It is wonderful living in an active city. It is true that much of the activity started very recently, but the momentum is building. My long-held vision that Maitland would become a multifaceted cultural attraction for Central Florida is evolving, more participants are attending events, and my vision may become a not-so-distant reality.
To say I was shocked was an understatement, when I heard in March what the librarians at the public library had planned. They told me they were going to put on a 5K run/walk to help reach the young adult age group and raise money to purchase computers for the kids. My first question was, how are you going to run the event? Their response was Fleet Feet, whose owner resides in Maitland, would hold the race event. That was the start of a wonderful morning that moved librarians away from the book stacks and out into the community.
This past Saturday, the director of the library, Ellen Schellhause, along with her staff, board members and many library supporters, met at Quinn Strong Park to set up the event. The horn for the race’s start sounded at 8 a.m. I was assigned a turn along the 3.1 mile racecourse. At first, when I glanced at resident Missy Baker going past me, I thought, “That is an odd outfit for a run/walk.” Then it hit me — participants were encouraged to dress as their favorite literary character. I also saw a mother and daughter dressed in pink tutus, while another woman had a quilted placard front and back, and one young man ran the race wearing a 2-foot-tall hat.
What made this event so “community and culturally minded” was what occurred before, during and after the event. One driver trying to avoid the race asked what was occurring and offered to mail in a donation to the library. Several residents, when called, volunteered to man the corner where they resided. Five women from a Maitland church volunteered as part of their church’s community outreach project. They said they cheered for each participant as they crossed the finish line. At the end of the race there were bananas, bagels, oranges, coffee, cookies, bottled water and prizes, all donated by businesses desiring to support the library and what it provides for the citizens.
Maitland residents are supporting their town. SoNapa, the city’s newest restaurant, has huge crowds. Last Friday’s opening night for the Enzian’s Film Festival was jammed. The weeklong film festival was a huge success. The same evening, Art & History’s Culture and Cocktails event experienced very high attendance, and an enthusiastic crowd kicked off the Chamber’s art festival at Lake Lily. In addition, ribbon cuttings at two new Lake Avenue businesses, JazzTastings and Lily Lace Antique Market, occurred in the past few weeks. They too were attended by excited residents who wanted to say, “Maitland is open for business” and the city is becoming a “happening place.”
Meeting of April 23
The Maitland City Council met on at 6:30 p.m. on April 23 in the City Hall Council Chambers. Below is a synopsis of that meeting. The next regularly scheduled Council meeting will be held on Monday, May 14.
Inauguration Ceremony – Mayor Howard Schieferdecker took the oath of office for his second term.
Moved to continue the Public Hearings creating the Downtown Maitland Zoning District and the rezoning of properties within that District until the May 14 Council meeting.
Approved various meeting minutes.
Authorized the city manager to sign the Satisfaction of Mortgage acknowledging full payment of the mortgage executed by the Maitland Civic Center Inc. to the city of Maitland on June 26, 1964.
Approved a waiver of field rental fees for a Maitland Little League Summer Camp.
Approved the 2012 holiday operation schedule for city parks.
To listen to a recording of the meeting, visit itsmymaitland.com