Republican mayors host online forum with Carlos Guillermo Smith backing home rule

representing Carlos Guillermo Smith hosted a webinar on the importance of local control and limiting preemption. The topic seemed unsurprising to those familiar with the Orlando Democrat’s record. But the livestream guests turned out to be surprising.

With a competitive election just days away, Smith was joined by two prominent Central Florida Republicans, the mayor of Oviedo Megan Sladek and the Mayor of Longwood Matt Morgan.

Smith said whatever political differences he may share with local elected officials, all have a passion for municipalities house rule.

“Our mayors and councillors, they’re usually our neighbors,” Smith said. “These are the people we meet at the grocery store or in the school queue. You often find them in the community so you can have their ear on the topics that matter most to you. »

Smith’s official legislative office hosted the webinar, which Morgan and Sladek attended in an official capacity.

In part, the discussion took place because of overlapping interests. The power of mayors is eroded whenever the state prevails over the capacities of local communities.

“I believe I was elected to be the voice of the voiceless, to be the conduit for everyone,” Morgan said. “Elections have consequences, and those of us who have been elected to our civic responsibilities or elected roles, we take it upon ourselves to represent residents on the things they want us to take on.”

Specific common ground has been raised over a law passed this year that would have allowed companies to sue governments for local ordinances. Smith voted against the legislation. In the end, the governor Ron DeSantis vetoed The law project. Unsurprisingly, mayors didn’t like the proposal either.

Sladek also discussed development-friendly legislation that requires density increases in global plans, an issue once entirely controlled at the local level.

“We have to have the choice to stop growing,” Sladek said. “It has to be a choice.” She said she understands cities need to adapt to population growth, but suggested lawmakers are forcing municipalities to invite growth, regardless of the opinions of local elected officials.

Smith hosted a series of webinars this year on public policy issues, but what felt exceptional about this one was the timing. While Morgan and Sladek both hold nonpartisan offices, they are well known in Seminole County Republican politics. Still, they took the time to discuss one area of ​​agreement with Smith days before the Nov. 8 general election, where the representative faces a party-backed challenge. It is functioning in House District 37 against Republican Susan Plasencia.

“It’s super cool for me, an elected state Democrat, to have a conversation about autonomy, really anything, with two local Republicans,” Smith said. “I think bipartisan conversations are really important.”

Morgan said he was happy whenever state officials sat down with local government officials to discuss critical issues, and notably threw in a good word for Rep. David Smitha Seminole Republican also in a competitive election.

The mayor stressed the need for elected officials to work across the aisle for the good of the nation.

“We are at a moment right now in our country, forget our county and our state, where we are the most divisive we have ever, ever, ever been,” he said, “and we need more common ground to speak with another.”

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