By Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4
I'm happy to give you this update on the June 20 Mount Dora City Council Meeting. I am just one of seven city council members and not its spokesman. I try to be unbiased in my reports, but what you're receiving is strictly from my perspective.
City Council meets for its regular sessions on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Since the first Tuesday this month happens to be August 1, tonight was our first meeting of the month.
Our agenda tonight was relatively light. I've selected a few items to highlight for you.
We may have been the first city in Florida to pass a resolution entitled "Support of Home Rule in Florida". Home Rule has been part of the Florida constitution for about 50 years. Home Rule means that unless an item is specifically deemed to be covered by State Law, it is up to Florida cities to decide what is best in their respective jurisdictions. The theory here is that the best government is local government because it is the closest to the people. That notion has been under attack by some in our State Legislature who claim that the State is better able to make decisions for the citizens. We hope that dozens and possibly hundreds of other municipalities will follow suite and flood our Governor and other elected state officials with resolutions in support of protecting Home Rule in Florida.
We also joined with several other Lake County cities in opposing the reorganizing of our Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization or MPO. Our MPO is made up of all the cities in both counties and both Lake and Sumter County Commissions. It is responsible for coordinating state transportation projects (highways, trails, etc.) in our 2 county area. It helps us get our fair share of state transportation funding. If the Lake -Sumter MPO is dissolves as some in Sumter County would like, we would either need to join another MPO (possibly Orange County/Orlando) where we would be a small fish in a very large pond or go it alone as a Lake County only MPO. This should sort itself out in the next month or two.
We heard a report on the ongoing repairs to the storm damaged 4th Ave. docks. It turns out that the contractor who built the docks used substandard lumber. Several years in the water has damaged the dock's structure and must be replaced. That company is now defunct and the construction bond (insurance that the project would be completed on time and according to the required specifications) has expired. The statute of limitations (4 years) has passed. This is unfortunate and frustrating but we have taken steps to put new insurance requirements in place to guard against future losses.
We heard about the Back to School day event sponsored by the Mount Dora Police Department on Saturday. About 450 kids received back to school backpacks filled with school supplies. Bikes and other needed items were also provided along with lunch. Dozens of volunteers donated their time and money to help Mount Dora kids thrive this school year. How cool is that? Remember that school starts in the next week. Pay attention to children walking to/from school and be sure to stop for blinking school bus lights.
Your quote for today is from Powerofleadership.com by Jon Gordon.
"Pessimism says "No Way", Realism says "It's a hard way", Optimism says "We'll find a way."
I guess I prefer to be an optimist! Thanks for the opportunity to serve.