Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Posts Tagged ‘mayor teresa jacobs’

Local Lawmakers react to Boston Marathon Explosions

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Earlier this afternoon, there were two explosions at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon. These explosions left 3 dead and dozens more injured.

The specifics and origins of the blasts are still being investigated. President Barack Obama addressed the nation a few moments ago saying “those responsible will feel the full weight of justice” and assured Americans that the Boston and Massachusetts officials will have the full resources from the government at their disposal.

Here are some of our own elected officials here in Florida reacting to the news.

Florida Governor Rick Scott sent out this tweet:

Boston marathon rick scott

Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Marco Rubio

Congressman John Mica FL-7 on Facebook:

Boston Marathon John Mica

Congressman Ron Desantis FL-6 on Twitter:

Boston Marathon Ron Desantis

Congresswoman Corrine Brown Fl-5 on Twitter:

boston marathon corrine brown

Congressman Daniel Webster Fl-10 on Twitter:

Boston Marathon Dan Webster

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Buddy Dyer

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs on Facebook:

Boston Marathon Teresa Jacobs

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam:

boston marathon Adam Putnam

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings also advised the public to call if anything suspicious surfaces, during his press conference held earlier in the afternoon.

Boston you are in our prayers

Orange Sick Time Battle about Political Objectives, not Workers

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

In about an hour, legions of supporters and opponents of the Orange County Employer Sick Time Initiative will fill the Administrative building to take turns behind the podium giving their opinions to the Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the rest of the Orange County Commission.

The latest county level war is waged by partisan and money-aimed organizations that apparently have nothing better to do… in an election year.

The measure would require businesses that have more than 15 workers to pay for sick time, when their employees work a certain amount of hours. Businesses with less than 15 workers wouldn’t have to pay but couldn’t penalize for time off. It sounds innocent and fair enough but let’s be honest, this is just another round in the grudge match that will gunk up the political engine we need running the cleanest at all times. County government. The level of government where the rubber hits the road. The most visited region in the world and it’s county government doesn’t have the time.

There are the groups pushing for the initiative who, didn’t meet the original petition deadline and only after granted an extension by Mayor Jacobs met the required number of signatures. They’ve been representative by attorney Scott Randoloph who was the biggest Tallahassee bomb thrower the Democrats had in the legislature, and might be seeking their State Chairman position instead of re-election to the Florida House. He’s flanked by Organized Now an activist group that champions issues that lean left. They’re goal is to get Democrats elected and prop up any cause to get that done.

Then there is the business, Chamber of Commerce type folks They’re Republicans and Democrats but don’t let that fool you, they’ve got loyalty to the dollar, the bottom line, and it doesn’t matter who or what stands in their way, they’re going to get their money. The County Commission has a stout Republican majority and those Republicans will be taking the hits in front of the cameras but, make no mistake, the opposition to this initiative is a bi-partisan one with money on their mind, and if their opponents are Democrat, Republican, or Independents, they must be dealt with.

Let’s talk about what the commission is doing. They’ll be discussing competing ballot measures, altering language, and an array of other things that could be done to halt the initiative. Save Commissioner Jennifer Thompson, who has been voicing her concerns on social media for months, the rest of the commission might not have realized how big this fight could get, and how much damage could be done. While we’re talking about damage let’s clarify.

This initiative would be bad, and would hurt hiring. Make no mistake about it.

Advocates in favor of this bill (with no ulterior political motives) forget about the measures businesses will take to preserve their bottom line. Oh, They’re gonna get their money and if it means hiring freezes, cutting back other benefits or leaving Orange County, they’ll do it. Don’t get me started on the possible frivolous lawsuits that could stem from this. They’re gonna get their money and it will be all of us that suffer from it.

Still, we can’t lose perspective over what the real goal of both sides are. On one side it’s about causing unrest to hurt Republicans in future elections and on the other side it’s about raising profits. You think it’s about supporting workers? You’re wrong.

High drama will be in store for the County Commission with the Sick Time Initiative becoming a hot issue.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs delivers State of the County Address (Video)

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Did you miss Mayor Jacobs’ State of the County Address?

I got you! You know this?

Here is the entire speech complete with opening video, courtesy of Orange County. Take a look and I’ll see you tomorrow with your headlines.

Memorial Day 2012: Orange County Memorial Day Service

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm

This morning in front of the Orange County Courthouse, veterans, lawmakers, and residents of the area came together to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom.

The County always does a wonderful job with ceremonies like these and this year was no different. Here are some photos from the event and please take a moment to remember those we’ve lost.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs

Congresswoman Sandy Adams, Mayor Jacobs, and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings honor the families

Congressman John Mica was also on hand to remember those we’ve lost

Jacobs with the family after the names were revealed on the memorial

Honoring those we’ve lost.

Sunday Morning Political Headlines: Don’t forget about Orlando City Commission races too

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Happy April Fools Day! No tricks or surprises, just your morning political headlines for the first day of April. Have a great Sunday!

WESH 2 (By way of CNN): Romney Predicts Wisconsin Win

WKMG Local 6: George Lemieux on Flashpoint (Video)

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News (By way of AP): Mack, Lemieux draw contrasts in GOP Senate race

CF News 13: Political Connections breaks down everything you need to know about the Orlando Mayor Race.

WOFL FOX 35: Humor Can Help Candidates, Or Not

Orange TV: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and County Commissioners Tiffany Moore-Russel and Jennifer Thompson recently taped an episode of Orange TV discussing Women’s issues. That can be viewed here.

Orlando Sentinel: Council races could change Orlando’s future

If you haven’t already be sure to check out the candidates for the Orlando City Commission races as well.

Don't forget about the commission races!

Removing Jacobs from Expressway Authority reeks of fixing

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Alright, let’s review Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ ethical track record.

– Within the first two weeks of office, she identified a duplication of duties and eliminated over 250 thousand from the County payroll
– She went against the political grain and called out Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on bad book keeping with the new performing arts center.
– She kept her word. Investigated equal rights policies for the LGBT community and after investigating will be moving forward with a partner registry
– She appointed an ombudsman to serve the county and investigate complaints from citizens.
– She’s worked with County Comptroller Martha Haynie extensively last year to monitor expenses.
– She’s asked the Orlando Chamber of Commerce to clarify their use of public funding

and I could go on.

Does this sound like a lawmaker with an ethics problem? Someone who wouldn’t be aware of a conflict of interest? State Representative Mike Horner thinks so and his proposal to excuse Mayor Jacobs from the board reeks of Horner letting the wrong company steer his actions.

I say this about Mike Horner because I’ve always thought he’s been one of the more thoughtful lawmakers in the legislature. So, why this bizarre motion?

From an Orlando Sentinel article Horner said this:

“I am trying to add to the high ethical standards we have for this authority,” Horner said. “I think this is a step in the right direction.”

Rep Horner, I know you’re in Osceola county, have you been paying attention to what’s been going on with Orange County Government? I don’t think you have because, you would be well aware of this Mayor’s track record with ethics and that she can be painfully detail oriented at times.

The article also mentions that all of Jacobs’ normal opponents, those watchdogs who throw flags whenever the Mayor blinks the wrong way, have sided with her on this. Which just makes the whole scenario that much more bizarre.

What is really going on here?

Horner cites that the Osceola County Authority doesn’t have any elected officials on it.

Well, this isn’t Osceola county, Representative. What is this really about?

A normally level-headed Mike Horner is off-base with this one

Overwhelming support for Sunrail at Orange BCC

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2011 at 12:29 am

Which side are you on?

Orange TV on cable wasn’t going to cut it this time. You had to be at the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting to see the major players involved, in commuter rail for Central Florida.

There had already been a couple of these meetings in the region today; a tour to spread info and gauge support.

The venue was at already at capacity, and the overflow room was filling quickly as the public presentation from Governor Rick Scott’s, secretary from the FDOT, Ananth Prasad was almost underway. The crowd was growing impatient as the preceding matter lagged on, something about ethics or something, it didn’t matter, half of the people in the room don’t buy into that sort of thing anyways. Finally, it was time to begin.

Secretary Prasad’s thorough presentation covered a lot of numbers and had a cautious tone of approval. It sounded like a parent lecturing their children before buying a dog. “If I let you have him, you’ll have to wash him, feed him, and take him for walks”, except this was a money speech clearly, pointing out the responsibilities of all the levels of government, and even the private companies involved.

There were a lot of big names there. It was a site to see. Here is a rundown.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown, State Sens. Andy Gardiner, Thad Altman, former Sen. Lee Constantine, State Reps. Scott Randolph, Darren Soto, Bryan Nelson and a whole slew of Mayors on Sunrail’s planned route. The big dogs from the Lobbying firms downtown, members of the media and pundits like myself, all with entourage in tow (except me, the only Entourage I get is on HBO).

Mayor Jacobs took a moment before the public comment session to express her support for Sunrail and explained the rules to supporters and opposition. Two minutes per speaker, twenty minutes per side.

The opposition lined up and the list was displayed on the screen. Activists in red shirts that read “Derail Sunrail” were ready. There were no big names on the screen but, the opposition was passionate. One woman drove from Tampa to speak. No reaction from the capacity crowd during their 20 minutes. Several of them took the opportunity to tell Rep. Corrine Brown to her face, that they were not “Stuck on Stupid” as she’s said about commuter rail opposition in the past.

Then came the supporters… the group was twice as long and full of big names. A lot from the list, I just got done typing, Republicans and Democrats, with leadership from major organizations following them. They were all in top form addressing the board and Secretary Prasad. Then the ones that would be personally affected by the addition of Sunrail to Orange County spoke. A disabled woman in a wheel chair conveyed her support and how it could improve her quality of life, then a native Orlando college student, studying nursing in Atlanta explained the benefits of rail in Georgia and how it could help here, in Orlando.

It was time to call the fight…

The most visible support of Sunrail in Orange County didnt’ come until the end of the meeting. It was when Mayor Jacobs was wrapping things up and asked those opposed to Sunrail to stand up and be recognized.

About seven people stood up.

Then she asked those in favor to stand up and be recognized.

Virtually, the rest of the crowd in attendance rose to their feet. There were people that stood up that, I didn’t even know where there to take a side!

I still believe Rick Scott is going to put off this decision. It’s just my gut but, if he kills the train it will send shockwaves across the political landscape in Florida…again.

It’s been a political boxing match with both sides getting some big shots in and it’s going to go to the cards for a decision.

Except, there is just one card and one judge and whoever gets their hand lifted in victory, is still going to hear some boos from the audience.

It looks like this might be a reality but, I gotta hear the Governor say it.