budget calls for the property tax rate to remain at the same 3.2876 millage rate. I am sure the Apopka Chief gets with the city for their information to put in the newspaper to inform the citizens of what is going on……..also the article indicates that based on a $ 100,000 taxable value on a home, that would be a city tax of $ 328.76. Also, even if the millage rate was kept the same, there would be a tax increase if a person owned property and the property’s value increased. Read the article if you don’t believe me.

  13. Now with the passage of the first reading of the millage tax for an extra half-mill that adds another $ 50.00 to the already existing $ 328.76 dollars bringing the amount to a total $ 378.76 for a home with a taxable value of $ 100,000. Citizens have homes worth less, the same, and even way more. Also don’t expect the property taxes to go back down, more than likely property taxes will continue to rise, even if the economy doesn’t bounce back, because leaders want more, more, more all the time, and the developers with their investors keep making the big bucks, swamping our city’s need for more infrastructure, more services, and more everything and they get off light paying their share of the burden (developer’s impact fees) thus the citizens end up footing the bill for what they should have to pay!

  14. I love how the proposed tax increase was explained. Example: $ 50.00 for every $ 100,000 taxable value. That is what a lot of the homeowners hear. They don’t hear that it was $ 328.76 annually for the city taxes, and will now be $ 378.76, no, they just hear, oh my taxes for the City of Apopka on my 100,000 dollar home’s taxable value will just be $ 50.00….that ain’t bad. You all are slick. You’ll all are da’ slick ones too. Birds of a feather flock together…….

  15. Why was the Sept. 7, 2016 Apopka City Council meeting that was first scheduled for that date, cancelled, and re-scheduled for Sept 14, 2016. Thus setting the date for the first reading of the public hearing, for an even later date. Could more budget cuts could have been done then, a week earlier, such as Glenn’s across the board deduction for each department? Or Commissioner Dean’s cuts to the festival? Well, who knows, what could have been, or why????? Too late now…..hmmm????? Interesting……….

  16. Now here is what I want to know? Is the next Apopka City Council meeting to vote on the millage tax rate going to change from the scheduled, Sept. 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm? Or will it change to an earlier time that day? Or a different day? Gosh, maybe I should look to see if they already had it since the last one…………

  17. Yes, I checked it and it seems it is still going to be held Sept. 28, 2016 at 5:05 until 6:00pm. You got to try to keep up with them, because one never knows what they are up to. LOL. I wonder how Commissioner Becker is going to be at both the council meeting scheduled for the millage and budget vote on Sept. 28, 2016 starting at 5:05 pm when he is also scheduled to be at the Hoops for Hope charity basketball game scheduled for the same day, Sept. 28, at 4-8 pm.???? Will he still be the host at the basketball game? Or will he be a no-show at the council meeting? Hmmm…..maybe, just maybe, LOL, it will be a no-vote for the tax increase! Commissioner Velazquez will make the motion to increase the millage rate, and Commissioner Dean, and Commissioner Bankson will not response to her motion, and remain silent, and Commissioner Becker will be at the basketball game……LOL!!! The motion will die for a lack of a second!!!!! Wheeeee………!!!!!

  18. Now here is what I am asking of our entire city and their citizens. I want each and every single one of you all to come to the Sept. 28, 2016 council meeting concerning the tax increase at 5:05 pm, and go to the city clerk before the meeting starts and fill out a speaker card, the city clerk will tell you how, and to stand before the council and voice your opinion against this tax increase that burdens us citizens and take your full four minutes that you are allowed to speak! It is our only opportunity! And bring your neighbors, your kids, your grandmas, your grandpas, your spouses, and your partners, your friends, and anyone else! Let the council members know what you think! That all citizens matter! I hope we have hundreds! You might even get a peek at Commissioner Becker in his basketball court shorts!!!!

  19. To Tony, the gentlemen, who spoke against the tax increase, thank you. I truly wasn’t aware of the businesses who will have to pay so much more. I don’t own a business property, and it had not occurred to me, the burden that they will face also, without the homestead exemptions, that the homeowners have, right? It is hard enough to keep a business going without tax increases! So again, thanks Tony, for enlightening me to that aspect of the tax increase.

  20. Let’s see….I saw Commissioner Velazquez and her husband, and Commissioner Becker, I believe it was him, at the Evening With the Artists and Wine at City Hall on the city’s facebook photos. I didn’t see Christine, gosh, that is a surprise. Where were you Christine? Were you out campaigning? Were you hiding from the cameras? If so, that must of been a first for you! If you didn’t go to the art and wine event, that shocks me! I am speechless…. Are you still planning to start a large arts festival? Are you still going to be doing the arts and jazz festival? Where were you Christine? There were talented artists in waiting! Inquiring minds want to know Christine?

  21. There were two items to be voted on. First, the millage, and then the budget approval. I suppose that the second group of speakers were speaking on the second question, so that is why it seemed that the public comment came at the end but no, I was wrong. It is confusing. No matter how many times you attend. Everyone gets screwed up and befuzzled sooner or later on all that technical stuff. Even the commissioners. Even the mayor. We are all human.

  22. Thank you Commissioner Dean and Commissioner Bankson for trying to keep the millage tax rate from increasing. There are a lot of citizens barely getting by in this city. A lot of people who are not wealthy and struggle. You don’t hear from them, but they are out there. There was no willingness on some of the council to further cut down the expenses in the budget, when they were brought up at the council, and the budget was still open for changes, at the last meeting. You both need commended for your efforts on behalf of our citizens, and should not of been lectured by your fellow commissioner, Ms. Velazquez. She appeared to just want to hurry up and get it done. She doesn’t have a problem raising everyone’s property taxes!

  23. There is $ 750,000 in the city budget for a splash pad. A pretty costly splash pad. The skate park was eliminated in the budget. The skate park was voted down by the council, 3-2 against . Now look at the article from Facebook/Apopka Chief Newspaper, dated Sept. 14, 2016 posted at 5:50 am. Go to the link in the article, and scroll down to the special revenue funds. The article lists individual costs for a splash pad, and a skate park. So what gives? The city said the skate park was eliminated, but the article from the Apopka Chief, the same day as the first reading of the budget meeting hearing at city hall, Sept. 14, 2016, indicates both. Can anyone keep up with this stuff? I can only assume that David Copperfield, the magician, came through town, and made the potential skate park disappear. I am certain, no doubt, that David will be a nice guy, and will make the potential skate park re-appear somehow later during the new fiscal year.

  24. I was watching a legislator at the state level on tv and he was griping and carrying on, and saying that in Tallahassee they were up there spending money like a teenager with their first new credit card at the mall. Then he went on preaching about the state giving millions of dollars of tax breaks to hospitals, who in turn, already make billions of dollars in profit. So glad someone else is doing some preaching about the government’s spending. I prefer to call it therapy, instead of preaching.

  25. It looks like Orange County’s budget is a big wasteful one too! I think in the past, the one thing that blew me away was just how much they spend to build those dinky little Lynx bus stops. All they are is a tiny little rounded metal seat with a metal pole sticking up with a tiny little top. I can’t remember the amount, but it was outrageous…..double digit, high thousands. Let’s put it this way, there are minimum wage workers who work full time, and do not earn that much all year. Something is definitively wrong with that picture!

  26. I will have to listen to the budget workshops again and skip around the audio because I don’t know what on earth a satellite garbage truck is. I asked my husband, but he wasn’t sure, and said maybe it is the one with the arms. I said, “Garbage truck with arms” ??????……okay, LOL !!! Another exciting machine, right? Right Kyle? LOL. You mad at me Kyle? I am sorry.

  27. Well, I googled satellite garbage trucks to see. I have not listened to the budget workshop part about the satellite garbage truck yet. I first saw what was listed as a satellite garbage trailer, then saw a satellite garbage truck. It was a Mamba brand, and had a big ugly snake head on the truck with its fangs sticking out!!!! The ad stated that it could slither around in tight spaces. Wow, now there are garbage trucks that look like a giant snake head coming down the street and can slither around in tight spaces……just like the invasive pythons! I call that exciting. I wonder if that is the kind of garbage truck we are going to be getting????

  28. New Ways was the satellite garbage trucks I looked at, on google. That was the brand, and Mamba was one of the models, not the brand. There are others named for snakes too, beside the Mamba model. There is a cobra, a sidewinder, and the one I like, is the diamond back! They slither tight garbage routes so say the ads. Now if there is only some way to make the garbage trucks smell better……..didn’t see a python or an anaconda.

  29. The City of Apopka have some really nice helpful firefighters, but this time, I have to brag on one of Orange County’s firefighters. We were in my big old car, and as we started out into the busy intersection when the light changed, my car stalled and lost power. My husband got out in the busy traffic and was yelling for me to steer it, and it was uphill and he was struggling. My husband knew I wasn’t going to push it because I had already informed him that was never going to ever happen again, because one previous time, I helped push that big old heavy car of mine uphill, and I gave it all the might I had in me, and the next day, I had shoulder damage, in the right shoulder. My shoulder still hurts every once in awhile, and I said I don’t care where we are, I ain’t pushing that car ever again, with my shoulder like it is now. Anyway, this Orange Co. firefighter in his big fire truck stopped, and helped by husband push it back out of the fast traffic. I didn’t get his name, but I wanted to thank him just the same. Thank you so much!

  30. I asked my husband is the car okay now? He said yeah, it was just a loose connection. We drove everywhere around that day, and then approaching another busy intersection it stalled again. This time was different! We tried opening the doors and they would not open! We tried opening the windows and they would not open! Meanwhile cars were backing up behind us and the light had turned green. OMG. We couldn’t put on the flashers, lights, or anything power and it had gotten dark. Luckily, because my husband smokes and had his window down about two-thirds of the way down, he climbed out of the window, and then we had a hard time finding the hood release inside in the car in the dark, but he got to the battery, and he tinkered with it and we were on our way!

  31. I said did you realize if we had of went off in a pond we would have drown? What if the car had of caught fire, we would of been trapped? I said I am not going anywhere else until you fix the car. He went and got some parts and worked on it, and fixed it. I still keep the window down, with the air-condition on, but I am leery of being trapped in the car, now. Something you never think of. It didn’t trap us at first intersection when it stalled, I guess because the power doors were not locked. So I keep the doors unlocked now. My car is an oldie but a goodie, just a simple little connection problem. Looks like it has been through a war, but for the most part it is dependable, built like a tank, and roomy, and I don’t mind riding the dogs around in it.

  32. Orange County Sheriff Office deputies babysitting young kids? Costly babysitting service, huh? How much per hour average for that babysitting? I used to make 50 cents an hour babysitting, for my neighbor. Sounds a little familiar doesn’t it? I have to wonder were those kids given milk and cookies by the Orange County deputies also after riding the amusement rides?? Heeehhheeee………also familiar, the top dog out of town on a conference…… oh how the mice will play with the cat away………!!!

  33. Kyle said that they all had busted their humps working on the budget……geesh, sorry to hear it, my gosh, I didn’t even know that they had humps…..geesh. Like a camel? Wonder if theirs are one humpers or two humpers ??????????????????

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