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Council watch

Billy Manes pays attention to city government so you don't have to

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Item: The city approves the authorization for the director of purchasing to negotiate and execute a contract with Shingle Creek Real Estate Advisory Co. LLC for Citrus Bowl renovation project advisor services.
Translation: Did you know that the forthcoming Citrus Bowl renovations require additional oversight, too? We didn't either, nor did any other agencies that might have wanted to bid on this opportunity, we imagine. But when you're Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's childhood friend, Jay Berlinsky – a former Dyer advisor, CNL Realty & Development Corp. honcho and current Shingle Creek developer who also provided "oversight" for the gloriously rusted-out Amway Center – "required" is a fuzzy word. Berlinsky and Co. will be paid a handsome sum of $14,500 a month for 36 months to peer over the shoulders of all of the people actually doing the work, because, well, they've done it before and we have to spend that money somewhere. Besides, that's only $522,000 of the $189 million being tossed into the city's largest monster-truck urine-trough, and what's half-a-million dollars between friends? Answer: bad government.

Item: The city approves an award to Parramore Foundry & Machine Works Inc. of Orlando for manhole covers, rings and parts.
Translation: Since we're on the subject of getting fucked, here's an idea we can (and always do, at least in this column) really get behind: manholes! See, there are all kinds of manholes. You've got your bleached manholes, your hairy manholes, those tangy manholes, and your stretchy and your tight manholes. If you're a man, odds are you already have a manhole of your own, though you're likely to keep it covered. To that end (ha!), the city – which is surprisingly gender-free – occasionally (or annually) requires not only covers, but the rings and other parts (ew) to keep it's manholes in traversable shape lest somebody accidentally take a tumble down into one of its many tunnels to its underground world of offal. Parramore Foundry & Machine Works ("serving" Central Florida since 1932, according to its website) came in with the winning bid, and will walk away with $157,401 for a year's worth of industrial-strength prudence and discretion. At least some of the city's gaping holes will be covered, then.

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