Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Orlando Sentinel Endorses Geller

ORLANDO - The Orlando Sentinel has endorsed Rick Geller for District 1 Orange County Commissioner.

The Sentinel's endorsement stated:

We think: Attorney is equipped to tackle ethics, growth issues

The candidates running to fill Teresa Jacobs' seat on the Orange County Commission are savvy enough to say that reducing crime's a priority, given the community's growing concerns about safety.

But while the county gives the Sheriff's Office money, it's the Sheriff's Office that decides how the money gets spent. It thus falls to voters in District 1, spanning Orange County's southwest, to select a candidate who is able to make sound, reasoned judgments in other areas where a county commissioner can make an even greater impact.

Ms. Jacobs frequently did that by pushing county government to spend taxpayers' money prudently and perform its tasks ethically. We believe attorney Rick Geller would do the same -- and champion smart-growth policies often ignored by most commissioners. His oratory and intelligence just might make it hard for them to ignore sound policy.

Mr. Geller's eager, for example, to get the county to deny water-gulping St. Augustine grass to new developments. And he wants to promote mass transit more aggressively.

Public-relations manager Shannon Gravitte, unfortunately, lacks the candor voters deserve from a commissioner succeeding the straight-talking Ms. Jacobs. Ms. Gravitte, for example, was specific about funding more deputies but vague about where she'd get the money.

Citrus-grower Scott Boyd wants the county to manage growth better. But we believe Mr. Geller's better equipped to bring about that change.

The Sentinel endorses Rick Geller for Orange County Commission, District 1.

The Orlando Sentinel is Central Florida's largest daily newspaper.