By Marc Crail Mount Dora District 4 Representative and Vice-mayor For only the second time during my time on Mount Dora City Council, we participated in a "Shade Meeting" on August 31st. Florida law allows for "Shade Meetings" which may be held in private only under certain unique circumstances. I can't divulge the contents of the meeting but I want to let you know that it took place and why. Normally, City Council meetings are held in public, with interested community on hand.
This meeting involved a dispute with AMCO, the developer of the potential Wolf Branch Innovation District project that has been under consideration for the past year or more. Several months ago a majority of City Council members declined to vote in favor of the AMCO Planned Unit Development proposal because of the heights of the buildings and certain other aspects of the proposed mixed use development.
Recently a team of City officials; our Mayor, our City Manager, our Planning Director and our City Attorney met with their AMCO counterparts along with a mediator for an eight hour mediation session designed to reach a compromise. AMCO has threatened legal action against the City claiming that Council's vote wasn't rational or fair. During the Shade Meeting, our City team shared the specifics of what was tentatively agreed to during that day long session. This tentative agreement must be voted on by Council at a future public meeting. FYI, a court reporter was present during the Shade Meeting to record the entire meeting. Her transcript will be made public after the issue has been settled.
I can't go into the specifics of the "Shade Meeting" at this time but I wanted you to be aware of it.
Changing topics completely, I'd like for you to know that a group of dedicated City employees staffed our Emergency Operations Center during the recent hurricane. We were fortunate to avoid serious storm damage this time but these folks worked through the storm in case of catastrophic damage. We did have about 1,000 Mount Dora Electric customers who lost power but only for about 30 minutes. The City's staff deserve our recognition for going above and beyond.
Our quote for today is from Albert Einstein. "Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born."
By Marc Crail Mount Dora District 4 Representative and Vice-mayor