Senior Director Business Development Community
Elected in 2016 as Orange County's District 1 Commissioner, Betsy VanderLey is passionate about community and serving others. She is a member of the Winter Garden Rotary where her and other members help raise money for locally grown not-for-profits such as Hapco Music Foundation, Matthew’s Hope, Young Fathers of Central Florida, Home at Last and other organizations that aren’t funded by bigger agencies.
Her heart for serving is easily seen in every detail of what she does as our commissioner, down to the subtlety of her bracelet, which says "Serve". A simple reminder to herself that the office she holds is bigger than her.
The most common task of the Commissioner is to work with people who have become dissatisfied with trying to work through the Orange County system. With Orange County being a huge organization, if you don’t understand the roadmap to get what you need from the county you can end up lost and frustrated.
Whether it's a building permit you’re trying to get, an animal complaint that no one's paying attention to, or you just don’t feel like you’ve gotten to where you want to go, her team is there to help.
District 1 is currently one of the fastest growing in the county, so a lot of the decisions she makes involve land use - what the land owner is entitled to in protecting property rights, but also in balance with what the neighbors have come to expect as their quality of life. She defines this through two different ways:
1. Is it consistent with our future land-use map which is how we see ourselves grow? 2. Is it compatible with the development patterns of the surrounding Community to make sure that it fits within?
As County Commissioner, Traffic is another area she deals with. With 1,000 people moving to Central Florida a week, the roads begin to fill quickly and so do schools. Traffic signals and signage coming out of neighborhoods as well as widening roads are always a need.
While sitting down with our County Commissioner her eyes lit up when we began to talk about parks.
"I believe strongly in communities having green space as a place to go and rest our souls, and a place for recreation."
She is currently working on a 220 acre piece of land in West Orange County in which they are planning for an extraordinary park.
To learn more about who our local Community Leaders and Influencers are, visit the People section on The Orlando Life and stay tuned each week as we introduce a new person!