By Jacob Engels
Following his razor tight toppling of Orange County Commission District 3 powerhouse incumbent Lui Damiani, Pete Clarke made it very clear he wanted to connect with the district. Since his election, he has kept a vigorous public schedule, continuously hosting coffee gatherings and community meetings. He has also organized a job and resource fair that provided job seekers with an opportunity to meet with businesses who were actually hiring. The results were positive, so this will be an annual event, a source close to the commissioner told the East Orlando Post.
Aside from interacting with the community, Clarke has been very active and involved in improving public safety. In particular, he supported the emergence of an organized effort by the residents of the Conway Acres and Cardinal Park area and helped secure resources to enhance their locales. Commissioner Clarke assisted in organizing a community event at Turnbull Park, bringing hundreds of residents together to discuss similar issues. One resident of the district told the East Orlando Post that Clarke has gone above and beyond working with local law enforcement and code enforcement to improve the quality of life in his district.
Legislatively speaking, Commissioner Clarke asked that the additional Homestead Exemption for seniors be brought forward for discussion and was successful in having it approved by the Commission so eligible homeowners can benefit from it next year.
On two highly charged issues, the first time commissioner showed the tact of a seasoned public servant. During the debate of the major league soccer stadium, which he eventually supported, Clarke worked to secure funds that will support youth soccer in his district and enhance local parks. When the issue of a West Orange relief school popped up, Pete sided supported the residents within the established rural settlement area.
Commissioner Clarke told the East Orlando Post that the most important and satisfying part of his first year on the commission was being able to help families and be a positive influence in his district.
2014 will not start off slow for Clarke, who already has numerous projects in the works. He will be opening a newly established satellite office located at the Library on Hoffner and Semoran to allow resident more access. Due to the County’s expansion of its BANC program, he will be working with businesses along the Orange Avenue, Oak Ridge and the Semoran Blvd corridors to enhance their appearance and work to promote more small business opportunities.
Other upcoming projects will be continued partnership with the city to continue enhancing Semoran Blvd, the advent of Sun Rail and the FDOT Orange Avenue corridor study to name a few.
“I am very excited for 2014 and can’t wait to get back to work”, exclaimed Clarke.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other business and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at email@example.com