If you can get past the law suits we are exposed to by Cooper’s master plan (the Comprehensive Plan) you may wish to consider the tone and substance of the plan and how it will impact our relationship with those who may consider investing in our city. Remember that Cooper is running for a seat on our City Commission based on her authorship and support for this plan, and that Tom McMacken has pledged his allegiance to this plan.
The Cooper and McMacken plan, also embraced by Commissioner Beth Dillaha, prohibits almost everything and encourages almost nothing. It is this obsession with control (and with blocking changes to this plan, see Amendment #10) that opens our city to law suits, deters reinvestment, and obstructs our ability to adapt to inevitable changes.
Peter Gottfried (candidate for City Commission Seat 4 versus Tom McMacken) did a little research to see how other cities view the role of prohibitions and encouragement in their planning documents. Here is what he found:
USE OF THE WORDS PROHIBIT AND ENCOURAGE IN CITY MASTER PLANS*
|Santa Fe, NM||3||35|
|San Diego (L.A. Jolla), CA||0||6|
* Numbers taken from the Future Land Use section of the Florida Comprehensive Plans for Winter Park, Orlando, Sanford, DeLand, Maitland, Coral Gables. Numbers for Altamonte Springs are for their entire Comprehensive Plan. Numbers for other cities taken from what they refer to in their states as the “General Plan” or “Community Plan.”
Are we going to encourage compatible redevelopment or prohibit it?
Are we going to consider possibilities or fear consequences?
Are we going to pursue opportunities or obstruct change?
What kind of city do YOU want?
Click here for more information on the Cooper and McMacken master plan.
I am voting FOR David Lamm, FOR Peter Gottfried, and NO on Charter Amendment #10.
At last Friday’s presentation by the candidates, Tom and Carolyn stated and insinuated 2 times that if elected they would “follow the rules.” Tom said he would not break the rules for “special interests.” Carolyn said in her closing remarks that if elected, “she will follow the rules,” clearly insinuating that rules have been broken. I emailed both (neither responded) and asked them to be a bit kinder and gentler towards their predecessors since I have never heard, seen or been presented any evidence of rules being broken. Is winning so important that it’s necessary to tear down good people who were/are trying to do their best for the city?
Carolyn also described the “No on 10” group effort as “comical”. Again, how important is victory if you have to insult your philosophical opponents?
I received a letter from a friend of Carolyn Cooper who is supporting her in the election. He describes her as not beholden to any “special interest.” I guess OneWinterPark isn’t/wasn’t a special interest. The failed campaign to buy post office wasn’t a special interest. I guess her time poring over the comp plan wasn’t for any special interests.
And the guy who wrote the letter. I keep hearing rumors his company wants to lease the former state office building on Denning. Isn’t that a special interest? And isn’t Casa Feliz a special interest?
Well, I think you are on the right track but I caution that every specific interest is a “special” interest, whether you are Bellows with an interest in developing your property, or Carolyn Cooper with an interest in denying Bellows his development rights to the point of getting the City sued. Everyone has interests of one sort or another. This all gets out of bounds when certain interests righteously presume superiority over other interests (which is where all this “One Winter Park” stuff comes home to roost).
By the way, I presume the letter you refer to is the one from Jack Rogers, son of the architect of Casa Feliz. Interesting that he notes he has “worked beside Carolyn Cooper over the past five years.” Also interesting to note that neither Rogers nor Cooper served on any City Boards together and that neither of them have been on a City Board except for Cooper’s participation on P&Z beginning in the Spring of 2008. So, what exactly have Rogers and Cooper been working on together for the past five years? Could it be the incompetent Comprehensive Plan Cooper has authored, or have the two of them been working together on flower arrangements for Casa Feliz? Oh, and were their work sessions open to the public? I don’t recall them being noticed.
At today’s candidate forum there was a yes/no question asked by the moderator. The gist of it was “If elected, will you attempt to undo the Sunrail agreement with Orange County?” 3 candidates quickly answered “no”. One candidate couldn’t answer. Guess which one had trouble answering a simple question? Reminds me of another campaigning candidate who answered one way and acted another way once in office. I think Ms. Cooper remembered that case and did not want to be quoted.