I got a call from the Anjali Vaya campaign informing me of a concern regarding Mike Miller and his vote on HB-883.
Remember HB-883. That’s the horrible, backdoor bill that almost became law which would have allowed urban development within 3 miles of any state university. It would have been the death knell for both the rural areas in Seminole and Orange Counties. Read about HB-883 here.
Mike Miller is the newcomer to the Orange County District 5 Commission race. We don’t know too much about him yet but according to WikiPedia, he served two terms in the Florida House of Representatives from 2014 to 2018. That was the same time HB-883 came up for a vote. He voted in favor of HB-883. That is cause of concern to any who live in East Orange County as well as East Seminole County because our rural areas are so closely connected. What happens in Seminole County directly affects Orange County.
On March 6th, 2018, Martin Comas wrote an article in the Orlando Sentinel that reads,
“Central Florida politicians are joining environmentalists and residents in opposing a fast-changing bill working its way through the Legislature that would do away with rural protections on land within three miles of a state university, including University of Central Florida. That means most land in Seminole County east of the environmentally-sensitive Econlockhatchee River — which has been mostly protected from high-density development after a countywide referendum — would be open to thousands of new rooftops, according to the latest amendments tacked onto the bill Tuesday.”
The article also says, “Constantine said former state Rep. Chris Dorworth, now a real-estate investor from Lake Mary, told him he has a contract to purchase nearly 700 acres of farmland in Seminole’s rural protection area and bordered by the Econ River, County Road 419, the Orange County line and Riverwoods Trail. He said he suspects Dorworth is pushing for the bill’s amendments.”
Anjali Vaya is running for the District 5 Commissioner seat against the incubent, Emily Bonilla and her opponent, Mike Miller. Anjali Vaya has not taken money from developers. Bonilla, who touts herself to be the defender of the rural area has taken $2,000 from Chris Dorworth as well as $3,000 from a developer connected to the “The Grow”. And just recently she received $2,000 from companies owned by John Miklos who owns environmental firms that worked for the River Cross development as well a Sustany. Bonilla has had harsh words for these contributors so why is she taking money from people she so strongly opposed? In fact, before she was a commissioner, she was a party to the lawsuit against Orange County of which “The Grow” was involved.
Orange County District 5 is a non-partisan race or it is supposed to be anyway. But that didn’t stop a Soros backed Democratic PAC. In an article on November 30th, Scott Powers wrote in FLAPOL, “United For Progress spent $96,360 directly to back Bonilla”. Will a SuperPAC swoop in at the last minute to help save her as they did in 2016. According to the Campaign Finance reports, Bonilla is almost out of money. She has total contributions of $68k but has spent $54k. Only 14k in the coffers. Is that why she is accepting money from people she has opposed in the past? Is she compromised?
East Orange County has a huge rural area presence that must be protected. We want commissioners who see the value in that protection and will honor the rural boundaries in both Orange and Seminole County. We also need balance and a commissioner who will work for the entire district, not just one side or the other.
Mike Miller needs to explain his vote on HB-883 to the residents of East Orange County and Bonilla needs to explain why she is taking contributions from people she is diametrically opposed.