Oakland commissioner recognized with hero award

Joseph McMullen received the honor from Rep. Val Demings for his advocacy efforts during the 2022 Legislative Session.

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Oakland Commissioner Joseph McMullen received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition issued by Rep. Val Demings for his recent 2022 Home Rule Hero Award. The award was given for his dedication and advocacy efforts during the 2022 Legislative Session. McMullen worked to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s municipalities and advance the league’s legislative agenda.

Oakland Mayor Kathy Stark recognized McMullen at the May 10 Town Commission meeting.

Multiple municipal leaders were recognized with the award. Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference.

“I love the state of Florida and have a strong passion for the town of Oakland and the West Orange County region,” McMullen said. “Advocating for local towns, cities and villages, Home Rule — which equals local decision-making — will always be a driving force and mission for me as an elected official, which will result in Florida being one of the best states in the country.”

McMullen was elected president of the board of directors of the Tri-County League of Cities and was appointed as the Florida League of Cities vice chair of Land Use & Economic Development.



 The commission accepted the public improvements associated with the second phase of Hull Island at Oakland. The 45-lot neighborhood was constructed in conjunction with a 110-lot neighborhood. The public improvements consist of roadways and paving, sidewalks, water system, sewer system, and reclaim system, which will be owned by the town. The stormwater system infrastructure is included in the two-year bonding of construction but will be owned and operated by the homeowners association.

The total value of these Oakland-owned improvements, which does not include the stormwater components, is $1,328,482.01. The required maintenance bond also has been put in effect.



Commissioners accepted the second zoning public hearing for Briley Farms, which included several minor changes: the developer is permitted to include a detached accessory dwelling unit with a separate meter on estate lots; the owner will dedicate to the town about 16 acres to the Oakland Nature Preserve and five acres for a town park; and the owner will construct an offsite reclaimed water line to connect to the neighborhood reclaimed lines. The nearly 70-acre site will have up to 111 single-family homes.



• By consensus, the commission agreed to move the twice-monthly Oakland Town Commission meetings from the Zoom Meeting platform to a livestream-only Zoom Webinar Platform. Residents still can watch the meetings remotely, but this offers a greater degree of protection against virtual attendees doing, saying or playing something inappropriate. The change will take place in July.

• Mayor Stark read two proclamations, one declaring May 15 Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 15-21 National Police Week, and the other recognizing May 15-21 as National Public Works Day. The proclamations were presented to Oakland Police Chief John Peek and Public Works director Mike Parker.

• Chief Peek presented a letter of recognition to Tony Siceloff, the owner and operator of Trailside Crossfit for volunteering his business and staff to host the police department’s first bench press competition to raise money for Special Olympics.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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