The Florida Constitution and the Orange County Charter require the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (OCBCC) to reconsider and reconfigure the political boundaries for its Commission districts at least once every 10 years to comport with the latest 2010 Federal Census figures. The goal of redistricting is to keep all districts as equal in population as possible to ensure equal voter representation. Orange County is comprised of six districts. Each district is represented by one of the six Orange County commissioners. The process of reviewing the present districts to see if there is any reconfiguring needed is going on right now.
Maitland and Winter Park have been in District 5 for many years. As neighbors, our two cities have had very close ties for many years, working together and sharing many things in common such as lakes, transportation, history and culture. We also have many interlocal agreements. It is very important that we stay together in the same district to continue our mutually beneficial relationship with Orange County, promoting efficiency and ease of coordination that has been so successful over the past years. For our cities to be in separate districts or to have one or both cities split between two districts would be very counterproductive for our working relationship with Orange County in the future.
The Redistricting Advisory Committee (RAC) was appointed in March of this year by the OCBCC. This 15-member committee’s job is to do research, hold public hearings and advise the OCBCC on possible redistricting solutions. RAC is presently holding public hearings to take input on how to possibly adjust the districts. Their findings and recommendations are due to be presented to the OCBCC no later than Oct. 1, 2011. However, the public hearings presently being held around the county are to end in the middle of August. The final decision on redistricting will be made by the OCBCC by the end of this year.
Districts 1 and 4 have gained in population and have to reduce the size of their districts to come into compliance with the populace of the other districts. Because of this, some of the proposals that are presently being considered are either separating Maitland and Winter Park into separate districts or splitting one or both cities into two districts. Is it fair that the makeup of our District 5 be reconfigured because of the over population of other districts? Shouldn’t the overpopulated districts be reconfigured to resolve their over-populous issues?
The last three redistricting public hearings are being held on Aug. 3, 10 and 17. The locations and directions are on the following website: ocfl.net/rac. It is crucial that we let the RAC as well as our OCBCC know how important it is for our two cities to stay together in the same district. Ted Edwards, our present county commissioner, is very much in favor of Maitland and Winter Park staying together in District 5. He spoke in support of it at the most recent redistricting public hearing held in Maitland on July 29.
As residents of Maitland and Winter Park, I strongly urge you to attend as many of the remaining redistricting public hearings as possible. Your voice is very important, as I have seen changes in some of the advisory committee members opinions during the previous redistricting public hearings based on input from the public. If we don’t act now, the next 10 years may be much more difficult for us to work with Orange County and continue to move our cities forward.
City Council Agenda of Aug. 8, 2011
City Council meets the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for August 8 in the Council Chambers, 1776 Independence Lane. Below are items that will be addressed at that meeting.
Signing Ceremony – Maitland City Council Honorable Character Oath
Special Recognition – Officers Kevin Plumlee and Andrew Moore
Ordinance – Sign Code Amendment
Approve Council Minutes of July 25, 2011
Approve Council Workshop Minutes of July 15, 2011
Extension of Completion Date –North Bridge Development Agreement
Cultural Partners Budget
Orange County Redistricting
For updates, please check our website at itsmymaitland.com