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Maitland City Talk

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The City Council meets the second and fourth Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Maitland City Hall, Council Chambers, 1776 Independence Lane. The next meeting is scheduled for February 28th. Items that will be addressed at that meeting are listed below. For updates, please check our website at www.itsmymaitland.com.

Special presentations:

•There will be a brief update on the Maitland Downtown Development Standards (Pattern Book).

•The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) will consider adoption of a resolution to incorporate an appropriation of $18,800 for professional services to complete the Adoption Phase of the Downtown Development Standards (CRA Pattern Book).

Public hearings

There are no public hearings scheduled.

Consent agenda:

•Approval of the City Council minutes of Feb. 14, 2011.

•Consider passage of a resolution to adopt the Supplemental Local Area Program Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for the design and construction of intersection improvements on U.S. 17-92 and Horatio Avenue.

Decision items:

•Consider approval of a Change Order (net credit) for the construction of the Maitland Fire Station.

•Consider adopting a Quality Tax Incentive (QTI) resolution of support and commitment to funding for the AcAe Software QTI.

Discussion items:

Maitland Boulevard Project Development and Environment Study.

Maitland takes proactive steps to control ‘pill mills’

The city of Maitland recently took proactive steps in passing two ordinances that will assist our community in controlling and preventing our city from becoming a center for the “pill mill” industry. These ordinances were the result of a community effort to make sure that Maitland is free from the illegal and irresponsible distribution of easily abused Schedule II drugs. This effort was a grass-roots accomplishment that included the police department, City Council, business owners, pharmacy managers and concerned residents. Each of these groups came together after it was apparent that the city was not immune to the effects of large numbers of people coming into our city for the sole purpose of obtaining Schedule II drugs, primarily oxycodone and Xanax. Numerous business owners complained of long lines at one of our pharmacies and of customers using business bathrooms and parking lots to inject the drugs. The police department was responding several times a week in response to calls for service related to the distribution of these drugs. Several arrests were made and it was discovered that people were traveling to Maitland from as far away as Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia to purchase their drugs after receiving a prescription from a South Florida or Orlando pain clinic. Many of these customers were found to have been wanted on other criminal charges, had suspended driver’s licenses, and counterfeit prescriptions.

The problem of “pill mills” is not just a city of Maitland issue, but a problem throughout Florida due primarily to the inability of the state to regulate physicians who operate a practice for the primary purpose of selling prescriptions. These physicians frequently prescribe these drugs in quantities that are much more than the average prescribed dose and they are frequently abused. Orange County Medical Examiner Dr. Garavaglia recently disclosed that the deaths in Orange County from the abuse of these drugs doubled in the last four years and last year resulted in 100 deaths. This year’s death toll is on track to surpass the 100 deaths. The problem has become so pervasive in our state that Attorney General Pam Bondi announced this month that she will be targeting doctors who improperly prescribe painkillers by enacting new legislation that would make these actions a felony and would automatically suspend the license of a doctor who violates the proper prescribing of drugs.

Our city is proud of the proactive steps it has taken to protect our residents from this scourge. Maitland was one of the first cities in Central Florida to pass ordinances aimed at preventing the distribution of these drugs from those who may abuse them, and even though we do not currently have any pain clinics, Maitland has passed an ordinance designed to regulate them through a permitting process. This process was a perfect example of a community coming together for all of our benefit.