6/18/2015 – LPA meeting notes

My public comment for the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting on June 18th, 2015

This is my third and hopefully final go around with the Lake Pickett properties.  The first I was an observer.  The second I was strongly opposed because there was no plan for traffic.  This time I am strongly in favor of the Lake Pickett developments because a plan is in motion to responsibly develop these properties while at the same time fix the traffic issues.

  • I agree and support the staff recommendation for transmittal.
  • I have faith the agreements forged during the adoption phase will guide how these properties will be developed as well as protect the rights of the residents who live in the area.
  • I believe this text amendment will cement in stone no commercial or high density housing on S. Tanner Road giving the residents who live there the rural lifestyle they now enjoy.  The same is true for Lake Pickett Road and 419.
  • There has been talk about these developments being urban sprawl.  I don’t believe that theory.  I do believe there will be urban sprawl if these properties are developed individually and without this comprehensive plan using transect-based strategies.  Eventually Lake Pickett will be developed.  This is the best opportunity to plan the whole area as one and truly have responsible planned development.
  • Regarding traffic, I believe the money these developments will provide coupled with the recent announcement of 200 million in transportation funding by Orange County will empower Orange County to make the necessary improvements to the roads so needed in East Orange County.  It will literally erase the neglect from the past and put a plan in motion to fix these roads.  We know the money Orange County is borrowing is not enough to make all the necessary improvements to this area.  This holds true for the money from the developers.  But put both sources together and there could be enough to get us where we need to be and is exactly the plan everyone has been so passionate and vocal about.  Every single person wants traffic fixed and should embrace this plan!
  • I want to make this point very clear seeing there are signs all over the place frightening people with the thought of 15,000 more cars on the road.  I am OK with 15,000 more cars if they can get to their destinations faster and safely.  I am NOT OK with even one more car on the road with the current traffic congestion.

I have faith, believe and trust that Commissioner Edwards, the mayor, commissioners, yourselves and staff will do everything possible to ensure the rights of the citizens in East Orange County are respected and protected.  Please approve this text amendment so East Orange County can move forward and begin the repairs we so desperately need.

Ran out of time so I could not finish.  Here is the last paragraph that I wanted to read.

I have a few seconds left so I would like to get a bit personal.  To agree to this is truly a leap of faith.  Many people I have talked to tell me past stories of promises broken.  Roads that were suppose to go in that did not materialize or subdivisions that did not look anything like what was first shown.  I hear it but won’t believe it until I see it for myself but it is my biggest concern.  That “The Grow” will be “The Woe” and “Sustany” will be “Catastrophe”.  I want this approved but we must ensure that what is promised is delivered and the roads are fixed.  This is the beginning of a long process that will take years.  I only ask we stay focused and always keep this vision in mind.  All of this has to work together or there is no point in moving forward.

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Orange County Community Meeting

5/27/2015 – Setting Expectations

In a few short days the 3rd and final Lake Pickett Community meeting will be held. This one is to wrap up the meetings so Orange County staff can prepare to present to the LPA (Local Planning Agency) and following that the BCC (Board of County Commissioners).

The meeting is at Corner Lakes Middle School on June 2nd at 6:30 pm.  

Please attend.

This meeting is important because Orange County staff will again take notes of comments, suggestions and concerns from residents. This information is used when they prepare their presentation to the LPA (Local Planning Agency) and BCC (Board of County Commissioners).  We have been told there will be a discussion on traffic which is the primary concern of most people who live in this area.

I am very concerned about traffic.  Every time I go down McCulloch and think what it will be in 10 years if nothing is done to fix it, I feel saddened and dismayed.  This goes for N. Tanner, Lake Pickett, S. Tanner, 419 and Hwy 50 as well.

Here are some facts for you to consider:

  • FACT: If the Lake Pickett properties are denied, there will be no fixes to any roads except Hwy 50 from Dean to Old Cheney which is underway now.
  • FACT: HWY 50 is a state FDOT (Federal Department of Transportation) project, not county.
  • FACT: The HWY 50 section from Old Cheney to 520 is on the FDOT project chart but is not funded.  It will be many years before it is funded with money from the Federal Highway Trust Fund.
  • FACT: The county has very little money to build roads.
  • FACT: MetroPlan just passed a motion to reallocate up to 30% of money now used for roads into mass transit (buses, Sunrail) starting in 2020.  If money is diverted there is less money for roads.  Money comes from the Federal Highway Trust Fund
  • FACT: 18.4 cents of every dollar at the pump goes into a Federal Highway Trust Fund which filters down to the state and county to pay for roads.
  • FACT: The Federal Highway Trust Fund is in trouble.  Here is the most blunt phrase in this article: “But the fund is nearly broke.”  Read here: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-highway-trust-fund-20150520-story.html
  • FACT: The county relies on Road Agreements with developers to build and improve road.
  • FACT: The county is relying very heavily on the Lake Pickett developers to pay for a very large portion of the roadway improvements.
  • FACT: Many of the county roads are failing or will fail in the near future.  Meaning the roads are over-capacity.
  • FACT: None of the roads in this area are on the county’s project chart so it will be many many years before anything is improved
  • FACT: Regardless of these developments, more traffic will come to our roadways and the problem will get worse.
  • FACT: At some point these properties will be developed.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want the roads fixed?
  • Do you want the area to stay rural and nothing done to the roads?
  • Do you want to see our traffic problem get worse and worse over time?

I can’t answer these questions for you, all I can do is impart knowledge I have that has been gathered over years of research on this subject.  Personally, at this meeting I want to hear what the county and developers have to say.  I want to see what can be done to fix these roads.  I want to see the impact the developments will have on the area and if there is a way to work together to solve the problems.  I think we are moving in the right direction.  There have been many meetings and phone calls to make this work and solve our traffic problem keeping the way of life of the residents in the forefront.

Here are some examples of gains over the last months:

  • The developers reduced the housing densities
  • Lake Pickett road has been buffered to be rural in nature
  • The Seminole County line has a 400 ft buffer and low density housing
  • S. Tanner has buffers with one acre lots and no lots will exit onto S. Tanner.  the lots have the same width as the lots across the street.
  • In LPS (Lake Pickett South) densities are highest along Hwy 50 and in the center of the properties away from the county roads.  There will be no apartments on the property.
  • In LPN (Lake Pickett North) densities are highest at the center.  There will be only residential homes with no commercial or apartments allowed.
  • The rights of citizens living in the area are foremost in the minds of the developers and county
  • The county has revised the amendment several times based on input from residents – still in draft now
  • A bright light is on this area and we are forefront in the minds of the county and other agencies.  We have focus now.

I feel the only way we will fix this problem is to find a way to work together to solve it.  Just saying no does not provide solutions.  We are in a situation that requires compromise and a give and take on all sides if this problem is to be solved.  All I ask is you come to this meeting with an open mind and willingness to listen.  If this meeting is promising, I would like to see the process move forward to the next step where the real work begins.  The BCC vote on July 28th is for “Transmittal” which only means it has promise.  The second BCC (Board of County Commissioners) vote late in the year is for “Adoption” which is the final vote.  But in between there is a myriad of hurdles that have to be crossed and the primary one being the Roadway Agreement.  This could all fall apart if the county and developers cannot come to an agreement.  Believe me when I say this.  If Commissioner Edwards has a hard choice making a motion for “Transmittal”, he will have an even harder choice making a motion for “Adoption”.  I believe he will be working very hard to make sure this will work because our future depends on it.  I think this just might be the hardest decision he will have to make in all the years he has served a a commissioner and I for one will be praying for him to make wise, thoughtful and good decisions.

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Orange County Government

4/8/2015 – What do I think of the BCC vote regarding the West Orange relief school

West Orange High School Orange Shirts

West Orange High School Orange Shirts

On the Orlando Sentinel website recently there was an article regarding the West Orange relief school.  You can read it here:  West Orange High School Relief Decision

How does this relate to my primary focus which is traffic in East Orange County.  I guess you will have to read on to find out because there is a very direct relationship to what is going on in East Orange County.  It will become clear as you read my blog.

Approving the West Orange High School is one of those decisions that I am sure was very hard for the commissioners.  The rooms were overwhelmed with orange shirts in support of the school.  Understandably the orange shirt people want their kids to go to a school that is not crowded and there is not doubt a school was sorely needed.

The issue is not the need for a school, it is a sequence of events leading up to this that is the issue.  It is that we as humans don’t really learn from history and tend to repeat it over and over.  If we dwell in only the present, the school issue has a simple answer.  More people want the school than those who opposed it so put the school in.  But just because there is a majority does not mean it is the morally right.

Trail of Tears

Trail of Tears

What does history tell us about this.   The picture on the right is called the “Trail of Tears”.  In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the “Trail of Tears,” because of its devastating effects. The migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died.

This may seem a bit drastic when comparing it to a BCC vote over a high school in a rural settlement but there are similarities that can’t be ignored.  Just like these Indians, rural settlements have certain rights.  This quote came from this document, Rural Settlement Study.  “Orange County has made a number of efforts to preserve and protect rural communities in recognition of their historical nature, existing development patterns, and community cohesiveness. Such efforts include the designation of Rural Settlements on the Future Land Use Map of the Orange County 1990-2010 Comprehensive Policy Plan, the development of related future land use policies, protection of some Rural Settlements included in Joint Planning Area Agreements with municipalities, and creation of Preservation Districts.”

The Orange County Comprehensive Plan clearly defines what is allowed inside a rural settlement and a high school is not allowed.  So as the Cherokee Indians rights were violated so have the rights of the people who live in the rural settlement.  So who is to blame for allowing this to get to this very difficult decision which left the present mayor and commissioners with little choice but to approve this high school.  This started long before any of these people were in office and who knows if those before had any inclination this would happen.  Perhaps it is an unforeseen set of circumstances that brought us here.

Now this vote is in the history books and this high school in this rural settlement will forever be a monument that stands in testimony of the violation of some peoples rights because of the will of the majority.  And now like the Trail of Tears this is past history and we move forward.

Let’s turn our attention to the future and look at East Orange County and two mammoth developments that are coming up for a vote by the BCC in a few short weeks.  Putting traffic aside for a moment, there are many people who have bought land in this area that want a rural lifestyle and at this time are protected by the Comprehensive Plan.  But the Comprehensive Plan can by law be changed through a defined process as it has been many times.  There is no guarantee that rural land can stay rural.

For as minute, lets review the history of what happened in West Orange County.  Years ago people came and bought land in the rural settlement with certain rights.  But all around them developments were built and thousands of people moved in completely encircling the rural settlement.  A Publix shopping center across the street with other commercial property close by as well as many suburban communities.  OCPS decided to buy cheap land inside the rural settlement even though it was prohibited via the protection of the Comprehensive Plan.  OCPS did this because they assumed the BCC would grant a variance as had been done in the past.  To OCPS surprise, when they went in front of the BCC to ask for their variance it was denied which set this on a legal court battle.  The judge decided that because the BCC had allowed all the developments to occur around the settlement, the high school was compatible with the surrounding area and should be allowed.  So now the high school is going to be built.

Did anyone really win?  The clear losers are the rural settlement people just as the Cherokee Indians are the clear loser.  Some people will walk away thinking they won but they have unknowingly given away something much more valuable.  They gave away the same thing that the people who forced the Cherokee Indians to walk the Trail of Tears which is a violation of rights.

We see this occur over and over in history but society repeats it over and over again.

Traffic in East Orange County

Traffic in East Orange County

I predict that if and when the Lake Pickett developments are built something like this will occur that will strip the rights of the people who live in these rural areas because they will be overwhelmed by numbers.  There will be many thousands of people living in these mammoth developments that will impose their will on the people who have previously been given rights through certain laws.  Our crystal ball lies in knowing the past and learning from it.  Will we make the same mistakes or learn from them?

How does this relate to traffic.  More people demand more roads or widened roads so the people who live in the area who have enjoyed rural roads will be subjected to suburban type roadways with mega traffic.  Your time will be stolen away minute by minute as you wait in lines of cars trying to get to your destination.  At this point in time, there is no defined plan to improve our roadways with the population we have now let alone 10,000 more people and cars on the road.  Is this really what we want?  Do we really want developments to continue moving eastward until the only one who can stop it is God using the St. John’s river?  Do we really want our rural areas to be paved over with concrete until there is nothing left for our children to enjoy?

The past can never be changed but our future is in our hands.

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4/6/2015 – Econ should be eastern growth boundary, Beth Kassab

Beth Kassab - Orlando Sentinel

Beth Kassab – Orlando Sentinel

Beth Kassab wrote this article in the Orlando Sentinel and posted this video.

Orange County’s fire chief couldn’t have been clearer.

The chief stood before Orange County commissioners last month and said he doesn’t have enough fire stations to respond to emergencies quickly enough.

The problem is particularly bad on the far east side of the county.

Yet, in just a few short months, Orange commissioners will be asked to support a development the size of the city of Longwood for — where else? — the far-east side of the county.

This is the definition of sprawl: development that outpaces what people need to live there.

Like being able to call 911 and get a paramedic quickly enough to save your life.

Or drive to work on roads that aren’t clogged with unbearable congestion.

Or send children to schools that are nearby and have enough classroom space.

These are the inconvenient messes that taxpayers have to clean up after landowners and developers make a bundle on sprawl.

And the bill is hefty.

The tab for the fire-station shortage alone is about $25 million.

Said Fire Chief Otto Drozd, “Travel time continues to go up, and that’s a product of increased population, increased demand and housing developments that are coming up farther away from where we have existing resources [emphasis mine].”

Linda Chapin saw this coming.

Nearly 20 years ago when she was county mayor, Chapin tried to make the Econlockhatchee River the official easternmost limit for development.

Drawing a line in the water at the Econ made a lot of sense.

It was an easily recognizable boundary. The land near the river is environmentally sensitive. And the county had plenty of land west of the river where the county was better equipped to provide cops, firefighters, parks, schools and roads.

Chapin’s effort failed, but county officials, for the most part, seemed to respect the Econ as an unofficial boundary.

But, possibly, not for long.

Certainly not if Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and commissioners approve 4,661 homes (including 700 apartments) on 2,600 acres of ranch land near Lake Pickett and Chuluota roads.

“Once you cross that river, what becomes the next stopping point? The St. Johns?” Chapin asked this week. “We are not Atlanta — yet.”

The best way to prevent sprawl is to respect the Econ.

Equally important is for Orange County to recognize that the ripple effect of 4,600 new homes beyond the county line.

The Lake Pickett developments would forever change the look and feel of Chuluota, a rural community that straddles Orange and Seminole counties.

Seminole County Commission Chairman Brenda Carey met this week with Jacobs about creating a joint planning agreement for the eastern section of their two counties.

So far, they haven’t agreed to anything other than to keep talking.

Seminole Commissioner Lee Constantine deserves credit for demanding that his county gets heard.

“Water doesn’t stop flowing and people don’t stop driving at the county border,” he said.

If Seminole County is going to have any say this time around, it’s going to have to act fast.

A community meeting for Orange residents is scheduled for later this month, followed by public hearings in June and July.

Residents who live in the rural area and who oppose the development are mobilized.

But every taxpayer should be concerned about the cost of sprawl.

Chapin says Metro Orlando’s tolerance for sprawl is less than it was in 1998 when her proposal was voted down by the commission.

“Look how excited people are about SunRail and about urban density in the right places,” she said. “I just think … no, I believe we’ve become more sophisticated about how we want the whole region to develop.”

I think she’s right when it comes to the average resident.

I’m less sure about Orange’s elected commissioners.

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Traffic in the future

3/9/2015 – BCC workshop regarding Lake Pickett properties on March 10th

Mayor Jacobs and Commissioners,

This email is in reference to the workshop on March 10th at the chambers to discuss the Lake Pickett properties.  I hope you have time to read this email and watch the short video from the YouTube link below.

We need to shine a spotlight on East Orange County in the hopes of driving funding to our area for road improvements.  I have prepared a very short video (2:38 minutes) that shows how the traffic problem evolved in East Orange County.  I would very much appreciate if you would view this before the workshop especially the new commissioners who might not be aware of the history of East Orange County.  It is on YouTube here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvB4dgVMIpc. You will need sound to hear my comments.

I am convinced that the county alone cannot solve this traffic situation and certainly not the developers.  They are only able to impact the county roads and the problem is not the county roads.  The problem is the 408 and Hwy 50 which are Expressway Authority and state roads.  So no matter how much money the developers throw at the county roads, it will never be enough.  The video explains all this.

Regards,

RJ Mueller
http://FixMyRoadway.com
http://Facebook.com/FixMyRoadway

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Orange County Government

2/26/2015 – Email to Mayor Jacobs and Commissioners

Mayor Jacobs and Commissioners,

Community meeting - Woodbury and Hwy 50

Community meeting – Woodbury and Hwy 50

On 2/25/2014 I attended a community meeting hosted by the planning department and District 4 regarding a rezoning on the corner of Woodbury and Hwy 50 from commercial to apartments.

Why should I care about a rezoning from commercial to 200+ apartments seeing I don’t live close by the property or travel the roads immediately around them? I care because of the trend that has formed over many years in East Orange County. Developments are allowed to be built without regard for the overall traffic issues in the area and the developer is only required to pay for their impact to the roads even if the road has already failed. I understand that there are other factors that come into play such as the 2011 law but I also know there are ways to develop responsibly and we must find a way to break this ever repeating trend.

We were actually told at the meeting by the developer in a very forward way that if Orange County tried to stop this development from going in based on traffic, there would be lawsuits against the county due to state bill 360 that was passed in 2011. When I expressed concern over traffic in the entire area, I was brought back in line and told that this was about this property and not the entire area. I had to state that this was a community meeting and we, the residents, were there to express our feelings and traffic in the entire area is our concern and this development will impact the overall traffic and add to the problem. Yes, the community meeting was about this property but it will affect everyone in the area who drives on Hwy 50 and only add to an already exasperated situation.

Community meeting - Woodbury and Hwy 50

Community meeting – Woodbury and Hwy 50

I understand that this property in all likelihood will be approved but this one single property is not the main issue. The issue is what has happened to East Orange County and what will happen as more and more of this occurs. If the roads were adequate and not failing, I wouldn’t care if this property was rezoned but it is the situation we have that makes it important.

I also know that the two properties on Lake Pickett are much different than this property. Traffic issues can prevent these properties from being developed because they require a change to the Comprehensive Plan and FLUM. We as residents are at a major disadvantage because we are not versed in all of the zoning laws and do not understand and are not educated on all this. We all work and have jobs that prevent us from really getting involved so we have to rely on you, our elected officials, to protect us. We knew there was some significance to the Comprehensive Plan but now know how ultra-important that it remain preserved. It is the only shield we have against more development which translate to more traffic. Personally, I want you to know that I am not against the developers. I like their plans and what they are proposing to do with these properties and feel I have a good relationship with both parties but we cannot rely on their money only because the traffic problem in East Orange County is far beyond their means to fix. In fact it is far beyond the county’s means to fix. This has become a regional and state problem now. If Orange County accepts the road plans proposed by the developers, the trend continues and will get worse.

Hwy 50 lights

Hwy 50 lights

The main bottleneck in East Orange County is Hwy 50 at the 408 which is Expressway Authority and a state road. The bottleneck is one mile to the east and west of the Hwy 50/408 intersection. There are eight lights in a two mile distance on Hwy 50 that slows and halts traffic so now people are choosing alternative routes to get to their destination. No matter how much money developers throw at the county roads, they cannot fix this problem. It will take the state, Expressway Authority, MetroPlan, Orange County, Seminole County, Research Park, UCF, the residents and the developers to fix this. We all have to be on the same train heading the same way. Developers can only do so much and it is simply not enough. These other organizations must also be part of the solution.

At this time, we, the residents of East Orange County, cannot allow our shield, the Comprehensive Plan and FLUM, to be changed until the traffic issues are addressed which means a fully funded traffic plan. It is our only defense against increased traffic problems and must be kept intact. I urge you to form a regional task force to focus on the traffic issues in East Orange County and come up with a regional plan to fix it long into the foreseeable future.

Please know that I and many people who live out here want to be involved and help. Please call on us to do what you need us to do to help solve this problem.

RJ Mueller

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Ted Edwards District 5 Commissioner

2/9/2015 – Meeting with Commissioner Edwards

Today I met with Commissioner Edwards and had a good discussion about the traffic situation.  The purpose of the meeting was to ask him how to get some attention on the traffic problem in East Orange County and what could be done to move our projects up on the list.  I mentioned in a previous post that no roads in East Orange County were on the project list two years ago.  Things are changing.  Commissioner Edwards is working hard on the road issue and gave me some information that shows roads are starting to get some attention even though we have a long road ahead of us.

Renzo Nastasi, Manager of Transportation Planning Division

Renzo Nastasi, Manager of Transportation Planning Division

I also wanted to know more about how the roads were funded.  Renzo Nastasi was also in the meeting and Commissioner Edwards deferred to him for answers to this question.  If you read an earlier post, you will know that I met with Jon Weiss and Renzo Nastasi last week and was given information about this subject.  But I did learn a couple of new tidbits.  Mr. Nastasi explained how funds trickle down from the US Government to fund state roads.  The US Government allocates funds based on population and hands out transportation money to the states.  The states then shovel it off to 27 TPOs (Transportation Planning Organizations) in the state.  Ours is called MetroPlan and covers 3 counties, Orange, Seminole and Osceola.  So MetroPlan decides the priority of how money is spent.  I wonder if we have any representation from East Orange County on MetroPlan.  I do know there are a boatload of committee members on the board so perhaps we do.

Another tidbit passed on from Mr. Nastasi is when we discussed the state of roads in Orange County.  I asked if there were any areas. not roads, areas, in the same condition our area is in anywhere in the county.  Mr. Nastasi explained that there are roads that are over-capacity but when it comes to an entire area, this is the only place.  So more reason to focus on East Orange County.

Commissioner Edwards has been working on accelerating the six-laning of Hwy 50 and has moved it up on the schedule.  The bridge across the Econ was not funded but now is and the section from the bridge to 520 has been broken into two projects with one going as far as 419 and the other from 419 to 520.  The funding of the section from the Econ bridge to 419 will hopefully move up on the priority list.

There is also emphasis on the 408 expressway and extending it to 520.  The money for the study is now funded and underway.  This study will take 1-2 years to complete.

The discussion turned to money and paying for the roads.  I am starting to realize that there is just not enough money coming into Orange County to fund all the roads that need to be built.   So I asked about taxes.  There is a reluctance by politicians to suggest taxes as it seems to be a four letter word.  Both politicians as well as residents don’t like taxes.  There have been attempts to add additional taxes and for the most part they have been voted down.  I think this is why the County looks to developers to pay their share and help with the infrastructure.  If the county can have developers contribute to the infrastructure repairs then maybe the problem can be addressed.

But the analogy I gave to Commissioner Edwards went like this.  Imagine you have a puzzle in pieces on a table and you need to put it together.  But there are pieces missing from the puzzle.  The puzzle will never be finished.  The developer money is just one piece of the puzzle and without the other pieces, it really can’t help finish the puzzle.  The pieces in our puzzle are the state, Expressway Authority, MetroPlan, the county, the developers and of course the residents.   all of them are needed to finish our puzzle.

 

 

 

 

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Ted Edwards District 5 Commissioner

Commissioner Edwards speaking about traffic issues at the 6/24/2014 BCC meeting

Below is a video of Commissioner Edwards talking about the traffic issues in Eat Orange County.  This video is at the 6/24/2014 BCC meeting which you can view at this link.  If you have a few minutes to watch the whole video, Discussion Regarding Local Government Infrastructure Sales Tax (scroll down to item 7 on the right), you will see that the Commissioners and Mayor are very aware of the infrastructure issues.  Commissioner Brummer who has since termed out wanted to add a Local Infrastructure Tax to the November ballot.  As we all know, taxes are a dirty word and no one wants them but I think because Commissioner Brummer was on his way out, he proposed the tax.  What I am learning about the traffic issue boils down to money and that means more of it.  This may be our only option out of this situation.

If you listen to the whole discussion which is 38 minutes long but well worth the time, you will see that the Mayor was against the proposal but not because it isn’t needed but because it has to be presented to the residents in the right way or it will most definitely be defeated.  No one wants more taxes.  This idea must be explored in more detail.  Here is the video showing how Commissioner Edwards thinks about this issue.

Commissioner Edwards speaking at the 6/24/2014 BCC meeting

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Jennifer Thompson District 4 Commissioner

2/3/2015 – Meeting with Commissioner Thompson

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with Commissioner Thompson in her office and we talked about the traffic situation in East Orange County.

Orange County District MapThe reason I went to see Commissioner Thompson is because she is the commissioner for District 4 that is just to the south of District 5.  The border between District 4 and District 5 is Hwy 50.  The map on the right clearly shows the Districts and if you click on the map you will see the official District map.

Even though I went through my maps and what has happened over the years she is fully aware of the issues in this area.  Her suggestion was to start talking to MetroPlan.  MetroPlan Orlando is the metropolitan planning organization for Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.  The website states, “Our organization provides the forum for local elected officials, their staff, and industry experts to work together to improve transportation options for Central Florida.

Several commissioners are part of MetroPlan and this organization has a strategic business plan that runs from 2014-2018.  I have not had a chance to thoroughly read this document but when I do I will post a synopsis.  I believe this organization must be part of fixing our problems in East Orange County.

Thank you, Commissioner Thompson, for the meeting.  Perhaps I will see you out on one of the half or full marathons sometime.  Happy running!

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