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Dillaha’s Dangerous Disaster

May 12, 2010

The Winter Park City Commission meeting of May 24 has been set aside for commission and public input, and possibly action on Commissioner Beth Dillaha’s continuing efforts to terminate Winter Park’s participation in the SunRail commuter rail system.

Ms. Dillaha continues her efforts to terminate Winter Park’s commuter rail agreement with Orange County with the intent to terminate Winter Park’s commuter rail station. (A previous move by Ms. Dillaha to terminate the agreement in January 2009 was defeated by a 3 to 2 vote.) If Ms. Dillaha wanted something other than termination of our commuter rail station she would have been working with Orange County over the past two years instead of co-opting untold hours of city commission time, spending taxpayer money for conflicting legal opinions, and proffering irrelevant and false objections in an effort to undermine the commuter rail agreement.

Ms. Dillaha is asking for the SunRail commuter trains to come through Winter Park and never stop. She is asking that we forego having our station (which is fully paid for by state and federal dollars) and face all the impacts of having commuter trains go through Winter Park while never realizing any of the benefits. A few moments of thought on this reality will make it clear that killing our participation in SunRail would be a monumental strategic disaster for Winter Park.

  • SunRail is going to happen.
  • State and federal funds are paying the $1.2 billion capital cost to establish the four county SunRail system.
  • The city’s financial exposure to ongoing costs is protected.
  • Winter Park’s decision was to participate or have the trains running through our town without stopping.
  • The citizens made the decision to have a station in a 2007 referendum and our City Commission has both the authority and the duty to make that happen.

Winter Park citizens need to write the City Commission to demand a stop to the obstruction and a beginning to the cooperation needed to make our SunRail station a reality and a success for Winter Park.

Pete Weldon
700 Via Lombardy
Winter Park

Posted in Commuter Rail, Policy.

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