Despite all the fake public relations from Mayor Buddy Dyer and sycophant buzz from City Hall, Orlando has been officially rejected from consideration by Amazon as the company narrows its HQ2 search to 20 cities.
Finally, weeks of annoying talk about how SunRail, the train with no passengers, was going to lure the giant tech company to Orlando will end. Talk about how Orlando’s “booming” economy of being ranked the lowest paying metro area in America was going to catch Amazon’s interest will end. Yeah, instead of his stunt applying for the Amazon HQ2 search, Mayor Dyer and City Hall should have actually created an environment and city that could possibly draw a company like Amazon. But after nearly 15 years in office, Dyer has continued to fail – except for putting up a façade.
The number one criteria for Amazon was a city’s ability to attract and keep strong technical talent. This is something Buddy Dyer has been trying to shove down Orlando’s throat for years – that he had built a “tech” city, full with hand outs to “start-ups” run by “buddies” of City Hall. The New York Times ripped apart Mayor Dyer’s public relations materials in 2015 and even called out Orlando attempts to be a “high tech hub for innovation.”
In reality, Orlando does not meet any of the basic requirements Amazon wants. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, locally we’ve seen tax increases, cuts to public services, and huge secret loans by the city to pay for the Venues, as well as questionable bond ratings. Dyer has refused to come up with a plan to fund SunRail once the city and county take over local costs. Dyer has dropped the ball on local infrastructure, while road conditions and traffic problems plague various parts of the city. Dyer even has to resort to putting up more and more red light cameras to try to generate revenue. We’re still a small town plagued by a corrupt local mayor who thinks he runs the town as a dictator, just ask his rubber stamp City Council.
So no, Amazon is not coming to Orlando. They never were. Orlando didn’t even make the first cut and we are definitely not surprised. Can we finally put pressure on Mayor Dyer and City Hall to start actually creating the city we claim to want to be? We don’t need more façade, we need to make it a reality in Orlando now.
Here are the 20 finalists for the Amazon HQ2:
- Los Angeles
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- New York
- Northern Virginia
- Washington, D.C.