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Issues and Voices that Matter September 12, 2013

Viewpoint Seminole #8

Viewpoint Seminole panel members from left Randy Morris, Dr. Mike Abels, and Russ Hauck (photo - Charles E. Miller for CMF)

Hear the viewpoints of panel members Dr. Mike Abels, Russ Hauck and Randy Morris on un-contested elections, a proposal for a 1-cent sales tax increase, and the 100th anniversary of Seminole County Public Schools. Plus shouts, call outs and looks around the corner (length–31:45)

(Produced, reported and edited by Stephen McKenney Steck, Event photos – Charles E. Miller for CMF Public Media)

This is the eight edition of Viewpoint Seminole, a monthly podcast featuring a panel of Seminole County voices sharing their viewpoints about current issues confronting our communities.

After discussing the latest issues, panelists offer a brief congratulatory “shout out,” a constructive “call out” on other issues of their choosing and each “look around the corner” on local issues they will follow in the months to come

This edition of Viewpoint Seminole was recorded on Friday, September 6, 2013. It was edited by the moderator for brevity and focus. The views and opinions expressed on Viewpoint Seminole are those of the panelists.


Viewpoint Seminole Panel

Dr. Michael Abels
Instructor in public administration, University of Central Florida, with an extensive level of experience in local government having served 17 years in city manager roles in Longwood, Deland, & Palm Bay Florida
Russ Hauck
Former mayor and city commissioner of Altamonte Springs.
Randy Morris
Business and public affairs consultant, RM Strategies, former mayor and commissioner of the city of Lake Mary, former 3-term commissioner on the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners (1994 to 2006)
Stephen McKenney Steck
Moderator, senior producer - CMF Public Media

Click here for a roster of all Viewpoint Seminole panel members

Each month, CMF offers Viewpoint Seminole as a forum for civil and informative local commentary from a panel of credible local voices that have a stake in Seminole County. Each month we’ll call upon the panel’s experience and insight and listen as they offer their “point of view” on the politics, policy, people and consequences that affect those of us who embrace life in Seminole County.

Photographs of the panel taken during their discussion are presented below in an on-line photo album.

You may email a link to this feature to those you know who have an interest in the issues discussed. Use the “share” option below. And “reply” below to CMF Public Media with your comments about this feature, adding suggestions about issues you believe worthy of future discussion by panel members.

Previous Viewpoint Seminole Podcasts

  • Viewpoint Seminole #7 (08/08/13)
    Issues: 1) George Zimmerman trial verdict, 2) toll-lanes on Interstate-4, 3) new property & sales taxes, and 4) the Lake Jesup Nature Center.
    Panel: Russ Hauck, Dr. Michael Hoover and Randy Morris.
  • Viewpoint Seminole #6 (07/11/13)
    Issues: 1) Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage, 2) the battle over Immigration Reform in Congress, 3) and the real meaning of patriotism and love of country for citizens of Seminole County
    Panel: Dr. Michael Abels, Steve Barnes and Saima Qureshi, M.D.
  • Viewpoint Seminole #5 (06/13/13)
    Issues: 1) media coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, 2) results of the recently adjourned session of the Florida Legislature, 3) our local economy, and 4) what’s up with so many local persons declaring their candidacy for elected office so early?
    Panel: Jeanne Morris, Randy Morris and Judith Smith
  • Viewpoint Seminole #4 (05/09/13)
    Issues: 1) getting commuters to & from our local SunRail stations, 2) the need for the school board property tax referendum, and 3) whether Seminole County should buy land to build a major sports complex.
    Panel: Russ Hauck, Jeanne Morris and Michael Abels
  • Viewpoint Seminole #3 (04/11/13)
    Issues: 1) Bills pending at mid-point of the Florida legislative session, 2) consolidating fire and police services between the county and cities, 3) using public funds for street-scaping and building new city centers, and 4) arming teachers.
    Panel: Frank Ioppolo, Jr, Michael Hoover, Russ Hauck and Judith Smith
  • Viewpoint Seminole #2 (03/14/13)
    Issues: 1) Verizon Communication’s major new facility in Lake Mary, Fl.; 2) hiring of a new police chief for Sanford; and 3) background to the unanimous defeat by the county of a proposal to amend the rural land use restrictions in east Seminole County.
    Panel: Steve Barnes, Jeanne Morris, Randy Morris and Judith Smith
  • Viewpoint Seminole inaugural edition (02/08/13)
    Issues: 1) Governor Rick Scot’s education budget proposal to the legislature; 2) reaction to the pending rezoning of elementary schools; 3) and a proposal being considered by Seminole County government to amend a rural land use zone in the eastern portion of the county.
    Panel: Steve Barnes, John Bush, Michael Hoover and Jeanne Morris


CMF takes care to recruit and impanel members who are local to the area. Though still in formation, the full group of 10 members, when viewed as a whole will reflect a broad array of ethnicity, age, gender and life style. As a whole, they will reflect a perceived level of current or former community involvement, life experiences and familiarity with broad community issues and standards.

CMF also takes care to avoid or disclose a panelist with known conflicts of interest relative to the issue being addressed. Excluded from participation as a panel member are current members of local media and currently serving elected or government-appointed officials.

Viewpoint Seminole panel members participate voluntarily and without financial compensation from CMF as does the CMF producer/moderator.


After you launch the slideshow below, click “Next” and “Previous” to rotate through the photos.

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