Mayor of Orange County, Fla.
Richard Crotty grew up in Orlando, attending Orange County public schools, Valencia Community College and the University of Central Florida (then known as Florida Technological University) where he majored in Public Administration and Communications. The year following his graduation from UCF, Mr. Crotty was selected to the prestigious Florida Legislative Staff Internship program where he attended Florida State University completing a graduate level executive program in Public Administration. While in Tallahassee, Mr. Crotty worked on the Senate Staff and completed his service as a member of the United States Army Reserve, serving in a military police unit.
Upon his return to Orlando, Mr. Crotty launched a successful career in sales and management consulting. For the next three years, Mr. Crotty consulted a number of cities across the country under a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He is credited with saving several cities millions of tax dollars by improving the efficiency of their solid waste collection systems.
Recognized as an up-and-coming leader for his work in our community, Mr. Crotty was selected to be a member of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce's' first "Leadership Orlando" program at the age of 27. At age 30, Mr. Crotty was elected to the Florida House of Representatives.
During his fourteen years of legislative service as a member of both the House and Senate, Mr. Crotty was known as a reformer and consensus builder who succeeded by working closely "with both sides of the aisle". His legislative accomplishments and awards are many.
The very first piece of legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Crotty changed the name of his alma mater from Florida Technological University to the University of Central Florida.
Rep. Crotty was the prime sponsor of a bill creating the first and most successful Prepaid College Tuition program in America. Currently, more than a million young people in Florida can hope for a brighter future because of the investment made in this program.
Mr. Crotty's numerous awards include the Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Service Award from UCF and the Leroy Collins Distinguished Alumnus award from the entire Florida Community College system. Mr. Crotty is most proud of the Allen Morris Award, bestowed on him by a secret vote of his House colleagues as the most effective member of his party in committee. The award, named after the late Clerk-Emeritus of the House, recognized Mr. Crotty's work on the Appropriations Committee.
One important appropriation placed in the budget by Mr. Crotty was the original funding of the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST) at UCF. Subsequently, that industry has become vital to our region's success in the creation of value employment. Currently, there are more than 100 simulation related companies and a military presence of more than 16,000 people.
As a member of the Florida Senate, Senator Crotty served as his party's Floor Leader. Just before retiring from the Legislature, Senator Crotty passed his last bill creating the "Junny Rios- Martinez Act" which ensured that sexual predators of children would not qualify for early release from prison.
Anxious to spend more time in Orange County with his young family, Senator Crotty left the Legislature and was elected Orange County Property Appraiser in 1992. During his tenure as Property Appraiser, Mr. Crotty went to work using technology and innovation to streamline an already successful operation.
In 1995, The Orange County Property Appraiser's Office received two of the top five awards presented by the International Association of Assessing Officers. Mr. Crotty was ranked the #1 Property Appraiser in the nation with the Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award. He also received the Public Information Award.
While Property Appraiser, Mr. Crotty attended the executive program for State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
On January 23, 2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Mr. Crotty as Orange County Chairman shortly after President George W. Bush appointed then Chairman Mel Martinez to serve as Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Chairman Crotty was elected to a full term in September of 2002 with 73% of the vote. In 2004, Orange County citizens voted overwhelmingly to change the county leader's title from Chairman to Mayor to better reflect his function as chief executive.
Mayor Crotty has taken tough stands to improve transportation and school capacity, while working with regional partners to protect our valuable water supply and diversify our local economy with an appropriate balance of high tech, high fun jobs. Mayor Crotty has drawn up a "Blueprint for Orange County's Future", focused on his top priority - effectively managing growth.
Mayor Crotty has been recognized by Orlando Magazine as the area's "Best Politician" in 2003 and 2004 and runner-up to Arnold Palmer as the person who "Best Exemplifies Orlando" in August of 2003. The publication also ranked Mayor Crotty at the top of the list of Orlando's 50 most powerful people in July 2004.
An Orlando Sentinel survey ranked Mayor Crotty #1 on its list of the "25 Most Powerful People In Central Florida in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001, Mayor Crotty gained international recognition for promoting our region's visitor economy on BBC World Television. He also appeared on the CBS Evening News, the Today Show, Good Morning America, the Weather Channel, CNN, Fox News and a number of other cable networks regarding Orange County's emergency management during Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004.
Mayor Crotty teaches a class on Political Science and Politics at Rollins College.