I remember being in my 20s thinking about who would ever want to be a commissioner. I thought state representatives and Congress had the market on important policy-making. Decades later, I get up each day excited to aid constituents and improve the local community.
So, what is the role of a county commissioner?
Orange County oversees a $5 billion-dollar annual budget. Commissioners spend a significant amount of time reviewing department budgets. We are the 10th largest employer in the county. I’m proud to say my office budget is the lowest of all the six commissioners. Accountability, efficiency, and transparency are always the goal.
If I could only have two departments, they would be utilities and public works. Can you imagine if there was no water and sewer or roads to get around? Too many of us do not think about what it takes for water to come out of the spigot every morning. Maintaining the water supply is a major role of the county, as is public works repairing roadways and ponds. Public works maintain thousands of miles of residential, collector, and functionally classified roadways. How many jobs would we have if no one could get to work?
Many folks believe the county runs the Sheriff’s department as municipalities have their own police departments. However, Sheriff John Mina is independently elected. Yet, the county does review and sign off on his annual budget. I routinely encourage the Sheriff to focus on speed control and creating safer roadway conditions.
To that end, I have also engaged public works to conduct corridor safety studies to identify engineering solutions. This means adding new sidewalks, installing traffic signals, reducing speed limits, and other remedies. I also assisted a family by adding a traffic signal after they tragically lost two family members on Apopka-Vineland Road. We also constructed another signal at Gaymar and Clarcona-Ocoee, where five family members were killed.
While we know roadway safety requires proper construction and adequate speed control, we also know good driver behavior is vital. So, please help by slowing down and staying off cell phones.
My next article will discuss additional county responsibilities such as jail operations, animal and mosquito control, lake management, emergency management, safety net services, code enforcement, children’s services, parks, and recreation.
Decades later, I truly love local government. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Orange County District 2 Commissioner.
POL ADV Paid for & approved by Christine Moore, non-partisan, for Orange County Commission, #2
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