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COLUMN

Happytown

It's the inaugural Happytown Political Pop Quiz™! Want to know how much your Orlando mayoral candidates know about running the city? Look no further. Pencils down!


Holy April Fools Day! With so much going on in our heads and on our television screens, the whiz-whiz-whizzing of progress and process and national politics, we nearly forgot that the city of Orlando will hold its nonsensical standalone municipal election on April 3. Four city commission seats are up for grabs (though only one is guaranteed any change: District 1, which was vacated so Commissioner Phil Diamond could run for mayor), and even though the District 1 race does feature some gay-on-gay action, we thought we'd limit this very special edition of Happytown™ to the big dogs: the four candidates vying for the city's ultimate prize. Excited? Us, too!

We came up with a dozen somewhat whimsical, somewhat topical questions to gauge each candidate's knowledge of the City Beautiful and how it works. We reached candidates by phone for our first ever Happytown Political Pop Quiz™ and asked them to answer on the spot, lightning-round fashion. It was super fun and nobody got hurt. We learned that there are no right answers in politics, just the ones that politicians think are right. Though, to be honest, some of these are wrong. Happy voting!

POP QUIZ QUESTIONS

1) What is the current millage rate in Orlando? Would you raise it?

2) A tree is about to fall over outside your house, and it's on the city's part of the property. Who do you call?

3) Briefly talk about the city's bond series issues in a way that makes it sound like you understand what you're talking about. Is the current level of borrowing sound government?

4) What was the full building cost of the Amway Center? Was it worth it?

5) Is there such a thing as too much development downtown? What's the threshold?

6) Recycling bins: What goes in which?

7) What are the specifics of the homeless feeding ordinance, and do you support it?

8) Exactly what does the term “creative village” mean to you?

9) Should people be allowed to grow frontyard vegetable gardens?

10) Who is your favorite other candidate and why?

11) How would you characterize the relationship between the city and the county in terms of policy?

12) Extra Credit: Name two of Orlando's nine sister cities.

Buddy Dyer

1) 5.67-something. No.

2) If a tree that's on the city property is falling, call Public Works.

3) The city issues a variety of debt that is backed by different revenue sources. One of the ones that everyone is familiar with is the CRA and that is backed by TIFF tax increment. The only bonds that would go against our general fund obligations are called general-obligation bonds. And that would be able to call upon the resources of any non-fund based revenues of the city. And Fitch gives us a triple-A rating.

4) $487 million is what the projected cost was, but there was a bit of a cost overrun, so the Magic picked up the additional part of that which, I think was $2 million or $3 million. Yes.

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