= City Attorney =
James A., "Skip" Fowler is senior partner of Fowler and O'Quinn P.A., has over thirty years experience in municipal law. He has been City Attorney for Altamonte Springs, Florida for over 25 years. Specializing in the area of municipal law, Mr. Fowler's expertise ranges from annexation and bond work to utilities, zoning and growth-management. Mr. Fowler presently serves as City Attorney to the City of Altamonte Springs and the City of Cocoa Beach additionally he is alternate counsel for the City of Ocoee on a variety of planning, zoning and development matters. He is frequently consulted by other attorneys and city managers on matters of municipal law and growth management. He established the first community development agencies in Florida and oversaw an area wide DRI by the community development agency and he developed a reservation capacity for the DRI. His development agreements are widely imitated by other communities to ensure developer obligations and promises are kept.
A hands-on, self-starter, Mr. Fowler is able to assist in virtually any position of city government, from finance director to city manager. Mr. Fowler is a former member of the statewide High Speed Rail Authority and is currently chairman elect of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 5th District Court of Appeal. Mr. Fowler is a member of the Florida, Alaska and Illinois Bar.
The Empire Building
The Empire Building circa 1912
Charles B. Magruder, it was a salesmens' hotel. The Magruders built the Magruder Arcade, Hotel & Restaurant, the Lucerne Theater and several other of Orlando's commercial and residential buildings. Managed by R.E. Brabel in the 1920's, the Empire Hotel housed the actor's and actresses of the motion picture film industry which made a start in Florida during that decade. The Empire also housed actors who performed on stage in local theaters. Almost late 19th century in appearance, the Empire's bulk, clean lines, ranks of arched windows and leased retail space have been part of life in Orlando for seventy years. The Empire Hotel rear elevation backs up to several of Orlando's oldest commercial buildings, now rehabilitated or restored. Its rehabilitation will complement the work completed or underway on S. Orange Avenue and West Pine Street. Provided by Historic Preservation Commission of Orlando.
Mr. Fowler is the Owner of The Empire Building. He bought it in grave disrepair and has restored to its former glory. The Empire Building is on the National Historic Registry as one of Orlando's most prestigious historic buildings.
Mr. Fowler is an avid Ferrari enthusiast and owner. He has written an article on his latest adventure to pick up his Ferrari 360 Modena Spyder at the Ferrari Factory in Maranello Italy [http://www.seminolemagazine.com/shopFerrariRockstarB06ed.htm] . Mr. Fowler spent 3 weeks driving the car around Italy and other parts of Europe, opening the car up as only so few American Ferrari Owners have, Nicolas Cage being one. He is also the owner of a 1971 365 GTC/4, the car some say possesses the best sounding engine in the world. For over 30 years he has participated in Ferrari Club of America events, driving on some of the worlds best known race tracks, including Daytona International Speedway.http://www.seminolemagazine.com/shopFerrariRockstarB06ed.htm
Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Mr. Fowler is known for his excellence behind the stove and over the grill, as he has been cooking "his way" for over 40 years. He is on a first name basis with the masters at E. Dehillerin, Paris' Oldest and most trusted Kitchen Equipment Shop. [http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Display=7] . He was first introduced to the store in 1970 with Chef Julia Child's personal recommendation. Over the last 38 years he has bought the majority of his kitchen supplies from the shop, including their world famous copper cookware! http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Display=7
His personal kitchen was featured in The Orlando Sentinel years ago after its completion [http://tompricearchitects.com/publications/pubs.html] . At the time it was said to be the largest commercial kitchen in a private residence in Orlando. It is still the epee-center of the Fowler home.http://tompricearchitects.com/publications/os-fwlr.html
After leaving the tender mercies of the nuns at St. Francis de Paula and the attention of the priests at Mendel, I was educated at the University of Illinois, the University of Florida, and then US Army. After a few years of soldiering, I returned to the States and, with my young bride, located in Orlando, Florida where I reside (when not at the beach) with our three children (two sons and a daughter), two Irish Wolfhounds, and three or four cats, the most independent of my charges. My handsome and gorgeous progeny (thanks to their mother’s Scandinavian heritage) are in the process of completing their educations (soon, please!). This has given me the opportunity to root for a variety of teams from a variety of schools here and abroad. Go Frogs!
Since high school I have aspired to a year of six months work and an equal amount of vacation. Although I have, for the past 30 years or so managed three or four months of vacation yearly, my goal eludes me. I go to the gym five days a week, rarely get to the office before ten-thirty or home before six. I snow ski, ride horses, love to sail, and drive my cars and my motorcycle way too fast. I am a slum lord, a landlord, and -- lordy lord – a dancing fool. I fancy myself a gourmet cook, but I am probably a better bartender. Classic rock and the Blues have taken most of my hearing, but nothing has affected my joie de vivre. I will not go quietly!
I have been extraordinarily fortunate over the years which I attribute to sheer luck. Like Inspector Clouseau, I bend over to pick up a penny just as a missile sails through my recently vacated space. I married above my station and below my age. No doubt there is a special place in heaven for my wife who aids and abets me in my adventures. We travel all over the globe (charged to Mr. Underhill’s American Express card, for you Fletch fans), but try to avoid the same country two years in a row, lest there be outstanding warrants. I am as comfortable in my tux as my jeans and have packed both for many trips. I opt for a shot and an imported beer over a Merlot. I have met Presidents, a Pope and rock stars; but I am still just a guy from the South Side.
I have friends who date back to grade school and regret not having made a better effort to stay in touch with more of the people with whom I have shared a drink or two along the way. Call me – better yet, stop by!
Like Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, “I ain’t doin’ too bad.”
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