Orlando District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan will seeking a fifth term this November, and wants voters to know she’s ready to serve and to set the record straight on the property tax increase that has been the dominant theme in all of city races.

Like Mayor Buddy Dyer and fellow Commissioner Sam Ings, who are both also up for re-election this year, Sheehan has been criticized by her opponents for the 17.7 percent tax increase that City Council unanimously approved last year to cover a budget shortfall. She says the message has gotten distorted, and that imposed caps on commercial properties led to a substantial decrease in revenue that led to a 40 percent decrease in the city’s revenue.

Sheehan adds that her opponents have blown the 17.7 percent number out of proportion saying, “We’re still below 2009 tax levels, that’s the thing. The average citizen pays $40 bucks a month, less than their cable bill. It’s a $7 dollar per month increase. That’s what’s been so frustrating. I’ve gotten complaints from my opponents but not from constituents.”

Sheehan has been proud of the art projects created in District 4 in the past couple of years, the national publicity they have gotten, and contends Lake Eola Park is still the gem of the city. She questions her opponent’s ability to work with other leaders in the community. “We’re getting all of these things done, we’re forging relationships. If all you’ve got is a tax increase to complain about, you’re not going to be a successful commissioner.”

If the voters give her another term, she wants to focus on balance between developments and possibly implementing limits on size, mass, and scale of some of the apartment communities in the middle of the neighborhood, as well as strengthening historic preservation in the area.

She’s also brought up alternative ideas that have been well received by the city, and could possibly be adopted on the county level as well. “Composting, urban chickens, doggy dining, this is stuff people think I’m crazy for, but I’ve been to other cities and it’s worked, now it’s working here.”

Sheehan faces opposition from activist and talk show host Randy Ross and Navy veteran Aretha Olivarez. She thinks her existing relationship with the voters will lead her to victory.

“I tell my folks, I’ll tell you what I want to be when I grow up. They tell me ‘never grow up.’ People have asked me to serve. I love what I do and I’ll be here for as long as they want me,” Sheehan said.

8 Responses

  1. KRay

    If you live in the City of Orlando I encourage you to post the following on your FB page. As a tax paying citizen in the city of Orlando this is what I expect from my city commissioner. I do not want to see another photo opp with my commissioner dedicating another park, shopping center or especially one with a shovel and a hardhat getting ready to break ground on yet another project that is funded by a bond, loan etc. that “we the people” ultimately have to pay back. We already have enough to pay back on the current projects. I expect to see battle scars due to standing up to the mayor for the citizens not rubber stamping and agreeing with everything the mayor says. I expect my commissioner to say hell no to a 18% tax increase. Anybody can sit there and just agree to everything. You want to be a city commissioner than be a leader. Break away from the pack. If your commissioner voted yes on the 18% tax increase to the citizens than you as a tax paying citizen need to send a message and vote out your current commissioner so we can elect someone who will stand up for the people and not the mayor.

    • CGJensen

      Doggy dining and urban chickens are not what the residents want. It may be “cute” but it shows how little substance is exposed after 16 years in office.

    • Susan

      “I expect to see battle scars due to standing up to the mayor for the citizens not rubber stamping and agreeing with everything the mayor says.”

      Then you should love Patty. She stands up to Buddy Dyer more than any current commissioner. Patty has broken away from the pack more often than any of them. Do you ever watch the meetings?

  2. Observer

    Hmm. The only 3 comments are from one of her competitors Randy Ross and two of his Facebook cronies. Can anyone find out if Randy Ross has a job? His financial disclosure form says his main source of income is a “TV Show” called Front Porch Chat. Does he mean that you tube garbage he posted? How is that a source of income? No one watches those? I’d like to know about Randy’s work ethic and why he got fried from Orlando Museum of Art. And how do we know he’s not just running to take over the career politician mantle from Miss Patty? Would be a cushy gig if he can get it. Pays better than Youtube I’d guess.

    • Susan

      You are correct that Randy’s job is his self-produced show. He worked at the art museum but he was forced to resign because he went on air making negative comments about working women. Basically, he thinks that women should work or have babies-not both.
      It shiu also be noted that he pled guilty to felony insurance fraud. His website says he pled no contest, but the court documents and newspaper articles about it say he pled guilty.

  3. KRay

    My taxes went up close to $1,000. after the 18% tax increase and I have the bill to prove it.

  4. Susan

    Randy Ross is out of touch with the constituents. He has not canvassed my neighborhood once, and I am right in the middle of the district. Patty Sheehan and Karen Long show up at ALL of our neighborhood meetings to hear our concerns. I’ve never heard anyone at those meetings complain about urban chickens, composting, or doggie dining. People complain about things, for sure, but those aren’t the issues. Perennial candidate Ross wouldn’t know what the issues are because he surrounds himself with people who agree with him. If you don’t believe that, watch his silly TV show. He will have several guests who all agree with him and none who disagree.
    Yes, Patty has been in office for a while, but that’s because people like what she’s doing. If you call her office and say there is a sidewalk issue at this intersection or a code enforcement issue or whatever, she takes care of it.
    The composting program is saving the city money. Orange County is looking at adopting the program because it has been successful in Orlando. How can Randy think that composting is a bad thing? It saves money in trash pickup. It is good for the environment. What’s not to like about it?
    Randy, please do more research before you speak on these topics.


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