A spat between the City of Altamonte Springs and the Town of Eatonville is ending with an apology from an Eatonville councilman.
It all started with a groundbreaking event for the cities of Altamonte and Apopka, and the Florida Department of Transportation for an innovative water project called A-FIRST. Instead of retention ponds on Interstate 4 when its revamping starts next year, the city will divert that water to Apopka, to be used as reclaimed water.
During the ground breaking, Eatonville Councilman Alvin Moore showed up, and jumped right into the photos.
"They asked for all the elected officials to come up. I'm an elected official, so I came up like all of the rest of the elected officials."
The councilman is seen at first with an imaginary shovel, holding then pretending to sling dirt. Then, he goes to the other side, next to Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz, this time holding a shovel. Martz asked him to get out of the photos. Moore explains why he did not.
"He starts talking to me at the same time the photographer is talking to me. So I'm like, 'Who am I supposed to be listening to?' So I took the directions of the photographer."
In the photo, you can see a strange look on the manager's face. It prompted the Mayor of Altamonte Springs to fire off this letter (PDF), calling Moore's actions "a cheap photo-op" and "the worst kind of opportunist politics". Moore says he was so busy listening to the photographer, he did not understand he was supposed to follow the instructions of the City Manager.
"I didn't know who you were, and I apologize profusely."
Moore, who is running for Orange County Commission in a District that includes Apopka, apologized to the mayor as well. We spoke with the Mayor of Eatonville, Bruce Mount, and he agreed with the letter, saying Councilman Moore was out of line and that he would be apologizing to Mayor Pat Bates the next time they spoke.
We got in touch with Mayor Bates who told us "apology accepted."