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Speak Up On Our Financial Mess

Long time Winter Park resident Pitt Warner recently wrote to the city commission (see below). Mr. Warner is 100% correct and residents need to speak up. This commission has wrecked our financial circumstances is just a few years. Read the 2024 city budget up for a final vote on September 27. The budget projects a further decline in our reserves as a percentage of our annual spending and projects further losses well into the future. I documented several of the judgment errors of this commission in prior posts and will be publishing more shortly. Please read Mr. Warner’s letter below and write to the commission telling them to reduce spending.

Mayor and Commissioners,

Inflation is a reality. Most WP taxpayers have felt the effects. Most taxpayers are cutting back a little/a lot. The 5 of you seem not to be concerned about being thrifty stewards for the taxpayers. You’re more concerned about spending money to fix imaginary problems. A greenspace shortage? A $1M traffic pacifier on Aloma? A $150,000 construction manager to oversee an overreaction to a once in 50 year rainfall? An IRP manager for electric utility? More cops/fire?  An electric riding mower that costs 3X that of a gas mower? Denning Ave. turn lane that costs a couple million to save a few seconds? (maybe get FDOT to add 10 seconds to the green light?) And the money pit that is OAO? How is it possible to screw up a prime piece of commercial real estate in one of the country’s most desirable, small cities and leave taxpayers “holding the bag!” Seriously?

And please tell the Winter Park Land Trust to buy land with their own money and not drag the taxpayers into their NIMBY campaigns. Tell them to buy land, not influence. 

All of you seem to be oblivious to the majority of WP taxpayers. Property tax revenue has increased in the last 3 years and you’ve spent every nickel. Every one!  The city’s 2020 pro-forma forecast over $27 million in property tax revenue for 2024. It’s projected in this year’s budget to be $34,000,000. A 25% difference. And every penny is spent! 

How about a 3% reduction in spending? Not everyone can brag they bought an overpriced, vanity EV ( so why not show the taxpayers you understand reality. Delay a few hires, chop Aloma “crisis” plan (traffic counts are slightly down in last 20 years), prioritize stormwater with that department’s annual plan, not another expensive bureaucrat, adjust traffic lights, cut out expensive consultants/reports. Tell residents that now is the time to be prioritizing savings, not spending. Set an example of responsibility. Property tax revenue increases are not guaranteed.  

Most people will appreciate the honesty.  

Pitt Warner

Please write to the commission and tell them to reduce spending.

Posted in Policy.

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