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Stevens’ Folly

February 12, 2010

John Stevens, past member of the Winter Park Planning and Zoning Commission, sent a letter around town recently that further demonstrates the hypocrisy and lies promoted by certain candidates and their supporters.

Those momentarily impressed by Mr. Stevens’ vitriolic critique of David Lamm’s participation in the P&Z votes that increased allowable floor area and approved the infamous “Carlisle,” should note that Mr. Stevens also voted FOR these changes. See the meeting minutes below.

Mr. Stevens’ willingness to engage in this hypocrisy to achieve political ends cements my commitment to vote for David Lamm, for Peter Gottfried, and to vote NO on Charter Amendment #10 (Super-Super Majority).

Mr. Stevens’ assertion that David Lamm supports a residential architectural review board is an outright lie.

Mr. Stevens’ assertion that David Lamm should somehow be associated with “out of scale buildings” and “developers” and “cashing in” when Mr. Stevens’ himself voted FOR some of the same buildings and changes he now criticizes is, of course, ridiculous and shameful.

This is all politics at its worst, defaming David Lamm supposedly for the benefit of Carolyn Cooper, while falsely claiming unique ownership of  “close knit family neighborhoods” and “the sense of community” (values we all share). We are not voting on who is the most righteous, who loves Winter Park the most, or on “mannerisms” and “personalities” as Mr. Stevens and Ms. Cooper suggest. We are voting on common sense policies, and experienced leadership and judgment for our city.

You might ask, why is Carolyn Cooper focusing her campaign on defaming her opponent? Contrast this with candidates focusing on unifying Winter Park around a well defined plan to encourage compatible reinvestment in our city, reinvestment that will sustain our property values and expand our tax base so we can afford to maintain and improve our quality of life (our trees, parks, bike paths, public safety, streets, venues, infrastructure, etc.). And what might Ms. Cooper’s priorities be other than killing commuter rail, imposing her extreme city master plan that destroys virtually all incentive for reinvestment, and preventing change through her role in and support for the Super-Super Majority Charter Amendment #10?

Drive downtown and ask yourself whether you and your city are better off with the former parking lot, or the Douglas Grand; the old Jacobson’s building or Park Place with Panera on the corner? Is all this really worth lying for? Is it worth all the righteous hypocrisy? Have the “developers” really “cashed in” at our expense or has their investment (not your tax dollars) created value that will sustain the vitality and viability of our downtown for us all to enjoy well into the future? Ding! Ding! Ding! (That’s the bell ringing.)

My memories of raising my family in Winter Park are important, but they do not blind me to the realities we face or to the needs we must attend to if we are to maintain and improve our quality of life and unique character.

I urge you to take time to understand the choices before us and to vote. I hope you will join me in voting FOR David Lamm, FOR Peter Gottfried and voting NO on Charter Amendment #10 (Super-Super Majority).

Sincerely, Pete Weldon
700 Via Lombardy
Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (407) 645-1002

Click here for the record of Planning and Zoning Commission minutes involving the “Carlisle” project. The following is excerpted from the January 11, 2005 P&Z meeting when the “Carlisle” project was initially approved. You will note the unanimous vote, including that of John Stevens. You will also note that current Commissioner Margie Bridges attended as an alternate and did not comment for or against the approval. You will also note that only two citizens questioned the approval on matters limited to water drainage. You also might ask where the hysteria and righteous poison actually come from.

Posted in Election 2010, Ethics, Policy.

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