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A broadcast oversight?


Conventional wisdom holds that Mayor Glenda Hood has done everything short of sabotage to keep Orlando City Council meetings from appearing on government-access cable television.

She's too manipulative, some say. All along she has appeared to be receptive to the idea, though vaguely put off by it.

Now comes news of a couple of E-mails that might prove the decisive point. Both were composed by the city's grant writer, Stacey Manning.

In the first, sent last December, she alerted Chief Administrative Officer Richard Levey that federal dollars were available to buy broadcasting equipment. In the second, sent in March to Tom Kohler, head of the city's Downtown Development Board, Manning confirmed that Levey never responded to her.

Though the feds might ante up $250,000, she wrote, Levey never "let me know if he wanted to go for it." Last month, however, Levey was happy to force commissioners to cut projects from the budget to free up cash for Council TV.

City Hall spokeswoman Susan Blexrud says that Levey doesn't remember receiving the e-mail and was the wrong official to alert anyway. "We're going to pursue [grant money] the next cycle," she adds.

Even so, that doesn't help commissioners find money this year. And Levey's oversight emphasizes what many have said all along about Hood. As District 1 Commissioner Don Ammerman puts it, "He was not going do anything [Hood] disagrees with. The decision wasn't his."

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