My vote will go to Tim McKinney.
Commissioner Edwards spoke these words that ring in my ears, “Orange County is an Urban County”. The pleasant thoughts of open fields, unpolluted rivers and lakes is replaced with visions of endless houses, subdivisions, shopping centers and roads with lots of traffic. Commissioner Edwards desire to make Orange County an urban county makes him the wrong choice for the District 5 commissioner where a very large portion of it is rural. This was made very clear at the July 12th Lake Pickett hearing when he opposed the residents and pushed through the Lake Pickett projects. The only thing worse than no representation is opposing representation from your elected official.
East Orange County has been lacking in representation at the county level for many years. That is why our infrastructure out here is in such poor shape. Impact fees paid by developers has been taken by Orange County but used in other parts of the county with no improvements to the roads in East Orange County. Because we have been asleep at the wheel with no representation, we have been robbed blind. Now, only because of opposition to the Lake Pickett developments and dedicated people represented the interests of the residents of East Orange County at meeting and public comment has the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) taking notice. Many residents including myself have freely given thousands of hours trying to get this fixed. We have attended community meeting, spoken in front of the BCC, CFX, MetroPlan and other agencies. We have created blog posts like this ones and collaborated with Orange County staff on possible solutions. It is these actions that have made some difference and is why we are seeing some focus given to our area.
But one very important theme has emerged. We want our roads fixed but not at the expense of our environment and the pristine Econ River and Econ River Basin and we most definitely do not want the rural area paved over with concrete. This desire has been made very clear to Commissioner Edwards and it is here that we have a difference of opinion. The picture above was taken at the Young Republicans debate a few months ago. Commissioner Edwards made a statement that embodies his philosophy of what Orange County is. He said, “Orange County is an Urban County”. This statement directly opposes the views of people who live in this area and which our commissioner should be fighting for, not against.
So on July 12th with every seat in the county chambers filled as well as every seat in the overflow room and standing room only in the foyer with people against the Lake Pickett Text Amendment and developments, Commissioner Edwards pressed forward like a salmon swimming upstream against the current to push his agenda. I have never seen so many people and groups against a land use case. Yet our commissioner moved forward and in fact cross examined residents who came there only to express their views. I felt as though they were on a witness stand. That was very offensive to see.
Tim McKinney has the best chance of winning and his representation will ensure the wishes of residents living in East Orange County are honored. Here is a link to his website so you can read about him and what he stands for, Tim McKinney for District 5 Orange County Commissioner.
Here is a quote from his website,
“Through public and private partnerships we will tenaciously work to find the solutions to solving our community’s problems. As a vocal advocate, I will stand up to bureaucratic policies that leave many Central Floridians behind. I will fight for your dignity and respect, to ensure that Orange County government is working for you.”
This is all we can ask for but it will take all of our efforts to have him elected. We must vote. If we don’t vote, we will not be represented and we can expect development to continue all the way to the St. Johns River. We must have a seat at the table and be represented. Get involved and vote for Tim McKinney.
It is proven by what happened on July 12th that spending time expressing yourself and your ideas at public comment is a fruitless endeavor. We must take this into the political arena and elect an official that will work to our best interest.