City Council Highlights – August 20, 2018

Last updated on August 20, 2018


Watch the City Council Workshop online.

LYNX Update

As a city, one of our key priorities is providing a variety of transportation options that connect our residents throughout the city to jobs, opportunity and recreation.

LYNX continues to be a great community partner. Through fixed routes, LYMMO, paratransit, NeighborLink and vanpool services, they help our area accommodate an average of 90,000 passenger trips per day.


Watch the City Council meeting online.


Commissioner Birthdays 

Mayor Buddy Dyer kicked off the meeting by celebrating two of our Commissioners who had birthdays last week – Commissioner Hill’s birthday was on August 15th and Commissioner Ortiz’s birthday was on August 18th.

Florida League of Cities

Mayor Dyer congratulated Commissioner Ortiz on being selected as second Vice President for Florida League of Cities, as cities continue to face unfunded mandates and pre-emption at the state level. Commissioner Ortiz’ role in this board will help the city in leveraging statewide resources to address state legislation that impacts cities.

Mayor Dyer also congratulated Commissioner Stuart who is serving on the board.

Kyle Shephard’s Appointment

Our Chief Assistant City Attorney, Kyle Shephard, has been named president of the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association and will serve a one year term.


B # 6 Standard Insurance Company – Long-term disability

This item is a good example of our city staff being responsible stewards in achieving savings that our support staff often perform under the radar. Mayor Dyer thanked Deborah Gerard, Ana Palenzuala, Jessica Mason and Wes Powell.

C # 1 – MPB Minutes – Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre 

Council voted on an action item under the MPB minutes to move forward with the construction of the new Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre in our Loch Haven Cultural Park.

The new facility will allow for a new state-of-the-art building and also ensure that it remains a gathering space for our community and memorializes the long history of dance that has occurred at this site in the Loch Haven Community Center.

Partnerships like this continue to take the arts and culture in Orlando to the next level and benefit the entire Central Florida region and honor the legacy of Harriett Lake. Mayor Dyer recognized Commissioner Stuart for his involvement and leadership on this issue.

He also recognized members from the Orlando Ballet who were in attendance.

C # 4, # 5 – Amicus Incentive 

A little more than a decade ago, our region forged public and private partnerships to create the Medical City at Lake Nona and grow our reputation as a hub for life sciences.

Anchored by Sanford Burnham Prebys, the investments we made together to create the Medical City continue to provide a return and attract new and innovative companies seeking to locate or expand in Orlando.

An example of these innovative businesses is Amicus Biologics, Inc. who is considering Orlando to build the first biologic drug substance manufacturing plant with associated research and development in Orlando’s Lake Nona.

Council voted on two items to further support this relocation of Amicus Biologics, Inc. to Orlando from New Jersey, with the potential to create 316 high-quality jobs and see a $150-$180 million investment in this new state-of-the-art facility, right here in our community.

Amicus was founded by its Chairman and CEO, John Crowley who got involved with biotechnology after the 1998 diagnosis of two of his children with Pompe disease– a severe and often fatal neuromuscular disorder. The movie “Extraordinary Measures,” starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Frasier is inspired by the Crowley family journey.

Mayor Dyer recognized Ellen Rosenberg, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Amicus who were in attendance.

New Business # 1 – Sanford Burnham

City Council discussed proposed future plans to grow the important work that’s been done at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute with a new partnership with UCF that will this build on the innovation at the Medical City.

Mayor Dyer recognized Dale Whittaker, UCF President, and Dr. Deborah German, Dean of UCF’s College of Medicine who were in attendance.

New Business # 1 – Sanford Burnham

Our Medical City continues to grow and attract innovative companies in the bioscience and research fields – further diversifying our economy and bringing high-quality, high-wage jobs for our residents.

A huge part of the success we see are seeing today, is because of investments we made decades ago, including more than $80 million in building the infrastructure and roads needed and bringing major anchor tenants like –  Sanford-Burnham Prebys, Nemours Children’s Hospital, UCF College of Medicine, the VA Hospital, University of Florida Research and Academic Center, Johnson and Johnson Performance Institute, and even Amicus – to help us further grow this industry.

At a time when the national economy was slowing, Orlando’s investment in the biomedical technology cluster provided thousands of jobs and increased the vitality of the Orlando economy – taking us out of the recession ahead of most major cities across the country.

Sanford-Burnham, one of the founding organizations of the Medical City, was a key player in this success story and has raised the region’s profile among the international biomedical industry, attracting millions in research funding to Orlando and helping bring other organizations and top-talent from across the world together here.

City Council thanked Sanford-Burnham Prebys for their investment and their immeasurable impact in Orlando. We look forward to continuing our shared mission in furthering the scientific research and discoveries in partnership with UCF as they prepare to take over operations of the medical facility currently occupied by Sanford-Burnham Prebys.

UCF intends to build on the important work done in the building to-date and will open the UCF Lake Nona Cancer Center there. This will be a one-stop, comprehensive center that will provide cutting-edge treatment for patients as well as clinical trials and dedicated researchers whose work may help our world one day conquer cancer forever.

Not only does this build on the innovation happening at the Medical City, but also on UCF’s continued investment in growing this living laboratory and furthering our community’s spirit of collaboration.

Mayor Dyer recognized Dale Whittaker, UCF President, and Dr. Deborah German, Dean of UCF’s College of Medicine, for their continued partnership in our community.

Brooke Bonnett, our Economic Development Director, gave a brief overview of the project.