Wetzel resigns, Workforce zoning Thursday,Questions

Posted on | July 9th, 2007 |  by Carl Cricket in Local Politics

It's official. Mike Wetzel is now, former Councilman Wetzel, having resigned after his most recent DUI arrest on July 4th. Mr. Wetzel, who was arrested in March of 2006 for DUI after celebrating his re-election to the city council.

This time around, Mr. Wetzel had an incident near the city's lakefront on July 4th, and was eventually arrested and charged with DUI.
His resignation comes just before an important vote is take place regarding the rezoning of property on Michigan Avenue in St. Cloud from neighborhood commercial to multi family apartments, and leaves the council with only 4 votes to decide the issue. A 2-2 tie would kill the entire project.

Sticking in St. Cloud, and the above mentioned project, this Thursday evening, beginning at 6:30PM, the city council will be hearing why they should, or should not change the zoning on a specific piece of property that's intended for multi family apartments, allegedly for teacher and other essential services personnel, as designated by the County Commission. Those planning to attend should be prepared for a lengthy hearing as many people, both for and against, are expected to speak.

Finally, in St Cloud, we mentioned in an article or two ago that there might be some combining of emergency communication services between the County and both cities. We hear that some in St. Cloud are not totally convinced this would be a good idea to complete at this time. While they're in agreement that the deal should be studied, it seems to some that the county and city of Kissimmee seemed to have etched out what they want and like, but forgot to include St Cloud in earlier discussions.Two very important issues are at the front for St Cloud. First is the communication equipment that cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, which could be scrapped. Some believe this would not be good stewardship of the city's funds.
The other issue is the concern officials have for the current city employees. Nothing firm has been agreed to, but some believe the St Cloud employees would lose their seniority to the other two departments, leaving them with shifts they might not be required to work if their seniority was intermingled, or grandfathered in with the other agencies. It may not seem like a big issue, but people work for their benefits and towards retirement and having the rug pulled out from under them doesn't seem to be fair. This is not the first time the other agencies have attempted to bring St Cloud into the fold, having tried once before several years ago. The same issues were key concerns, as they are today.

In Kissimmee, Former Mayor and City Commissioner Bob Makinson was laid to rest Monday. He was a good man. We were glad to see some City American flags at half mast today. It was well deserved.

In the County, we continue with a few more questions, having not received any replies to our first few questions.
Is it true that the county has several "Chief Inspectors", such as a Chief Plumbing Inspector, who supervises only 2 plumbing inspectors? Is it also true that we have a Chief Electrical Inspector who actually has 3 electrical inspectors? Is it true there is also a Chief Residential, and Chief Commercial Inspector, who were to actually work under the Superviso of Inspections, but that position somehow was eliminated? We'd like to know, if the above is true and correct, just how many "Chief" does the county need with so little amount of Indians? Sniff, sniff, doesn't seem to pass the smell test. Wait until the next, and future articles when we'll have questions about vehicles, created positions, questionable salary increases, and more. Stay tuned to the summer of the 7% cut, and who pays the bills!

We recently read, somewhere, a complaint about the St Cloud lakefront and the work being done there. Rather than just criticize, we sent someone to ask a few questions. The city is doing a great job, and receiving grant money to help maintain the integrity of the entire lakefront in St Cloud. Ponds are being created to hold draining water that would otherwise go directly into the lake. By holding the water, it goes through a natural filtration, and at the same time, helps prevents local flooding by absorbing the additional water.
In the near future there's talk about receiving a grant that will allow the city to actually capture storm water and somehow run it through a system to be used in their recycled water program. That's pretty advanced and shows what that city is doing, creatively!

Before anyone starts writing us, we'd like to say that Commissioner John Quinones is heading to Puerto Rico, with his family, to attend the 2007 Central Florida Business Relocation Expo in Puerto Rico. Also attending the event for Osceola County will be the County Manager Mike Freilinger, Director Maria Grulich, and a member of her staff. All the funding was budgeted through the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, which still has the very same Board that was there when all the shenanigans went on. Oh well.
**Important to taxpayers** Commissioner Quinones will paying his own way for himself and family, we're told. Now, there's something to note!

We also hear Commission Chairman Ken Shipley has been busy at work in the Poinciana area trying to meet with various Polk officials, and trying to arrange for more, and better county services for the people there. Where does he get the time?

It appears to be a quiet agenda at Kissimmee City Hall Tuesday evening. Mr. Gemskie placed the All American City award on the agenda for discussion. The event will be in Tampa next year, so should be considerably less expensive. Actually, if a suggestion was welcomed, why not go for it, BUT place a budget on the entire event and hold them to it. After all, didn't someone say in the print media they would be seeking private donors for the event?

Don't forget to visit that funny page, whoiswayne.blogspot.com, where you'll see the puppeteer in action! LOL!

We appreciate all the emails that we've received and want to thank each and every one! Some news from Carl Cricket. We'll be moving shortly after next year to our very own web page, CarlCricket dot com. Nothing there right now, but construction will begin soon, and the new page will be including pictures from around the county demonstrating some of the examples we've written about. It should be lots of fun for most of us!

See you next article. God bless each and every one of you, be healthy, and stay safe!

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