Transportation has been a top priority for Commissioner Edwards who serves on the local regional transportation agency, Metroplan Orlando and has twice been Chairman. He has fought hard to secure more funding for road projects in District 5, including the widening of State Road 50 and intersection improvements. He has further worked with community leaders to insure gas taxes are spent on transportation and transit projects which provide the greatest enhancement to our region’s transportation network. He has further been working with the Central Florida Expressway Authority to extend the 408 to provide much needed relief for transportation congestion.
Tree Ordinance and Preservation Of Tree Canopy
Ted Edwards has been a champion for the preservation of Orange County’s tree canopy. Commissioner Edwards sponsored the Orange County Tree Preservation Ordinance to provide for the protection and replacement of trees, prohibit the clearcutting of property, and a tree replacement fund. Commissioner Edwards has further worked with the Board to use the tree replacement fund to enhance the planting of trees in our parks, medians, and other County owned lands.
Helping the Needy
Commissioner Edwards is proud to have formed a partnership between Orange County and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando to construct a pilot project of up to nine affordable homes in the Bithlo community. This will be the first of hopefully many projects to be constructed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando. Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes, and is a welcome partner in the Bithlo community. In addition, Commissioner Edwards voted to partner with local ministries to open the Samaritan Resource Center for the homeless for counseling, medical care, showers, haircuts, laundry, and life needs. The center serves 1,500 homeless.
Protecting Our Environment
Commissioner Edwards has championed efforts to protect our environment through conservation including having the fleet of garbage trucks run on natural gas and implementing programs to enhance recycling by Orange County residents, which is expected to increase recycling by more than 25 percent annually. Commissioner Edwards also voted for Orange County’s resolution opposing fracking.
The Economy and Jobs
During Commissioner Edwards’ tenure in office unemployment in Orange County has gone from 11.2 percent to 4.2 percent. Commissioner Edwards took quick action to preserve construction jobs during the downturn in the economy by reducing impact fees, which have now been fully restored. Commissioner Edwards has further been supportive of major branding efforts by Orange County to attract high-paying jobs to our community, to preserve the military presence at the Central Florida Research Park, upon which Board he serves, and reducing regulations and red tape for businesses dealing with Orange County. In addition, Commissioner Edwards has held the line on not raising taxes and balancing the budget while ensuring that critical services are delivered efficiently for Orange County residents.