As I look back on the last 11 months, I can’t help but think what a wonderful and fascinating experience it has been serving as your Orange County Commissioner for District 4. November is typically a time to give back and reflect on all of the things you’re thankful for. This year, in addition to being infinitely thankful for my wonderful friends, family and coworkers, I’d be remiss not to mention how thankful I am to have served you, my fellow residents and neighbors of this great community.
We’ve made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot to be done. Here’s a quick update of what’s been going on in my office.
Taft Thanksgiving Dinner Event
On Monday, November 14 I am co-hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Taft Community Center located on 9450 S. Orange Avenue. All District 4 residents are invited to attend this free dinner with food, drinks, and entertainment provided. If you have any questions or would like to get involved please contact Susan.Makowski@OCFL.net or call (407) 902-9725.
Our District 4 Parks and Recreation Committee convened recently to further discuss our recreational needs across the district. The committee has divided into three sub-committees: Public/Private Partnerships, Park Site Prioritization and Trails. This is a volunteer-driven committee, so if you feel that you would have anything at all to add to the conversation and/or would like to get involved, please contact Jason.Russo@OCFL.net.
Narcoossee Corridor Study Update
Several years ago a study was done by Orange County in cooperation with the residents living near local rural settlements. Throughout this year, I have received several developer inquiries that fall within the adopted policies but do not necessarily follow what area residents believed they have been promised as it pertains to future growth. Therefore, my office has initiated an update of the Narcoossee Corridor Policies in an effort to eliminate confusion regarding what will and will not occur within this corridor. If all goes well, these detailed policies will be adopted mid-2012.
Economic Development / Job Creation
Thanks to the leadership of Orange County Commissioner Lui Damiani, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners recently adopted a local ordinance designed to help local Veteran-owned businesses in Orange County. The BCC also approved a referendum to be placed on the Presidential Preferential Primary in January that would allow for tax abatement for qualified targeted businesses looking to locate and/or expand here.
Redistricting Progress Update
The final map proposals for redistricting can be viewed at www.OCFL.net/RAC. The final proposals will be brought before the BCC on November 15 at 2 p.m. As the results of redistricting will play in a role in the future of Orange County for every one of us, I urge you to review the maps and forward your comments to BCC members.
Heart of Florida United Way
If you need or know anyone who needs assistance this holiday season, the Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is a great resource for all residents. The HFUW assists with health and human services to those living in Central Florida. Their free, 24-hour 2-1-1 hotline program acts as a directory for other nonprofits and service providers giving those in need of a single place to go for all of their questions.
This resource is able to assist with food, housing, utilities, youth and child care services, elder services and much more. Many of the calls that my office receives are directly related to the services already available through United Way.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact my office at (407) 836-5881 or email me at Jennifer.Thompson@OCFL.net. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Article by Jennifer Thompson, Orange County Commissioner, District 4