‘Leadership matters:’ Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings sworn in for second term

Demings discusses prioritizing renters’ rights, transportation improvements

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings was sworn in for a second term on Tuesday.

During a ceremony at the Orange County Convention Center, Demings spoke about the challenges facing the community after the pandemic and his priorities over the next four years.

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“What I can tell you is our community has been stretched, but leadership matters,” Demings said.

The mayor labeled affordable housing as one of his priorities. The remarks came as a legal fight continues over a rent control initiative.

Voters technically approved the measure, but a judge ruled it wasn’t legal.

“Regardless of that outcome, we are committed to providing and focusing on rental assistance to our residents,” Demings said.

Last month, a “Tenant Bill of Rights” was discussed by commissioners. If approved, it would call for a 60-day notice of rent increases. It would also mandate landlords provide tenants with a list of fees, forbid discrimination against prospective renters and create a new government office to investigate alleged violations.

“We need to make certain that not only do we work with the tenants, but we work with landlords, moving forward, who may have disputes,” Demings said.

Another big issue is addressing $21 billion in proposed transportation improvements for Orange County.

After voters rejected a one cent sales tax in November, Demings said the improvements would need to be broken down into smaller and more affordable pieces.

“Over time, we will look to those public/private partnerships that we talked about to fund the improvements that we need,” he said.

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.