Three members of our city commission (Sheila Deciccio, Marty Sullivan, and Todd Weaver) voted to approve this Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative, a group established by the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC).
If you suspect by the names of these groups that this is a bunch of nonsense you are on the right track.
The state legislature established 11 regional planning councils statewide over 50 years ago. Each is funded at the discretion of the respective included county governments and have no authority under the state statute. The ECFRPC has a current annual budget of about $1 million, some of which comes from our Orange County taxes.
We certainly need regional and state planning for infrastructure and policies related to water, transportation, housing, education, and the other common sense elements of providing effective governmental services. It is the charter of the regional planning councils to assist their respective funders with input on these matters.
What we don’t need is an unaccountable organization funded with our tax dollars to preach about “resilience” and societal “stressors.” Read the Memorandum of Understanding.
A reasonable person might ask, why should the city of Winter Park “express profound gratitude to” the ECFRPC and “endorse the East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative?” These people are looking to justify their existence when they already have a state mandated charter. Why? The city will always be able to share in the work of these organizations without committing city resources and without gratuitous endorsements.
Take this in. The ECFRPC is required by state law. So, why do they ask governmental entities to whom they are already responsible to endorse and join a group whose stated purpose is already within the scope of the ECFRPC’s responsibility? This makes no sense except as a politically motivated act by a staff organization.
I have a big “stressor” about all this. I am stressed that our elected officials fund and support a group that spends our money seeking affirmation of their political ideology rather than doing the job they are chartered to do under state law.
Instead of pushing back against this nonsense, our county commission and city commission have given away some of our resources and autonomy to endorse political ideology instead of using these assets to deliver specific benefits for our residents and our city. Why?
Regards, Pete Weldon