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Why was Winter Park’s debt downgraded?

One (not all) of the agencies rating Winter Park municipal bonds recently downgraded our debt. Why?

Why? Because Mayor David Strong and his friends insisted that the developers of the former post office redevelopment project be “made whole” (David Strong’s words) at the expense of Winter Park taxpayers.

When David Strong and his friends achieved their goal of denying final approval for the post office redevelopment in 2007 he exposed the city to $25,000,000 in liability (according to the litigation attorney hired by the city to defend the city in a law suit brought by the investors). The city was compelled to settle the suit.

As a result the city spent $4,000,000 in cash (almost all our general fund reserves at the time) to make the investors in the terminated post office redevelopment “whole.” This excludes legal fees and opportunity costs associated with wasting our time and focus.

… OUR BOND RATINGS NOW SUFFER AND DAVID STRONG AND HIS FRIENDS NOW INCREASE OUR TAXES. They expose us to unnecessary risk, waste our city reserves, and then vote to increase our taxes because the city is in a financial bind of their making.

Posted in Money.

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