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Council Watch

Council watch

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

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This week’s clutching of the civic pearls would be a party! But, like most parties for elderly relatives surpassing senility, it would likewise smell of urine and awkward denture coughs. The city is so proud of its incestuous relationship with Orlando Inc. – otherwise known as the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce – that it’s giving the chamber its own “day” in honor of the business organization’s 100th anniversary. In turn, the chamber has been lobbying in Tallahassee against home rule, meaning that the city wouldn’t be allowed to make its own decisions on how it treats its employees or contractors.

The city approves the Fireworks at the Fountain special event agreement with Cox Radio Inc.
Translation: Now that the Lake Eola fountain is a full-blown multicolored water-feature orgasm, the city wants to outsource some of the marketing work for the spit-machine’s biggest day, July 4. Rather than pay someone to scratch together a day’s worth of programming, the city will get $38,500 (and $40,000 for the subsequent two years) from Cox Radio, who will in turn be able to coordinate and advertise the event – which will feature “mass appeal music,” according to the agreement – while simultaneously showing its clients how much of a big shot it is. Exclusivity, bitches!

The city approves the Church Street streetscape, west phase, construction bid from Gomez Construction Co.
Translation: Since way back in 2006, the city has been working out a deal with the Florida Department of Transportation to make the city’s infrastructural taint – that space on Church Street between the Amway Center and the Citrus Bowl – somehow palatable. Last year, FDOT came through with its $7.3 million part of the deal. Gomez Construction says that it can come up with (and will install) the streetlights and fineries needed at a cost of $9 million. The remainder of the cost – which covers lovely things like power lines and sewers – will be picked up by OUC and the public works department, respectively. Follow the yellow brick road.

l, it appears that the Florida Department of Transportation is levitating toward the idea, asking affected municipalities and government agencies to sign on in support of a study for the magical train. And you thought we’d never get a monorail.

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