Will Seat #1 be the swing vote in the budget debates?

first_img TAGSThe Budget Debates Previous articleIs the Amphitheater ready for the Gospel Fest?Next articleUpdate: Repairs continuing, pumping initiated to lower floodwaters at Lake Apopka North Shore Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here As Mayor Joe continues to deplete the reserves, Suzanne Kidd will be there to vote for anything Mayor Joe has on his wish list to spend the reserves on.   “The current discussion over what percent of expenditures should be held in reserves is a worthy exercise, but one that must be based on facts. Only through serious research and analysis of actual risks faced by the City, risks that reserves are intended to mitigate, can we arrive at a number that is right for Apopka. Without this step, it would be imprudent to simply propose some arbitrary percentage figure, hoping we hit the right mark. Such an analysis would be an important first step.”Alexander Smith Mama Mia Gene, let me use this space to wish you a very Happy 50th Birthday today! 50 is an important birthday milestone, a half-a- century! Wow! Have a great birthday party tonight! October 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Mama Mia UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Apopka City Hall 3 COMMENTS Lord please, please, please, won’t someone at the city give Sue a certificate of attendance for all those meetings she attended….. Please, I beg you all……. AnalysisBy Reggie Connell/Managing Editor of The Apopka VoiceThe Budget Debates: Part Three – An open seat attracts four diverse candidates to replace Billie Dean. Will their vote tip the balance?“I propose that the City Council develop a strategic plan to obtain a 25% fund in the next five years. We must protect the fiscal integrity of the city.”Those were the words of six-term Commissioner Billie Dean at the October 18th City Council meeting that rekindled a debate about reserves in the City’s general fund. It’s not the first time Dean has been the catalyst of discussions on the Council, but with his retirement in 2018, his voice will not be a part of the next budget process.So who will take his place? And do they share his opinions?There are four candidates running for Seat #1 – Gene Knight, Suzanne Kidd, Theresa Mott, and Alexander Smith. Their views on the budget are almost as diverse as their backgrounds.Gene KnightKnight is the founder of the popular local Facebook page “Apopka Then and Now”, and a longtime Apopka resident. Through the years, he has had his run-ins with the City and wants to make the City Council more accessible to the people of Apopka.“I’ve had to fight to get things done like lighting, sidewalks, and trees taken down in certain areas,” he told The Apopka Voice at the beginning of his campaign in March. “You shouldn’t have to push the issues to get someone to take care of it. I want it to be that everyone matters and everyone’s voice matters. They (the City Council) are listening to us talk, but they’re not hearing us.”He was present at the budget debate, and says he favored Commissioner Doug Bankson’s approach.“Commissioner Bankson’s  plan for the 25% reserve proposal is on the right track,” he said. “It’s something that the city needs, but it will take a few more workshops to work out the details. The reserve should be used for emergency purposes and not used for functions that the city can not afford or to meet in the budget.” Kidd is a 16-year resident of Apopka and former 30-year public school teacher, and has been an active participant in her homeowners’ association and Apopka civic affairs. She attends nearly every City Council meeting, Planning Commission meetings,  budget workshops, and has served on numerous City committees, most recently chairing the City’s Visioning Steering Committee. She currently works with Habitat for Humanity to help provide more affordable housing to Apopka residents and teaches interior design to Habitat homeowners. She too was present at the budget debates, but holds a contrasting opinion to Knight.Suzanne Kidd “The purpose of reserves is to cover the City’s expenses in the event of some unforeseen catastrophic event,” she wrote to The Apopka Voice. “The Government Finance Officers Association in their “Best Practices”, recommends that cities set aside at least 16% of their General Operating Fund budget to cover at least two months’ expenses. Currently, Apopka has 20% in reserves, clearly above the standard. Through prudent spending by staff, and not spending all monies budgeted, the City adds unspent money back into reserves at the end of each fiscal year. Following this year’s audit, we will again be adding to the reserves balance.” Kidd, like Commissioners Kyle Becker and Diane Velazquez, believes more details need to be presented before agreeing to a higher reserve. Michael Heaton October 27, 2017 at 4:38 pm Smith moved to Apopka in 1964 with his family and graduated from Apopka High School. He is a recently retired educator after being employed by Orange County Public Schools. After retirement, he became the Associate Pastor at New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Apopka. Like Knight, he would like to see more participation by the Apopka citizens in the process.“It’s not about me,” he said. “Everyone has their agenda. I hear people in the audience at City Council meetings whispering to each other ‘what about what the people think?’ I want to be the people’s voice on City Council. My goal is to represent all of Apopka. As one person I cannot do it all myself. I would like to see more interest and better attendance at City Council meetings and community events.”He also supports a 25% reserve, but stops short of calling for budget cuts or millage rate increases. “I would support a 25% reserve to occur over the next 5 years,” he said. “It is the right thing to do. With the outlook of growth and development planned for the city of Apopka this can be achieved without cutting services or raising taxes. Staff should be directed to develop a plan to accomplish the reserve and present to the Mayor and City Council for approval.”Note: City Commission Seat #1 candidate Theresa Mott was contacted by The Apopka Voice, but chose not to comment at this time. “I don’t have all the information to make a comment at this point,” she said. “I was not at the meeting.In Part Four of The Budget Debates, The Apopka Voice focuses on the two candidates running for Mayor of Apopka – Joe Kilsheimer and Bryan Nelson. Their agendas will drive the budget debates, and their opinions are polar opposites. Please enter your comment! Reply October 28, 2017 at 9:39 am Please enter your name here Reply Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Greek OPAP makes 50m euro stake in Stoiximan & Betano brands

first_img Related Articles MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Share Share Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 Romania’s ONJN adds 20 sites to blacklist August 14, 2020 Athens-listed  Greek gambling group OPAP has swooped to acquire a 36.75% stake in the holding company of Stoiximan Group, TCB Holdings Ltd for a consideration of €50 million.TCB operates online gaming services under its Stoiximan brand in Greece and Cyprus, and uses its Betano brand in Romania and Germany. In 2017, Stoiximan Group had revenues of 136 million euro and EBITDA of circa  €16 millionUpdating the market, OPAP governance stated that its investment is aligned with one of its key strategic priorities – ‘Leveraging the latest Digital and Technology Capabilities’. Following the conclusion of its large-scale retail technology transformation programme this summer, OPAP has been focusing on building up its own online activities and will also be launching its new online/mobile sportsbook, Pamestoixima.gr, in the next few days. OPAP CEO Damian Cope commented: “As part of our ambition to become a world-class gaming entertainment company, we know that we must offer our customers an attractive and competitive online gaming experience. The imminent launch of our new online sportsbook Pamestoixima.gr is the first step in this direction, with the intention to add further products online over the next 12 months. The new sportsbook will offer competitive odds for our customers in Greece and generate additional commission income for the agents in our retail network.“The strategic investment in Stoiximan that we are announcing today directly compliments OPAP’s own online activities and also gives us an online presence at an international level. Stoiximan has proven itself to be a successful online operator and we are happy to be working with them. We, therefore, look ahead with confidence to the next stage of OPAP’s modernisation and development in the delivery of our overall 2020 Vision.”George Daskalakis, Stoiximan CEO, stated: “OPAP’s strategic investment in Stoiximan, Greece’s largest online betting operator, is a tangible acknowledgement of the hard work of the 450 members of our team and of our company’s successful growth model. At the same time, it underscores its potential, as we are entering the stage of the permanent regulation of the online gaming market in Greece. “This partnership strengthens Stoiximan’s leading position in Greece and additionally allows us to accelerate our growth in international markets, as well as to intensify our strategic focus on technology. Our vision is to become established as one of the top GameTech-companies in Europe while maintaining our Greek character and it is towards this direction that we will continue to work with the same passion and dedication.”OPAP has also reached pre-agreement with TCB to make an additional investment to acquire joint control with TCB in Stoiximan Group’s Greek and Cypriot operations. This investment is subject to the satisfaction of various conditions precedent, including clearance by the competent gaming regulatory and anti-trust authorities and the performance of due diligence. Once the due diligence is concluded, the terms of the investment will be crystalized and the full details will be disclosed. GML recently hired Petra Zackrisson as Chief Development Officer aim to utilise OPAP’s investment in order to accelerate its international growth in 2019.GML is a markets leader in Greece and Cyprus with the Stoiximan brand (shirt sponsor of Olympiacos and PAOK) and one of the leading online operators in Romania (Liga 1 naming sponsors, aka Liga 1 Betano and Craiova shirt sponsors) with Betano. The firm also just launched in Germany where it has already become the betting partner of VfB Stuttgart.last_img read more