I have been writing about the primary importance of local government supporting neighborhoods. My office offers several support programs such as Quarterly Meetings for training and social opportunity, the Corridor of the Year Contest, an opportunity to engage residents and build collaboration through beautification, and the Corridor Chief Program.
I have closely supported two organizations – The People of Lockhart, The People of Wekiwa Springs, and now a third group, The People of Clarcona-Ocoee. I would love to support a fourth group called The People of Southern Apopka. However, we have not seen enough consistent interest here to stand up a separate organization. I am hopeful that will come soon. I’m also considering combining Apopka's Southern and Northern sections to clean up the Rock Springs/Park Avenue corridor.
Nevertheless, the Corridor Chief Program is a vital part of the work of supporting neighborhoods. The corridor chiefs report infrastructure deficiencies to 311 and pick up trash on a regular basis. Infrastructure deficiencies include plugged drains, cracked sidewalks, burnt streetlights, etc. I would like to share some stories of a few of these awesome and dedicated Corridor Chiefs.
Jean Ford, a member of The People of Wekiwa Springs, works with the Mills family to clean up Thompson Road and has also recruited the Apopka Running Club to adopt the western end of Votaw Road for quarterly clean-ups. Thank you, Jean Ford, for your leadership. Thompson and Votaw Roads have never looked better. They also have the best-looking sidewalks around.
Larry Branan, a strong member of The People of Lockhart, works very hard on Rose Ave. This street is vital to the vision of a rebuilt downtown Lockhart and hosting cyclists traversing from the West Orange Trail to the Wekiva Trail. Larry picks up the trash and has recruited businesses and property owners to do so. The amount of debris Larry has carted off the road is astounding. It would be nice if folks would simply keep trash in their cars and dispose of it once they reach their destination. Thank you, Larry Branan, for your dedication. Rose Ave has never looked so good, and next year, we will be painting the Tealwood Cove fence and adding painted roses for greater interest.
Sandy Miller, an engaged resident in Huntley Park off Clarcona-Ocoee Road, has picked up literally thousands of snipe signs with her friend Mateo Schulte. The North Pine Hills area suffers from event promoters defacing traffic utility boxes and fake tax preparers, leaving signage all up and down Clarcona-Ocoee Road. This dynamic team led the way for the Clarcona-Ocoee Team to win this year’s Corridor of the Year Contest. I must say, we still struggle with trash thrown on the right-of-way almost daily. However, all the engaged HOA Board Members are getting out to help pick up the trash and maintain the wonderful wall, entranceway, sidewalk, etc., improvement wrought over 2023. Thank you, Sandy Miller, for your hard work.
Richard Lippert is our most comical and entertaining Corridor Chiefs. He represents The People of Wekiwa Springs and services the north end of Wekiwa Springs Road. Richard took my place, for which I am extremely grateful. There is nothing worse than lawn debris left for weeks on the side of the road, rental moveouts filling the curb with unwanted property, and trash left by lazy citizens. I still do not understand why trash cannot be kept in a vehicle until reaching a destination. Richard picks it all up, weighs it, and faithfully totals his annual amount in a report sent to my office. He is on his way to picking up TWO TONS of debris for 2023. I cannot thank you enough, Mr. Lippert.
If you are a regular walker or cyclist, it is easy to bring along a trash bag and pick up trash. If you want to join my Neighborhood Leader Group and work alongside other interested and engaged residents, please contact my office at 407.836.5850 or District2@ocfl.net.