To the Orlando Sentinel Investigative staff:
I sent by email the following letter to Speaker of the House, Will Weatherford and a copy to Steve Crisafulli. Please look into the allegation I present.
I would also ask all those receiving copy of this message to read and distribute the message to all who might be impacted by the alleged atrocity.
As a current land owner and former resident of Florida I remain incensed at what appears to be outright corruption and collusion among personnel in the Orlando International Airport Authority, the Highway Toll Commission, the Air Port Rental Car Companies and the gasoline filling stations that operate closest to the airport.
Not long ago, one could plan to fill up his or her rented automobile, as a stipulation of his or her rental contract at any one of several filling stations within fairly close proximity to the Airport on Rt 436 North, Semoran Road. For years I got used to filling my rental car before returning it at the Seven Eleven or the Mobil Station across from the Seven-Eleven. Again those were within close proximity to the Rental Car Return areas. ON 28 August 2013, I planned to do the same only to find those filling stations no longer existed. Instead, a new Shell filling station had been built directly across Semoran Road from the notorious, most highly priced gas station in the country operated by Suncoast Energy.
That Shell station priced their regular grade fuel at more than $5.29 per gallon …. almost $2.00 more than the average price of fuel in the region. Since I refuse to participate within an obviously corrupt enterprise I sought another station. After paying the $1.25 toll to travel on Rt 528 West I paid $2.42 to fill my automobile with gas. After paying another $1.25 toll to travel on the road to the Airport I was finally able to return my Hertz Rental.
What follows is the perception with which I am left.
1. Construction of On-Airport Rental Car facilities was completed within the last year or so. Most likely payment was made at the expense of the Florida Taxpayer. Major rental car companies now operate within the physical jurisdiction of the Orlando International Airport Authority
2. Since completion of construction, the several filling stations where one could once purchase gas at an average price have been closed. Walgreens, among other businesses have replaced them. Collusion appears to have played a role in the closing of those filling stations.
3. As added revenues for the Highway Commission, fuel customers are now expected (or at least it is hoped) to pay tolls in order to access gas at a non-usury price.
Who are the winners?
1. The Rental Car companies, given that customers are aware of these corrupt practices, stand to gain with the sale of their over very highly priced fuel.
2. Suncoast Energy (who may in fact own both the Chevron Station (I think it is) and the Shell Station stand to gain by criminally bilking the unsuspecting customer with their outrageous fuel costs.
3. The Highway Toll Commission stands to gain for those preferring to buy average priced fuel and accept the fact that the State is chiseling them out of an extra $2.50.
4. In order for this outrageous situation to exist, my bet is that someone in your government had been paid off and has gained handsomely.
Who are the Losers?
1. Every honest Florida Taxpayer is footing the cost of the atrocities
2. Visitors like me regard Orlando as well as the Florida State leaders as being “rip-off” artists of the lowest human form.
3. Tourists hate to be ripped off. Consequently they are apt to eventually seek alternate tourist locations. I for one will do everything I can to avoid traveling to and from Orlando International.
What I am asking you to do.
1. Investigate the apparrent wrong-doing or
2. Explain to me and whoever reads my letter in the Orlando Sentinel, where my perceptions are blatantly erroneous.