"We Will Not Allow A Pandemic To Knock Us Off Course Forever" -Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says the economy was firing on all cylinders- until coronavirus arrived. Still, Demings painted an optimistic picture of the county’s future at his annual state of county address this morning.
Demings began his televised speech with video montage that included footage of a SpaceX rocket launch-- and referenced the region’s 75 million visitors bringing 70 billion dollars of economic impact.
He highlighted new construction, the establishment of an affordable housing trust fund and plans to expand the convention center.
Orange County was booming… and then the pandemic hit.
“In the immortal words spoken during the Apollo13 mission to the moon, Houston- we have a problem. Orange County encountered a global problem with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Demings said the closure of theme parks and the dramatic dip in tourist development tax had a big impact, but he believes sales tax and TDT revenues will recover in the coming months as the economy improves.
“I believe we all can agree that these past four months have been a time of great challenge. But we’re fortunate to live in a resilient community," said Demings.
"We will not allow a pandemic to knock us off course forever. Instead, we are destined for greatness. We have 175 years of history to prove that."
His speech came as the state set a new record for soaring coronavirus numbers, with nearly 9,000 people testing positive in a single day, and the state suspending alcohol sales at bars.