Anne Mooney’s winterparkvoice.com blog and Facebook page continue to mislead Winter Park residents. Her recent “Canopy Chaos” post is an embarrassment to our city in its bias. Ms. Mooney uses the tag line, “A Policy and Issues News Magazine.” Yet, it has nothing to do with policy, issues, and news and everything to do with politics. An accurate tag line might be, “Views for Cynical Conspiracy Theorists.”
“Canopy Chaos” implies there is in fact chaos but nothing in Mooney’s post supports that conclusion and information she leaves out supports the opposite conclusion.
Mooney selectively edited the exchange between Mayor Leary and Commissioner Weaver. Our city charter states that “the mayor shall preside at meetings of the commission” that is, manage all aspects of commission meetings. We should all be troubled if Mooney does not understand this reality. If she does understand it, she is intentionally promoting discord and false narratives.
Contrary to Mooney’s characterization, Leary afforded Weaver nine minutes which he used to tell us how knowledgeable he is. Then, he got to the point. In Weaver’s opinion the project is too expensive per square foot and he asked the commission to delay the decision on moving forward with construction drawings. He never made a motion to that effect, never acknowledged the cost of starting over, and never offered any alternative. Leary offered Weaver the opportunity to make a motion at least four times and Weaver declined to do so.
Phil Anderson then asked some questions. Anderson helped finance Weaver’s campaign. Anderson’s spouse also donated to Weaver’s campaign and gives money to Anne Mooney.
All the questions Anderson raised are addressed by the commission’s continuing votes since March 2016 to move the project forward. The library board and staff, professionals engaged by the city, and city staff assume responsibility for addressing the range of issues in Anderson’s questions. Commission votes over 3 years have consistently reflected trust in the judgment of all those involved based on available facts. What evidence supports Anderson’s mistrust? None provided.
The general contractor is to commit to a “not to exceed” number once construction drawings are completed. We need to get to that point to know what the total cost will be and, if acceptable to the commission at that time, the general contractor is to assume responsibility for delivering the project within that total cost number.
Library/event center objectors including Mooney, Weaver, and Anderson add nothing to consideration of the library/event center project as they; (1) fail to respect three years of civic and civil process, (2) fail to address the consequences of further delay, and (3) fail to detail any alternative approach.
The 3 to 1 commission vote to move forward to construction drawings and a “not to exceed” total cost from the general contractor is the right decision for Winter Park.
We’ll check back in November.
As for Mooney, she continues to make clear that her voice is a disservice to our city. Let’s set a higher standard for Winter Park.
Regards, Pete Weldon