Commission members DeCiccio, Sullivan, and Weaver are moving ahead with a referendum for the March 2021 ballot that, if approved, would change Winter Park commission elections from “at large” to “single member districts.” The current plan is that the referendum would propose geographic districts for 4 commissioners with the mayor elected at large. Commission members Cooper and Leary are against moving forward with this referendum. Let your commission know what you think about this issue.
The three commissioners supporting this referendum are unclear why they are doing it or what the consequences will be if approved. DeCiccio says she agrees with Leary’s reasoning against going forward but wants it on the ballot anyway. Sullivan says he doesn’t know which governing approach is better but feels single member districts “may” provide better governance. Weaver says he has doubts about it but feels the voters should decide. Originally requested by a several African American residents who feel they are not appropriately represented, all commission members acknowledge that the makeup of legally possible geographically defined single member districts will not change the likelihood of electing an African American commission member. So why are they proceeding?
Here are video excerpts from the three commissioners trying to explain their support for a referendum on this issue:
The three wanting to put this issue on the March 2021 ballot have not clarified whether they will vote for it or against it, and they have established a new Winter Park standard for putting a referendum on the ballot, just have 5 or 10 people ask for it.
Mayor Leary commented on the single member district referendum effort in an email. He calls it “a fool’s errand.” I agree. Are these three commissioners clueless or careless about their responsibility to follow civil process and make tough decisions on our behalf with a clear rationale?
Ask these commissioners why they are leading this effort. Let me know what they tell you.
Regards, Pete Weldon