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Why Ken Bradley should be the Mayor of Winter Park.

Several readers have commented about my critique of David Strong and his friends, noting that I have not yet mentioned why I am supporting Ken Bradley.

I support Ken Bradley because he is a rational, positive, and professional leader and David Strong is not.

I support Ken Bradley because is has a proactive and positive vision for Winter Park where Davis Strong has an paternalistic, isolationist, dogmatic, and negative vision for Winter Park.

I support Ken Bradley because he has the proven professional qualifications to lead a city of 28,000 people with a $150,000,000 annual budget while David Strong has no management experience and has demonstrated poor management judgment in the past three years.

I support Ken Bradley because he understands that the character and quality of Winter Park is best protected and enhanced by continual, thoughtful reinvestment while David Strong believes our character and quality is best protected and enhanced by passing draconian regulations that deter reinvestment.

It is time for Winter Park to free itself from the isolationist dogma of the “One Winter Park” cabal and to vote for rational, positive, and professional leadership.

Ken Bradley released his plans as Mayor as follows:


City of Winter Park, Florida

Dear Friends,

As a fellow resident who has treasured our hometown for more than 40 years, I believe Winter Park is at a crossroads – and not just because the national economy has weakened. Of all communities in the region, ours has been the most revered, envied and even copied. But as you know in managing your home, it does not stay pristine with inaction. And, with great study in the past several years about what shape our City is in, I can tell you that inaction is putting us at great risk, and we must get things moving in the right direction before it is too late to turn around.

I submit to you my commitment to becoming your Mayor with a tangible action plan I believe will help protect and enhance our way of life in Winter Park:

FINANCES: City revenues are too dependent upon our residential property taxes and Mayor Strong has done nothing but disable our ability to grow the commercial tax base.

  • Broaden the tax base through commercial investments within Fairbanks, Denning, 17-92 and Lee Road corridors leading to at least a 65% residential / 35% commercial mix of property tax revenue by 2012.
  • Immediately and permanently trim up to $3 million in non-essential, City government expenses including litigation fees and duplicate services.
  • Establish General Fund Reserve targets at 10% by 2010 and increasing every year by 1% thereafter.
  • Eliminate “double-taxation” or user-fees for Winter Park residents. Create a sliding scale of use for Winter Park residents / businesses versus those outside the City.
  • Pursue bond refinancing at the appropriate time to lower interest costs within the City.

COMMISSION: We must change the way City governance operates to assure the voice of all citizens are heard, decision making is streamlined, time is not wasted and progress is made on key City strategic initiatives.

  • Commission meetings will begin at 3:30 PM and end at 7:00 PM with a set agenda including a priority on the current financial standing of the City.
  • Commissioners will come prepared to make decisions on all matters before them; staff will be directed to bring Commissioners up-to-date on issues, contracts, obligations prior to meetings.
  • Citizen input will be solicited not just at Commission meetings but throughout the week before through e-mail, on-line surveys and comments. These comments will weigh equally in Commission decision making to those who are physically present.
  • Commissioners and City officials will conduct town hall forums monthly throughout the City on various dates and times to become more accessible to Winter Park Citizens.

COMMUTER RAIL: As Mayor I will fully support the “will of the voters” by implementing a SunRail stop in Winter Park at the current Amtrak station and:

  • Work with our County, State and Federal delegations / leaders to fully fund SunRail and assure its approval.
  • Create additional forms of transportation to connect with Sun Rail west to 17-92, Fairbanks, Denning and Winter Park Village and east to key economic centers.

ETHICS REFORM: The current Ethics Advisory Board of the City has been meeting for nearly a year without any recommendations for approval. As Mayor, I will ask immediately for recommendations on the following:

  • Limit seated elected officials to providing only up to $500.00 once from themselves, immediate family or any entity they are part of to any candidate for office on their same board.
  • Create the Conflicts of Interest policies so before any vote impacting Citizens, Commissioners will have to declare their own personal conflicts and recuse themselves from voting if any conflicts appear.

INVESTMENT: We must broaden the tax base through commercial development create new, much needed investment in the Fairbanks, Denning, Lee Road, 17-92 corridors. To achieve this we must:

  • Complete the “form-based codes” process to define streetscapes and neighborhood design to let property owners know what they can do.
  • Develop minority investment programs in Winter Park including assisting in building minority-owned, Winter Park based businesses.
  • Seek a permanent extension of the CRA “life” and utilize CRA funds for the purposes legally created for their use.

PARKS and RECREATION: We must keep the Park in Winter Park and keep our parks funded and citizen accessible. I will:

  • Fully support Fleet Peeples Park as an “off-leash”, premier dog park for Central Florida.
  • Define and fund several parks as premier destinations within Central Florida including Central Park, Mead Garden, Fleet Peeples Park and Showalter Field.

PARK AVENUE: As I have done in the past as President of the chamber, we need to convene the Merchants, Landlords and City to approve a strategic plan for Park Avenue that will:

  • Create incentives for Landlords to keep shops fully occupied within the Central Business District.
  • Create 40 new, ground level, convenient parking spots immediately.
  • Encourage tourism for Park Avenue.
  • Fully support side walk dining throughout the downtown district
  • Create consistent hours for establishments within the Central Business District.
  • Maintain the Post Office in its downtown location and let lapse the “Carlisle” option.

PERFORMANCE: City operations must become more performance based so Commission decisions and staff actions can accomplish our strategic plans. We must:

  • Establish measurable performance standards for all key City services and City goals including the time from permitting to permit, time from project submittal to approval.
  • Establish and manage the City on key measurable performance standards such as, average age, Park Avenue occupancy rate % and taxable values.

UTILITIES: We must manage these resources carefully and:

  • Implement programs to reduce water and electrical consumption by 5% by 2012.
  • Seek at least one new, renewable energy source by 2020 to provide up to 10% of the City’s electrical needs.
  • Prepare for new sources of water called for by 2013.
  • Keep electric utility rates affordable for residents.

WINTER PARK 2020: We must plan for the future, not just react when forced to. Together we must create a vision for Winter Park through the year 2020 to:

  • Create the healthiest City in the central Florida. Establish Winter Park as a “blue zone” where life expectancy to 100 is achievable.
  • Assure Winter Park schools are consistently “A” rated.
  • Support the continuum of life centers already established within Winter Park e.g. Mayflower, Winter Park Towers, Plymouth.
  • Assure the critical institutions of Winter Park – worship places, museums, Rollins College and healthcare institutions are amongst the top facilities in the nation for excellence.

Please see my entire Action Plan on my campaign website

or contact me with your ideas or concerns.


Ken Bradley
PO Box 531
Winter Park, FL 32790
(407) 645-1110

Posted in Election 2009, Policy.

6 Responses

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  1. Charles says

    ” Maintain the Post Office in its downtown location and let lapse the “Carlisle” option”

    What is the Carlyle option?

  2. Pete Weldon says

    The city paid Central Park Station Partners (the company that invested in developing the Winter Park post office property with the project name “Carlisle”) $3,700,000 to stop their lawsuit against the city. The City also assumed responsibility for the remaining term of a lease of trailers that were established as a temporary post office in anticipation of construction at a total cost exceeding $300,000.

    As part of this “deal” the city (David Strong) got the US Postal Service to agree to let the city purchase the existing post office site in exchange for the city building a new 23,000 square foot facility on Denning Drive or another location acceptable to the USPS and built to their specifications (which were left open ended).

    The USPS has recently agreed to extend the termination of this “option” to build a new postal facility in exchange for their land from June 2009 to June 2010.

    So, the “option” is to build new postal facilities for the USPS and give them land for same (I presume in perpetuity) in exchange for city ownership of the existing post office property on New York Avenue. See this post for more details.

  3. WP taxpaying resident says

    The Carlisle fiasco is a classic example of not letting nature take its course. A bunch of overzealous citizens jumped to the wrong conclusion about growth and development in Winter Park. Their legacy will be nothing but problems for the city.

    • Pete Weldon says

      I obviously agree with this assessment which is why I am trying to stop it. Frankly, the city has more important issues in front of it and the obsessions now being indulged only distract us from dealing with reality.

  4. barbara Evans says

    I think it’s time for a change in Winter Park.
    I I feel that Mr Bradey will do this for us!
    I am a retired person, and a great fear the Old ,
    School boy need to Go!

  5. Seth says

    Keep Fleet People’s Park the best Dog Park in the country!

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