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Issues and Voices that Matter October 8, 2009

Voting Smart in Oviedo

voting smart in oviedo


November 3rd is an important date in the life of 5 Oviedo candidates who are running for election or reelection for positions as Mayor or Councilman. The Council governs the activities of a city that was incorporated in 1925 and today is ranked as the 4th largest of 7 cities in Seminole County. Feature length – 40:14

(Produced, reported and edited by Stephen McKenney Steck)

About the Interview: Each candidate was given 18-minutes to responds to the same 4-questions on experience, city budget and city services and the candidate’s character and integrity. Follow-up questions differed between candidates based on their initial answers to the 4 questions. Each 18 minute interview was edited into a 6-minute segment which you will soon hear. The full 18-minute interview for each candidate is posted below.

About the City of Oviedo: Oviedo has a population within its borders of 32,850 residents. The median age of the population is 34.8 years. Forty-one percent of the population has graduated from college. There are 20,200 registered voters in the city. It is anticipated that 12% will vote in this election. The most recent annual budget which the current council approved totals $60,133,986 from which approximately $24 million is assigned to a general fund to operate most city services like police and fire.

About the Council: The council is the governing body of the city, and operates under a “Council Manager” form of government, whereby the council appoints a city manager to oversee the daily operations of the city government and implement the council’s policies. The city manager serves at the pleasure of the council. Ideally, the manager is apolitical and the council is non-partisan. Four council members and the mayor comprise the Council. Those 5 are responsible for establishing policy, passing local laws, voting to spend money and developing a vision for the city.

About the Office: The council members and the mayor serve a 2 year term. They are elected by all registered voters in the city who vote, not just voters in a particular part or district of the city. There are no term limits for either position. The Mayor is paid $12,800 annually. Each council member is paid $10,800 annually.

Extended Interviews

Candidates for Mayor

Mary Lou Andrews

Andrew’s Website
Email Andrews


Mary Lou Andrews is the current Mayor. She devotes her full time to the post.
Mary Lou Andrews extended interview length – 17:18

Darrell Lopez

Lopez’s Website
Email Lopez


Darrell Lopez is 52 years old. He has been a resident of Oviedo for 20 years. He is married and with his wife has 2 children. Darrell Lopez serves as President and CEO of Zfone Communications, a provider of voice over Internet phone calling to businesses. Darrell Lopez extended interview length – 14:49

Candidates for Councilman Group 1

Jeff Hartzler
Email Hartzler

Jeff Hartzler is 24 years old. He is a life-long resident of Oviedo. He is not married. Jeff Hartzler is a an event coordinator at the University of Central Florida. Jeff Hartzler extended interview length – 11:15

Steve Henken
Henken’s Website
Email Henken

Steve Henken, the current office holder. He is 47 years old. He has been a resident of Oviedo for 14-years. He is married and with his wife has 2 children. Steve Henken is a vice president for a world wide cable TV manufacturer. Steve Henken extended interview length – 17:08

Judith Dolores Smith

Smith’s Website
Email Smith


Judith Dolores Smith is 55 years old. Though born in Sanford, Florida, she has been a life-long resident of Oviedo. She is married. Judith Dolores Smith heads her own editing service for self-publishing authors. Judith Dolores Smith extended interview length – 17:23

Additional feature information

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