“No long goodbyes… I live here”
From District 2 Orange County Commissioner Rod Love
With this week’s column being my last, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my columns as well as participate in actually being engaged in the process of government and community. I must acknowledge the blessing of being able to work with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs (now School Board Chair) with her keen, millisecond, analytical supernatural ability to problem solve while standing in the fire, what I consider to be a true benefit to Orange County residents.
Through the process of osmosis, I leave the Orange County Board with a treasure trove of tools and characteristics bestowed to me unknowingly by my colleagues:
- District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey—a steady-hand, sage wisdom and special blessing to me;
- District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke—a practitioner converted into a dedicated effective advocate;
- District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Thompson—a go-getter, hard worker and the life of the dais;
- District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla—an ever-evolving thirst for knowledge; and
- District 6 Commissioner Victoria P. Siplin—a dynamic, innovator, creator & trailblazer.
While we don’t live in a perfect world, I must acknowledge unequivocally that Orange County’s staff, administrative and direct front-line service personnel are second to none, and combined with synergy, frustration, and cooperation of everyday Orange County residents, is the central reason for accomplishments that I have received accolades and credit during my tenure.
District 2 encompasses Northwest Orange County. It is also home to the second largest municipality in Orange County, the City of Apopka lead by an effective and approachable Mayor Bryan Nelson and the city council that has created responsible governmental, business and social developmental excitement and improved civility leading this beautiful city into the future.
The community of Pine Hills is rising like a phoenix out of the ashes in addressing ongoing issues of crime and blight, and the resources to combat the crisis can no longer be postponed. The perseverance of the Pine Hills community leadership will be the determining factor of the community realizing its future potential and providing the support Commissioner Siplin will need to transform the community to new horizons during her final term.
Strong rural settlement leadership advocacy, particularly in the Tangerine/Mount Dora community, ensures that urban sprawl outside of the settlement boundaries will not commence unchallenged. Unity at its best!
The Historic Town of Eatonville is continuing to evolve and places a high emphasis on the future growth of infrastructure projects and the importance of sustainability through economic development. The town’s leadership must challenge itself to fully realize it’s potential.
There is much on the horizons in all areas in District 2 that will not take place without the continuous aggressive leadership that has been exhibited.
I would finally like to thank my staff, Ms. Shirley Sharpe-Terrell, Nicole Kennedy and Ken Wilson, for their hard work and attention to detail as I have relentlessly driven them based on my own ambition “Results-Based Accountability” “Change not for the sake of Change, but for the sake of quality of life improvements. My staff has truly been steadfast in their support of me.
To law enforcement from various municipalities that I have had the honor to work with, understanding completely the difference between an agreement and relationship. An agreement with communities denotes: Come in, do your job and leave. A relationship denotes: Come in, do your job, and in the course of doing your job, we (the community & LEO) earn and development reciprocal care and respect for one another. Thank you L.E.O. for your continuous commitment to developing relationships with communities.
Additionally, I am sincerely appreciative to Governor Rick Scott and thank him for his trust and support in my ability to serve as District 2 Orange County Commissioner. I would like to give a special thank you to the community and faith-based leaders and observers for your honesty and unyielding, results-based commitment to progress.
Furthermore, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a constructive critic, friend, and brother who, while we disagreed at times, we always practiced what we preached, civility and brotherhood as we push one another to be better than we were the day before. Thank you, Greg Jackson. I must thank my father-in-law, Reverend Richard King, for reminding to stop and thank God for patience and protection as I desired to expect change overnight and we all know, things didn’t get like it is overnight and I shouldn’t expect a quick fix. Work + Deeds = Change & Success!
Last but not least, and most importantly, I would like to thank my wife, Quandra, and my daughters Re’Anna & Raegan, for their sacrifice and tolerance of my absence and sometimes insensitivities to what matters. FAMILY, understanding the precious “little things” that I won’t get back: Talking with my 15-year-old about having a tough day at school or catching the last five minutes of my 11-year-old compete in a national competition. The one thing that makes me feel a little better is that both “Ruff & Ready” (Re’Anna and Raegan), understand that to whom much is given, much is expected, and they know why daddy does what he does, because not only is it the right thing to do, but because there should be no credit for what we are, are supposed to be doing. According to the feedback my children provided to me, their prayer is for me to have more balance between my professional and personal life, sounding like the influence of their mama. “Advancing Women” always prevails.
Thank you to everyone for the honor and privilege to serve as your District 2 Commissioner.