Sheehan, Stuart Downtown Brick Road Concerns are Valid

If you’ve lived in Orlando long enough, you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the neighborhoods of Lake Highland, Thorton and Delaney Park, the beautiful driving surface that not only looks good but has been found to raise property value. I’m talking about the brick roads which cover the residential areas of Downtown Orlando.

The sound is unmistakable. Clack, clack, clack. They add that ambiance that is normally reserved for more suburban upper scale communities. And in those communities they experience much less wear and tear then they do downtown.

On Marks and Summerlin, it’s more like clack, clack, clack, boom! Accompanied by the sound of a cash register opening to give you the change for the new wheel you bought, after a pothole or cracked paver caused you a flat tire and a dented rim.

It’s the problem everyone knows exists but never acts on. Yesterday, during the City’s budget meeting, Commissioners Robert Stuart, and Patty Sheehan both expressed the concerns they were hearing from constituents and those concerns are very valid.

Every year those brick roads get worse. They’re forced to absorb tropical storms followed by sweltering heat, as well as heavy commercial vehicles that have no business being on the roads, but are used to deliver services to residents.

The bricks crack, they break, they flatten tires and damage vehicle suspension. Car repairs during these tough times can break a family on a tight budget.

It’s not just drivers. It’s the kids that ride their bikes to schools and parks, when they flip right over the handle bars on a poorly maintained street.

Drivers wince as their cars deal with that approach down Kaley, just passed Boone HS, down to Fern Creek. There’s less turbulence in space travel.

What are the answers? You could pave over them with asphalt if you don’t mind losing the charm. You could have the bricks redone but that’s expensive. Both options have drawbacks. Construction detours. Residential construction noise. Temporary bulldozer eyesores.

Both are better options than what we’re seeing now. Nothing.

Sheehan and Stuart were right when they called attention to the upkeep of their road ways. Street maintenance for commuting and trading. Perhaps the most basic responsibility of municipal government.

Brick Roads. It’s a luxury problem. Maybe we should turn to District 5 and Daisy Lynum’s concern about basic pedestrian safety problems. It’s why we’re the most dangerous city in America for pedestrians.

We’re talking about the issue. Let’s hope it’s not forgotten or the next reminder you’ll get, will be the sound of those bricks getting weaker with every vehicle that goes over them.

Clack, clack, clack..

Downtown's Brick Roads are beautiful but come with maintenance draw backs

Downtown’s Brick Roads are beautiful but come with maintenance draw backs

Get Your Message Out Banner! Blue

Wednesday Morning Political Headlines: Black Swans at Eola, Orlando VA Hospital Delays lead to finger pointing

This week has been PR gold for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and it’s only Wednesday.

The beginning of the week had the rumored Gubernatorial candidate coming to terms on renovations for the Citrus Bowl renovations with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs; A move that will keep the venue competitive for national events and temporarily halt questions over his ability to work with Jacobs and on Tuesday he showed his kinder and gentler side releasing two black swans into Lake Eola. A photo opportunity most politicians would shout for.

Two days, two wins.

The real credit goes to Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan who purchased the swans and has also sponsored the city’s growing Urban Chicken program that allows city residents the chance to house two “fowl” creatures (see what I did there?).

Perhaps Dyer could advise the Department of Veterans affairs and the contractors behind the delays of the Orlando VA Hospital. Today we’ve got more bad news over the finger pointing that has delayed the badly needed facility that has thousands of Veterans waiting.

In other more serious political news, we’ve got video content on poll closings in Osceola County, and poll numbers that have President Obama ahead in Florida over Mitt Romney on the eve of the controversial health care ruling.

These stories lead your Wednesday morning political headlines.

WESH 2: (VIDEO) Black swans released in Lake Eola

Orlando Sentinel: VA, contractor try to sort out Orlando hospital delay

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: (VIDEO) Some question closing of polling places in Osceola County

CF News 13: Swing state poll shows support for Obama

WKMG Local 6: Seminole County to vote on property tax increase

WOFL Fox 35: (AP) Obama to host White House picnic for lawmakers

The two swans released on Tuesday should have more freedom than this one photographed last year.

Thursday Morning Florida Political Headlines: Dyer, Jacobs agree on Bowl Renovations and We’re #1

This has been a great political conversation starter.

The two most powerful political figures in Central Florida snapping back and forth at each other in the media, then finally coming together and working out an agreement. This is great for Central Florida. If only Washington could work things out like this.

On Wednesday Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer met and hammered out an agreement on the aging Citrus Bowl renovations. Basically, the county will have the city’s back when it comes to borrowing the money to make these repairs a reality.

The Sentinel does a great job explaining it in plain English for the rest of us. Plus, we’re number 1 in political corruption. That’s right baby, we don’t do anything half speed in the “F.L.A”. Those stories lead your Thursday morning political headlines.

Orlando:

Orlando Sentinel: (VIDEO) Dyer, Jacobs agree to move forward on Citrus Bowl deal

WKMG Local 6- (VIDEO) Jacobs, Dyer reach agreement on Citrus Bowl renovation

WOFL FOX 35- (VIDEO) Elections supervisors buck Gov. Scott over voter purge

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News- Volusia Co. schools retreading bus tires to save money

CF News 13- Fixing aging Citrus Bowl a priority, mayors Dyer, Jacobs agree

WESH 2- (CNN) Obama’s May campaign cash tops previous 2 months

Jacobs will work with Dyer for Citrus Bowl renovations.

Tampa:

NBC- (VIDEO) Spokesman: RNC not blocking Ron Paul fest at fairgrounds

WTSP 10 News- Unshackled, Jeb Bush offers light praise, advice for Obama (CBS)

ACTION News- Jeb Bush: I won’t be Mitt Romney’s Vice President

WTVT FOX Tampa Bay- Scott administration defends voter purge (AP)

Bay News 9:- Former Governor Bush endorse Mack for Senate

Miami:

6 NBC- http: GOP Wields Dim Jobs Data to Polish Romney’s Image

CBS Miami- Jeb Bush Rules Out Romney VP Running Mate Run

Local 10 - (Video) Coral Gables voters to decide pickup truck issue

WSVN 7 News- Broward school district to add teaching jobs

Jacksonville:

News 4 JAX- Rick Scott visits Ponte Vedra (VIDEO)

47 WTEV Jax- Florida ranks No. 1 in government corruption, study says (VIDEO)

FCN- Duval Supervisor of Elections says no non-citizen names being purged (VIDEO)

FOX WAWS 30: Florida Accuses Feds of Violating Their Own Laws

WEST Palm:

News Channel 5- Gov. Scott requests review of three Florida Supreme Court justices’ actions

12 News WPEC- City demands more paperwork in Redemptive Life Church investigation (VIDEO)

WPBF 25- Former Gov. Jeb Bush endorses Connie Mack for Senate

FOX 29 WFLX- Conservatives and Romney work at working together

Tallahassee:

WCTV 2- Florida: National Leader in Public Corruption

ABC 27 WTXL- FL justices hearing public defender dispute

FOX 49 Tally- Florida: National Leader in Public Corruption

Pensacola:

Local 15- White House veto threat on repeal of medical tax

WKRG 5 News- VIDEO- Budget Advisory Committee Has First Meeting

WEAR ABC 3Victory Office Opens (Video)

FOX 10 TV- New law limits protests at funerals

Gainesville:

GTN News- Gov. Scott Hold Business Roundtables in North Central Florida (Video)

WCBJ TV 20- Video Ann Romney Visits Ocala

FOX 51 WOGX- Elections supervisors buck Gov. Scott over voter purge

FT. Myers

NBC 2 WBBH- VIDEO Rick Scott Responds to Voter Purge

WINK News
- North Fort Myers Town Center plans in the works

ABC 7 WZVN- Shelters have city attorney seeking outside help (video)

FOX 4 Now WFTX
- Florida, Virginia have best building codes

Panama City:

WJHG 7 NBC- Florida Number One in Government Corruption

WTVY 4- Study: Florida, Virginia have best building codes

WMBB ABC 13- “Visit South Walton” Installs Solar-Powered Trash Compactors on Beaches

Number one in political corruption!

Orlando Mayor College Park Neighborhood Candidate Forum

The candidates for Orlando Mayor all came together this evening, inside of a packed College Park Community Center to talk priorities, growth, and quality of life to the audience in attendance.

Mayor Buddy Dyer, City Commissioner Phil Diamond, Businessman Ken Mulvaney, and Activist/Organizer Mike Cantone all took about 5 to 8 minutes to go over their platform and describe their vision for Orlando.

From left to right. Dyer, Mulvaney, Cantone, and Diamond

This was not a debate. It was a forum and there were no edgy exchanges or loud crowd reaction. It was the first time they were seen together and the first time they could criticize Buddy Dyer with the Mayor sitting only a few feet away. There was a drawing that determined the order. Let’s run through each candidates speech.

Ken Mulvaney: Mulvaney spoke fondly about building his life here in Orlando. He brought up term limits saying it would bring in new ideas and the concept of rescheduling elections to save the city money. He said the city should get involved with education and promoted a stronger open door policy.

Mulvaney did fine. The last man to enter the race had the misfortune of being the first to speak at the forum.

Despite going first Mulvaney covered a lot of ground

Phil Diamond: It appears as if Mayor Buddy Dyer’s most dangerous opponent is the one that’s been sitting next to him on the commission the entire time.

Sounding energized and having the biggest identifiable following in attendance, Diamond said he thought the Mayor was a nice guy but had a clear 3-point outline of what he believed the Mayor did wrong. “When you mistakes spending taxpayer money it takes away from other critical resources. The three points were.

1. The deal the City got for the Amway center and that public money paid for 80% of it.

2. Selling the building across from the Amway center to the Magic without putting it up for bid for other businesses.

3. The city having to pay 3 mil (land and destruction of the Amway Arena) when it shouldn’t have cost the taxpayers anything.

He brought up using Phone Apps for city repairs. In fairness Dyer is proud of his “Pothole Hotline” still, an app could be neat.

Phil Diamond impressed this evening.

On strength of speeches, Diamond bested the group.

Mike Cantone: Cantone’s activist background has made him a gifted speaker and using a small portion of the existing city budget for business development has promise. He wants to cut off funding for the Chamber Commerce which has been tossed around in the media recently.

He’s proud of his liberal roots which could turn off Republican voters in this non-partisan race and he brings up his age (28) which could leave some asking if he’s ready to lead Orlando.

Cantone has ideas but his age could become an issue.

Mayor Buddy Dyer: This is Dyer’s turf, he lives in College Park and enjoyed the benefit of going last. But, the Mayor didn’t directly address any of the his opponents attacks. Instead this was a sampler of his State of the City address. He’s proud of Sunrail and declared he will get to the Citrus Bowl.

He customized parts of his speech to College Park, pointing out individual projects in the area, including the community center this event was being held in.

His proudest declaration was that Orlando is in the best financial shape of any city in Florida and touted the AAA bond rating.

Dyer glided from issue to issue and emphasized the desire to finish the projects he’s started.

The Mayor repeated a lot of his State of the City talking points with some College Park projects included

So who won?: Well, it wasn’t a debate. It was an appetizer for one. I thought Phil Diamond spoke very well and strategically Buddy Dyer benefited because he’s going to prepare rebuttals for what he heard tonight. As for the next traditional debate event. It’s being hosted by the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday night and will be moderated by Columnist Scott Maxwell, Reporter Mark Schlueb, and Fox 35 reporter Mike Synan.

Tickets for that event can purchased here.

Here are more photos from the forum tonight.

Mayor Dyer with former Commissioner Bill Segal

Ken Mulvaney talking to a voter after the forum

Mike Cantone speaks to supporters after the event

Mayor Dyer talks to reporters after the forum.