As a preface to my own opinion. Let it be known that I am only a new resident of both Florida and Apopka (I am originally a native from the northeast. I am only familiar with some of the history as per former Mayor John Land and his lifelong career as mayor of this city.
That being said, I have done my best to watch some of the Council Meetings and get a better understanding of what the city is setting out to do in terms of critical topics such as: Improving the Apopka Fire Dept, annexation of South Apopka, city beautification/improvement projects and encouraging growth.
We have a city of about approx. over 55,000 and growing rapidly. That being said a lot of us have come for the natural beauty of the lakes and surrounding land, the accessibility to key areas with a reasonable commute. All while keeping away from the tourist attractions that are still nothing more than an arm reach away.
This city can become a great many things. But one thing it can not do is live in its past and reminisce about a time where the city wasn't as large and there wasn't as much development (or overdevelopment as some locals describe it as).
The city needs to take action and needs to strategize its vision. If not done carefully, this can become a huge disaster. Many an article I have read on this website of neighboring towns taking resources to give their quaint towns some sort of identity and not let it just become a sleepy town with general commercial zones just plopped here and there. We need to start facilitating a proper layout for this city and both its current and future residents. Which means improvements for both fire and police. A proper main street, more local schools and medical facilities.
And while my perception of Mayor Nelson appears to be a classical old school Floridian native (which is perfectly fine), the urgency here is to not move "Florida-slow" but be a bit more demanding for the success of the city is indeed slightly troubling. I am hopeful that the mayor and the City Council begin to become more proactive and less reactive to what is happening in Apopka.
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