On Friday morning, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings delivered his 5th State of the County address, where sadly he continued to propel a narrative where he’s touting one philosophy of innovation and inclusion but doing the opposite on the dais.
The Mayor once again promoted affordable housing, but opposed rent stabilization last year. Orange County continues to try to cure the housing problem by trying to buff homelessness services, instead of attacking a parasitic real estate market which he collects campaign checks from.
Demings saluted Orlando tourism, who bank billions and billions off of the work of our neighbors, but keep all revenues inside of their money funnel preventing us from using the funds for schools and public safety. We even pay for their advertising.
We heard about transportation. But Orange County gave Universal $125 million for a single project, yet will only spend $100 million in projects for the rest of the area.
This entire response won’t entirely correct all of the Mayor’s comments. We can both admire the first responders and employees in Orange County that navigated us through multiple challenges last year.
I was disappointed to watch the Mayor announce only $1 million dollars for homeless services. The county continues to chase federal dollars to cure the problems fueled by this special interest economy. Why must the certainty of local dollars remain locked away for unaffordable real estate and theme parks experiencing record breaking profits, while the true needs of the people lie with the hopes of competing with other cities for help?
And the Mayor Demings once again used his address to honor veterans, but he’s created a county where many of us our still struggling. And Mayor Dyer is creating those same challenges in the City of Orlando (story HERE).
The 2023 State of the County was like many we’ve seen from Mayor Demings in the past. An address that pretends to be for everyone, given in a room full of the special interests that write his campaign checks and continue to undercut chances of true working families finding a life in Orange County where they can truly prosper.