What's Hot
MOST READ
What's Going On

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Orlando Daily Deals powered by ReferLocal

OW on Twitter
OW on Facebook
Print Email

COLUMN

Happytown

The week that the county squashed the city's "arts" dream, Maitland wondered what art was, cops and firemen got angry and Full Sail became a full male

Photo: , License: N/A

got a hose?: Area fire and police officers await the Gov.'s fiscal hydrant

Photo: , License: N/A

pterrible:DPAC gets its ass handed to it by the county, then pretends it all came out of nowhere


 

Not all of Central Florida's municipalities were so willing to lay prostrate before the siren song of fine arts prestige. Take the city of Maitland, which, the day before the battering of DPAC, pulled back the reins on Art & History Museums Maitland (formerly the Maitland Art and History Association) after the hungry young organization, not even a year old, essentially told the city that it needed a 99-year lease for the historic Maitland Art Center property - now, please. "I get the impression that there seems to be a rush to get this done," said Maitland mayor Howard Schieferdecker at the Feb. 9 meeting between the city and A&H representatives at City Hall.

Speaking to A&H director Andrea Bailey Cox, Councilman Phil Bonus presented the bitter pill. "We don't have the empirical experience of your success at all yet," he said. "We're all just a little nervous."

But Cox argued that the equation was the other way around: A&H would only be able to prove itself once it had the stability and legitimacy ?afforded it by having a claim to the art center. "It's a horse and cart issue," she said.

After some introspection, the city realized that it doesn't quite know what it wants A&H to prove exactly and will reconvene with the group on March 2 to talk more about their feelings.

 

'Twas the seventh of February, and hours after Rick Scott unveiled his new budget, about 50 firefighters, police officers and their sympathizers united behind their windbreakers at the corner of Bumby Road and E. Colonial Drive to voice their displeasure at Count Scott's plan for their pensions. The governor had proposed that state employees begin paying 5 percent of their salaries into the state pension fund, that new hires have their contributions invested in a 401(k)-style plan rather than the existing defined benefit plans, that the Deferred Retirement Option Program be eliminated and that cost-of-living adjustments for existing pensions end.

But, knowing that all those details are somewhat cryptic, tentative and difficult to communicate in sound bites, most protestors took a cue from the Egyptians and raised the simpler, larger issue of the man himself: Can Embezzler-in-Chief Rick Scott be trusted with all that money? Or, as Phil Chase, a city firefighter, put it: "How are you going to be the taxpayers' savior by stealing from us?"

"Oh, they're pissed," says Steve Clelland, president of the Orlando Professional Firefighters union, of the people surrounding him. Clelland estimates that half of the city's firefighters and 80 percent of police officers vote Republican, and that, if the proposed pension plan passes in the legislature, Scott could see his slim margin of victory emerge on the other side of the ticket come election time. "When you attack their benefits, it's personal," he says.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus