Fellow Winter Park Residents,
Please share with friends and neighbors.
Please send an email to [email protected] expressing your thoughts on this issue.
Tomorrow, with two days notice, our city commission and CRA board are each holding a “Special Meeting” where they will vote on commiting over $2,000,000 of our money for a local “response” to the COVID-19 pandemic. My letter to the commission on this subject is below. Please share your thoughts with them on this issue.
To Winter Park Mayor and Commissioners:
The notice for tomorrow’s scheduled “Special Meetings” (“is insufficient per statute” removed 04.08.2020 per the comment below) is insufficient to allow the public to fully consider the proposed actions. At best, this meeting should be a “Work Session” with no commitments being voted on.
The sense of urgency is misplaced. The Federal and State governments are working hard to implement processes to provide very significant relief mandated by legislation and executive order. Let’s understand and help our residents and businesses navigate these in place government relief programs before we commit our taxpayer’s money to programs that may be unnecessary, unworkable, and duplicative.
Much of the proposed “response” spending is already available.
Winter Park taxpayers contribute over $20,000,000 to Orange County coffers each year. Orange County is referring residents to the Federal and State programs already in place, as well as to local charities. The County has decided where the financial responsibility lies at this point. What is the justification for Winter Park taxpayer funds to be added to the financial burden for relief programs we all are paying for at the Federal and State level?
This is not how we should govern Winter Park and calling “Special Meetings” on short notice is certainly not a process we should use to commit taxpayer funds.
I suggest we back off the urge to “do something,” let the Federal and State programs come into better focus, see how they work and where the gaps are, and then thoughtfully consider reasoned alternatives for complimenting these pre-existing support programs.
The health and financial consequences of this pandemic are grave and impact every citizen, everywhere. Impulsively throwing taxpayer money at tragedy will not lessen the extent of the tragedy.
Let’s be thoughtful in our response of the appropriate role of charities, utilities, local, state, and federal government.
Regards, Pete Weldon