February 25, 2105
I publish the following from Ed Sabori. PJW –
Against advice from her supporters, Cindy Mackinnon asked to meet with me before and after she made the decision to run for mayor. As such, I was tempted to discuss those conversations via a public forum but decided it would not serve any purpose other than to make it look as if I were ‘piling on,’ so to speak. Instead, I decided to focus on the positives of why I chose to vote for Steve Leary and sent the following email to a list of friends and neighbors:
Dear Friends and Winter Park Neighbors,
Having been part of Winter Park mayoral and commission campaigns since 2006, I have come to the conclusion that governing a city is a complex and difficult process at best, and the biggest challenge is dealing with the politics of the job and their impact—–while delivering the most good for as many people as possible.
And although not perfect, should four years of firsthand experience in understanding and managing the difficult task of keeping the “village character” of Winter Park be considered important? I say YES!
When Steve Leary announced he would run for mayor and asked for my vote, it brought back a memory that defines my decision to support Steve’s goal of making Winter Park a better place to work, live and play. The strength of that conviction is based on the fact that a few years back when a few of us decided to support a candidate with extensive knowledge of planning and land use issues (including Land Use Code), Steve made the decision to hold off running against our candidate. Instead, Steve chose to sit out an election cycle and gain some hands-on experience by getting involved in the day-to-day activities of various boards and commission meetings in order to better understand what would be needed to get Winter Park back on track with an eye toward the future.
After visiting campaign sites, reading mail-out collateral materials, as well as an email with a link to a Winter Park Observer article accusing Steve Leary of favoring a certain developer (later retracted by the Observer), I needless to say, could not help but feel it was déjà vu all over again. Same people, same tactics, same message. I saw a contradiction of stated concerns versus campaign rhetoric. And not just from a campaign perspective, but also from supporters claiming to be helping “heal” the existing “divide” found in Winter Park, while at the same time spreading rumor and innuendo.
So here we are, two candidates with a genuine concern for the well-being of Winter Park and its citizens.
If you have an open mind and consider facts important to making an informed decision, I encourage you to attend an upcoming debate event and pull back the curtain. Look for the specifics as they relate to how Winter Park has gotten to be the envy of towns and cities across the country, and then ask which candidate has the most hands-on experience in keeping the City on that trajectory.
The City has never been in better shape. Metaphorically speaking, it’s time we allow younger trees to flourish, grow greener and to greater heights in Winter Park. Time to turn the reins over to a new generation and allow them custody of the future for the sake of our grandchildren and theirs.
Vote Steve Leary for Mayor not because he’s my friend or a friend of a friend, but because his experience as Commissioner and Vice-Mayor is what will keep us moving forward and minimize the risk of taking Winter Park back to a time when it was considered a difficult place to do business, and SunRail, dog parks, and sidewalk dining were discouraged.
Winter Park resident for over 30 years.