property taxes

5-0 vote for Splash Pad, 3-2 against Skate Park

The Apopka City Council met Tuesday for their fourth Budget Workshop session where they and various city staff go over proposed items in the fiscal 2016-2017 budget with a fine tooth comb. The votes they take are non-binding, and the participants are often more candid than at a City Council meeting. Although they are open to the public, these sessions are sparsely attended. They are sometimes tedious 4-hour marathons of details, but however tedious, they are important. These workshops shape the direction the budget will go before final votes in about a month.

And while most of the items and issues are discussed, tweaked, and accepted…occasionally there is an issue that requires debate. Take the proposed skate park for instance…Budget Workshop

“I’ll just tell you quite honestly my biggest issue right now is with the skate park,” said Commissioner Doug Bankson. “Not because it’s not something we want down the road, but because we are going to have to find money somewhere else to take care of other necessities. I feel like we are being too aggressive with all of these other things going on.”

As he continued, Bankson explained that in his research on skate parks, there are several reasons residents may not utilize it as much as others might think.

“I talked to kids who are skaters, and they say they won’t come if they have to pay. Another city that put up a skate park and said it wasn’t nearly as utilized as they thought. A lot of the kids I talked to said two things – it wouldn’t stop them from using their neighbor’s steps if they have to pay or go a long way to use it, they won’t utilize the park. But I’m not against the idea overall. I’m simply saying with all these pressing things that we have right now; I’m dragging my heels on this one. I think the splash pad is an immediate idea that will benefit a lot of people. The skate park is more of a niche; a much smaller group of kids will use it.”

Mayor Joe Kilsheimer pushed back on Bankson’s assertions by referencing the residents that might use a skate park.

“I have to speak up for the skate park kids,” he said. “They came to not one or two, but several meetings during our visioning process and spoke eloquently and passionately about a skate park and having a place to go… and the parents who showed up said these are good kids that need a place… that need an outlet for their activities, and right now they are skating on sidewalks and streets.  Having a place to go would focus and concentrate that activity and give adults a chance to keep an eye on them… and the thing is it’s on the West Orange Trail, accessible by a huge majority of the people in Apopka who have access to the trail.”

Kilsheimer continued with a common theme…looking forward into Apopka’s future.

“I continue to harp on this idea that we should invest in the future success of the city of Apopka… and I agree that public safety is our number one priority, but if we do only those things that are necessary to the exclusion of things that adds to the quality of life in Apopka, we will be an infrastructure-laden city that has no quality of life… and we can’t ignore quality of life to the exclusion of everything else.”

Bankson, who seems to be taking on the role of budget-hawk on the City Council, focused on the current trajectory of city spending.

“I would agree with that (Kilsheimer’s previous remark), but borrowing 4-million-dollars and having to raise taxes I think kind of does a reset for our thinking. If we are going to do anything I think a splash pad is for everyone and a skate park a little further down the road where we’re more fiscally established…and two years down the road we’re going to have to build another fire station.”

Kilsheimer remained steadfast on a balanced approach between amenities and infrastructure.

“We have to start with intention. Nothing gets done unless you intend to do it, so we need to intend to focus on quality of life issues, and at the same time not exclude one at the exclusion of the other… because you just get out of balance. So quality of life is just as important as all other infrastructure investments that we need to make.”

budget workshopCommissioner Kyle Becker weighed-in with the idea of possibly recruiting investors to offset the costs of a skate park.

“In our visioning strategy the community was in favor of these things,” he said. “But their top-ranked way of paying for it was through public/private (investor) partnerships. So I’m not as concerned going down the path of including it in our budget, but I am going to lean heavily on (city) staff to make sure that comes to fruition in finding (private investment) partnerships as far as funding some of these projects.”

There was a brief discussion about possible private investors and grants available for a skate park, but ultimately a consensus-vote was called for.

Kilsheimer and Becker voted for both a splash pad, and skate park… but Bankson, Commissioners Billie Dean and Diane Velazquez voted for only the splash pad. The vote is not binding however, it only represents the consensus the city staff needs to advance the budget to its completion next month.

Velazquez echoed the non-binding nature of the vote.

“We are still in budget talks,” she said. “There is still room to adjust, eliminate or even add back items during this budget workshop. Consensus is just that… an agreement through discussion to keep or remove an item during this budget process.  For now, the consensus made at the recent budget meeting was to keep the splash pad. This splash pad has had some funds allocated for a few years, even before this administration. Admittedly, for every year we wait the cost to construct this skate park will rise. The residents of Apopka were definitive in making their voices heard; they want a recreational park with a splash pad. The skate park came out of the recent Visioning Apopka process conducted earlier this year. I reiterate we are still conducting budget workshops. When it is all said and done, this budget will have two public hearings. The residents will have an opportunity to view it and have their say.”

Becker expressed some regret over the loss of the skate park, but is ready to move forward.

“I am glad the Council decided to proceed with the Splash pad funding, assuming final budget approval, and will continue to press staff to work with the business community to partner on these initiatives to help further defray the cost, which there have been some that have expressed interest.  I would have liked to have taken the same approach for the Skate Park, as a large group of our youth, even adults, have stressed a strong interest in it, however I respect the opinions of the Council majority.”

Two more budget meetings are slated for August 23rd and 24th starting at 3pm at The City Council Chambers.

 

68 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah, no doubt that some of the parents want a skate park, as they want to get rid of the kids, get them out of the house, and put them on someone else to have to put up with and babysit! Good luck finding a private investor who wants to invest in a skate park partnership with the city. I notice the mayor states the skate park will be on the West Orange Trail……where? Along Edward’s Field?along Martin and Park? or Sandpiper and Park? Or other location? I think the commissioners were overwhelmed with the huge budget book, and after going over all the proposed expenses the 3 commissioners decided that the skate park could be put on the backburner for now. I think that makes good sense.

  2. They could put the skate park on the lot near the police station, there near 6th and Forest. That is along the trail but they would have to address where to park cars………

  3. There would not be as much traffic concerns there either, if the skate park was put there at 6th and Forest. I believe the city owns a lot there that was purchased sometime back, and it could tie into the Sixth Street improvements of making a downtown walking corridor over to the new city center.

  4. $ 4000 dollar site study X 1000 different location ideas = $ 4,000,000……..you know, at this point in time, let’s just let the mayor decide where, and go along with it………when the skate park issue comes off of the back burner. LOL!

  5. I have a copy of The Apopka Chief, Aug. 19, 2016, yesterday’s newspaper……page10A, the full color photo of the large mural that is hanging in the newly re-built Dream Lake Elementary School…….. That is a beautiful painted mural of Dream Lake! However, I do not see credit to the artist, who painted the mural, meaning their name, nor do I see the costs paid out for the mural.. Did I miss something somewhere else in the newspaper? I don’t want to assume, but I don’t see it. Credit should be given to the artist who created this beautiful work, and the amount paid to the artist for the mural, as it was the public funds, so I am led to believe. I would ask Christine, but again, I know that Christine doesn’t answer tax payer’s questions about school related projects on social media, generally speaking, even though she is OUR school board representative. ????? Too busy campaigning for re-election I suppose?????………..Christine, do you see my questions or care to answer my questions?????? You are the one who should answer this, as you are OUR local school board representative.

  6. I love the mural representing Dream Lake, so very nice! The thing is though, that if the mural was to look exactly like Dream Lake, more cattails were needed across the front of the painting…..tall cattails, like there at Dream Lake. Lots and lots of thick tall cattails………..when, if ever, are those pesky aquatic weeds going to be removed across the frontage of Dream Lake Park????

  7. I heard the mayor speaking about how embarrassed he was of the big CAT equipment and what shape it was in, and that it looked bad, cracked windshield, and generally in raggedy condition. So why not take the big CAT equipment, the ditch- digger, or the backhoe down to Dream Lake, and yank those cattails out of there across the park frontage at Dream Lake, and beautify the park? Armando Sr. used to go there to the lake, and used the equipment, and cleared along the lake front, before he retired with the city. We have others who can do it now.

  8. WWWHHHHAAAATTTTT???? The mayor is embarrassed about the condition of the city’s big CAT equipment, but he is not embarrassed about the condition of the Dream Lake Park with the grand opening of the it’s namesake, the newly re-built Dream Lake Elementary School?????? WWWWHHHHAAAATTTTT???????

  9. Phil Diamond’s campaign signs are pleasing to the eye. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, unless they are politicians, that is. Yeah, his campaign signs are diamond shaped, and look like a diamond. The signs make perfect sense, good thinking, very unique signs.

  10. I plan on voting for Keith Landry and also for Chuck O Neal. Both newbies to political office. Give them a chance. If they don’t pan out, then vote them out, I say. Give them a chance, at least. Others have had their chances at the political scene, over and over and over, like a broken record stuck in the groove………even Christopher Columbus took a chance!

  11. I listened to the Black Lives Matter organizer, Mr. D. Johnson, I believe that was his name, I won’t even try to spell his first name, and his speech at the city council meeting before the council members. He came off as very rational and reasonable, in my opinion. He stayed within his time limit, and he certainly did much better than some of the others, who were Apopka city residents, and who tried aggressively to overly push their personal agendas, in a manner that was not by the rules, and rules they were very aware of! I have read some negative statements about the BLM organizer, but just look who showed off at the council meeting, and it was not him! The black lives matter organizer was well mannered and respectful in my opinion, and I don’t think that one of things he requested is too much to ask for, that the restrooms to be open during the times of need, at the Alonzo Williams Park.

  12. I see where a Blue Bird school bus was purchased, by the city. It was a lot, but I think it was worth it, to have something safe and new for the recreation program to transport the kids or senior citizens in, to and from places. Well worth it, I say! At least we, as taxpayers, can see something tangible, and know where some of our tax dollars collected went. I also think that raising the wages of the school crossing guards is the right thing to do.

  13. Dale, of the Apopka Voice………I have a question for you. I am seeing this article, and here is how to find it…..google World News Nightly/New law requires all teachers to carry guns in Florida schools. The article is dated May, 16, 2015. It appears real, but is it? It states that a new bill or law was passed last year, and at the start of this new school year, all public school teachers will be required to carry hand guns on campuses. That the teachers will have to take mandatory 20 hours of gun safety classes, and hold proper licenses before the school year begins and that the school board will provide each teacher with a 9mm pistol. Surely, this is not real, is it? The world is so bizarre now days, I don’t know what to believe. Do you know about this, Dale? Check it out. I would ask Christine, but oh well, you know Christine will not respond to my questions………..

  14. You know, where I was raised as a kid, the county coroner was an elected position. Can you imagine coming up with a campaign platform or campaign theme for that job?

  15. I guess what is surprising to me is the photo in the above article of the big giant budget book for the City of Apopka. Now days everything is electronic and online. I know the budget is all online, and stored everywhere electronically, but there sits the big book, and the other photos of the council members pouring over the line items of the big budget book and flipping the pages. They all have access to all kinds of electronics devices, and know how to use them, but there sits the council members each with a big budget book hardcopy. What is old is new, and what is new is old, everyday in our daily life.

  16. I hope there will be more excitement in the air for the Nov. election, as it has been rather dull for this next election. I have been getting so many campaign flyers in the mail. I think the one from the PAC group trashing Jeff Aston is ridiculous, and I understand that it is paid for by someone that lives outside our area. It is shameful, and that is all I got to say about it!!!

  17. I see the article about the District 7 Orange County School Board race in the Orlando Sentinel’s Orange Extra, Section J, dated today, Sunday Aug. 21, 2016……..first they cheated all of you, no photos of the candidates. Plus they are disclosing the ladies age. How dare them!!! Hmm…..so Laura Round is running because the district eliminated her position, and if elected she’d like to replace the superintendent……got to love that reason!!! I love it. You go girl. Now, this is what I am reading, so don’t get mad at me!! Pay back, no doubt! That is okay in my book.

  18. Matthew Fitzpatrick stated that he grew concerned about an overemphasis on testing after AHS dropped an automotive class to make more time for test prep. The gall! Wish I had of taken an automotive class in school. I needed it, but didn’t know it at the time.

  19. Mrs. Dean believes they over test and put too much emphasis on it. Glad I am not in school anymore. I know Mrs. Dean is dedicated and cares deeply about the students and that they get the proper education that will carry them through life, she even taught life skills for 35 years!!!

  20. Christine, you know that I would not leave you out of the mix. I apologize if I have been harsh to you, and I mean that sincerely. It is just that living within the proximity of all these schools can drive a person crazy with all the traffic and chaos. I would not want your job under any circumstances, as it seems parents are never satisfied about anything, and they take it out on you, as did I, even though I am not a parent. I still would like to see some speed limit signs posted along the frontage of AHS though, okay? Is that possible?

  21. And to all of the candidates running for District 7 Orange County School Board, I still would like to see a pledge from one of you all that you WILL NOT support a tax increase if elected. I am still waiting…….tick tock, tick tock, tick tock………..anyone?

  22. Log onto Channel 13 News Orlando and see the story about Orange County Public Schools informing parents that their kids will now have to walk to school as they are eliminating the bus route because it is less than 2 miles to school. They have already been busing them for over a year, and cutting them off. They don’t care if little elementary school age kids have to walk along speeding traffic along JOHN YOUNG PARKWAY!!! That is a horrid area, and predators around too! What is going on with OCPS? Do they care about children at all?

  23. The parents of little kids forced to walk to school 2 miles or less along busy main roads should make demands to their state representative to have the law changed. That is what they are elected for. I may be wrong, but I don’t think the local board has to much to do with it, as they refer to the state statures. I could be wrong, but it seems that way to me.

  24. I have been thinking and you all should bring the heavy equipment down there to the shoreline of Dream Lake, and I think the mayor should get in the equipment, and operate the controls and yank out those cattails. I am serious. I am not joking, or making fun. You don’t need any kind of certain licenses to operate the equipment, and you could have one or two of the operators there to show you how, and make sure you are doing it correctly. It might even be fun for you, to try something totally different, try it, you might like it. Robert could come make some awesome pictures of you all. Why not? Think about it.

  25. I am reading the Orlando Sentinel today and see section D-page 1, about the new wine shop coming to Orlando. I see where Florida State Law Statutes prohibits wine sellers from serving drinks, but yet they plan to host tasting events there at the site providing samples to drink???????……..well, well, isn’t that interesting, you can’t serve it, according to law, but you can provide wine samples to drink????? To me serving is serving. To me, this is the blurring of the lines between right and wrong., just like you know what else I oppose, regarding wine guzzling, at you-know-where!!! Those Tallahassee lawmakers are a trip!!! The law did not say “sell” it said “serve”, so this makes no sense to me what so ever?????????????

  26. We are still getting lots of political calls. The candidates have lists of who still have not voted. That is why our phone is ringing off the hook! This is fun! This is why I wait to the very last to vote!

  27. One thing I am thankful for, and that is, that there is not a Trump campaign headquarters in this town!!! ha ha ha!!!!………don’t want to see one either! And here is the best part, I know that the Trump jet won’t be landing at the Apopka Airport!!! ha ha ha!!!!! So it can just fly on by here!!!! Good riddance!!!!

  28. And if by chance Trump comes through this town in his fancy limo, I hope he gets a red- light ticket!! In fact, a whole bunch of them!!!!!!

  29. The new wine shop in Orlando is obeying the law, and what is allowed, I am not saying that it isn’t, Lake Ridge Winery and Publix do the wine tastings too. But why does the Florida law prohibit wine sellers to serve drinks, and yet allow wine tastings to be served????? I don’t get it. ……..why is the Florida law so crazy?

  30. I bet we will have lots and lots of local politicians highly interested in the ” intellectual discussions of city hall art ” come Sept. 15th……..!!!!

  31. I am interested In a Whine Fest………when will they have a Whine Fest? Will they have a Whine Fest in Apopka in 2016????? Something for the whiny little people of the town, maybe???? I will even volunteer for the Whine Fest, if they have one.

  32. The man whose photo was shown and was wanted for threatening Orange County Schools was apprehended at the Canadian/ US border, was detained, and questioned, and was allowed to go on into Canada……….?????

  33. I have been looking at the Florida Nelson Roses website. Those roses are beautiful. I used to have an area with rose bushes and when I was working then, I think most of my money went to buy rose bushes and flowers! At that time I knew all the rose’s names. My favorite was the Double Delight. I had the Don Juan Climber, they are so tough and hardy! I had the Angel Face that was lavender, and the Sterling Silver, I had the China Doll, and the Kentucky Derby, and the old fashioned Florida Rose, and the wild Cherokee climbing rose………oh and the John F. Kennedy Rose which was a white rose that appeared to have blood stains of red on the petals, honestly. Over time I lost them, as they were a lot of work! Perfumed Delight was the best smelling of all!

  34. Mrs. Dean, I have been looking over your campaign website. Very nice! You have been everywhere and had contact with everybody, haven’t you? You have been busy! And you have been enjoying every minute of it, as I know you!! I am glad you are enjoying your campaign for Orange County School Board Member District 7 and I wish you the best. I looked over some of the links of articles on your website, and I see recess is something you advocate. I loved recess! Everyday I ran and bought ice cream nutty buddies that were huge back then, and got FAT and mama ended up having to buy me the “plump size” clothes. We had a ice cream canteen in the school basement we could go to for recess! I see that your website has a article about monkey bars and kickball are good for the brain. That is good news, as I lived on those monkey bars and loved kick ball, but then I scrolled on to another article on your website, and it was the one about how to make multiplication easy and it took me a long time to figure it out, and OMG is that really how they teach the kids multiplication now days????? I was slow at it , and like, what?????? I guess those monkey bars didn’t make me brainy after all! LOL!! It is not long until the election, and I bet you are excited. Best wishes Mrs. Dean!!!

  35. Good luck to you too, Christine, on your campaign for re-election for Orange County School Board District 7………..the big day is coming soon!

  36. One more before I head to bed…….I see that a judge in Tallahassee will address the lawsuit filed against the testing issue that affects kids in Orange and Seminole County too. The news article I read said that it centers on 3rd graders who opted out of the FSA test, and were not promoted to fourth grade, and that the state requires the kids to take the FSA and pass with a level 2 in order to be promoted to 4th grade. Here is the catcher……the state lets the local school board district decide whether to promote or holdback the kids in 3rd grade who opted out of taking the FSA test. Oh brother!!! Let the fighting begin!!! It could be used as a politically motivated weapon too, if they wanted to get nasty!!! Glad I am not running for the school board…. I would not want to be in the hot seat!!!!! I wonder how the lawsuit will go on Monday in Tallahassee, OMG?????? Good night…………

  37. I see in the Orlando Sentinel today that a judge in Tallahassee has heard from the mothers on their lawsuit to have their children promoted to 4th grade, even though they chose to opt their kids out of the FSA testing. The judge has not ruled on the lawsuit, as of yet. I read the article, I know what I think about it, but it does not matter what I think, and it will be up to the judge to decide, whether the judge believes the parents are rebels with a cause, or rebels without a cause, so to speak……..but citizens have a right to petition the government, against things they don’t believe to be just, or we might as well live in North Korea. The lawyers on both sides, fare well in the deal, at big $$$$$$$$$ per hour, or so much per contract!!!!

  38. How come back when I was in school, I never was told I could opt out of testing? I would have jumped for joy, if my parents would have said to opt out!! No, the tests were passed out, in the classroom, and you just did it! If anyone would have had the nerve to say, “I’m not taking this test”………then they would have been sent to the principal’s office. I don’t know about now, but when I was back in school, the dinosaur days, they had paddling. In my fourth grade class, I remember the teacher’s desk sat caddy- corner, in the corner, and she had a big wooden paddle, and if you disobeyed, she would call your name to come up, bend over, and you got paddled in front of the entire class. I am serious. Later on at AHS, if you disobeyed, you got sent to the principal’s office, and someone other than the principal, would paddle your hind- end. For real, I know that firsthand. LOL!!!

  39. There are 14 students whose fate is lingering on the judge’s decision, and the lawsuit affects 6 county school board districts including Orange, Seminole, and Osceola Counties. Then the final decision by the judge, will set a precedent for thousands of Florida students and the testing system.

  40. Ultimately, the judge could just decide to put the decision back to the local county school board to decide whether to promote the children or to hold them back. This is where it could get nasty and could become a politically motivated decision if passed back to the school board. The judge should rule on the decision herself, about these children in limbo, and also about the status of the testing and opting out’s future, but I’ll bet she will pass it back to the local school board to decide. It will be interesting to see the judge’s actions.

  41. Is there a name for the phobia that a person has and dreams at night, that they were a credit short, and didn’t graduate, and get a diploma? Seriously, is there a name for that phobia? Anyone know? For years and years after I graduated from AHS with a diploma, and walked with the rest of my graduating class across the stage, I would wake up in a panic attack, and think OMG, I failed!!! I didn’t graduate! Where is my diploma???!!! Then after several breathless moments of lying in the bed hyperventilating,, I would realize, wait, I did pass! In my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and beyond. I know it is ridiculous, but true, and my dreams seemed so real, that I was one stupid little credit short, and did not graduate……LOL!!

  42. Yeah, we had recess in those days. I don’t remember how long the recess was, but it must have been longer than 15 minutes or 20 minutes for sure! I played on the swings, the monkey bars, the merry-go-round, the see-saws, ran all across the grassy fields and kicked balls, and we had an area where we jumped rope in teams to chants, and all that good stuff. Our recess was always outside unless it rained or was snowing, but like I said, we could go down to the basement to the ice cream canteen. The teachers left us alone to play as we wanted, but watched us from the distance.

  43. This is what I believe the future of the education system will be………..all students will be home schooled, or either they will be sitting at a location where they can log into the internet, or a future technology that we don’t have knowledge of yet. There will be no school buildings to be built, there will be no school buses or school bus drivers, no crossing guards, there will be no school buildings, thus no teachers needed at them either, no cafeterias where school food will be served, no principals, no security guards or coaches needed either. No recess will be needed, no books, no school supplies……. No expensive air-conditioning systems to break down, no water pipe breaks, no big rats in the PE rooms, no cockroaches in the locker rooms, in fact, no locker rooms and no PE rooms! no painted murals, no fancy digital signs, no fences, no flagpoles….. no school board members either thus no school elections….The teaching system will all be controlled via a satellite out in outer space, and high tech equipment will pull the programs from the satellite, into the technology and the kid’s brains will be “programmed” with subliminal messaging…..and they will be turned into little controlled conforming robots that can’t think for themselves!!!! Sports will all be via the satellite, no physical activity needed, after all the kids will be viewed as “another brick in the wall”………..oh yeah, and no A to A program will be needed either….LOL!!!

  44. Yes, the schools system is crazy now days, but we should all still be thankful, and yes, it is a lot different from days gone by, but it could be much, much worse, such as NO JOBS for anyone, bottom line!!!!

  45. I decided to watch today’s Orange County School Board Meeting on you tube as I am new to the school board viewings. I saw the Apopka Bowling champs, and I saw people sitting way in the back part of the meeting with a whole lot of vacant seats in the middle. Is that where those people wanted to sit, or were they made to sit back there?????? This school board meeting stuff is new to me. I saw an empty chair where one member was suppose to be sitting. I saw Christine, and she was dressed very nice and all fixed up, with a beautiful necklace and outfit on,and I saw her speak about the bowling team, and the next thing I knew she went out the back, behind the other members backs, with her purse, and she was gone!!! I moved the video along as the speakers talked, to hurry it up, and the next thing I knew the video showed this message, “Live streaming will continue after the confidential disciplinary actions”……..What???? Christine, I don’t know what to think?????? Then I saw the other empty seat, and the other member that wasn’t there, was now sitting there. I never saw Christine return from the back to her seat. I wanted to see how the school board meetings are conducted but this wasn’t what I expected. Is this how the meetings normally are???

  46. I tried to watch the video again, but for some reason it won’t start up and play again. It doesn’t show the orange framed start like the others…..it doesn’t matter anyway, as I saw it that one time, and that is enough!…… Just the Bill Sublette Big Show, if you ask me.

  47. I am not happy to know that a tropical storm could be heading this way to Florida, ugh. I have tried once again to view the OCPS board meeting from last night, and it does not come up????? Shows a gray background and says something about Live Broadcast Area…..blah, blah…..I got it up once last night, and saw the Apopka Bowling Champs, and slide it across to speed it up. Wanted to review it again but no luck. I see the other board meetings and they come right up. What gives???? I don’t understand the portion of the video that says, “Live streaming will continue after confidential disciplinary action”…….who is getting disciplined, honestly???? I already told you all in my above postings about when I was in 4th grade, and how our “confidential disciplinary action” went in front of the rest of the class…………LOL!!!

  48. While trying to get the video from last night up again, of the OCPS board meeting, I logged onto a few others, and in one, I saw Bill Sublette, and Kat Gordon clashing over public comment policy. He is such as smarty-butt. I don’t care for him at all. I remember Kat Gordon from way back in 1994, when I attended a political event for candidates at the Orangewood Presbyterian Church, and I listened to her talk, and thought at that time, way back then, that she very intelligent.

  49. I’m giving it up on the school subject matters, for awhile, as I am more interested in the craziness of the Debary Mayor fiasco. That is suppose to be tonight at six o’clock. I so very glad that I don’t live in Debary. I don’t know exactly what to think about it all. I don’t know who is at fault, however, I do remember the chaos when another mayor was in power there,and how badly he was treated, as they locked him out of his office, and took his office away from him, and he had to conduct city business from his own personal truck’s interior, and from the back of a restaurant, donated space, that a local restaurant gave him use of …….. So I will be watching to try to figure out the dynamics of the craziness. I tend to think they are just jealous of him, because he is young, but I could be wrong, but they even planned on barring citizens from coming to the city hall to watch the proceedings live, then changed their minds!!!

  50. Correction: It was 1996, not 1994, at the Orangewood Presbyterian Church political candidate event that I first heard Ms. Kat Gordon speak. Twenty years ago! Where does time go?????

  51. Also just remember there was a big skate park behind the Altamonte Springs Home Depot that was big at one time, but has long been closed, and abandoned, and grown up with tall weeds, the last time I looked. How are you going to get investors to invest in a skate park partnership with the city if the kids say, “We ain’t paying to use the skatepark??????”

  52. Let’s see, wasn’t there suppose to be a special city council meeting after the budget today Aug 24, 2016? I think that is what I read. Now I am seeing that the budget meeting has been cancelled for today, and that the special council meeting was yesterday????? It is a little hard to keep up with the wishy- washy council’s plans………you all change more than the weather.

  53. The City of Apopka should extend a phone call over to the City of Longwood, and see if there is any possibility of the City of Apopka bringing kids over to the Candyland Skate Park in Longwood for skating on a weekly basis, or a once a month basis, and if some type of deal could be worked out between the two cities. Maybe the City of Apopka could accept some of Longwood’s kids for something that our city has to offer in exchange, or if not, how much would they charge us to allow our new bus with kids, to come to their skate park and use the facilities, and to park the bus there as a part of the recreation program of Apopka……..I don’t think any investor would invest in a city partnership on a skate park, but maybe some other partnership could be worked out, where both city’s kids could benefit. Who knows.?……and save money for now, and put the money intended for the skate park, back in the city reserves, to build them back up, or transfer the funds to something else, and see just how well the kids are into the skating, and if they truly are interested, before you dive in and spend that kind of tax payer money. This would be a good time to inquire about that, as I see where the skate park has been put on hold with a 3-2 vote against. Just as we bus kids to swimming programs at other locations…….

  54. The one time I log on to watch the Orange County School Board Meeting Live Streamed, and Christine did a disappearing act. That is funny. Apparently she went to the Farmworkers Ass. for the political event, about the school board candidates, when she left the OCPS board meeting very early on. I was new to the school board meetings, I didn’t know, honestly, I didn’t………I didn’t know if she was back behind the scenes getting paddled or something……….after I read that notice on the video during the meeting….. Live Streaming Resumes After Confidential Disciplinary Action………LOL! I heard they are a nasty bunch, you know. I am soooooo relieved for you, Christine……..!!!.

  55. Getting close to the six o’clock hour and there should be some news about the Debary Mayor doings. All I need is a bowl of popcorn and a big diet coke, and glass of ice…..show time!

  56. I have been watching the Debary Mayor fiasco, but the audio is sooooo low, but when I leave the site and come back to it, the ads are loud, especially the Fun Spot one. Very annoying! I really couldn’t hear too much of what the residents were saying to him, little bits and pieces, I know that one woman was offended by what ever he said to her. That one guy that was thin with the long silver hair and shorts on, that threatened to slap the mayor around, the mayor had him shown the door and escorted out. It didn’t look like he could hardly walk, much less slap someone around. That second guy that was called to witness, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him, he sniggled the whole time and has been yawning, looking at the clock, etc. Just wish I could of heard more of the audio and heard it better. The city council of Debary will be judge and jury. My oh my. I bet the vice mayor will vote to oust the Debary Mayor, for sure, I believe, and I think the others will too. You would think the Debary Mayor killed someone, they way they are all acting. All for the sum of $ 500 per month salary…….!!!!!

  57. I acquit the Debary Mayor, right here, right now…….. NOT GUILY!! He gets special consideration by me because he, as Mayor of Debary, when he decides he wants to travel as mayor, he constructs his own raft, provides his own fuel ( foot pedaling) and goes by himself to sail away to Cuba! No tax payer dollars wasted!!! Here in the City of Apopka, the Jetsons fly to Washington DC, Miami, Tallahassee, San Fran, Hollywood, and I have forgotten where else they fly…… and..spend big $$$$$ on hotel rooms for days at a time, fancy meals, and they go repeatedly throughout the year, and the rest of the Jetsons are asked to go along too, and spend, spend, spend. our Apopka tax payer $$$$$$$ and at the same time RAISE OUR PROPERTY TAXES!!!!!

  58. I knew they would oust him. Jealous of his youth. He smiled the whole time, and the contortions of the Debary Vice Mayor’s face near the end, was worthy of a new city hall mural! Yes, the Debary Mayor did the best he could do with the freak show, and he was dressed so nicely for the send-off, and oh, the grinning face sticky- note on the back cover of Mayor Johnson’s laptop was the best……!!!!! Just wish the audio could of been heard better. I broke my earphones awhile back, snapped them in two. Good night.

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