Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has been the elected leader of our hometown for 20 years. That’s a long time.
And while there are a lot of challenges (I’ve been priced out of my home in Buddy’s Orlando twice), you don’t win reelection by 40 points by accident, and he has a steady hand during emergencies.
We saw him lead after the Pulse tragedy.
We saw him lead hurricane after hurricane.
And we saw him lead during the pandemic.
Which is why it was weird when we had a fireworks scare at Lake Eola, and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer wasn’t behind the podium.
The Mayor was out of town. I can understand that. We all need and should take some time off from time to time.
But we were all caught off guard as this news broke. I had just gotten home and was getting my updates from local news and the Orlando Police Twitter account.
And OPD would hold a press conference the next morning. It was fine. After this was all over, we still got to where we needed to go.
It is fair to point out that we didn’t have a single voice to move through during that window after the scare at Lake Eola. What if it had been legitimate?
I wasn’t alone in my concern. Other city commissioners, also had questions (story HERE). Even Orlando Rolon, who has lead the investigation, is retiring.
The main takeaway is that we’ve been playing with this quarterback for some time now. We should prepare a back up if something like this happens again. We were out there running the wildcat the other night.
Our President has a Vice President. The military has a chain of command. Even a grocery store has an assistant manager. Continuity is needed.
Because an emergency without a designated leader is just asking for problems.