Fellow Winter Park Voter,
Please share with your friends and neighbors.
For twelve years, I volunteered on multiple city boards and served on the City Commission for one reason – because I care deeply about Winter Park and our future. I am retired and have no conflicts or financial interests in city business or land development. Based upon my belief in good governance that protects the rights of our citizens as well as the future of our city, below are my recommendations on the commission candidates for the March 17, 2020 election and on important Charter Amendments. I hope this will help you in making your decision. Feel free to contact me.
Sincerely, Pete Weldon – 407.267.5320 – [email protected]
I recommend Jeffrey Blydenburgh for Seat 1 – https://www.jeffreyblydenburgh.com/
I recommend Carl Creasman for Seat 2 – https://carlforcommissioner.com/
Blydenburgh and Creasman are most likely to continue the commonsense leadership we have seen over the past 10 years; leadership that has vastly expanded and improved our parks and amenities, kept our development compatible with our character, and dramatically improved our city’s financial strength. A vote for Blydenburgh and Creasman is a vote for a positive future for Winter Park.
I am recommending a NO vote in Amendments #2 and #7. The other Amendments are of lesser consequence.
Charter Amendment #2 – Pay Raise – Vote No!
Current Circumstances: Commissioners have been paid $3,000 and the Mayor $3,600 per year for many years as was detailed in prior city charters. The voters approved a Charter Amendment in 2010 granting the commission authority to increase their own salaries. No commission has used this authority thus far. The current City Commission put this Charter Amendment on the ballot by only a 3 to 2 vote. Three commissioners want a pay raise but don’t want to go on the record and face the voters. If approved, it will increase the city budget by over $150,000 plus future Consumer Price Index adjustments.
If the commission wants a salary increase, they already have the authority and should assume the responsibility for doing so. VOTE NO ON #2
Charter Amendment #7 – City Board Appointments – VOTE NO!
Current Circumstances: For at least the past 35 years, the Charter has given each Mayor authority to make appointments to advisory board vacancies that come open during his or her term with the approval of the commission. Advisory board members serve a three-year term and can only be removed with a vote of the full commission. The Mayor may invite and accept board recommendations from other commission members.
Amendment #7 would demolish the current system by making all boards 7 members with the mayor appointing three and each of four commissioners appointing one. The troubling aspect of this amendment is replacing three-year terms to at-will appointments who would serve at the pleasure of the commission member who appointed them.
Amendment #7 makes each board member a direct political appointee to be replaced at any time by the commission member having appointment authority. This is a bad idea for Winter Park as it makes board appointments purely political and will reduce the institutional experience of our boards needed to make sound recommendations to the commission. If passed, every issue before boards would be influenced by political considerations.
The Charter Review Advisory Committee considered but did NOT make a recommendation on this issue to the commission, yet the commission ignored the committee and voted 3 to 2 to place it on the ballot. VOTE NO ON #7.