Kissimmee and St. Cloud, Florida - Carl Cricket
As we always say, we really appreciate hearing from you. Your emails keep us going. If you have some information you'd like to pass along, or want to write and chew us out, let it rip! We enjoy it all and remember, Carl Cricket IS you! Email us at carlcrckt@yahoo.com. Disclaimer

Could A School Board Member Actually Be Earning HONEST Money? Osceola's Clerk of Court Seems To Be Correct And A Note From One Of You! more..........

| by Carl Cricket | February 16th, 2014 | 3911 words

Well, do we have some strong rumors to pass along here! Some, we believe, to be very, very true. Some, well, you can determine that for yourselves. All we do is gather and disseminate.
First, we noticed that we MAY have a school board member moonlighting at the Osceola County Fair! Check out this web page and tell us what you think; http://www.osceolacountyfair.com/calendar.html Could this be true? Could he actually have an outlet to collect actual EARNED money? Nahhhh, probably not but you never know unless you actually go to the Osceola County Fair!! If you do go, please let us know just WHO is “Wacky Wheeler"?

...

It seems that the recent termination of FORMER Finance Director, Lynne Greenwood at the Osceola Clerk of Court’s office caused a bit of a stir, but to tell the truth we’re confused about the incident. Ms. Greenwood had been terminated, yet she had a few documents, as well as a court ordered check in her possession on her way out, AFTER her termination. Now, we will not take sides on the termination such as where & why but the fact remains that when she was stopped by court security and was found to be in possession of certain documents which even included the social security numbers of courthouse staff, we cannot help but wonder what the deputies were thinking when they refused to accept a complaint from the Clerk’s representative.We discussed this before writing this blog and all of us agreed that an EX-employee in possession of secure documents like social security numbers of employees would have been considered a theft. Petty theft or more, we believe SOME action should have been taken, even a criminal summons/citation would have been appropriate. True, we were NOT there, but enough people have commented who were there. And, why would this ex-employee be walking out of the courthouse with a check, made out to Global Realty Brokers in the amount of $8,635.00? The check number is/was 007227 and dated 12/20/13! WHY was the ex employee in possession of a check for how many weeks after the check was written? The court ordered the payment in an order, #2012CA002736MF on DEC. 5,2013. We don’t know much about the courthouse inside operation BUT if the court ordered a check/payment be sent out on 12/5/13, (and the judge is in the same courthouse as the ex finance administrator, what the heck took so long for the Judge’s order to be followed? WHY did it take almost three (3) weeks to create the check, then another couple weeks it sat around until the ex employee was found to be in possession of that check, as well as another check? And again, let’s not forget she was in possession of paperwork which contained employee’s social security numbers. SENSITIVE information worth a lot of money in the criminal world on the streets. We read about it all the time, yet, she was allowed to leave (without what she had taken) and the responding deputies simply wrote a report with no other actions. We hope Mr. Ramirez has at least realized he probably should have called the KPD who, we believe, would have taken a bit more action in the case. Now, unless the Feds become involved (social security numbers were taken) this case is closed. Those items were found in a shopping bag.
Now, IF everything above is true and correct, Mr. Ramirez acted appropriately and anyone, we believe, would have done the same thing especially if someone had taken two checks of yours AND your social security number! We invite the Osceola Sheriff’s Office to respond and we’ll gladly post an Unedited version on this page. While we have questioned Mr. Ramirez on his hiring and some of his operation, right now, unless this information is proved incorrect, we will not jump on the bandwagon of criticism of Mr. Ramirez. Instead, our compliments to the Clerk’s Office for preventing a possible criminal activity to have occurred. The Clerk should be complimented on this action instead of being criticized. On this single action! :yes:

Now, we cannot get into many details, right now, but we can say there is a current investigation going on by the state into a couple of folks including a FORMER elected official and their attempts to to interfere with the legal process of the State of Florida. Of those involved one was dumb enough to send an email to someone in attempt to FIX something. That got the ball rolling and an investigation began. We do have a date of the email in question, 2/11/14, and it’s from a DS to——, no names now until we get that copy of the email. DS is someone who works at the state level. There were also a couple PHONE calls made by AM to someone and that call did not succeed in the attempt to fix things. Once we receive the email, we will share it with everyone. The message here is that it’s okay to be cocky with very close friends, but not with people you do not fully know or have a low opinion of. Sometimes come back around and bite, taking a nice,big chunk out of the posterior! 88|

Finally, for today, Mr. Jay Wheeler went on TV land to talk, once again about his fellow board members, calling them idiots and immoral. What a funny thing to be said by the likes of him, in our opinion, a guy/clown who admitted his guilt to the state and paid one of the largest fines paid in Tallahassee for illegally taking money from his campaign fund and using it for personal expenses. Can anyone say HYPOCRITE? Well, anyway, we received a note from someone, and we do share them, sometimes, when we can. With that, here it is;

Subject: Due process for District employees

On February 5th, Jay Wheeler publicly declared that members of the School Board majority had made an immoral ruling. Why, you might ask? In part because those members had voted to allow two District Employees reassignment with pay, pending the completion of a thorough investigation into an alleged incident.

Mr. Wheeler had made a motion to suspend them without pay prior to an investigation. On air, he drew a comparison to recent events by saying, “It’s OK if you get arrested for child neglect to get a paycheck, but it’s not OK for a kid to make a mistake and for the parents to try to right that mistake.”

In other words, he has a problem with the Board majority choosing to delay judgment until the facts were known and, only then, were they prepared to render a decision. Mr. Wheeler, on the other hand, appears to have wanted to arbitrarily appoint himself judge, jury, and executioner.

When asked if he had reviewed the video recording of the alleged incident, Mr. Wheeler indicated that he had not. As a result, if Mr. Wheeler had his way, two families would have suffered severe financial hardship due to his suspicion alone.

Due process must be afforded every citizen. It was afforded Mr. Wheeler through his many Ethics and Election violation charges. And yet, Mr. Wheeler is quick to assign guilt and punishment to everyone except himself. It would seem that the representative of District One has a very unsettling view of morality.

Thank you for your time.

Well stated, not that it would, in any way, change the mean spirited Mr. Wheeler. We say that because anyone who would call fellow board members the names he has gotten away with can only be deemed as mean spirited, in our opinion! :roll: :> :no:

We thank you all for stopping in to read our opinions, as well as those of your own and others. Feel free to leave a comment(s) and enjoy the blog. Also, please feel free to read the disclaimer above. We all paid an attorney some big bucks for it, so please use it!
May God bless and keep you safe, healthy, and happy! Take a look below as we know there’s information for YOU!
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St. Cloud Fire Rescue establishes advanced-life-support fire engines
St. Cloud, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2014) – St. Cloud Fire Rescue (SCFR) management proudly informs St. Cloud residents and visitors that all fire suppression units are now advanced life support-equipped (ALS-equipped). As of Feb. 8, a paramedic (either lieutenant or engineer/driver) is present on every fire truck, along with a paramedic on every ALS transport unit (ambulance). The ALS-equipped fire engines are Tower 31, Engine 32, and Engine 33.
“Paramedic personnel on ALS engines have the ability to perform advanced life support procedures when seconds count,” said SCFR Deputy Fire Chief Howard Goldberg. “Each suppression unit has ALS equipment and can now provide life-saving medications, intravenous fluids, and cardiac monitors that were purchased with a grant we received. It also has the ability to perform life-saving advanced procedures prior to the arrival of the paramedic on the ALS transport unit. This becomes particularly important during periods of high-call volume when the nearest ALS transport unit may be responding from a subsequent response area. This is a welcome addition to our department and to our city. Residents will definitely see the benefits.”
SCFR personnel protect the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of St. Cloud by providing the highest level of service, which now includes three ALS-equipped fire engines. For more information about SCFR services, visit www.stcloud.org or call (407) 957-8480.
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Lane closures begin Feb. 17 in downtown St. Cloud

St. Cloud, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2014) – City of St. Cloud Public Services staff announces Thermal Power Corporation personnel will begin removing the asphalt from the original bricks in downtown St. Cloud Feb. 17. The removal will be at the intersection of 12th Street and New York Avenue, which will require temporary lane closures. This project should be completed in 45 days, but this timeline may vary due to weather conditions and/or equipment-related issues.
The asphalt removal project will help the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) evaluate the restoration of brick paving possibilities to help reinvigorate downtown St. Cloud – the “heart” of the community.
For more information about the asphalt removal project, call the Public Services department at (407) 957-7344. For details on CRA projects, visit the CRA web page at www.stcloud.org or contact Economic Development/CRA Coordinator Brian O’Connor at (407) 957-7234.
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Help Save Florida Term Limits
They’re under attack from State Senator Grimsley (R-Highlands)
Friend,

Thank you for your inspired effort to let Rep. Keith Perry know how you feel about his anti-term limits bill in the House.

Unfortunately, we are now faced with a second attack on Florida’s beloved term limits law – this time coming from the State Senate.

10-year Tallahassee veteran Sen. Denise Grimsley has filed SJR 946, which would lengthen her own current term by two years and lengthen overall term limits by 50%. If Sen. Grimsley’s amendment passes, she could spend 20 consecutive years in the state capitol.

Remember, 77 percent of Floridians voted to pass eight-year term limits. An even greater percentage supports them today, according to polling. The only way to overcome this sneaky political power grab is with a dedicated grassroots effort.

Here’s how you can help:
-Call Sen. Grimsley at (850) 487-5021 to say you oppose this lousy bill
-Contact your House and Senate member to tell them to oppose it.
-Write a letter to the editor of Highlands Today or your local newspaper, opposing Sen. Grimsley’s plan to weaken term limits.
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GREAT WORK BY THE OSCEOLA COUNTY’S SHERIFF’S OFFICE!!!!
CenterState Bank Armed Robbery Suspect in Custody
Osceola County – Late this afternoon, Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives took Juan J. Figueroa-Rivera (DOB 3/17/77) into custody for his involvement in the CenterState Bank robbery that occurred earlier today. Rivera was located at 1117 Normandy Drive in Poinciana. He is being interviewed by detectives and will be booked into the Osceola County Jail on armed robbery and other related charges.
Background:
This morning at approximately 10:06 a.m., Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies responded to CenterState Bank located at 850 Cypress Parkway in Poinciana. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with an employee who indicated an unknown male entered the bank and demanded money at gunpoint. He fled the area with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured during the incident. The investigation is on-going with additional information provided as it becomes available.
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County Re-Opens Shelby Cox Memorial Park

Osceola County, Florida – Shelby Cox Memorial Park re-opened Thursday after approximately $41,000 in improvements were made to the facility in Intercession City, officials said.

The County used a Community Development Block Grant for the work: expanding and replacing the sun screen over the play area, adding a barbeque, two picnic tables and a water fountain to the 1-acre community park.

“This park in an important place for our community’s youth and it serves as a reminder about a dear, little girl and the impact she had on us all,” said County Commissioner Michael Harford, whose district includes the park. “I’m really excited by the work county staff has done to improve the usability of the park by residents.”

Shelby, 4, disappeared Nov. 13, 1995 while she was playing with her older sister and friends. After a 5-day search, Shelby’s body was found in a neighbor’s shed, killed by an 18-year-old boy who later confessed. The community rallied around the family after the girl’s death. Today, Shelby is remembered as a joyous child who inspired others to fight for children.
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Tip-A-Cop Events Raise Awareness for Special Olympics
Osceola County – In an effort to raise awareness and support for Special Olympics, Sheriff Hansell and Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies will participate in various Tip-A-Cop events. The public is invited to attend.
Osceola County sheriff’s deputies will work as celebrity waiters and their tips will benefit Special Olympics, a non-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to more than 2.2 million people with intellectual disabilities in more than 150 countries.
February 7, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Outback Steakhouse, 4037 13th Street, St. Cloud
February 15, 7:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Woodsby’s Cafe, 4515 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Kissimmee
Saturday, April 5, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
1407 13th Street, St. Cloud
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St. Cloud, FL - The St. Cloud Police Department is proud to host Louisiana State University’s National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (N.C.B.R.T), as they present the Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response (L.A.S.E.R – PER-275) Train-the-Trainer class, March 18th – 20th and March 25th - 27th, 2014. NCBRT offers DHS certified courses covered under the NCBRT’s Homeland Security Cooperative Agreement. This course addresses technical aspects of planning and implementing a rapid law enforcement deployment to an active shooter incident through classroom presentations, hands-on performance-based field training and scenario based practical exercises.


The St. Cloud Police Department is conveniently located just minutes from Orlando and all of the major attractions as well as a short distance from the beach. Please contact Training Coordinators, Ofc. George Randolph at (407) 891-6719 or Ofc. Curt Wesler at (407) 891-6732 to register for class and for local accommodation suggestions. Registration can also be completed via email at grandolph@stcloud.org. Seats are limited so please do not wait. Please visit the website for further information: http://www.ncbrt.lsu.edu/catalog/performance/laser.aspx.


What: Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response (L.A.S.E.R – PER-275) presented by the Louisiana State University’s National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (N.C.B.R.T).

When: March 18th - 20th and March 25th - 27th, 2014


Where: St. Cloud Police Department, Training Facility, located at
3371 Cord Avenue St. Cloud, Fl 34769

Cost: Free


If you have or need any additional information regarding this press release, please contact:

Training Unit/Training Coordinators
Ofc. George Randolph at (407) 891-6719 or
Ofc. Curt Wesler at (407) 891-6732
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CITY OF KISSIMMEE ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURE ON DYER BOULEVARD

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (February 12, 2014) — The City of Kissimmee Public Works & Engineering Department announces that the contractor for the Martin Luther King Phase 3 construction project will continue the utility work on Dyer Boulevard between Commerce Boulevard and the Kissimmee Gateway Airport entrance, until the project is completed.

Flagmen will be on site to maintain traffic during working hours and two way traffic will be re-opened at the end of each work shift. Drivers are cautioned to please pay attention and follow the detour as they transit through these work zones. Information on this project and Maintenance of Traffic plans will be updated as needed.

For more information, please contact the Public Works & Engineering Department at 407.518.2170.
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Financial Aid Assistance Available To Help Osceola Students Reach Their Dreams Of Higher Education
There is money available for college! Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. Seniors in high school and their parents who are looking to get financial help to attend college need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the federal government’s instrument for calculating need-based financial aid and the official document used by every college and university to determine eligibility for federal student aid. The form must be completed by students and parents each year to apply for all types of federal, state, or college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, some scholarships, educational loans, and work programs. The FAFSA deadline is May 1, 2014, but students are encouraged to check with the institution they will be attending for their FAFSA deadline as it may be different.

The Osceola Counseling Association, in partnership with the Osceola School District, the Education Foundation - Osceola, and the Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO), will be providing a valuable service to assist college-bound high school seniors in our community in reaching their dreams of higher education through support received at College Goal Sunday. For the seventh year in a row, Osceola County is participating in College Goal Sunday, a national initiative to help thousands of students get the financial aid they need to go to college or technical school. The College Goal Sunday events will be held on:

–February 22, 2014, at St. Cloud High School, from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (located at 2000 Bulldog Lane in St. Cloud)
*To make an appointment for this date with a trained counselor, call Threasa Glasscock at 407-870-4855.
–February 23, 2014, at Poinciana High School, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (located at 2300 S. Poinciana Boulevard in Kissimmee)
*To make an appointment for this date with a trained counselor, call Threasa Glasscock at 407-870-4855.
–February 23, 2014, at the Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO) from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (located at 501 Simpson Road in Kissimmee)
*To make an appointment for this date with a trained counselor, call Rosa Nunez at 407-870-1400 ext. 66509.

Walks-ins will be taken after appointments have been honored. For more information, parents and students can speak to their high school guidance counselor or visit www.collegegoalsundayusa.org.

In addition, Osceola County students and families can receive expert help filling out the FAFSA form and information on financial aid on the following nights:
–February 21, 2014, at Valencia College - Osceola Campus from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. in Building 3, Room 100
–February 27, 2014, at Valencia College - Osceola Campus from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
–March 13, 2014, at Liberty High School from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
–April 10, 2014, at St. Cloud High School from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
–April 17, 2014, at the Robert Guevara Community Center in Buenaventura Lakes from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
–April 21, 2014, at St. Cloud High School from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
–April 22, 2014, at Liberty High School from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
–April 24, 2014, at the Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO) from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

To complete the FAFSA, the following information will be needed:
–2013 IRS tax returns and W-2 statements;
–Social Security number, driver’s license, or alien registration card;
–Untaxed income records for the previous year, such as Social Security benefits, temporary assistance to needy families, welfare, or Veteran’s benefits; and
–Most recent bank statement.
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Feb 10 at 2:41 PM
Kissimmee Police Arrest Two for Armed Robbery and Carjacking
Kissimmee, Fla. (February 10, 2014) – Kissimmee police detectives have arrested two men for armed robbery and armed carjacking.

On February 8, 2014 at approximately 1:00 a.m., officers responded to 2108 Sand Run Road in reference to an armed robbery. Officers met with the victim, a taxi cab driver, who stated he picked up two black men at the Osceola Square Mall. The two suspects gave turn by turn directions and they ended up in the area of Sand Run Road. When the victim stopped the cab, he was attacked by the suspects from behind. One of the suspects produced a handgun and robbed the victim. The victim lost control of the cab and it ran into the home located at 2108 Sand Run Road. Both suspects fled the scene. No one was injured during the incident.

At approximately 1:55 a.m., officers responded to 4190 Warbird Blvd. in reference to a carjacking. Officers spoke with the victim, a taxi cab driver, who stated he received information from dispatch about a customer pick up and was instructed to call the fare to arrange pick up. The victim picked up the two black males a short time later and drove them to Waterway Village. Once in front of 4190 Warbird Blvd. the suspect in the rear passenger seat walked to the front of the car, pointed a gun at the victim and ordered him out of the car. The suspect struck the victim with his elbow, jumped into the car and the suspects drove away in the victim’s car.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives were able to identify 19-year-old Alexander Javier Mark and 18-year-old James Edward Farley Jr. as possible suspects in both cases. Detectives located Farley and Mark walking from the Budgetel Inn and escorted them to the Kissimmee Police Department. Farley and Mark cooperated with detectives and were charged with carjacking with a firearm and armed robbery. Farley was also charged with possession of Xanax without a prescription. Both were transported to the Osceola County Jail and are held on a no bond status. Additional charges are pending.The cab that was stolen was located in an apartment community near the Budget Inn.
ANOTHER GREAT JOB BY KPD!!!
——————————————————————————————————————————- Kissimmee SWAT Sniper Team Takes Top Spot in Sniper Competition

Kissimmee, Fla. (February 11, 2014) – The two man Kissimmee SWAT Sniper Team took first place at the Florida SWAT Association’s Sniper Competition.

The team members traveled to Lakeland to compete in the Florida SWAT Association’s 10th Annual Sniper Competition that took place from February 5-7, 2014. The event was held at the Lakeland Police Department’s gun range and hosted teams from all over Florida. This year’s competition was even more challenging, with the weather being a factor. The relatively cold and rainy conditions offered a terrific training opportunity that Florida snipers don’t always get a chance to experience. At the end of the competition, the Kissimmee SWAT Sniper Team consisting of Corporal Bruce Connors and Corporal James Rabb, took first place overall.

“We are very proud of Corporals Rabb and Connors accomplishments. Most of the best snipers from the region participate in this annual event, so this speaks very highly to the competency and effort these two put into their trade,” said Deputy Chief Jeff O’Dell.
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And, from this very nice, young man;

David Garcia

Feb 10 at 2:14 PM
Greetings,

Hope you & yours are doing well. Just wanted to thank you for mentioning me on your recent
writing. I, David Garcia have been a resident of Osceola County, District 2 for 24 years. Born in Caguas, P.R., moved to the Kissimmee area in 1989. Trained & worked for the Osceola County Department of Corrections for four and half years. Currently an Elementary & High School teacher for Heritage Christian School. Also, would like to give you & your fellow followers, like myself. The opportunity to visit my website at: www.GarciaforOsceola.com or Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/DavidGarcia2014. Either way you would be able to connect to my Facebook page. This may lead you to a better understanding of whom am I.

P.S.
If possible, contributions are accepted thru the website.

Once again, thank you. Have a great day!

David Garcia
Candidate for Osceola County Commission, District 2.
email: campaign@garciaforosceola.com or
david@garciaforosceola.com
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GOD BLESS YOU ALL

Rating: 1.7 out of 974 votes cast

141 comments

Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
Good to see Mr. Wheeler may be getting money from someplace other than his campaign treasury!
Of course, I'm just kidding.
02/16/14 @ 17:39   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
From David Garcia's candidate page:

"I oppose raising sales taxes or any other tax that will effect our pockets."

That should read 'affect' instead of 'effect'... good thing he's not in charge of teaching language skills to our kids or anything. Oops! Sorry to be picky, but he's a teacher and he ought to know better.

His proposals include two road construction opportunities, reaching out to professional baseball teams for jobs, and giving residents the opportunity to run a food truck as their profession. Is there currently a law forbidding residents from running food trucks?

He describes himself as an evangelical Christian and a Republican (Conservative). He added (Conservative) to the party affiliation, not me. I usually choose more colorful descriptions.

Kidding aside, he went directly from a job in the corrections department to teaching. That just confirms some of my childhood suspicions.

That's pretty much the whole website. Should Q be scared?
02/16/14 @ 17:45   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
@andy,

Are you saying he does NOT have teaching credentials? I've known a few local deputies and police officers who worked their 20 or 25 years and then went into teaching and have done very well by our children. I guess my question is this, no matter where anyone came from, are they not entitled to advance their own lives and careers? You've always seemed level headed on here Andy, but the way you stated "he went directly from a job in the corrections department to teaching" makes it sound as though you don't hold corrections officers in high regard. Correction officers are law enforcement as well, unlike the security guards at the courthouse. The man seems young, and at least he's stepped up rather than remaining seated on the sidelines like you and I, and so many others. Yes, he's challenging Q, who may have plenty of (cash) money in the safe at his house, which is tough enough to challenge but I'll respect him for stepping up to the plate. There will, hopefully, be others, who will also have my praise for getting up and into the political races.
02/16/14 @ 19:13   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Just Saying [Visitor]
@larry

If Garcia was a Democrat @andy Richardson would love him but because he is a conservative Christian Republican @andy will mock him.
02/16/14 @ 19:55   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: ugotthatright [Visitor]
I most often agree with Andy, and from what I read, there is almost nothing that makes me one who would vote for Garcia, but I will agree with Larry about those who want to go from one career to another is not a negative.

WHat I will note is in regards to teaching, because many go into it thinking it will be easier and the facts are there to see how many are released or quit in the first 3 years because they can't hack it.

Of course a typo is one thing here, but on a cite promoting yourself - proofreading is critical. Then again that never stopped Wee wee and for that matter if you ever saw the massive amount of the district emails, you'd be horrified at the grammatical and spelling errors.

But I see NO teaching credentials, just some bit on his page about teaching biblical things. NO school listed, no degree. He says he teaches spanish, phys ed and drama at Heritage Christian.... I don't think he needs a degree to teach there. I always question what is taught at those schools and by whom.

One of his posts says, ... "Have been involved in attending much needed community meetings. In which been very educational by given the opportunity to speak, and expressing myself."

You can see the errors.

One thing I am not about, is this admiration for someone because "he stepped up." Most "step up" for a personal gain, and I see zero qualifications for this guy to run a county, (yes I know that never stopped others). People can or DON'T run for good reasons on either side and running does not make them one sliver more deserving of praise than anyone else who does their job well.
02/16/14 @ 20:10   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@Larry -- no, nothing about his credentials. Just commenting on his career progression in a light manner. Haven't you been a kid in school at some point in your life? If that didn't seem like a jail at times, you were lucky.

I have no problem with Mr. Garcia and I am glad when new people attempt to take part in the system. Frankly, I'd like to see a few more teachers in government.

Would I vote for him? He's not even in my district, but I don't see how I could vote for him even if he ran in the 3rd. His website did not offer me a good reason to support him, other than the fact that he is not John Q. He needs issues and solutions. All I know is that he wants more roads and food trucks, but no new taxes.

I don't imagine he and I would agree much on the role of government, given his self-described conservative views. Sure, there is much more to local politics than the (R) or (D), but there is also a reason people join a party. Deep down, something moved him in the opposite direction from my path. Being a nice guy isn't enough to overcome that divide.
02/16/14 @ 20:18   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@Just Saying - Yes, I am a Democrat and I don't attempt to conceal that.
02/16/14 @ 20:34   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Observant Pantomime [Visitor]
Andy, I notice stuff like "affect" and "effect" too. And a few other things we well. :)
02/16/14 @ 22:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: observant pantomime [Visitor]
spelling faux pas..and a few other things "as we well know."
02/16/14 @ 22:10   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Just Saying [Visitor]
@Andy Richardson

You are not only a democrat your are a democrat executive committee member.

you take shots a Republicans all the time, but never at dems

of course there are no spelling errors on democrat web pages

i just thought folks should know where you were coming from
02/16/14 @ 22:19   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@Just Saying - I also post under my real name. You may choose to agree or disagree with any "shots" that I take, but I make my case and stand behind it. I want to make statements that would be persuasive and truthful regardless of my background or the background of the reader. If I slip up (and everyone does), I welcome being called out.
02/17/14 @ 05:50   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: H.R. Puffenstuff [Visitor]
The Remington Gun Co is going to open a new plant in Huntsville Alabama and will hire 1000 people.

We have a vacant building thanks to Colt.
02/17/14 @ 08:17   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Just Saying [Visitor]
@Andy Richardson

Consider yourself called out for your far left bias.
02/17/14 @ 08:38   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
@Andy, please understand I wasn't intending any shots at you specifically. The fellow just seems like a nice guy and should be given a chance before being ripped apart by those who make no mistakes. Is his political page poorly written? Yes. How have other first time candidates faired in their attempts at public office? Heck, it took Wheeler several years of running for anything just to be "elected". Same with Wade Davis who believes he's the answer for all problems, but then, who is also close to Wheeler. Two peas in the same pod? Probably but watch for the denials.

@H.R.Puffenstuff, No,no...Commissioner Attkisson says they're coming, so it must be true. Just like all those thousands of jobs he once promised! Any day now, you just have got to be patient! lol
02/17/14 @ 08:41   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@Just Saying, @Larry,

Thank you for the high praise, Just. I aspire to hear that more often.

Larry, no problems at all. I don't feel like I was ripping the guy. He just needs to put some more meat and info into his site. The voters deserve that, and he would be a stronger candidate for the effort.

I don't wish for Republicans to fall on their faces. I hope they can offer their ideas, add to the overall debate, and then lose in a fair contest. Is that too much to ask?
02/17/14 @ 08:50   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Spooky [Visitor]
@ H.R. Puffenstuff
You are absolutely incorrect about Colt. I beleieve you meant thanks to Frankie (boy) Attkison!
02/17/14 @ 09:30   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Eduardo [Visitor]
I live in one of the apartments across the street from where the colt place was to open. No one asked any residents(hundreds) here how they felt and calling Mr Attkison is a waste of time because he doesn't return his calls. I am glad Colt might not be coming. We have kids here, also more than a hundred but Attkisson don't care. He thinks he brings jobs to here but only jobs he helped bring is Wawa and Publix plaza. All nice places but pay little and many workers there are not from here, this county. So what has he done FOR me, us? Nada.
02/17/14 @ 10:35   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Kossimmee Kowboy [Visitor]
@ Eduardo

What is the "danger" about the Colt location?

I assume you did take your concerns to the county mission.
02/17/14 @ 10:46   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Eduardo [Visitor]
We did, the residents asked not to have colt across from us and the comission says colt is coming to here.
You put the word danger in these "" but I never say danger anywhere. I just say no one asked, even Mr. Attkison. But now you mention danger, what happens if someone shoots a gun the wrong way, then what? Yes, it is accident but how you tell it to people who may get hurt?
My bigest complaint is Mr Attkison who has done nothing for most anyone unless you a bigshot, then he does something. Not for me, or people living here. That's all I say.
02/17/14 @ 11:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Andy

You do have to be from out of town to run a food truck. In Kissimmee on Fridays when the food trucks come every one of them is from out of town that is how it is currently is. Local food trucks are not permitted. So all that money they make at downtown at the Civic Center just drives away every Friday night. None stays local.

@ Eduardo

Colt may not be coming but don't hold your breath on that place not being used for ammunition and guns after the deal with Colt is officially terminated. It is set up and ready to go.
02/17/14 @ 11:57   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Kissimmee Kowboy [Visitor]
Frank represents approx 56,000 citizens in his own district.

The protest by the apartment renters are considered a NIMBY protest by the BOCC.

No bullets were going to be flying around.
For the first 2 years there were only going to be 8 employees.

Frank was one of the 3 votes it took to pass the funding for Colt.
02/17/14 @ 12:23   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@Vicious Cycle - Is there a good reason we can't have local food trucks? That seems strange. My initial reaction is that we could easily change that situation, and it wouldn't need to wait until new Commissioners take seats.

At the same time, food trucks will not provide all that many jobs and their tax revenue probably pales in comparison to an average fast food joint. The Board may not feel an urgent need to act. What we need is a Commissioner who _really_ loves fried food.
02/17/14 @ 12:52   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Andy Richardson

I do not know if is a good reason but the way I understand it is that they didn't want the food-trucks in front of Home Depot, Lows or any other business like you see in Orlando or at the lake fronts. So they made harsh restrictions. Anything could be changed.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-07-05/news/os-osceola-food-truck-regulations-20110705_1_food-trucks-food-vendors-regulations
02/17/14 @ 14:41   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Election Time [Visitor]
Andy:
Quinones has his hands full and a real race on his hands this election. David and Julius are going to make him work hard for a win in August.
02/17/14 @ 14:59   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: St Cloud Resident [Visitor]
Seems the owners of the smaller restaurants didn't want to compete with a food vendor that doesn't pay property taxes or hire employees.

There was a time many years ago when the mobile vendors were called "Roach Coaches". Times have changed.

When hot dog road-side vendors were popular in Orange county Osceola county and the cities said,"NO".

They have always been allowed at special events such as the July 4th
Park Celebrations.
02/17/14 @ 15:21   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Insider [Visitor]
I use to receive Wheeler's email updates. That is, until I started disagreeing with him. He would write back with the most condescending remarks and then cut me off.

A friend would forward them to me and we would have a good laugh at his warped sense of importance. Today, several of us had a side splitting lunch going over his latest. What a joke.

We were sure he would come up with some warped explanation of why he broke state law again. No, he decided to take on the board majority again. As if he was the only one that cares about the kids.

At one time, many would just accept whatever he said. No longer. Many have wrote him to stop the attacks and finally to stop sending his weekly hype.

He must not remember me. I still attend most the Board meetings and sit close to the front. In recent months, I have heard the rest of the audience boo him, murmuring how stupid he sounds or even laugh at his comments.
02/17/14 @ 16:37   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ St Cloud Resident

The roach couches or Chud Trucks are good in some instances. That was what the construction workers called them as they cruised the job sites offering a prepackaged mobile lunch. Many of today’s "roach coaches" started as a way for restaurants to expand their market and some that couldn't make it in a brick and mortar setting were able to offer their higher end foods that the traditional "roach couches" didn't and stay in some form of business. Higher end is stretching it but they make the food fresh-ish at least. In larger cities they do offer value to the people working downtown who are not able to have extended lunches and do not prefer the traditional fast food. Some of the trucks you see are actually very creative in what they offer. I would prefer not to get my grub off a truck but I have tried a few in New York, DC, and Chicago and they are not that bad if you can get over thinking they are not clean. They may or may not be but just like any small owner operated restaurant you may stumble into thinking the food will be better the kitchen may be even dirtier.

When I did try the trucks or a truck in kissimmee on some Friday past, I had some ribs pulled directly off the smoker and it was good. What I didn't like was seeing all the money trading hands that will drive away and back to the coast. I noticed a lot of plates from both sides of the state but most seemed to be from the space coast. It was surprisingly busy. I am sure they all have paid Kissimmee for the permits but like any cash based business their books are probably also cooked. Bad pun intended.

For people interested The Food Truck Bazaar visits Kissimmee on the First Friday of each month, setting up at the Kissimmee Civic Center in downtown. If you go please also go downtown Kissimmee with the family and share some of your personnel wealth with the existing local businesses.
02/17/14 @ 16:49   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: BROOM BOY [Visitor]
Who sweep the DONNIE SCHORER DANNY QUINN deal under the table.
02/17/14 @ 16:58   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: BROOM BOY [Visitor]
What did Donnie say to Danny that made Donny cry?
02/17/14 @ 17:03   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: . [Visitor]
@ BROOM BOY

What?

What needed to be swept away was the deal Donnie Schorer made with Mike Horner as the swing vote in St. Cloud that brought them back into the folds of Horner's and the Kissimmee chambers OLE. $30,000 of your tax dollars wasted on Horner with his promises of DOT funding from his crooked friend Ananth Prasad.
02/17/14 @ 17:06   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: advertisement [Visitor]
Jobs for sale in st cloud.
ZONING for sale in ST CLOUD.
ASK for DONNY.
02/17/14 @ 17:14   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Bigguns [Visitor]
The Food Truck conversation got me to thinking. During the past 6 months I have noticed at the Home Depot on Poinciana Blvd. and the Lowes on Pleasant Hill that they have both been allowed to turn into overnight Truck Stops. At both locations the trucks are all over but at the Home Depot they mostly park behind the Wawa in the grass lot. Just out of curiosity the other night about 6:30 PM I counted 62 Tractor Trailers. I don't really know if this is a good thing or not. It could draw some unwelcome business without getting graphic. Just thought I would mention it.
02/17/14 @ 17:28   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Bigguns [Visitor]
I forgot to mention that both locations have "No Parking" signs about 4 feet high. Maybe they should put them at 12 feet so the truckers can see them.
02/17/14 @ 17:31   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: This could be fun [Visitor]
Remember last month when I brought up Rick Scott’s 3 appointees on the expressway authority and his pick for Transportation secretary Ananth Prasad that are under investigation by Ashton for possible sunshine law violations when they attempted to oust former expressway authority director Crumit and replace him with former Republican State Rep. Steve Precourt of Orlando?

Ananth Prasad is specifically being investigated as the potential coordinator of the deal because of his texts to Rick Scott’s 3 appointees on the expressway authority in the days leading up to the vote to oust former director Crumit.

This may have an effect on St. Cloud if they are not careful in what they do. St Cloud at Saturday the 8th’s workshop joined back up with O.L.E because Mike Horner is feeding them a line of BS when he took them out to lunch. One of you out there even reported seeing him in one of his meetings with a St Cloud Commissioner in a post a blog or two ago. Well if you didn't then now you know what they were talking about. He is telling them that he will get them funding for Canoe Creek road from Prasad if they join back up. Horner was involved with many back room deals with Ananth Prasad who is Rick Scotts Transportation secretary pick. One of Rick Scott’s 3 appointees on the expressway authority also under investigation for sunshine law violations is Noranne Downs, she works directly for Ananth Prasad. She was named District 5 Secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation. As District Secretary, she is responsible for all Florida Department of Transportation operations for the nine-county Central Florida area (thats you).

Your lobbyist sucks St. Cloud but you don’t have to replace him with the politically disgraced Mike Horner and cronies, there are better out there that are not wanabee has-beens making Hail Mary deals. You need to follow Kissimmee’s lead and stay out of bed with Horner….You know how he likes to get, and I quote “Freaky”. Besides you want to get involved with him then possibly an investigation? Don’t go thinking that Horner is already off the radar, he is not. And it would also make sense for Crist to break out the veto pen at budget time after he is elected on some of Scott's more shady deals revolving around people like Prasad. Keep your fingers crossed and if I was you and when it doesn't happen learn a lesson you had supposedly already once learned when dealing with the Kissimmee chamber.

“What is it about toll road expressway authorities, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Sunshine Law?”

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/did-prasad-violate-sunshine-law-in-vote-to-oust-orlandos-toll-road-director/2142450

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/gov-rick-scott-confident-state-attorneys-investiga/nc5WC/
02/17/14 @ 18:49   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Mencken [Visitor]
I agree with ugotthatright. There I said it. But in my own defense, this must be someone different than the ugitthatright posting in previous blogs.

I cant really add anything to the comment. I guess if yougotthatright pegged it, then David Garcia has no chance. I agree that DG seems one dimensional. Rarely do we see a candidate that would be qualified for something more than entry level work at Disney.

What we need is Carmelo to file. Maybe against Wanda? Or Otero? I love Carmelo - lots of good material.

This post is intended for entertainment / amusement purposes only
02/17/14 @ 19:43   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
@this could be fun, the St Cloud lobbyist, Bill Barrett is one of the best lobbyists St Cloud has had. Why they stupidly agreed to join with the dishonored Horner is beyond any common sense! I would like to know when the Council will be voting on it as they weren't allowed to make any agreements Saturday. It was never posted, only the retreat.

This post is intended to piss off some people and wake them up to finally stand up and tell government, the people's employees, exactly what the citizens want! As a St Cloud resident, I do NOT want my city being involved with a contributor to illegal activities which could have endangered his wife depending on what disease he might, or could have brought home!
By the way, the official disclaimer is posted at the top of the screen.
02/17/14 @ 20:07   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Karl Roach [Visitor]
John Q is like an Old Timex watch. Takes a kicking and keeps on winning.

Armando took him to the brink of losing. I think he will be back in November.

John will be hungry to keep that $72,000 pay check to go along with the $39,000 he made at his attorney work.
02/18/14 @ 09:07   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
@Visitor

Checking the FACTS, St Cloud did NOT agree to joining OLE. They agreed at the Saturday workshop/retreat to place $20,000.00 NOT $30k, into the budget on the off chance they decide to join OLE. NO decision has been finalized, at all.
Bill Barrett continues to be the lobbyist for Saint Cloud and Dean Cannon will be Kissimmee's lobbyist.
I continue to wonder how Mr. Horner becomes involved in any lobbyist discussion as he MUST wait two years before he can legally lobby in Tallahassee.
Have a nice day.
02/18/14 @ 11:17   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm [Visitor]
Dean Cannon can't be Kissimmee's lobbyist he is under a two year lobby ban just like Horner. Kissimmee wouldn't break the law in letter or spirit.
02/18/14 @ 11:27   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
Kissimmee contracted Dean Cannon lobbying firm. Employees can contact legislators for the firm.

Cannon can lobby the executive branch.
02/18/14 @ 11:34   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: This could be fun [Visitor]
“ Notes from the alleged brothel that were obtained by WFTV include one which said Horner wanted "freaks" in bed.

Records show Horner had been going to the east Orange County house since at least 2009.

People in the community are outraged, especially since taxpayer dollars fund the chamber.

Not only did the board not fire Horner, it has directed two committees to consider paying him a severance package.”

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/state-rep-mike-horner-resigns-chamber-commerce-pre/nSbwz/

Horner is still getting paid with our tax dollars funneled through the chamber and HIS O.L.E and for some reason our elected won’t stop giving it to them-him. Shame on St. Cloud why are you people so backwards getting in bead with him? I just want to let you know it’s now 2014 and things are changing. Watch the video in the news link above and be proud of whom you partnered up with and with your elected for trying to sneak it past you in true chamber style.

@ Larry its a done deal unless we can change something. They have given staff direction on the matter. You got any ideas?

@ Ghost Writer

Agreed Cannon has a firm that can lobby House or Senate, he can lobby the Senate. St. Cloud should have just hired him while he his a hot topic in Tallahassee. Bad thing about Cannon is he will flee to DC after Crist and a few more D's get in.
02/18/14 @ 16:59   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Another reader [Visitor]
@ Mencken

Be constructive rather than feeding the animals. It’s bad for him. The more he gets picked on the worse he will be. Best if he just focuses on getting his life together for the first time. Losing arguments and looking ridiculous on line all day will not help him.
02/18/14 @ 18:00   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Guess What I Heard At Lunch in Kissimmee [Visitor]
Horner tried to cut a deal with the Osceola History Society, but it was stopped after he tried to shove it down the board's throat. I overheard a board member saying that it was a big controversy but nobody else will speak up about it. This recently happened. I wonder how many other groups he is going after in this county. Anyone else hear about this going on?
02/18/14 @ 18:10   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: . [Visitor]
@ Guess What I Heard At Lunch in Kissimmee

He went to at least 3 on every board that has a budget.

@ Larry

Sorry for the mix up in figures, I was told $20,000 also. $30,000 is what Kissimmee paid Cannon it was $10,000 less then they gave to OLE in 2013.
02/18/14 @ 18:29   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: . [Visitor]
@ Guess What I Heard At Lunch in Kissimmee

I should also add that anyone who joins up with Horner cuts a check to OLE. He gets paid as a consultant through OLE with his firm Macy Island Consulting. Try the Osceola Center for the Arts and see what they say. I heard he also met with them.
02/18/14 @ 18:41   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Willie [Visitor]
I called the County to ask about Horner and OLE
I was told Mike Horner is not an OLE lobbyist and does not get any money from OLE
OLE has 3 lobby firms-
Ballard Partners
Smith, Bryan & Meyers
Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate Webb
They are all top 20 firms per Fl Trend
http://www.floridatrend.com/article/15382/floridas-top-lobbying-firms?page=3

I also asked if Horner had a lobby contract with the Osceola County and was told he does not, they hired Pennington, Moore, Wilkinson, Bell & Dunbar, also a top 20 firm.

Is the County lying?
02/18/14 @ 19:39   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Willie

Yes and No. Horner is a Consultant. So they can tell you he does not Lobby but he does get money from OLE paid to Macy Island Consulting. That is him as Carl pointed out several blogs ago.
02/18/14 @ 20:21   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Richard Wolf [Visitor]
Did anyone go to a government meeting and ask the agency not take out a membership in any chamber of commerce this year?
02/18/14 @ 23:49   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Edward [Visitor]
Horner has a "sub" contract with Ballard as a lobbyist thus giving him the open door to representing the county at approximately $60k per year. The county's official stance is Horner has no contract with them, which is truthful however, they are not questioning the sub contract, which most of the commission is well aware of since Horner allegedly lobbied them first. Probably when he was having lunch with a few commissioners (one at a time) as Carl pointed out a few blogs ago.
Macy Island Consulting is 100% Horner, and you can look it up on the Tax Collector's web pages. Horner can run, but he'll never be able to be invisible.
Any city/county doing business with Macy Island Consukting, either directly or indirectly, should be ashamed of themselves and is enough ammunition to replace whichever elected official approved the deal with whichever lobbyist company gave Macy Island the sub contract! OLE has been proved most ineffective and why, all of a sudden certain local governmental entities are now signing up is highly questionable. Mr Horner was involved and pushed for OLE when it first reared it's ugly head, gobbling up a lot of taxpayer dollars. OLE assisted in obtaining, but is still not worth the investment in my opinion.
02/19/14 @ 07:55   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
@ This Could Be Fun; Check the tapes/ask members of the Council. They only agreed to have staff look into the idea of joining OLE. St. Cloud's City Manager will attend a couple meetings in order to determine if the investment is worth it. Right now, St. Cloud has their own lobbyist who has brought the city plenty of grants and other benefits. OLE (Horner) has always said that they had to look at "the big picture" and if possible they could address the very local issues but focusing on county wide issues was the priority.
Quite frankly, I don't see St. Cloud joining up with OLE as the majority of taxpayers have already lived through that mistake once before and hopefully, never again!
When/IF it makes the Council agenda, I would hope plenty of citizens would attend the meeting to object to the deal, which would be my suggestion in order to defeat it, if it needs to be defeated.
02/19/14 @ 08:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: St Cloud Resident [Visitor]
No official action has been taken by the St Cloud council. Seems to have been chatter talk at a workshop created by Horner not O.L.E.

02/19/14 @ 09:52   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: . [Visitor]
@ St Cloud Resident and Larry

The proof that O.L.E is-was paying Macy Island Consulting exists. That will probably change now. Horner reads this site.

I was told from a person that attended the meeting that it was done deal that it does not have to come up for a vote. Perhaps it should. Don't let them trick you.
02/19/14 @ 13:57   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: St Cloud Resident [Visitor]
The funding of the O.L.E. vote at a city council workshop has to come up for a vote at a regular meeting of the council.
02/19/14 @ 14:10   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
@Visitor
Whomever told you it was a done deal is full of crap. Yes, Horner is Macy Island Consulting, that's old news first brought up here a few blogs ago. IF OLE was paying Macy Island consulting, then Horner has to have hired a lobbyist as he is not legally allowed to lobby anyone other than the executive branch, and I have heard from more than 1 that Mr Horner is not the most respected within the executive branch. True or not, this has quickly become a non issue as the subject is NOT on the agenda (on which it must be) and there are no current plans for OLE in St Cloud's immediate future. The Council has elections coming up this year and it would be surprising if anyone would be that dumb to sign up for OLE again.
For the record, the city council MUST have the item on the agenda, consent or general, in order to approve the expense. Sorry but whoever is telling you this stuff has no clue how it's done in Saint Cloud. If it ever gets on the agenda I would bet there would be several people attending to object.
02/19/14 @ 14:30   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: This could be fun [Visitor]
@ St Cloud Resident

@ Larry

When the county gave money last year to Horner and O.L.E. above and beyond the Chamber and O.L.E. dues, it did not get voted on by them. It does not have to. Kissimmee did as well with no vote on it.

Notice the "expressway authority". Notice the current scandal revolving around them in trying to create a region wide transportation authority for Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake Counties. Notice Mike Horner's involvement.

"Former state Rep. Mike Horner returns to work for Osceola as lobbying adviser
April 17, 2013|By David Breen, Orlando Sentinel

Former state Rep. Mike Horner of Kissimmee, who resigned amid a prostitution scandal last year, has returned to Osceola County politics as a consultant, assisting the county's lobbying in Tallahassee.

Horner has been working with the Osceola Legislative Effort, or OLE, during the legislative session.

OLE is a nonprofit group funded by Kissimmee, Osceola County and the school district to lobby for shared goals. Horner said he is being paid $5,000 a month for three months of work.

Atlee Mercer, chairman of the Osceola County Expressway Authority, said Horner has helped OLE express its concerns about a bill that would create a region wide transportation authority for Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties. Although not a member of OLE, the expressway authority has helped fund it this year.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-04-17/news/os-mike-horner-osceola-lobbying-20130417_1_mike-horner-osceola-county-expressway-authority-osceola-legislative

@ Edward

Good information.

Mr Horner created O.L.E. after Tommy Tompkins helped him get his Chamber of commerce president position. He or they used O.L.E. to get his foot in the door in Tallahassee as a Republican after losing his bid for a state seat as a Liberal Democrat before the chamber of commerce position. Were the Dems stupid or smart for blowing him off back in the day? I think even though they read him correctly perhaps they should have kept him closer and not sent him on his way to Tommy.

The beginning of O.L.E. and Horner’s back room deals.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=20030904&id=irtNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xQ4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6625,1165987
02/19/14 @ 14:43   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Me [Visitor]
"OLE is a nonprofit group funded by Kissimmee, Osceola County and the school district to lobby for shared goals. Horner said he is being paid $5,000 a month for three months of work."

Mike Horner received allot more than that of our tax money funneled through O.L.E with Macy Island Consulting in 2013. The Kissimmee chamber also paid themselves with O.L.E. tax dollars. David Breen needed to dig deeper. Horner lied to him about how much he was getting, they have kept him afloat till now. It can be stopped simply dissolve O.L.E.

O.L.E. was given over $200,000 in tax dollars’ last year to lobby with. The community got about $75,000 worth of lobbying out of it. Stop the waste it can start with Mike Horner.
02/19/14 @ 15:42   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Insider [Visitor]
Last night I sat a few rows back at the school board meeting. There was an overflow crowd. Teachers are mad as hell with Wheeler going on the news calling the rest of the board immoral for voting against his motions against due process.

He wanted to overturn due process to allow a kid that assaulted teachers to go back to school. He wanted to eliminate due process and suspend teachers without pay before any kind of hearing was conducted.

I couldn't help but chuckle as he slunk behind his computer when those items came up. He didn't dare raise his voice after he was charged, ONCE AGAIN for breaking state election laws.

But then, policy, rules and law don't apply to him. Don't believe me? Just ask him. His last electronic propaganda says he could write about a bunch of other stuff. Which means he's going to avoid coming clean about breaking the law AGAIN.
02/19/14 @ 16:45   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Carl

Don Skelton

I can add that I know something big is going down in Osceola with the States Attorneys office but my person wouldn't say exactly what. Didn't matter because we were both talking about the same thing. When can we start talking in greater detail about "AM" and friends. LOL
02/19/14 @ 16:53   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: ugotthatright [Visitor]
@ Insider --As long as I have been on this blog, I have spoken about classrooms and the school district.

The SB meeting will doubtfully make news even locally. The a-holes that put Wheeler on camera are not journalists.

The stories spoken I have heard and know of for almost two decades. What equally sickens me is the pathetic comment by B. Horn. She comes across as a complete dolt. No help, no backbone. WHile SOnothing made a fair enough statement, he had NO guts to specifically call out WHeeler, and in fact spoke to the issue saying "any sb member..." Wishywashy said nothing!!!!! He is pathetic! AND because he doesnt..wee wee smirks it off...until election day when he wont be allowed to walk onto any campus without a badge and approval and an appointment etc.
02/19/14 @ 19:08   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: trojan Horse [Visitor]
that court house firing was not the only one there are others that got fired
hush hush firings done when armondo was away he found them gone when he got back
false charges against another one
all to keep the truth from coming out
keep watching more to come much more
can't wait till it shows up on the news
02/19/14 @ 23:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Mencken [Visitor]
From Gracia's (county commissioner candidate) webpage: "As a life-long resident of Osceola County District 2, I have pay my share of taxes, in which needs better improvement and planning for the community. Opposing on raising the sales taxes or any other tax that will effect our pockets. By balancing the budget just as we do at home. Giving back a percentage of the salary I'll be earning as your County Commissioner. We in need of improving the community and not become a mini Washington, DC."

I feel sorry for anyone that displays such lack of attention to detail and illiteracy on public display. His lack of education is also apparent. Anyone can deduce that his job as a jailer was too challenging; thus his current employment at a private school.

But I bring this up for another purpose. I have commented before about the low quality of our local candidates. What factors encourage the unsuccessful and uneducated to believe they can lead us in public office? FACT: The Kissimmee Council is probably the most uneducated / unaccomplished governmental body in Florida's history - folks, that is State-Wide. The County Commission, while slightly more educated than the city commission, ranks the lowest amongst other county commissions in the State in terms of education. Here is a sad statistic: the School Board, yes our education leaders, ranks lowest in education in the State. And our clerk sets a new standard of how low we go when we vote people for local office. So again, why? What makes people like Garcia (both of them) think they can get elected? Is it the fact that fools get elected in Osceola with regularity?

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed jack is king"

This post is intended for entertainment / amusement purposes only
02/20/14 @ 09:26   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: ugotthatright [Visitor]
@ Mencken - it is pretty funny that you started that rant- which has validity, by spelling Garcia's name wrong.... but the real point is that you are not running for office.

There are LOTS of reasons people don't run. It doesn't make those who do better, as some others have stated.

I do note that Garcia's lack of command of the English language is glaring. Sonothing on the SB - the one minority is educated and speaks very well as did Julius. (Problem is Sonothing has not guts to confront by name the dirt that attacks him--that's not taking the higher road--that's letting it be dismissed). Oh and Julius just blathered on and on... he'd make his point and repeat a dozen times. BTW - as usual, Haven't seen you come out against Wee Wee in regards to the due process fiasco and his bashing. He is NOT like the others, even the others I cant stand on the Board. ONly TL stands up.

That aside... only in politics can you get elected without job qualifications.
02/20/14 @ 09:50   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Kissimmee Kowboy [Visitor]
@ Mencken

4 County commissioners have 4 year degrees.

You must love our educated Congress!

You miss the fact that the top managers for the elected boards all have degrees.
The people that make the calls for taxpayers everyday have a 4 year min degree in their field.

Did you miss the part" A government of the people"?
02/20/14 @ 10:19   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@Mencken -- Lots of successful people lack higher education and still made their mark. There are many counter examples of successful and/or highly educated people who failed badly at public leadership. But ok, I get your point. The average elected official should be able to sit down with anyone and develop a grasp of the situation at hand.

What I'd like to see is a School Board candidate who is a parent and possibly an ex-teacher or administrator. They should have been involved in the process from outside of the schools - parent groups, professional organizations, etc. They should grow into the role before it is time to run for office.

I would make similar requests of other officials. Start with citizens groups, trade organizations, non-profits doing community work, etc. and run when you see the bigger picture.


02/20/14 @ 11:56   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Osceola Spectator [Visitor]
The Washington Nationals and the Astros are looking a mutual training site in Palm Bay.

The Astros deal with the Blue Jays fell through when residents didn't like the site.

Astro's rep said they are also looking at Arizona. The price to stay Kissimmee? A new stadium. Say good-bye in 2016.
02/20/14 @ 12:38   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Carl [Visitor]
@Vicious Cycle; Feel free to share your opinions on any subjects you like! Yes, there's been a flurry of activity in downtown and it will pick up soom, we'd bet on Monday coming.
Sounds like too many people became involved in one of the deals to fix, or recall a ticket and now the woman from FDOT is trying to dust over her tracks, so to speak. We hear the detective and his Sgt visited at the Clerk's office and perhaps, (we say perhaps) the Tax Collector's office) but they both believed the evidence they came across was enough to involve FDLE. Yes, it could be a very busy coming week.
02/20/14 @ 12:59   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Lie, Cheat and Steal [Visitor]
Mencken

I too noticed you are silent regarding Wheeler's newest legal problem. Maybe you think if you ignore it, his multiple transgressions never happened.

I also noticed you didn't mentionWheeler's lack of education or that he flunked out of college. For your information, KS, TL and TW have college degrees. It was already mentioned above the county commissioners have degrees.

I wonder how much longer you will sidestep Wheeler's multiple legal issues. How can you side with a proven liar, cheat and thief? How much longer will you be a tool fot the fool?
02/20/14 @ 13:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: . [Visitor]
@ Mencken

Remember when you slammed Cindy Hartig when she back to school?
02/20/14 @ 13:12   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Mencken [Visitor]
Well, I do not spell check on blogs. I simply type away, re read before posting, place my disclaimer and pull the trigger. And as dumb as I know I am, I am smart enough to stay out of politics.

And even a broken clock can tell us the time twice a day, except for B. Horn. She only validates the adage that its better to stay quiet and be thought the fool.

Andy, your party has brought before us many excellent candidates. We are most thankful for: Armando, Santiago, Melo Garcia, Ramirez Jr., Arringtons (the one that bashes dominican disabled vets and the one that still plays with Tonkas), Sonothing, Quinones, Irrizari, Otero, Alvarez, Rangel and my favorite: Doctor Leydon, PHD, MD, BS (the only one thats true).

Wheeler may be all that you say. But he is not as fun to attack as you all believe. Quite insignificant TBH. TL strikes me as too evil to attack and you all are smart to steer clear. Hartig's problem is not her lack of education but that she is uneducated, Get it?

This post is intended for entertainment / amusement purposes only
02/20/14 @ 15:10   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Well [Visitor]
"Andy, your party has brought before us many excellent candidates. We are most thankful for: Armando, Santiago, Melo Garcia, Ramirez Jr., Arringtons (the one that bashes dominican disabled vets and the one that still plays with Tonkas), Sonothing, Quinones, Irrizari, Otero, Alvarez, Rangel and my favorite: Doctor Leydon, PHD, MD, BS (the only one thats true)."

Some of those listed as Democrats are not Democrats. Don't confuse every Hispanic as a Democrat.
02/20/14 @ 15:22   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Me [Visitor]
@ Mencken

Traditionally there is no spelling Nazis on this site most people realize how pointless that is. But "Evil" interesting you are taking a religious or superstitious opinion on him. Not something an educated person would do. Correction, not something an intelligent person would do but an educated person may. He is not evil, he just beat Wheeler at Wheelers game. He is just a little more cunning in his way. It also helps not to be involved in actions that could cause investigations. That’s something Jay can’t seem to stay away from. It seems pretty stupid to me when people keep making the same mistakes over and over while never learning a lesson. You suppose that if Wheeler had a higher education that he would be any different?
02/20/14 @ 17:23   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Larry [Visitor]
If anyone is evil it's Jay Wheeler, who continues to belittle everyone he's supposed to be working WITH. It's unfortunate the current chairman will not take any action on Wheeler but after this coming election it'll all be for moot! (I hope) IF Wheeler was to be reelected in his district not only would it be proof his support is from complete idiots who have no idea what's going on in their district and his financial backers, like a developer who doesn't even live here, will have made a very poor investment in Wheeler. Tuesday night's school board meeting was one of the best meetings as he had to sit there and take it like the little girl he acts like!

Since Carl already has the disclaimer for everyone posted, I won't waste the space.
02/20/14 @ 17:42   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Osceola Spectator [Visitor]
What did it take for Alabama get Remington
Arms to build a new plant in Alabama?

$70 million in incentives that includes $38.3 million in cash,taxbreaks,free rent.workforce recruitment and training.

Remington will spend $124 million on the plant and hire 2000 people.No one in New York will lose their jobs so this is nor a "Bust The Union" move.

Then there is Colt..they are still on the way! Frank says so. It must be true.
02/20/14 @ 18:42   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Trojan Horse [Visitor]
keep digging in the court house carl

find out why the fdle has been stopped

this is a bigger deal than most here would understand

they worry about wheeler instead of our corrupt county officials an our county money the peoples money





02/21/14 @ 00:36   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Gene [Visitor]
Looks like the financial well is drying up over at Clancy and Theys since Peter Pace is no longer associated with them! That will hurt three campaigns as I see it. Clarence Thacker will now have to knock on doors for money, and Ricky Booth no longer has Pete as his "insider" advisor, that is besides Jay Wheeler! And now, Jay Wheeler's campaign's pot at the end of his rainbow is now going to take a hit as he won't have Pete dolling out Clancy & They's money as freely as he did. Latest rumor out of C & T is over the years with Pete, there could have been a few hundred thousand of C & T's money spent, just politically!! Oh, and Mike Horner now loses a consulting gig that was giving close to a couple thousand a month. If all that's true, small wonder Pete is no longer with C & T!!
02/21/14 @ 07:15   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Gene [Visitor]
@osceola spectator;

You forgot political honesty, something this county seems to have forgotten, at least at the BOCC level.
02/21/14 @ 07:17   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
@ Gene

Clarence will have to make it on the $23,285.00 he has already collected as he knocks on doors to get out the vote.
02/21/14 @ 08:57   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: ugotthatright [Visitor]
Noticed how the story about due process in the local yokel, never once mentions what Wheeler did. It says he was the dissenting vote and a reference by Jackson that, "we have a board member." IDENTIFY him Apryle Jackson, IDENTIFY HIM writer Ken Jackson.

The way teachers are being treated as so well explained by those coming forward and A Jackson herself was long overdue, BUT when a JW did what he did and finally brought you to a meeting to voice it--- IDENTIFY HIM! WHen you say "a board member," that is the weakness he seizes
on.
02/21/14 @ 09:03   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Schs 1996 graduate [Visitor]
I am a 1996 graduate of SCHS... With Ricky Booth. He was the biggest bully in school and even then lived off the Partin name. Please Osceola county don't fall for his game. He may have been a teachers kid, married a teacher, and graduated from Osceola County Schools but he DID NOT go to school for education (agriculture) nor did he want anything to do with it until Tom Horn's seat came open. Boo! Don't let the bully win!!!!
02/23/14 @ 05:36   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Osceola Spectator [Visitor]
Most if not all newspaper editorial writers agree that when business give money to a local campaign account is really is a "Kick-back"donation.

Donations that have run deep and long in our county as well as other county in Central Florida.

It has become a rite of passage for WDW and developer interest to make donations.
Zoning issues are the hot button issues in the county. If you prevail you are happy the big developers lost. If you are on the losing side-money was the winner.

One of these days big business will figure out they don't need to give large donations locally. Back or fight local issues with mail-outs and media ads. Like they did winning the tourist tax,gas tax and sales tax votes.

Of course its not going to stop and people are going to gripe that every person that takes "special interest "money has been paid off.

I can point out that since zoning came to Osceola over 50 years ago not one county or city elected official has been convicted of taking money for a vote.I just did and it will not change the the majority view.

The county has budgeted $1 million dollars every year is the past 25 years to attract jobs to the county. It has been a large flop.

Yet we never have questioned the cash strapped county at budget time.What could we have done with that $1 Million.
The record clearly shows that funding has not served the community.

Out county and city elected leaders are here to serve us,not themselves. Yet it is our silence that lets them forget us when the election is over.
02/23/14 @ 12:42   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Lie, Cheat and Steal [Visitor]
Mencken AKA Geo Shiro

Once again you fail to address the true fact, just like your hero Wheeler. You say you don't get into politics, then when Wheeler gets caught lying on the news, you point to others. Just like Wheeler. Look at you list of names.

You call Long evil. Long didn't force Wheeler to steal from campaign funds for his sons Bar Mitzva. Long didn't force Wheeler to lie about it on the news. Long didn't force Wheeler to steal thousands from his last campaign. So who is evil?

Why can't you admit your hero is a liar, cheat and thief. It's because Long wouldn't buckle under to your demand to hire your choice for superintendent.

You wrote a big article for the paper about test cheating, but refuse to acknowledge proven cheating by Wheeler. Your a hypocrite. How much more revealed corruption before you take a stand?
02/23/14 @ 12:46   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Wiki Leaks [Visitor]
@Osceola Spectator- Donations ARE how things get done around here. The Fast one tells one of his neighbors if you want your property rezoned, you have to give a donation to one of the other commissioners.

Walking out of a St. Cloud city council meeting, one member is over heard telling a contractor, "sorry I couldn't vote for you, but I have to protect my campaign money."

Wheeler demands contractors give to him or they might not get the next big contract.
02/23/14 @ 12:58   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Gene [Visitor]
Apryl Jackson will never have the backbone to confront a school board member, no matter how much that member uses her and her union to the member's benefit! She has bowed to Wheeler and has served him well, but even now, as the alleged head of the teacher's union, she lacks the needed backbone. There MUST be a school employee willing to take on the job as union president. Jackson has outlived her usefulness, as proved in the past two contract years! If anyone is waiting for her to resign, forget it, as she doesn't want to miss out on all those trips she's taken and planning to attend! Time for Jackson to go!
02/23/14 @ 14:52   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Just John [Visitor]
@Wiki Leaks; NAME those alleged elected officials, or an actual witness who heard the comments, including the ones in quotes! I do not believe the fast one would have said that to one of his neighbors. Fast Freddy isn't that stupid.
I am also doubting the St Cloud Council item. While that could have happened in the back, where the council members go to after a meeting, I doubt it would have been said.
If any of what you wrote is true/correct, please show everyone you're not exaggerating by giving up names. Who's the neighbor the Fast one alleged to have told the neighbor to make a donation? Who is the Council member? Come on and let us all know!
02/23/14 @ 14:58   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
The Teachers Association-UNION-needs a representative that quits slobbering over the School Board when she gets the chance.

When Wheeler is on the campaign trail she can't give enough praise short of calling the teachers in his district to vote for him.

There was a time when the Union took a straw vote before single member districts came along at each election.
02/23/14 @ 15:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: smokey [Visitor]
DEER JUAT JOHN IT IS TRUE.
Know which council man was STUPID enough to have said sorry danny I could vote fer your yob. Cause I get my campaign from gorgeous GEORGE.

Danny boy and the smooth one GORGEOUS GEORGE are completers and supposed to be enemies.

The would not let GEORGE BID course George was pissed off.

IN the NEW ST CLOUD you do not have to bid just suckup and carry brown paper bag.

In the county you need a suitcase or a carpet bay.
IT is true about what the SWIFFT one said to.Just look at FRONK campaign report see iffen you can figure it out.
02/23/14 @ 17:46   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: IVAN [Visitor]
OLD SMOKEY is correct it happen at the front door at city hall.
DONNY with his master degree brain and his kindergarten mouth or do I have that backwards. There was another council present he now has been jagged and has amnesia
02/23/14 @ 18:01   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Watcher [Visitor]
Corruption is not just at the top. All the finger pointing etc. has made it clear that its easy to get away with anything and keep on collecting from the tax payers. Bus drivers, police, county and district people texting behind the wheel. A school district van was parked downtown Kissimmee every morning (for hours) for 3 weeks. At 7pm 2 weeks ago, a school district suv#216 was seen speeding in Kissimmee.
If there is so much wrong doing and corruption at the top, can we expect any less from other employees or the public? Where are the perfect angels going to come from to save the world? As things get worse (just look at the whitehouse or any other level of govt), this blog will have plenty to talk about.
02/24/14 @ 09:37   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Richard Wolf [Visitor]
@ Watcher

Do what I do about speeding school buses. Take the bus number,time and place and call the school office.It's glaring because the vast majority of our drivers follow all the rules all day.
02/24/14 @ 10:06   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Wildman2 [Visitor]
The County Commission and the media consider people paying to live in motels "homeless".

They are living in a county approved dwelling. They have a permanent street/mailing address that allows them to enroll their children in school.

Now there is proposal to have a summer camp for the homeless kids when school lets out for the summer.
02/24/14 @ 17:40   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Just Great [Visitor]
Thanks Wildman2

Just watched the news showing 46,000 freeloaders in Florida have multiple free phones that you and I pay for. This cost Florida taxpayers $478 million.

No wonder freeloaders head to Osceola. Free phones, free food, free clothing, free utilities, free medical, just to name a few.

BOCC grab grants to accommodate even more. Come one, come all! No job required. Osceola, the land of free milk and honey.
02/24/14 @ 18:23   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Darn Children [Visitor]
Is it the children's fault? To place blame we could blame everyone else first including the BOCC. I don't like it either but if you’re going to feed and entertain someone it might as well be the kids. "Freeloaders" head to Osceola in part because of the abundance of hotels and short term rentals that have had a brutal decline in tourist so they took what was available to them threw in a mini fridge and offered extended stay rates. Welcome to sunny Florida where the livin is easy and all the part time walmart work you can endure. They could just sell the children to the human traffickers and use that money as deposit, first and last on a small but cozy one bedroom. Problems solved when you factor in all the additional savings.
02/25/14 @ 00:21   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
The Sentinel stated that a good percentage of the "Homeless" were living with relatives in the county.

There was a time when "homeless" were those people that lived in the woods in the county or a shelter in Orange county.

In 2000 the Congress wanted every person to live in a home. If you had a driver's license you could get into a $200,000 home with no down payment and a loaded balloon note.Osceola county was the nations fastest growing population counties in the Nation.The recovery from the 2004-05 hurricanes created a false boom in jobs.Then in 2007 the housing bubble leaked and burst in 2009. On paper the county had approved 44,000 homes that were never started.

We need to help with the problem but we can't afford to become the Pied Piper for Central Florida.
02/25/14 @ 07:28   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Wildman2 [Visitor]
The Federal government provides funds for people living in shelters,camps or on the streets.


02/25/14 @ 11:17   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm... [Visitor]
The paper also stated that they are by majority not locals who lost their homes but from out of the county. In a Hispanic household with three and four generations in three rooms, what percentage is homeless?
02/25/14 @ 11:27   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Wildman2 [Visitor]
@Hmmm

What percentage are homeless?
None.
02/25/14 @ 12:01   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm... [Visitor]
Osceola county spent Over $5 Million Jailing Homeless People Instead Of Giving Them Homes

New data shows laws that make it a crime to live as a homeless person make even less sense from a fiscal standpoint.

Data was collected by Impact Homelessness, an advocacy group in central Florida. The organization identified 37 homeless people in Osceola County who were collectively arrested 1,250 times between 2004 and 2013 at a cost of $104 per booking. During that time, these people spent 61,896 days incarcerated at an average cost of $80 per day.

Altogether, Osceola County spent $5,081,680 over the past decade to repeatedly jail just 37 homeless people

A far cheaper option than criminalizing and jailing the homeless is to provide them with permanent supportive housing. An average permanent supportive housing unit in Osceola County costs $9,602 per year, which includes $8,244 for rent and utility subsidies and $1,358 for a case manager (with a case load of 30 clients). In other words, each supported housing unit costs the county 40 percent less than what they’re currently paying to put homeless residents in jail.

@ Wildman2

Agreed.
02/25/14 @ 12:10   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm... [Visitor]
"We must invest our tourism money wisely to revitalize the areas around these hotels"

Mark Waltrip CEO of Westgate Resorts again publicly asking for the BOCC to spend our tourist tax better and instead use it to help the 192 tourist strip. This is not the first time he has made the claim. This was what he said the last time.

"I've been a longtime opponent of how the county is spending tourism [tax] dollars in this county,"

Me too.
02/25/14 @ 12:36   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Wildman2 [Visitor]
There is no provisions to allow the Tourist Tax to help the county homeless program.
02/25/14 @ 13:26   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm... [Visitor]
Yup, but the problem wouldn't exist as it is today if the county didn't spend the tourist tax money on only chamber approved and campaign account funded projects. Some of us are smart enough to notice the real problem.
02/25/14 @ 14:31   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: My $.02 [Visitor]
The problem is not just the homeless in the hotels it’s more a lack of tourists in the hotels that are forcing the hoteliers to rent out the hotels to the unwanted homeless from around the country for extended stays. With all the national attention we are receiving over it, expect more displaced to come.

All the big money in the county is fine with the current tourist tax spending. Without the revenue from actual tourists the 192 tourist strip will continue to fail and be a national disgrace on Disney’s doorstep. Perhaps Disney will notice mistakes they have made over the years and release their strangle hold on the county allowing for some time to heal.

Another problem is we have an extremely questionable Saudi investor (Xenel) that wants to do something with the hundreds of acres they own off 192 and have been sitting on for years because of having terrorist ties. Then we have a few others who have grown accustomed to the counties multimillion dollar handouts on projects they would have built regardless. All can be found on the Kissimmee Chamber of commerce board of directors.

What they did was create a county that Billionaires know will give heavy on their projects with incentives paid off our backs, but only on Disney approved locations off of the 192.
02/25/14 @ 15:25   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
@Hmmmm

The State Law does not let any BOCC in the state spend money for a welfare project.

In the 1980's through 1998 the BOCC paid for the advertising that a service agency such as the Rotary Club-Air Fair-used to bring in tourists.This allowed the Rotary to use the money on a welfare project. The county has spread over $7 million dollars to local agencies. This year $300,000 was budgeted for local events for marketing their projects.

Every event was approved at the annual budget hearing this year...5-0.

02/25/14 @ 15:25   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm... [Visitor]
@ Ghost Writer

"The State Law does not let any BOCC in the state spend money for a welfare project."

What welfare project?

02/25/14 @ 15:32   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm... [Visitor]
@ Ghost Writer

"The State Law does not let any BOCC in the state spend money for a welfare project."

Permanent supportive housing? They can fund an organization like Transition House.

"Continuing to provide services to the Central Florida homeless community, The Transition House, Inc., has opened the first Permanent Supportive Housing program in Osceola County. Built in partnership with the Osceola County Human Services Department,"

Overview of Osceola County Human Services Department.

"Human Services provides low income families in Osceola County with assistance programs and referrals to services designed to improve the health and well being of residents. Offices under Human Services include Housing, Social Services and Veterans Services. Human Services also serves as the county liaison with the Osceola County Health Department."
02/25/14 @ 15:55   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
The state tourist law does not allow the county to fund any welfare project.

Of course the BOCC can use local funds to help out on the homeless problem of which they have.
02/25/14 @ 16:16   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Hmmm... [Visitor]
Sorry I assume we all know that and your statement was confusing.

I thought you were disagreeing with how the over $5,000,000 Osceola spent on incarcerating a few of the known local homeless that could have been better spent on permanent supportive housing that would have had a positive effect on the area, also freeing up the officers and court time to be better spent on real crime.

I hope that’s one of the things they take into consideration in the future to save money while being humane at the same time in helping a solution to a problem or “epidemic” that could have been overall avoided in the first place.
02/25/14 @ 16:40   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
All counties have the town drunk and others with mental issues that commit crimes.

The county funds a mental health program through a private contract. It costs $60.00 a day to keep a prisoner in jail.
Orange county has a similar problem and certainly by now they should have program that would have taken the drunks and mentally ill out of their jail. They haven't.Either has any other Central Florida county.

02/25/14 @ 18:24   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: . [Visitor]
The study by Impact Homelessness investigated the number of people who have been put in jail because of crimes related to homelessness, including panhandling, sleeping outside and trespassing.

Check it out

http://www.impacthomelessness.org/data/
02/25/14 @ 18:51   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: It's Only Money [Visitor]
When will there be a big push for the county commission to establish one mill set aside dedicated to the Homeless problem.

City of Kissimmee had 1/2 mill for a fire truck in the 1970's and later for the library that was on Broadway.

How about some funding sources. Keep in mine that the Feds and the state don't consider people paying "rent" at a budget hotel as being homeless.
02/25/14 @ 19:58   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Well [Visitor]
That’s nice and all but the vast majority of our homeless are not ours. They are coming from all over the country because of our dying tourist corridor. When you look at the history of the strip and its downfall it has always been the Kissimmee chamber (and even Guetzloe one time was hired by Gaylordpalms) used to derail plans time after time when talks of something big going in on the 192 strip with the help of the tourist tax. I don’t see why the taxpayers should always have to bail out the screw-ups that happen when government feeds the corporations and vise versa. We already have all the tax money we need available in the form of the tourist tax. Just build that convention center on the 192 that has been opposed by Disney and friends since 1979. As the economy gets better (and it is) the problem will correct itself. Then bring in shopping on the sites that are by now too dilapidated for recovery.

Anyway the Children can be considered homeless that live in the hotels under the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
02/25/14 @ 21:01   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: H.R. Puffenstuff [Visitor]
The State Of Florida has 10 sections in the Florida Statutes that support the McKinney Act that was adopted in 1987.

The children that live in motels are considered homeless in order to enroll in schools in Florida.800 children are enrolled in Osceola schools under the Act.
02/26/14 @ 07:44   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
Disney is getting ready for the redo of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs that should be completed in 2016.

For you movie goers the 24 AMC screens will be open during the construction phase.
02/26/14 @ 11:28   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
I would estimate the 20-35% of the population would be opposed to spending any money at all to assist the homeless, and that quite a few of the remaining voters would be skeptical. It's a complicated problem that can't be solved by a single program. We need a solid economy, affordable housing, good job training, public transportation, education for the children of homeless parents, and adequate mental health care. Osceola has very little of that in place. Pick one area and run with it.
02/26/14 @ 12:47   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
To complete the thought behind my first sentence (above), policymakers would need to fund meaningful pieces of the solution that would not be derailed by the dead-set opposition and the apathetic.
02/26/14 @ 12:59   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Richard Wolf [Visitor]
@ Andy

Excellent Comment!
02/26/14 @ 13:21   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Some words [Visitor]
If the Children in the hotels can be considered homeless then more federal and state aid could be justified in our case for the 800 students also the children too young for school and in turn their care givers. You know "for the children", it reads like that is the angle being worked. Some say there are up to 3500 precariously housed children in Osceola public schools.

With all the talk of lobbying now is the time to be making the case for assistance with a problem that has accumulated here from all over the country and state. Start now, I would use Transition House since they are well established with existing permanent supportive housing (victory village). It is Harford’s district ask him if the county made it a priority this legislative season. Ask the chamber if they have it a priority with their OLE. Ask Disney if they have made it a priority in their extensive lobbying. If they ask the state or feds to give us money it would happen. Shoot they can tell their state Reps to make something happen. All that campaign money they distribute out across the state could be used to influence something good for a change.

Individuals could contact the offices of a few state reps and senators with their concerns to help start the ball rolling for the people who will be/are lobbying them for assistance with our unique problem. Rick Scott is campaigning perhaps he could pretend sympathy at our problem if asked in a press situation. Crist as well.

Start putting the pressure on Disney and show them that it would be in their best interest to throw large amounts of cash at the problem sitting on their doorstep. It doesn’t take much to show that they are a significant part of the problem. Just the suggestion is something they would want to squash by showing they are all for helping the children struggling on their doorstep even if they are in Osceola County. After all it’s only money and we could use more “victory village’s’ and some program funding.

Fed programs

https://www.onecpd.info/homelessness-assistance/

@ Andy

“It is simply unacceptable for individuals, children, families and our nation’s Veterans to be faced with homelessness in this country.” - President Barack Obama

Tell your man to get on it. Use Osceola, Disney and the strip as an example. That should help Scott out on his jobs and rebound record.
02/26/14 @ 15:12   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Wildman2 [Visitor]
The McKinney law only addresses what should be done for children. Prior to the law children living in a motel could be denied bus transportation and were.

The Catch-22 is that the "homeless" are establishing a legal residence to obtain welfare benefits.Should everyone living month to month in any rental house or apartment be considered homeless too?

WDW provides 65,000 jobs.WDW collects a boat load of sales taxes.Why are they now considered the enemy of the State of Florida by a vary vocal minority?

The County in 4 years watched their budget come up short over $1 Billion Dollars compared to the prior recession years.

We passed a millage to Save the Land but will not entertain a ballot amount to Save the People?
02/26/14 @ 15:48   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
What happened to the huge bombshell someone was supposed to drop on us about local politicos? I have a lot of pent up outrage, and if it is not released I may have to go out and mow the lawn or something.

I'm guessing it was slightly overblown, eh?
02/27/14 @ 11:38   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ andy richardson

This is no bomb but perhaps you could shed some light on why Grayson would be supporting a conman with our Congress? Or is Leydon lying about this also?

“Romuald Jose Leydon's Experience

Chairman of the Board
Board Chair for Faith Based organizations for the Office of Congressman Alan Grayson

December 2013 – Present (3 months) Semoran Ave

Organizing effort to unit Faith based community and bring together people of all faith and inform community of all benefits available in Congressional office.”
02/27/14 @ 12:36   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: It's Only Money [Visitor]
Interesting Fact..or Not ?

Property taxes in Florida are some of the highest in the country-before exemptions.

02/27/14 @ 12:49   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Wildman2

It had to change because children in this country have the right to an education.

@ It's Only Money

We have some of the highest property tax rates in the nation.
02/27/14 @ 13:45   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@VC - I don't know much about Leydon because my civic and political interests are mostly secular. He is more active in faith-based communities -- maybe even exclusively active there.

I can see why a sitting Congressman would want to have liaisons and touchpoints in the faith-based community. That's an important constituency in Osceola, and they get out the vote.

Other people have declared all sorts of things about Leydon. I looked into the claims about fake degrees and found that it isn't uncommon for religious organizations to offer their own degrees when they are outside of the big, established denominations. Major colleges typically offer religious degrees that are designed around traditional dogma. On that point, I'm satisfied that nothing strange is going on. Would that degree carry the same weight as one from an accredited university? No, not for me. But allowing a church to be able to have their own religious degree programs is a "separation of church and state" issue.

On the other claim about working for fictitious companies or companies run by friends and family, I just don't have all the facts. I'd be happy to hear more. Why don't you ask him? If he wants to run for office, he needs to be able to answer that question. He should be able to document his income and experience. That's a pretty basic requirement.
02/27/14 @ 13:56   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ andy richardson

I sent him several emails last season. He never responded they were polite but to the point. I also went to an event he was supposed to be at to ask him about his phony history and different names he has used over the years, but he didn't show. I noticed he changed his history this time from the last and then again now with this BS Grayson appointment.

If you want three on the BOCC you better weed him out. I can help you but I would take Melendez or Q over Leydon any day. It is up to you and Party people like you to help give us good candidates not 501c con-men with fake degrees and false work history. I expect better than that. I respect Grayson's cunning but his local girl needs to look into people first.

Janer has little experience outside of party but if she interviews well I will support her. At least she eventually joined a voluntary advisory board but I question how much experience only a year on a board will give her. Shame she wasn't involved sooner. When she warmed the crowd for Obama she said at that time she was thinking of running, she should have started then but that’s just my opinion. I take points off for extensive party experience on either side. Party tends to make people less centric.

Who do like for that seat?
02/27/14 @ 14:46   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Real Numbers Please [Visitor]
Florida is ranked 22/23 for property taxes. There are 50 states. Right in the middle. Where do you all come up with your information? I got mine from Tax-Rates.org plus about 10 other sites.

We are ranked 16 for sales tax, but only 29 for local taxes.

No state or local income tax.
02/27/14 @ 14:52   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@VC - I'm far from a kingmaker and my preference is to let the primary settle the choice. In this case, the primary winner should really be the stronger candidate. Now, if I had to bet $5 then I'd guess that Viviana would be a stronger campaigner. That should be enough to decide the race in BVL.

I take issue with some of your comments. I joined a political party because that is the best way to get things done. If you want something done and I want something else done (something that isn't incompatible with your goal), then we become much stronger by agreeing to support each other's goals. That's why parties exist. Being part of the party system does not make you more extreme, it makes you better at accommodating the goals of other people. I'd say the really extreme candidates over the last decades were generally outsiders who rode a single issue, a la the Tea Party. Those kinds of movements are good for redirecting the major parties, but they usually degenerate pretty quickly.
02/27/14 @ 15:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: "before exemptions." [Visitor]
@ Real Numbers Please

"Property taxes in Florida are some of the highest in the country-before exemptions."

"before exemptions."

"Property Tax

Though the state government does not collect any property taxes, local governments receive much of their funding through these taxes. These rates are assessed at the local level and can vary by county, and they are based on the value of the property. Property taxes in Florida are some of the highest in the country, although there are several exemptions to try to lighten the load on some Floridians."

http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=29
02/27/14 @ 15:12   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Richard Wolf [Visitor]
The DEC does not get involved in primary campaigns. The strongest "ground troops" are from the Celebration Branch of the DEC.

If you want to vote in a Primary you have to be in a major party.Some people switch before the primary to vote for someone in the other party.
02/27/14 @ 15:35   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Andy

Don’t offend so easily. Be more like the duck.

Then unify your Party and get rid of Leydon before the primary for the greater good. Janer can beat Q, Leydon will not. If Melendez beats Q in the primary Janer MAY not beet Melendez. 3 republicans in the primary will split the vote. Mostly Melendez and Q. Two Democrats will also split the vote at the primary. One strong Democrat at the primary and you never know in that district what could happen. I do think Janer will win, especially if you do your little voter suggestion cards again at the precincts. It is a shame that that is needed in this county.

What about this one, John Cortez (D) running against incumbent state Rep. Ricardo Rangel (D) in the primary? Who do you like Cortez or Rangel?

No worries on that one with Carlos Irizarry the Republican, one of them will easily win. But wouldn’t you think if the party specifically the Hispanic Caucus was unified, it would make for a better chance at turning the state blue?

I understand as a party person you wait till after the primary but the primary counts. Some Republicans think they will win their seats in the primary assuming that the gubernatorial election season will not bring out the traditional voter lazy Dems like we saw in 2010. The GOP is counting on it.
02/27/14 @ 15:51   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
@VC - I am not offended, I was trying to tell you that you were wrong!

Yes, Janer is a better candidate but I don't think there is all that much of a risk in having a primary. Matter of fact, it might do her well to get a running start. What's with the hysteria about Leydon? Everything is going to be just fine.

Since you asked about Rangel and Cortes, I have no problem with Rangel and he is very well qualified. I'm more familiar with John Cortes on a personal level and I know that he reflects my views. I'd love to see both of them in office. If I lived in that district, I'd prefer Cortes but Rangel deserves a listen. Don't forget that Rangel beat Otero with a 68-32 margin!
02/27/14 @ 16:59   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: H.R. Puffenstuff [Visitor]
@ Andy

You will find that "Vicious" is never wrong.
02/27/14 @ 17:22   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Andy

Campaign money will be as usual an issue for Democrats more so then Republicans.

So you don't think Janer could do without having to first beet the Democrat con-man in the primary. Or for Rangel to beat a fist pounding, loud mouth ex-cop from New York first? Perhaps you may have liked what he was saying but his delivery is no good. He will not beet the incumbent so I see it as waist until Rangel screws up. Perhaps Rangel has and I am uninformed.

No hysterics it just makes me ashamed to be registered Democrat sometimes when we have people like Leydon, Armando and now Otero. I am proud to say I do belong to the better party. But as it gains momentum over the next at least 8 years we will see more and more bad coming from the Party but that is to be expected with power. Leydon could have so easily been laughed off last season. If you think I am wrong about Leydon. I am not. You had last season to look into him and discourage him from running again. Instead the DEC gave him money and seemed to encourage him to run again. If you think I am wrong about it being easier to win an election without first having to make it past your own people in the primary, I am also not wrong. If you think Party strong people are as politically centric as someone who is not… on an individual basses, perhaps, but as a whole I am correct. That is the mantra isn’t it, vote for your own regardless?

It was so sad to see how many people voted blind for Leydon last season. I am not ashamed to vote for a Republican if the Republican is a better person. I do want Democrats to do well this season but they need to be smarter or more cunning then they traditionally are. It is very important to get at least three on the BOCC without being able to match funds with the Republicans.

Last one. Grieb or Atkisson? I will assume you say Grieb, so, why?

@ H.R. Puffenstuff

When I am wrong I will admit it and learn from it. I do not mind being wrong. Andy neglected to say what I was wrong about.
02/27/14 @ 18:16   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: ugotthatright [Visitor]
name two things (yes I can only call them things), that say this exact same thing...

"When I am wrong I will admit it and learn from it. I do not mind being wrong."

The answer is VC and Wee Wee.

and yet they just never are wrong (in THEIR delusional minds). Here we go again.
02/27/14 @ 22:06   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Ghost Writer [Visitor]
What will happen to the BOCC if in November the majority goes Democrat?
02/27/14 @ 23:21   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Kissimmee Kowby [Visitor]
Viciuos,

You insult Andy by calling him the "Kingmaker" and then state Andy didn't tell you how you insulted him.He did.

He is not the Chairman of the Osceola DEC yet you blame him for Lyndon trying another run at an elected office.

Read the Bylaws of the Osceola DEC. They will support the candidate that wins the primary-warts and all.There is no "purity cleansing" of the ballot.
02/28/14 @ 09:48   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: H.R. Puffenstuff [Visitor]
What happens if the Democrats become the majority in November?

Business as usual.
02/28/14 @ 12:29   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
Gotta say this again -- I would not even describe myself as an influential member of the DEC. You have to earn that. I'm too busy with work and family to be that guy. It's easy to post here. Much more difficult to be out there making a difference when it counts.
03/02/14 @ 10:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: H.R. Puffenstuff [Visitor]
@ Andy

Being an active member in the DEC is important. You are doing what you have the time to do.

3 elected bodies are NP yet everyone knows what party they are with.There is no "party-line" voting on the BOCC. It's always issue related.I am disappointed that the R's refuse to share the Chairman's position. Give Harford the chance to fail.

The state and national elected officials look to the local DEC to get out the Democratic base.Bobbie Gant would get the vote out and was the Darth
Vader to the Republicans.

It will be interesting to see how this off year election goes for the Democrats in Tallahassee.
03/02/14 @ 11:02   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Kissimmee Kowby

I did not call Andy a King maker. It is stupid for the DEC to support Leydon in any way.
03/02/14 @ 12:04   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Kissimmee Cowboy [Visitor]
Vicious--
I guess Andy meant his comment about being a "King Maker" directed at you was to the wrong person.
03/02/14 @ 12:29   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: andy richardson [Member] Email
Non-issue. I disagreed that party faithful are necessarily more extreme. That's all. Nothing was personal.
03/02/14 @ 13:44   ^ Top Of Page ^
Comment from: Vicious Cycle [Visitor]
@ Andy I like you and think what you’re doing is great. I just had to vote for a Republican or two last season. I was given a Candidate who in my opinion because of his extensive shady past and lack of credentials should never have been considered and funded by the DEC. How many others like me you suppose voted like that in that race? How many others had no idea and just voted for the D, not the R? Like I said I will vote for the better person. I talk and look into most before I vote for them or not, most people do not.

This is going to happen more and more especially if everyone involved is not careful. I believe the local DEC had Leydon as the pick on the cards being passed out to the voters at the polls last time. He was not the better person.

@ Kissimmee Cowboy

"You insult Andy by calling him the "Kingmaker" "

You even misquoted but I guess I must also be wrong about that.
03/03/14 @ 14:13   ^ Top Of Page ^

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