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COLUMN

Council Watch

Billy Manes paying attention to local government so you don't have to

Item: The city approves a revised contract with city attorney Mayanne Downs.

Translation:

Former president of the Florida Bar Mayanne Downs is stepping up her private-practice intentions, accepting stockholding shares and employment from power law firm GrayRobinson. The city purports that this will not mean that it has to pay Downs any more than it already does, but will instead continue to utilize her services by paying GrayRobinson a monthly retainer of $16,797, or just over $200,000 a year. Cheap!

Item:The city accepts the draft of locally preferred alternatives for north and south bus rapid transit corridors recommended by the alternatives analysis study.

Translation: Hey, guess what! That whole promise of new Lynx Lymmo service that doesn't just circle downtown's lawyer core may be coming to fruition! The city has spent about a year holding private and public meetings to figure out how best to improve public transport in anticipation of SunRail and other future economic disasters. And though it seems like they have it all hammered out - you can get to SoDo and the performing arts center that doesn't exist - there is still absolutely no funding to make it a reality. According to Mayor Dyer, this preliminary step will allow the city to approach the Department of Transportation to let it know that we're really serious. Then, as usual, the cash will come pouring in. Just like the tears and the pain. OK, that's just for me.

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