Lmost 4 years ago, Joe Kilsheimer ousted John Land as Apopka’s mayor after he had served more than 60 years within the activity. Now Kilsheimer is dealing with a challenger of his own as he seeks a 2d four-12 months time period in this nonpartisan race — election day is March 13 — on this metropolis of about 50,000 people in west Orange County.
Apopka turned into ripe for brand spanking new management in 2014. But in 2018, we think citizens in Orange County’s second-biggest metropolis could be smart to stick with their first-time period mayor.
Kilsheimer’s opponent, Bryan Nelson, has set his attractions at the mayor’s workplace in Apopka after a single term at the Orange County Commission and 4 phrases within the Florida House. Nelson is a small businessman with deep roots in Apopka, but his arguments for unseating Kilsheimer simply aren’t convincing.
Those arguments include accusing Kilsheimer of excessive spending. Yet even after a 2016 belongings tax growth, Apopka has the second one-lowest millage rate among Orange County municipalities. The town has made ahead-questioning investments underneath Kilsheimer to improve its police and hearth protection, beautify exercise and improve different infrastructure beforehand of the 2021 commencing of the close by Wekiva Parkway, while maintaining reserves identical to 20 percentage of its widespread fund budget.
Apopka has made a few mistakes underneath Kilsheimer — a awful deal with a former administrator, for instance — but the metropolis is at the move. In December, a new department of Florida Hospital opened on the town’s west aspect, and is probably to carry more jobs and investment to the location. Meanwhile, the mayor has introduced a developer to repurpose the antique sanatorium department downtown. Construction on Apopka’s City Center task, stalled for years, is scheduled to begin this area. So is work on the city’s Station Street District.
Kilsheimer has a thoughtful plan for revitalizing downtown Apopka: developing the city’s japanese and western anchors, the City Center and Station Street District, and connecting them with a motorcycle- and pedestrian-pleasant promenade to draw more stores and eating places. The plan became evolved in a visioning procedure with the input of a broad cross-section of the network. It’s an technique that speaks nicely for his management style, and rebuts another one among Nelson’s arguments — that Kilsheimer is divisive.
Apopka is making progress beneath Kilsheimer. We advocate city electorate give the mayor any other 4 years.
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