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Response to Phil Anderson

Dear Phil,

I recently exchanged views with a voter who was hoping you might be a “team leader who will be a unifying force.” Your recent email criticizing specific decisions your opponent for Mayor made during her nine years of service on the city commission certainly dashes that hope.

Your views on the decisions are not based on the underlying facts. Either you are incapable of the discipline required to accurately assess issues facing the commission, or you intentionally avoid the factual circumstances in an effort to sway votes through negative campaigning. Either way, these criticisms of your opponent are grossly inaccurate and inappropriate.

I offer clarifying substance of your criticisms below. Your statements are in italic.

  • Voted to increase the budget of the New Library Project from $32 million to $42+ million and reduce the Library’s size from 50,000 square feet to 36,000 square feet — $10 million more expensive and 30% smaller than voters approved.

Don’t you think it would be responsible to mention that the increases pay for additions to the project recommended by the architect that provide material improvements? Don’t you think it would be responsible to mention that $6,000,000 toward these additions is funded by an Orange County grant that does not cost Winter Park taxpayers a dime, and that the balance is paid for with CRA dollars, not general taxpayer funds?

You might also have fairly noted that the library was and is the purview the Board of Trustees of the Winter Park Library Association, which approved the final design and square footage. The Winter Park library is an independent organization. It is not the role or responsibility of the city commission to make strategic decisions on their behalf.

  • Did not make our Police Department a budget priority, resulting in the Police Department being understaffed by 9 positions at the end of her final term.

This is pure demagoguery. If you knew the facts or had any respect for them you would know that the positions were understaffed because the chief has had difficulty getting qualified candidates even though the commission (including your opponent) voted a significant increase in sworn officer salaries in 2018 to assure we are offering competitive compensation (the very opposite of your false claim).

  • Voted to sell the Fairbanks Bowling Alley to a developer instead of using the land to expand Martin Luther King, Jr. Park — despite strong objections from residents and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

You might mention that the softball field to the north of that property is subject to a PERPETUAL lease to Rollins College, and therefore any expansion of the park related to that property would have been very limited and would not provide for additional playing fields. You might also mention that the $3,500,000 sales price in 2018 included $500,000 in profit (the city purchased the land from Rollins College in 2016). Funds from the sale added back to General Fund reserves have now been spent irresponsibly by people you supported for commission. Here are more facts relevant to this issue.

  • Voted to grant $1.2 million to a private developer for infrastructure and roads instead of requiring the developer to provide their own infrastructure.

The city acquired road right of ways when it annexed the Ravaudage area and therefore assumed responsibility for them. Here are more facts on this issue as well.

Phil, you could better inform the voters of Winter Park by leveling with them.

Regards, Pete Weldon

Posted in Policy.

8 Responses

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  1. Pitt Warner says

    Phil is a divider. He can’t win w/o provoking fear and anger. It’s pathetic. To simply rewrite history for his own benefit clearly shows he is unfit to lead.

  2. z says

    If the trustees of the Library have unlimited and unquestioned right to decide whatever they want of the new library, then they can fund it themselves more than 8%. Have a bake sale. Acting like money that comes from our taxes, rerouted through the county and back to us isn’t actually spending our taxes is just the normal procedural-babble that is meant to confuse. I don’t expect anything different here. Seems like plenty of moneyed interests in Winter Park are for anything that will increase its size and scope.

  3. I loved WP all my life says

    In my opinion, the elephant in the room is the way the new library has evolved. It is way over the original budget, the architecture does not compliment our charming community. We have a plethora of incredible architects in our community and they were passed over for some as Sarah said today a “world renown” architect. My question is why was this brown shopping bag eyesore ever approved by our commissioners and our Mayor who “care so much for our community? My vote is to start with new leaders who are really concerned with complimenting the charming architecture established by our forefathers. To say that I am very concerned about the direction of our community is an understatement. Pete, please respond.

    • Peter Weldon says

      First, please don’t be afraid to state your real name. We can only communicate with trust if we know who is speaking (this goes for everyone).

      I appreciate your frustration at the design. I was on the Architect review committee and was the only member of that committee and of the commission to vote against the selection of Adjay.

      As a matter of self governance, we each need to understand and accept that the majority vote needs to be respected. If we don’t, we don’t have self governance.

      Accordingly, even though I disagreed with the Architect selection, I supported the project as it moved through the process because it was my responsibility to do so (many don’t understand or respect this position to my disappointment).

      Please understand that “horse left the barn” on this issue years ago. No amount of frustration and no new member of the commission is going to change that outcome. Further, It is very unlikely any commission will be building any new structures in the near future.

      We need a Mayor who does not cling to myths and narratives. In my view that person is Sarah Sprinkel.

  4. I’ve loved WP all my life says


    The majority of the residents disagreed with the architecture, but it was approved. BIG RED FLAG! Wake up, something is wrong. I want to avoid decisions like this in the future. Sarah and the whole commission voted to support that monstrosity and now they are trying to persuade us that we now more “culturally” advantaged because it is being built in our community. Please take a moment drive by the grocery bag on Morse and then drive down Park Avenue. After your drive, I think you will agree with me that Winter Park under the current and proposed leadership is going in the wrong direction. By the way, did you know the new “library” is sitting on a old city dump? I will remain anonymous, but I represent many.

    • Peter Weldon says

      The people of Winter Park voted on a bond referendum. They did not vote on a design, nor were they asked to. It is irrelevant whether a majority of Winter Park residents like the design or not, and we have no idea if your statement is true or not.

      Please read my prior reply again. Your anger at something you can’t do anything about is harmful.

      You are disrespecting our processes of self governance. You are seeking retribution based on a myth. You are not seeking reasoned leadership.

      Please consider carefully the poison that is spread throughout our community by you and others with a similar attitude wanting to stay anonymous.

  5. Pitt Warner alias Andrew The Reformer says

    Anonymous comments should not be posted. Just like the No Henderson Hotel fb/.com group. Who knows why someone would do it, but I guess they have an ulterior motive.

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