By Gary Bruhn
I held my annual Spend a Day with the Mayor event on May 4. During the event, a student from each of the middle schools and high schools zoned for the town of Windermere spent a day with me.
With the full cooperation of Orange County Public Schools and School Board Member Pamela Gould, each school decided who would participate on this day. The 2017 students included: Genesis Andujar, from Gotha Middle School; Mark Daniel Leongomez, from Olympia High School; Thomas Kelly, from Chain of Lakes Middle School; and Bichgaing Nguyen, from West Orange High School.
The day started at 8:30 a.m. at Windermere Town Hall. We then departed for the Municipal Advisory Committee to Metroplan to see mayors and their designates from Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties discuss transportation issues, as well as pedestrian safety issues and construction issues.
Lunch on Church Street was followed by a personal meeting with Orange County District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey. The commissioner talked about her road to being commissioner and the issues affecting the district.
This was followed by a meeting with Orlando City Commissioner Sam Ings, who talked about his previous police career and the direction of the city of Orlando. He then invited the students to the city of Orlando chambers, where they sat in the seats of the mayor and city commissioners.
Next, we visited the Orange County Public School Board chambers and met a number of School Board members, along with Chairman Bill Sublette, and sat in the seats of the School Board. The students then had a personal meeting with their School Board member, Pamela Gould, and asked her questions about the schools and everything from school testing to their likes and dislikes about their cafeteria.
A quick dinner was followed by their attendance at the Orange County Law Enforcement Memorial honoring the men and women of law enforcement who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Our 8:30 morning concluded at 9:15 p.m., when we returned to Windermere Town Hall.