Message From the Mayor

Dear Citizens of Belleview,

Please join us on the morning of September 11, 2017, at 8:30 AM, for our annual 9/11 Memorial. This year, the event will be held at City Hall, and it will be directed toward the children of our community, most of whom were not yet born when these tragic events unfolded. Our keynote speaker will be Officer Michael Saxe, a retired New York City Police Department police officer who entered the towers after the plane hit, to help evacuate victims of the attack. We will also hear from Chief Terry Holland, Sheriff Billy Woods, and Fire Chief Paul Nevels. The event will begin at 8:45, with a moment of silence for all of those who lost their lives. We will then have the Color Guard, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The speaking portion of the event will begin at approximately 9:00 AM, and we plan to be finished by 9:30. Everyone is welcome to attend!

I had the opportunity this week, once again, to attend the annual Florida League of Cities Conference. The League provided a plethora of useful information. I learned more about the opioid epidemic that is currently plaguing our state. In May of this year, Governor Rick Scott declared an opioid crisis, in hopes of raising awareness of, and procuring funding for, this deadly problem. Florida is currently experiencing 14 deaths a day, due to heroin overdoses. Most of these deaths are attributed to drugs known as Fentanyl and carfentanyl, drugs that are manufactured in China and mixed into the heroin before it is sold. They are much more potent than heroin alone and are very deadly. Many communities are investing in something known as Narcan, which is a narcotic used to treat drug overdoses. If administered quickly enough, it is known the save the lives of people who have overdosed on heroin. Although I hope that heroin use does not become prevalent in our city, it is growing in Marion County, and we need to be prepared to deal with this troubling new epidemic.

I also attended an interesting session on the constitutional amendments that may be proposed in the upcoming Legislative session. Florida amends its constitution every 20 years. The process begins with a committee who gathers ideas and suggestions from citizens throughout the state. These suggestions will be narrowed down and voted on in session by our State Representatives and Senators, and they will then be placed on the ballot for the citizens to vote on. So far, the top five amendments that we may see on the ballot next year deal with the restoration of rights by felons convicted of non-violent crimes, the primary election process, home rule, privacy rights for women, and school vouchers. These are very interesting and relevant topics, and you will probably be seeing more about them in January when legislative session begins.

I also enjoyed hearing from Chief David Brown, who was the police chief of Dallas, Texas in July of 2016, when 5 Dallas police officers were shot and killed. His retelling of the event was powerful and poignant, and became even more so when, later on the same evening that he spoke, two Kissimmee police officers were shot and killed, just a few miles from the convention center. This attack so close to our home is sad and disturbing, and words cannot convey the sorrow that we all feel upon hearing this news.

Please join us for our next commission meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at Belleview City Hall. The change in date is due to statutory requirements related to our yearly budget process. The first reading of the 2017/2018 budget will take place at this meeting, in addition to our regular business. I hope you can join us!

Sincerely,

Mayor Christine K. Dobkowski

352-789-7658