October 26, 2009
You have to give Beth Dillaha credit. She certainly knows how to avoid the substance of issues and use her position on the podium to get the last word in to discredit those who would challenge the rightness of her limited policy and priority perspective.
At today’s City Commission meeting she made note of one “professional blogger” as an example of the limited input the City has received after sending out 14,000 mailers announcing proposed Land Development Codes. She even managed to lop the “professional blogger” in with those who would comment about how dangerous the code changes are without offering specifics.
Guess who the “professional blogger” is? Why, I am so proud, its me!
In a curious twist, a citizen copied me on an email from Beth Dillaha that referenced my October 23, 2009 letter where Ms. Dillaha noted, “I have asked Mr. Weldon for specific zoning code changes he feels are problematic. I don’t feel generalities about the code revisions are substantiation for deriding our Planning and Zoning Commission.” The fact is that I never received any correspondence from Beth Dillaha on this subject and I very definitely have provided very specific questions to her and the other members of the City Commission that warrant constructive response (here and here and here). (Could someone be lying to our citizenry to achieve political ends? Have we seen this behavior before?)
It is now certain that Ms. Dillaha and other supporters of setting code based on their personal preferences seek to impose these arbitrary land development rules on our city without justification.
Now to the issue of the response to the 14,000 mailers announcing proposed Land Development Codes.
It is indeed a reality that so few people potentially on both sides of any issue take time to understand the choices before us and weigh in with thoughtful input. (It would appear you need to slander those you disagree with to motivate as many as 25 people to get involved.) The Land Development Code is a very dense subject that most people, property owners included, will not comprehend until some element of it hits them in the face.
It is exactly because so few people get involved in subjects important to the future of this (and every other) city that the City Commission and Board members have a responsibility to carefully and publicly vet, understand, and justify votes on the important decisions that come before them. That is their job.
It is exactly because so few people get involved in subjects important to the future of this (and every other) city that City Commission members and Board members have a responsibility to reach out to constituencies affected by their votes to understand all implications and to publicly justify their actions. That is their job.
It is clear that Beth Dillaha wishes to avoid this responsibility. Why could that be?
Now you know why I continue to pursue rational, experienced, and professional leadership for Winter Park.
The postcards are an outgrowth of the uproar over the last 7 years by some people who claimed they were in the dark about developments in town. They accused the city of not effictively communicating with the citizens to keep them abreast of the development applications and rules. “They didn’t have time to attend meetings” was their refrain. In my view, it is impossible to convey anything meaningful on a post card, thus the lack of participation.
This is a great example of the inherent problems with Amendment 4 (Hometown Democracy.) Think of the expense and time the city and county will have to spend on educating voters for every election as prescribed by Amendment 4. 14,000 cards mailed and very little input tells me we need to scrap these and save costs and staff time.
With regard to Amendment 4, let’s use this local case as an example of a good intention with huge costs and very little impact. Vote NO on Amendment 4!