At the Tuesday morning meeting of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Mayor Teresa Jacobs slammed a bill sponsored by State Rep. Bob Cortes to expand the Central Florida Transportation Authority Board and privatize the LYNX regional bus system.
“I am vehemently against privatizing,” Jacobs had said. “This board is against it. Buddy Dyer is against it. Osceola county has a resolution against it. Seminole County is against it. This is being led by the legislature. Sponsored by Bob Cortes, a dear friend. I’m surprised he’s sponsoring this bill.”
That evening, Cortes responded on social media.
“As a professional, I consider it proper for all these people that Mayor Jacobs claimed to be against this bill to reach out to me and discuss this in a professional manner instead of airing this in public. I have called her twice and left messages.”
On Wednesday, Jacobs is headed to Washington D.C. for an economic development trip. One lawmaker she’ll meet with is Congressman John Mica, who began the push for privatization earlier this year. Cortes isn’t alone in support for the bill. On the state level, State Rep. Jason Brodeur has also called on privatization of the troubled bus system, which recently lost it’s CEO.
In the past, Jacobs’ objections of the bill have stemmed from additional gubernatorial appointees who don’t answer to voters. She also expressed frustration with the availability of state funds to help LYNX improve.
“HB 155 is a work in progress and I value input from all involved to address any concerns. Policy works best when all parties involved can communicate. Unfortunately these concerns are not being brought to me. I end up learning about this via social media. #Dissapointed,” Cortes message concluded.