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.
Friends and neighbors, here are my thoughts on what I consider to be several of the more important items from the June 20th City Council meeting.
There was a presentation on the Police Department's new body cameras. After careful study our patrol officers are now equipped with body cameras as well as the police car dash cameras which have been in use here for several years. The body cameras are tools for public safety. We hope that both officers and members of the public will be better protected and justice better served as a result of their use. FYI, the body cameras are being leased so that as technology improves MDPD will have the benefits of newer and more advanced technology.
We also heard a presentation from TJ Fish from the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization regarding highway projects in our area. Several projects are currently underway and several more are just around the corner.
There were 14 Resolutions discussed and approved. While none of them was monumental my takeaway was that several of them are evidence of our concerted efforts to save money on things like chlorine for the city pool, work vehicles, fleet maintenance etc. Some are evidence of cooperation between Mount Dora and other governmental entities.
Other topics included updates to the City's IT policies and soon to be completed repairs to the 4th. Avenue dock. We are also tapping the State Revolving Loan Fund to borrow over $2 million at the attractive interest of .8%. Our City Manager and her staff are working diligently to do what is necessary to improve city services while squeezing every tax dollar. These "small" things add up!
There were a couple of non-agenda items I'd like to share with you. Our new Fire Chief is former Deputy Chief, Tim Griner. Chief Griner was selected after a national search process. I believe that his selection will be a good one for our community and for stability in our fire department. By the way, Tim is just the 10th Mount Dora Fire Chief in well over 100 years.
The rumors of possibly relocating of the Mount Dora Post Office have become public. The powers that be in the USPS will be holding a public meeting within the next month of so to discuss their need to increase their work space from its current 5,900 sq. ft. to a desired 9,000+. There are some USPS requirements including that the per square foot rental cost must be similar to their current rate and that the new facility has to be within a mile of the current post office. Mayor Girone has offered City meeting space for the meeting(s) and a date should be determined soon. While some nearby residents and merchants might object to the possible move, I think that growth in our city and a shift in the center of Mount Dora's population make this suggestion a good one. Things have changed since John Kennedy was president and the post office building moved to its current location some 55 years ago.
Concerns of one kind or another are always voiced at City Council meetings and those concerns provide us with opportunities to grow and improve but overall I feel good about the incremental progress we are making. There will be a public City Council Work Session Thursday 6/22 at 5:30. Feel free to join in the fun!
The quote of the day came from a gas station sign I saw on the internet from WallingfordSign.com. "A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory".
Thanks for the opportunity to serve. Marc Crail District 4 City Council Rep.