Winter Park Perspective Commentary by Pete Weldon Sat, 06 Nov 2021 11:30:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Another $15,000,000 Down the Drain? Fri, 05 Nov 2021 19:42:43 +0000 The current commission is not only spending our money unwisely (see links below), they are also devaluing city property while adding to our tax burden. We own approximately 4 acres at the corner of Orange Avenue and Denning Drive (a.k.a., Progress Point). We own the former library site and building, 1.75 acres at New England Avenue and Chase Avenue. We own the city hall site and building, 2.81 acres at 401 S. Park Ave. We don’t know the market value of these properties as the commission has declined to seek formal appraisals and failed to invite private interest in these properties. The best information we have is the estimated market value from the Orange […]

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?Buy the Post Office Property for $15,000,000? Wed, 20 Oct 2021 13:36:44 +0000 Please contact the Winter Park City Commission and tell them to stop their current effort to buy the 2 acre USPS property on New York Avenue for an estimated cost of $15,000,000 or initiate a voter referendum to accept or reject their plan. When the US Postal Service is ready to sell its land on New York avenue, the city can leverage the public use zoning and acquire the property at a fair market value via eminent domain. Why is the city commission trying to pay $15,000,000 for the land now when the latest formal appraisal is less than $2,000,000? The commission’s plan is to move the post office out of downtown, giving the […]

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Orange Avenue Overlay Failure Wed, 13 Oct 2021 20:31:55 +0000 When the current commission killed the original OAO codes in March 2020, I noted that their effort to revise the OAO codes was a performance without an audience. Well, they have now spent 18 months in seclusion from their constituents, completing a revised set of Orange Avenue codes that do nothing but spend more of our money on a superfluous park that will not be used. Further, no private investment is expected in the corridor. A recent video from former Mayor Steve Leary and three involved citizens confirms the current commission does not have a representative perspective. That is, they represent only their personal biases and dogmas, not the people of Winter Park. Please […]

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Traffic Reality Tue, 28 Sep 2021 20:26:12 +0000 With many residents complaining about traffic, our commission made hiring a traffic engineer a big political issue, touting this spending would improve traffic. Truth or political baloney? Those believing we can stop cars cutting through Winter Park on state roads should listen to reality as credibly described by our recently hired city traffic engineer, Sarah Walter. The reality is that traffic engineering in Winter Park has to be focused on pedestrian and cyclist safety as well as traffic calming to slow everything down. This is because Winter Park cannot limit or re-route tens of thousands of cars cutting through Winter Park daily. Ms. Walter has her priorities correct. Let’s manage what we can control […]

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Planning for Our Future or Wasting Our Money? Mon, 30 Aug 2021 17:52:15 +0000 Each of us plan for our family’s future. Shouldn’t our city commission do the same for Winter Park? This commission has been spending our money without any strategic purpose or fiduciary responsibility, not planning and investing for our city’s future. Spending is easy and wasteful. Investing is hard and useful. Please review the following and let the city commission know your thoughts. They have gone off the deep end, projecting $127,000,000 in new spending, $65,000,000 over the next five years. $127,000,000 – Yes, that’s one hundred twenty seven million dollars. $51,000,000 of this is allocated to “traffic and parking.” Why should our taxes pay to improve roads we don’t control and provide parking for […]

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Time to Lower Winter Park Taxes and Spending Mon, 12 Jul 2021 23:09:48 +0000 Tell our commission to lower taxes and spending. The City Manager’s proposed budget and property tax rate for 2021-2022 will be voted on Wednesday, July 14. Please write to and tell them to lower the tax rate and reduce spending. The City of Winter Park is flush with cash and financially strong. The City Commission has been spending every penny of general fund revenue without regard to demonstrated need or long-term consequences. While they like to talk about the property tax rate remaining constant, the real story is that general fund property taxes have increased from $20.8 million to $27.4 million, or 32% since 2018 based on valuation increases. Unrestricted reserves are at […]

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A Tolerant Tree Policy Wed, 02 Jun 2021 20:15:46 +0000 Sheila DeCiccio recently sent a city wide email struggling in over 1,000 words to explain how your city can stop you from removing trees on your property. Some people want to believe trees on your property belong to them. These people concoct complicated rules and penalties related to tree removals in an effort to stop you from removing trees. There is a much simpler approach, tolerance. The only objective of a local tree removal policy should be to encourage replanting when a property owner wishes to remove healthy trees. Pete’s proposed Winter Park Tree Removal Ordinance (87 words): A permit is required to remove trees. A property owner can remove any tree on their […]

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Give the Money to the Residents Tue, 18 May 2021 19:15:04 +0000 UPDATE AUGUST 2021: “Rescue” money for Winter Park now at $15,438,814. Tell the city commission to distribute the $13,000,000 in “Rescue” act money directly to Winter Park residents. If distributed evenly across our 15,000 electric utility customers, your family and/or business would receive a check for about $850. The City of Winter Park does not need $13,000,000 from the “Rescue” act, yet the commissioners currently plan to spend all of it. City revenues have not been materially impacted by the pandemic and the city has achieved record levels of reserves. The commissioners already have millions of dollars they don’t know how to spend wisely and our real estate taxes continue to increase this year […]

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Sarah Sprinkel Is Right For Winter Park Sun, 07 Mar 2021 21:01:25 +0000 VOTE TUESDAY, MARCH 9th – find your polling place The public face of the Winter Park Mayoral election is one of the typical platitudes with an occasional soap opera thrown in. What matters, however, is policy. Sarah Sprinkel has a strong record of reasonableness and sound policy judgment in her previous nine years of service on the commission. As a person of proven character and accomplishment, she has rightly earned the endorsement of six Winter Park mayors and deserves our vote. The current four commissioners have each been promoted and financially supported by Jennifer and Phil Anderson. All four commissioners have dutifully endorsed Phil’s candidacy. Here are a few of their policies since taking […]

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Out of Their Minds Sat, 06 Mar 2021 15:45:00 +0000 They have been out of control, now they are out of their minds. On February 24th the city commission voted to spend $750,000 of your money for the 0.16 acre property at 901 W. Fairbanks ($4,800,000 per acre). They also voted to negotiate the purchase of the 1.0 acre property at 929 – 957 W. Fairbanks for $3,000,000 more of your money. These purchase prices are more than $2,100,000 greater than the Orange County Appraiser’s estimated market values, and exclude costs for demolition, potential environmental abatement, and improvements (there has been no appraisal). These purchases exclude the connecting 0.13 acre parcel at 919 W. Fairbanks, whose owner now has our generous commissioners over a […]

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