“What a dump!” is effectively the only thought that comes to mind when we think of this year’s municipal election follies and their requisite dusty bad apples. To be clear, it’s not the city itself that we’re baffled by – with all its tall buildings lining one downtown street, the millions in bonds holding them up, the Amway naming rights straight out of the pyramids (or their schemes), the traffic on I-4, the blight on Colonial Drive. We’ve actually grown accustomed to the quirks off our little burg that is called the City Beautiful. Beauty, ladies and gentlemen, is subjective. Also, we like the people here, generally, and, were Central Florida not America’s veritable prison colony (mate!) of underpaid jobs and overhyped “attractions,” we’re not certain what we would do. Wherefore the thrill-rides?
But politics in Orlando – which is holding its municipal pageant on Nov. 3, even though that means nobody will vote – have grown a bit sour in the past few weeks. You’ll note that our cover star Commissioner Patty Sheehan, queen of downtown’s core and longtime LGBT advocate, is trying to stay above the fray, but not everyone else is playing nice in the political sandbox. This column is comfortable endorsing Sheehan, not only because she’s a bit of a firebrand for LGBT causes, but because, even approaching her fifth term (perhaps especially approaching her fifth term), she knows how to get things done. Her opponents, Randy Ross and Aretha Olivarez, may make formidable opponents in the abstract, but in an election which will likely tick below the 15 percent margin in turnout, Sheehan’s reputation (which has been recently dried out and refinished) precedes her well. Ross is running without much of a discernible platform beyond “I don’t know!”, and Olivarez (a veteran and entrepreneur) is leaning a little too hard on the “veteran” platform for our liking, especially in a city election.
Continue Reading >>