A Final Term of Endearment

by | Feb 6, 2024 | News, Newspaper 4 | 0 comments

Buddy Dyer’s voice welcomes eager air travelers to Orlando, and has acted as a guide, leading the city since 2003. Dyer remains the longest-serving mayor in Orlando history, with his recent mayoral race resulting in his sixth and last term.

Dyer served as a member of the Florida Senate, eventually working as the Democratic Senate leader from 1998 to 2000, before winning the election for mayor. 

Dyer worked as mayor through COVID-19, the Pulse shooting, and nine noteworthy hurricanes since 2004.

“I think we always learn and grow from the crises that we’ve had, whether it’s Pulse or the many hurricanes that come through,” Dyer said in an interview with the Daytona Beach News-Journal. 

In recent years, Dyer worked on construction projects, such as replacing the Amway Arena with the Amway Center, the Dr. Phillips Center of Performing Arts, the Exploria Stadium, the renovation of Camping World Stadium, and a regional medical center area at Lake Nona.

Dyer is currently working on the expansion of transportation options such as the Brightline and SunRail, the Pulse Memorial, and the Orlando Main Streets Program. He has also worked on the creation of more than 1,500 affordable housing units. 

In the last election of his career, Dyer ran against three others, Sam Ings, Tony Vargas, and Steve Dixon, winning with 72% of votes. 

In an interview with 90.7 WMFE, Dyer said this latest tenure will be his last. 

Dyer told the reporters, he wanted to enjoy his golden years, with only a couple more projects to finish. 

“I wouldn’t say, [I’m] satisfied; I’m proud of the work that we have done, and I’m proud of this community and this city, what we are today. And I look forward to serving another four years,” Dyer said. 

A priority of the Dyer administration will be building a SunRail to the airport to improve travel. This expansion would be a part of the “Sunshine Corridor.” The new extension would run from the Orlando International Airport to the Orange Country Convention Center to South International Drive. 

The next priority will be affordable housing. Specific initiatives underway in regards to the housing issues include increasing the city’s inventory of housing by investing and forging new partnerships to develop and rehabilitate quality housing units for Orlando residents.

Efforts to improve the homeless issue began with working with regional partners to place more than 1,600 of the most vulnerable homeless residents into permanent housing. The administration has also expanded Orlando’s Bridge Housing program, which is a temporary housing solution aimed to quickly bring homeless individuals off the streets. 

The Dyer administration has supported the efforts of community emergency shelters, ensuring that individuals experiencing homelessness have a place to sleep and their basic needs are met.

Despite many of the positive things that Dyer has done with his career, some still voice concerns. Senior Thomas Feavel is worried about Mayor Dyer “pushing an agenda [while in office].”

However, Dyer is in high regard with other officials. 

“Mayor Dyer symbolizes our commitment to inclusion and diversity, and equity in the city of Orlando. And more important than ever, we need people like him in power,” Executive Director for Hope Community Center Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet said.

Author

  • Ryder Branscum

    My name is Ryder Branscum. I am a senior in 7th period Newspaper. I am passionate about entertainment and voice acting. I hope to become a voice actor one day.

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