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Response to Commissioner DeCiccio

Dear Commissioner DeCiccio,

This responds to your recent email about playing fields.

We all care about Winter Park parents and children, and about the quality of our playing fields. However, your email fails to address important questions.

Before I get to questions about your vote to spend $2,800,000 outside the annual budget process and paid for using our emergency city reserve funds, I ask about your involvement in the rescission of the Orange Avenue Overlay last March.

As part of your election campaign you postured as supporting the Orange Avenue Overlay. These changes to our Comprehensive Plan received final commission approval on March 9, 2020 after several years of process in accordance with city laws. As an attorney and as a long term member of the Winter Park Planning and Zoning Board I presume you understand these laws.

After posturing in favor, immediately after your March 17th election (and before you were sworn in as commissioner) you initiated a process outside public view to rescind the very laws that had just been approved, violating the legal process required to change our Comprehensive Plan. This behavior is arguably both unethical and a violation of your oath of office to uphold the law. Further, it has resulted in legal action against our city.

You justified the rescission by claiming you were concerned about setbacks and density for the Progress Point land owned by the city, even though you knew that zoning for city owned land is subject to change by the commission without requiring repeal of the entire set of overlay laws.

Question 1: Why did you posture in support of the Orange Avenue Overlay during your campaign when you intended to rescind it when elected?

Question 2: Why did you justify your rescission of the Orange Avenue Overlay by posturing about the setbacks and density on city owned land when you knew this was irrelevant?

Now to the recent vote to spend $2,800,000 outside the formal public budget process paid for using our emergency city reserve funds.

I would appreciate answers to these questions.

Question 3: Why do you believe concerns about our playing fields justifies spending $2,800,000 outside the annual public budget process?

Question 4: The $2,800,000 is all general fund spending. Why did you vote to take this money from the city’s water and sewer emergency reserves rather than directly from general fund emergency reserves?

Question 5: Why didn’t you take steps to stop our taxpayers from subsidizing for-profit sports leagues currently using our playing fields before considering spending $2,800,000?

Question 6: Why didn’t you take steps to assure Winter Park children on non-profit teams receive priority access to our best playing fields before considering spending $2,800,000?

Question 7: Why does receiving 100 emails justify disrespecting the budget process you were elected to uphold?

Question 8: As asked of Commissioner Sullivan, why do you posture that this spending “accelerates” previously approved spending when you know it does not?

I look forward to your response.

Regards, Pete Weldon

Posted in Ethics, Money, Policy.

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