Entering City Hall as a citizen is much like entering an airport. I dressed in my Sunday best to blend in. I had to put all my metal items in a dish and send my bag through a metal detector. I stepped through a metal detector arch and was cleared. I was issued a yellow badge and sent up to the second floor. The council chamber was half full. Mayor Buddy Dyer wandered in and when he was seated, a TV producer gave him a cue to begin by raising 5 fingers then 4, 3, 2, 1 with the final point the mayor began to address the TV camera.
Chaplin Regan Vandegriff from First Baptist church offered a lengthy invocation. This was followed by a pledge of Allegiance to the flag and then everyone sat down to get to business. One of the first items on the agenda was a proclamation by the Mayor that October 31st to November 7th would be the "Week of the Family". Yawn.
A representative from the Phantom of the Opera approached the podium and he outlined a "Phantom Fixes the Fountain" campaign. As he said, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." Five dollars from each ticket sale will go towards fixing the Lake Eola Fountain. The fountain was disabled several months ago when a bolt of lightning hit it.The city with all its financial woes hasn't the money to fix it. Suddenly Wes Miller dressed as the Phantom entered the chamber and began singing a song in his rich baritone voice about how the phantom would fix the fountain. The chamber erupted in applause. The Phantom challenged other arts groups to match his generosity. Should you want to see the Phantom of the Opera, running from January 20th to February 14th, call 1 800 982-2787 to get tickets!
Later a concert organizer approached the podium with a plan to host a rock concert in the Lake Eola Band shell on October 31s. All the money raised would go to fix the fountain. All his plans were in place and all he needed now was a permit. The council was in agreement that his generous offer was appreciated. Patty Sheehan however wanted to talk him out of serving any food or drinks at the event. She implied that he would have a better chance of getting a permit if he didn't serve food or drinks. In order to expedite the permit process he grudgingly agreed. Tony Ortiz then chimed in and said the Council should do everything in its power to help this fund raising cause including allowing food and drink. I hope this organizer has jumped through all the necessary hoops as he tries to help the City Beautiful.