Apopka Florida has been very busy this week. Partaking in both the Florida Presidential Preference Primary, running concurrently with our local City Commission elections produced a close to 40% voter turnout in our fair city. THAT is amazing. Through no fault of our own, Apopka made National news on Election Day when several polling places in our city RAN OUT OF BALLOTS, that’s right, people were turned away from their right to vote, because the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office did not provide enough ballots to the polling places. Some ran out as early as 9:30 in the morning; keep in mind polls opened at 7:00 am. The results of the local elections is that both commission seats went to run-off election, which will be held on Tuesday April 12th, ONLY at the Apopka VFW Center on Central Avenue. Also, to clarify, early voting takes place ONLY at the Supervisor of Elections Office Downtown, yes at the same office that ran out of ballots.
Then on Wednesday, March 16, two items on the Apopka City Council meeting agenda were postponed. The City was to vote on a resolution approving the City’s all encompassing, extremely expensive wish list. The vote was postponed to give citizens more time to review and comment and correct the document (whatever that means), although one hint may be to evaluate “what needs to be changed to the compensation plan”. WHOSE compensation plan? The City also agreed to allow the developer of the City Center two more 30 day extensions, thus postponing a special meeting to discuss and approve the plan that was to have taken place on Thursday the 24th. I have to ask, is the developer in default of their own contract, which called for only 2 30 day extensions, not 4 extensions? Can the contract be amended only by a voice vote of the City Council? How complex are these plans, and how many zeros will be added to the final contract because of these delays?
And the City is also looking to put up a Splash Pad!! Woo Hoo!! But Where?? At Kit Land Nelson Park? at the Northwest Rec Complex? At Alonzo William Park? Near the Cooper Sports Complex? Or maybe near the new City Center that is already experiencing delays and may not be built till the 12th of Never.. who knows? An excellent issue was also raised, what about the City’s infrastructure, which will have to support all these changes? Should we not work the infrastructure FIRST?
This is just a general overview of this week in Apopka Florida. I intend (and this is not a threat) to analyze each of the above in detail, how these issues will impact Apopka, what’s at stake, how much will this cost taxpayers. The City Election coming up on April 12th will be important and will determine the future of our great City. Do we want to grow rapidly and blindly, or do we want to carefully analyze all the data and studies that are being thrown at us and then make decisions based on what the City can financially and rationally support. So, I guess for now, wrapping this up and bringing this home, Apopka Citizens, PLEASE pay attention; READ, STUDY the issues, talk to the four remaining candidates (Sam Ruth and Doug Bankson, Seat 3) (Bill Arrowsmith and Kyle Becker, Seat 4) to get their take on what is important to you, how can we pay for all this, etc. Then and I mean this, Mark your calendars NOW for Tuesday April 12th, to go VOTE! The City keeps asking for your input on everything! Your most Important input is your VOTE!!!