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Another Under The Radar Deal By Our Buddy

March 18, 2013


I guess I’m not surprised at the shenanigans of most of our elected officials, but what Mayor Dyer is doing is just not right.  Check out this from fellow blogger Mike Cantone in the West Orlando News this past weekt:

Added by Mike Cantone on March 12, 2013.

According to new public records, the recent financial purchases of Parramore land brokered by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer are even worse than first suspected. For starters, City Clerk Alana Brenner admitted that the terms of purchase have “not been established yet” despite the mayor making multi-million dollar deals. So the city has purchased land on behalf of taxpayers and we don’t know the terms of purchase? Not what tax payers like to hear.

The funding source used by Mayor Dyer was the “internal loan fund.” The internal loan fund means a conduit financing device to distribute proceeds of debt into loans to various operating funds of the City, and carries with it an interest rate and administrative fees.

That means the City of Orlando is currently using loans off of their already existing debt to purchase the land, instead of revitalizing that land or helping turn it over to private homeowners or small business in Parramore. The City of Orlando is also now costing tax payers more than the advertised public “purchase price” as the interest rate will be around 4.5%, or at least $200,000 taxpayer dollars on the mayor’s $4.3 million purchases, in addition to the administrative fee on top of that.

The City of Orlando is rushing into these purchases without even having the terms laid out for proper oversight and accountability by the citizens. While this may be a “done deal” per se, it is very telling that the process included no set terms, no public hearing, no public input, and now against our city’s current debt, more risk and more cost to taxpayers thanks to the actions of Mayor Dyer and City CFO Rebecca Sutton.

City Clerk Brenner insisted there is no need to worry, saying in an email, “they [the terms of purchase] will be set in such a manner to not increase the overall debt service cost of the General Fund (i.e. the repayment schedule will match drop offs from previous internal loans in order to keep the overall total debt service payment constant).”

Right, we heard similar statements from the banks in 2007. Without any real citizen oversight, Orlando tax payers have no assurances. And now, due to the complex city financing system of shuffling debt from one project to the next, it is difficult to answer the basic question of “where’s the money?”

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