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The Apopka Voice Readers Poll

Readers want economic development director; prefer a higher millage rate to improve Apopka

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Readers of The Apopka Voice spoke loud and clear the last two questions on its Readers Poll last week. They want an economic development director, and they would prefer improvements to the city rather than a modest millage rate reduction. 

Over 80% of the respondents were in favor of an economic development director and improvements to the city. 

Economic Development

Should Apopka have an economic development director? Could it be managed with the talent already on staff? Can a mayor put that hat on and act as economic development director all on his own? What role should a chamber of commerce play? Should a municipality step aside and let capitalism be the leading edge of economic development?

The final vote from 150 respondents was decisive - readers want an economic development director:

  • Apopka needs an economic development director - 132 (88%)
  • The mayor should handle economic development in Apopka - 18 (12%)

The Apopka Voice covered this core issue from every angle in 2021.

We also conducted a survey of 12 nearby cities and how they approach economic development in their municipalities.

Millage

4.2876 or 4.1876?

That was the debate the Apopka City Council went back and forth with during the budget workshop and hearings. Initially, it was left at 4.2876 (which is the same rate it was in 2020) during the workshops, but later in the hearings, consensus changed to the lower rate. The vote was 4-1 in favor of a 4.1876 millage rate with Commissioner Kyle Becker in opposition.

Similar to the economic development question, the final vote from 96 respondents was one-sided:

  • Leave the millage rate at 4.2876 and use the $400,000 to improve the city - 78 votes (81%)
  • Drop the rate to 4.1876 and give the modest refund back to the taxpayers - 18 votes (19%)

Jeff Tyre, who commented on our Facebook page, thinks the budget should be built before the millage rate is set.

The tax rate should be set only after evaluating critical infrastructure needs within the city departments and community," he said. "Community workshops should be made available at convenient times for the residents to express their concerns and their thoughts. It gives a chance for each City division leader to show the taxpayer where that funding is being utilized and why it’s important. Department heads should not be placed in the middle of a political debate. They should be allowed to share the needs of their Division in a public forum without the fear of being terminated."

Today's question is about the Rock Springs Ridge Homeowners Association's attempt to purchase the RSR golf course lands, and should the City of Apopka have aided in that transaction? To participate in that poll, go here.

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