Metropolitan County OrlandoDamion Chung POS2112 Professor Foreman15 April 2005Chung1The metropolitan county Orlando/Orange county is mostly famous for the tourist attraction of Walt Disney, but it has political issues that only the people who are interested would know about. Members of the Orlando City Council are the Mayor-Commissioner, elected at-large, (candidates are chosen by all of the vote in the community, and elected for four year term) and six City Commissioners who are elected from respective districts. All are elected for four-year terms. Special meetings may be held at the call of the mayor, there are 6 district commissioners. District Commissioner 1-5 respectively is Phil Diamond, Betty T. Wyman, Vicki Vargo, Patty Sheehan, Daisy W. Lynum.
Ernest Page who is the mayor and also the District 6 Commissioner he was elected Commissioner in 1996, re-elected in 2000 and 2004. Became mayor in March 11, 2005 in mayor Buddy Dyer’s absence.Ernest Page’s work experience includes, Ernest Page Realty, Valencia Community College, (adjunct instructor, real estate), CNA Insurance Company; (division manager), Customer Service, accounting collections, security, record administration, telecommunications, purchasing, fleet administrator, Xerox Corporation, (marketing and sales), Martin Marietta Corporation; property management, buyer, employment specialist, Orange County School Board, (classroom teacher). Page’s stated that, “On March 11, 2005, I assumed the role of Mayor of Orlando and I am honored to serve this great City in this capacity.
As I begin my service as Mayor, I will work daily with senior staff and the Cabinet to ensure we will maintain the excellent level of service that our citizens have come to expect and deserve. Please be assured that the City will operate with the same consistency and efficiency as we have in the past”Chung 2Requirements for Qualification as Candidate for Office of Mayor-Commissioner or City Commissioner. Each candidate for the Office of Mayor-Commissioner or District Commissioner of the City of Orlando shall have been, at the time of qualifying as a candidate for such office, both a bona fide resident of the City of Orlando and a registered elector of the City of Orlando for at least one year prior to the date of qualifying to run for City office.Each candidate for a City of Orlando district Commissioner seat shall have been, at the time of qualifying, both a bona fide resident and registered elector of that district of the City of Orlando for at least one year prior to qualifying. Provided, however, in the election following the decennial redistricting required by section 4-1 of this Chapter, district commissioner candidates shall only have to meet the requirements of subsection above. For qualifying purposes, residents of areas that are annexed into the corporate limits of the City of Orlando within one year prior to the election qualifying period shall be considered residents of the district to which their area has been annexed and shall be eligible to be a candidate for Mayor-Commissioner or City district commissioner if they have been a bona fide resident and registered elector of either the City or the annexed area for one year prior to the date of qualifyingAt the time of qualifying, candidates shall be required to submit proof satisfactory to the City Clerk that they have met the requirements of this section. If satisfactory proof is not submitted prior to the end of the qualifying period, the City Clerk shall not qualify that person for the office sought and their name shall not appear on the ballot. Satisfactory proof of having met the residency requirements of this section shall include Chung 3submission all of the following applicable items for the one-year period prior to qualifying: homestead exemption documentation, residential property lease, utility bills which reflect usage of utilities at a level indicating actual residence, and Florida driver’s license registration.
Candidates may also submit to the City Clerk any other documentation that shows their intention to be a bona fide resident at their qualifying address. Candidates must also submit documentation that they have been a registered elector as required by this section for the one-year period prior to qualifying. As a condition of qualifying, all candidates must sign a release authorizing the City Clerk to verify the information that they have submitted.
On March 11, 2005, Mayor Dyer was served with a Grand Jury indictment charging him with a felony violation of the state elections law, Pursuant to his authority under the Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 7 (C) and the provisions of Section 112.51, Florida Statutes (2004), Governor Bush suspended Mayor Dyer from office. Under state law, this suspension will continue until such time as the criminal charges resulting from the indictment are resolved. Should these charges by resolved favorably, then the suspension shall be revoked “forthwith” by the Governor. Should these criminal charges be adversely, the Governor is required to remove the Mayor from office. By operation of state law, the City Charter procedure for filling permanent vacancies must be utilized to fill the temporary vacancy during the term of Mayor Dyer’s suspension. Therefore, City Council must meet within ten days of March 11, 2005, to set an election date within forty-five days that meeting.Whoever is elected in this special election will serve as Mayor during “the period of Chung 4the suspension, not to extend beyond the term.
” Article IV, Section 7 (C), Florida Constitution. At the point the criminal charges are resolved, Mayor Dyer will either be restrained or removed , in which event permanent vacancy in the office will result and need to be filled in accordance with the City Charter provision found in Chapter 2, Section 1. If the remaining term exceeds one year, City Council will again call a special election under the provisions previously discussed. If the remaining term is less than one year , the remaining members of City Council shall, within forty days of the vacancy, elect by majority vote a person to fill in vacancy.This resolution by the City Council of the City of Orlando, Florida , authorizes a Special Municipal election to be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2005, with a Run-Off Municipal Election to be held if necessary, on May 24,2005, for an interim Mayor to serve during the period of Mayor’s Dyer’s suspension. It also authorizes a Special Election on the same dates to fill any vacancy created by any City Council Member who resigns their seat in order to run for Interim Mayor.
Council is also asked to authorize the City Clerk to execute a Contact for the use of Vote Processing Equipment and other special election requirements with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections after review and approval by City’s Office of Legal Affairs. Due to the suspension from office of Mayor Dyer, under the Laws of the State of Florida and the Charter of the City of Orlando, Florida, it is necessary to hold a Special Election to elect an Interim Mayor for the term of Mayor Dyer’s suspension (but not to exceed the length of his term which ends May 31, 2008); In the event any current City Commissioner(s) decide to resign in order to run for Interim Mayor, it will be necessary Chung 5to hold a special election to fill their seat(s)for the balance of their term(s);When Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was indicted last month, he was in the middle of a budget crisis and projects ranging from redeveloping the city’s poorest neighborhood to overseeing a building boom downtown. The five mayoral candidates competing to replace Dyer will have to jump into the middle of what the mayor left behind. How they deal with looming deficits, the economy and downtown’s development will help define Orlando’s future.On May 3, voters will choose a temporary replacement for Dyer, who is suspended until an allegation of an election-law violation is resolved. It remains unclear how long his replacement will serve. If Dyer is acquitted, he could retake the mayor’s post, but if he’s convicted, voters will have to approve a permanent replacement in another election. Orlando’s leadership crisis comes at a crucial time for the city.
Economic and budget issues are at the forefront.City finance workers predict at least a $27 million deficit for next budget year. That’s higher than the $23 million deficit Dyer inherited in 2003 when he replaced Glenda Hood, who became Florida secretary of state. City staffers originally predicted a $27 million deficit this year as well but say they may avert the problem by slashing spending and not filling some jobs. The cause of the deficit is partly because of higher salaries and rising health-care costs, including retiree health benefits. Since the early 1970s, city employees who work at least 20 years receive free medical care for life.
None of the candidates suggested that it’s time to raise taxes after 14 years without rate increases — at least not yet — but they have different ideas about what should be done.Candidate Bill Frederick, Orlando’s mayor from 1980 to 1992, wants to examine the Chung 6Orlando Utilities Commission’s finances with an eye toward a bigger annual dividend payment to the city. Last year, the city received about $32.7 million in dividends from OUC and about $19.7 million in franchise fees. Dyer created controversy by hiring consultants to quietly study the possibility of the city taking over OUC’s water utility and selling it for $322 million. The idea of selling part of OUC appears dead, and OUC is completing the study. If the city’s expenses continue to outstrip revenues for several years, then city leaders will have to cut services or raise taxes, Frederick said.
But Frederick added that he won’t raise taxes in the coming year. Candidates Billy Manes, Ken Mulvaney and Sam Ings had no immediate financial solutions but said an audit should be conducted of the city’s $600 million budget to look for waste.Candidate Edward Lopes wants to impose a 99-cent “impact fee” on every plane ticket sold at Orlando International Airport.
But Carolyn Fennell, a spokeswoman for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said a 1973 federal law forbids that kind of tax. Lopes said he hasn’t researched it, but he wasn’t convinced that it couldn’t be done.Creating a stable and diversified economy is a priority for our City as we move into the 21st century. The City is using the economic prosperity brought about by the region’s enormous tourism industry to attract new targeted industries that will provide a better balance to our economy.
This will allow our community to achieve economic prosperity while preserving a high quality of life. To accomplish Orlando’s goal of economic prosperity, the City will focus on the following areas:Chung 7I. Promoting the City’s targeted growth industries;II.
Nurturing and cultivating small business development;III. Engaging in innovative programs that educate the workforce;IV. Supporting neighborhood economic development; andV. Encouraging infill and redevelopment within the Traditional City.Reference1.
Allard, Edward current resident of Orlando (3 years)2002-present2. City Council. City of Orlando.net7 April 2005http://www.cityoforlando.net/elected/index.htm3.
Orlando Sentinel 7 April 20054. Orlando, The City’s MagazineApril 2005Orlando Business Journal MagazineMarch 20055. Orlando: City of Dreams (Making of America) by Joy Wallace Dickinson.