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As we embark on a new year, please join me in taking a moment to reflect on the events of 2013, as well as the many achievements and milestones celebrated in the past year.

The men and women of Orange County Government have shown an unwavering commitment to providing outstanding service to our citizens and visitors. From life-saving emergency and first responder activities, to efficient public works projects and streamlined permitting and application processes, we are committed to serving the citizens of Orange County with professionalism, honesty, fairness, and integrity, as we continue to focus on achieving a full economic recovery.

As you review Orange County’s 2013 achievements and initiatives, you will see that our employees truly are neighbors, "serving neighbors”, and that, like you, we call Orange County home. The shared commitment of Orange County’s nearly 7,000 employees is to create a community where children, families, and visitors can enjoy an unrivaled quality of life, with cherished natural resources and recreational offerings, along with unparalleled economic and education opportunities. Working together with our municipalities, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, community partners, and businesses, we are committed to making Orange County a place you can proudly call your home for life.

Already, 2014 is off to an incredible start, with our hometown team, the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights becoming the BCS Tostitos Bowl champions! Building upon our past successes, we look forward to a busy and productive year as we move forward with Central Florida’s new commuter rail system, SunRail; the continued success of our Modeling, Simulation and Training sector; the new SimLEARN National Center located on the campus of the new Orlando VA Medical Center; the opening of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts; and soon, a soccer-centric stadium that will house our new Major League Soccer team.

Most of all, we look forward to working with you to create the best community in the country to live, work, and play. Thank you for your continued support and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and productive year!

Teresa Jacobs
Orange County Mayor