The City Council confirmed the appointment of Mark Reggentin yesterday, but not without the tension that has become commonplace at City Council meetings. By a vote of 4-1, Reggentin was named the City’s new Community Development Director.
But that lone dissenting vote was a loud one.
“I would hope I live to see the day when Apopka is integrated,” said Commissioner Billie Dean during the Council’s discussion about Reggentin. “Integrated in the supervisory positions.”
Mayor Joe Kilsheimer attempted to respond, but Dean shot back.
“Hold it! Dean said to Kilsheimer. You’re always trying to out talk people.”
“Really?” Kilsheimer said.
“Yeah,” said Dean. “You pick who you want and it seems like you always pick your buddies. You’ve been here two years and you have not hired a minority for a position worth a damn! Now whatever you’ve got to say I’ll listen.”
Kilsheimer’s response was to move the discussion back to the Council.
“Thank you Commissioner Dean. Alright, any other discussion?”
Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith asked about the process and if there were any applicants from a city of 80,000 or larger.
According to City Administrator, there were 12 applicants, and five interviews. One of the applicants was from Tallahassee.
“Seems like we could get somebody from a city twice our size, not half our size to show us how to get to that size,” said Arrowsmith.
“Virtually everyone who lives in Apopka says how do we get what Mt. Dora has?” Kilsheimer countered.
“And Mount Dora has something to work with as far as a downtown,” said Arrowsmith. “We (Apopka) just have so much to work with. And Mount Dora has had more controversy than Apopka…as hard as that is to believe. And I’ve read his (Reggentin’s) credentials and they are great credentials.”
Reggentin started as a city planner in Lake Mary in 1989. He served for 22 years as planning director in Mount Dora.
His service in Mount Dora included an overhaul of the city’s comprehensive development plan and land development code.
Reggentin managed Envision Mount Dora – a long-range community-planning project similar to Visioning Apopka. He oversaw Mount Dora’s two community redevelopment agencies – Apopka’s community redevelopment efforts currently focus on development of blighted downtown properties.
Reggentin also oversaw Mount Dora’s historic preservation of local buildings which is a priority among many residents who want to preserve Apopka’s small-town feel.