Readers want a director of economic development; prefer higher mileage rate to improve Apopka

From staff reports

The readers of The Apopka Voice spoke loudly about the last two questions in its reader survey last week. They want a director of economic development and would prefer improvements to the city rather than a modest reduction in the mileage rate.

More than 80% of respondents were in favor of a director of economic development and improvements in the city.

Economic development

Should Apopka have a director of economic development? Could it be managed with the talents already present in the staff? Can a mayor put on this hat and act alone as director of economic development? What role does a chamber of Trade player? Should a municipality step aside and let capitalism be the spearhead of economic development?

The final vote of 150 respondents was decisive – readers want a director of economic development:

  • Apopka needs an economic development manager – 132 (88%)
  • The mayor should take care of the economic development of Apopka – 18 (12%)

The Apopka Voice has covered this central issue from all angles in 2021.

We also conducted a survey of 12 neighboring towns and their approach to economic development in their municipalities.

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4.2876 or 4.1876?

This is the debate with which the Apopka city council went back and forth during the budget workshop and hearings. Initially it was left at 4.2876 (which is the same rate as in 2020) during the workshops, but later in the hearings the consensus fell to the lower rate. The vote was 4-1 in favor of a 4.1876 mileage rate with Commissioner Kyle Becker in opposition.

As with the question on economic development, the final vote of 96 respondents was one-sided:

  • Leave the mileage rate at 4.2876 and use the $ 400,000 to improve the city – 78 votes (81%)
  • Lower the rate to 4.1876 and return the modest refund to taxpayers – 18 votes (19%)

Jeff Tire, who commented on our Facebook page, thinks the budget should be built before the mileage rate is set.

The tax rate should only be set after assessing the critical infrastructure needs within municipal services and the community, ”he said. “Community workshops should be available at convenient times for residents to voice their concerns and thoughts. This gives every division head in the city a chance to show the taxpayer where this funding is being used and why it is important. Heads of departments should not be placed at the heart of a political debate. They should be allowed to share their division’s needs in a public forum without fear of being fired. “

Today’s question is about the Rock Springs Ridge Homeowners Association’s attempt to purchase the RSR golf courses, and should the Town of Apopka have helped in this transaction? To participate in this survey, go here.