2019 Commission Hopefuls

Cooper, Weldon & Weaver . . . so far

2019 Commission Hopefuls

Although it won’t begin in earnest until after the holidays, rumblings are already audible.

Commissioner Carolyn Cooper, Seat #3, Commissioner Peter Weldon, Seat #4 and challenger Todd Weaver have all declared their intention to run for Winter Park City Commission.

Weldon, originally elected in 2016, will seek a second term. Long-time Winter Park resident Todd Weaver will challenge Weldon in the race for Seat #4.

To date, no challenger has announced opposition to Carolyn Cooper in the race for Seat #3. Cooper is seeking a fourth and final term. Commissioners’ service is limited to four 3-year terms in office.

There is plenty of time for a challenger to make his or her intentions known. The official filing dates to run for Winter Park Commission are January 17 – 22, 2019.

The election is March 12, 2019.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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14 replies
  1. Cigar says:

    It will be interesting to see who they put up to run against Cooper this time. She can’t lose, so whoever they put up as challenger will be the loser.

    Cooper is no threat to the regime, with three solid votes always at the ready to thwart her occasional attempts to color outside their lines. Her re-election will only prolong the illusion that residents have some political power in Winter Park. And thus it will serve the regime she sometimes appears in opposition to.

    Weaver’s announcing early is an interesting strategy. A rookie candidate’s error, no doubt, that would seem only to accelerate Weldon’s campaign fundraising during the next couple of months.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one more candidate throw their hat in the ring for Seat 4 towards the filing deadline. Likely someone who has already run for City Commission before and lost.

    Weldon has at times demonstrated a mind of his own. This is a threat to the regime as his is one of the three votes they depend on. And if re-elected, his intellect which far exceeds that of the other two commissioners he usually votes with, may be less inclined to go along with some of the more outrageous approvals they frequently rubber stamp in bureaucratic unison.

    The regime may find a more obedient (and less intelligent) servant in a shill candidate who comes out of nowhere at the filing deadline to narrowly defeat both the articulate incumbent and Mr. Weaver for Seat 4, and follow the regime’s script more closely as the page turns to the next chapter of Winter Park City Commission Odyssey.

      • Cigar says:

        It may surprise you, but here is a Pete Weldon quote from a City Commission meeting:

        “Why is this Dias above the people that we serve? We should be inverting this stage that we sit on. They elect us to speak for them. So why we’re up here and they’re down there I have no idea.”

        The regime perpetuates itself by seating commissioners who oppose the sentiment Vice Mayor Weldon so eloquently stated.

        The regime wants to represent no one except themselves.

        That’s why I believe Weldon is vulnerable to a last minute challenge by a regime plant candidate, because Weldon is clearly not the cookie-cutter autocrat the regime hoped he’d be when they recruited him to challenge McMacken for Seat 4 three years ago.

        For example, Weldon is frequently reaching out to other commissioners for public conversations on various issues, to understand and find common ground.

        Leary and Sprinkel have never budged from unequivocal regime loyalty since elected. Seidel and Cooper have moved closer to the regime philosophy since they have been elected. Weldon has moved in the opposite direction since elected. Maybe not a lot, maybe not perceptible to everyone, but it’s the direction that matters.

    • Randy Vance says:

      Cigar, I wonder how much difference fund raising in Winter Park really makes? I’ve seen a lot wasted on stacks of mailers–in fact, I will save them all this year, just to show how many–and how ineffective. In a town our size, I would think shoe-leather more than balloons and badges would sway the electorate. Isn’t a small town supposed to be more personal? Signs, badges, over-sized post cards? Please.

      I would support a candidate who would:

      1. Put a term limit on the City Manager–say 6 years.
      2. Amend the city charter to require all bonds pass by a 2/3 majority.
      3. Someone who thinks the city plan, devised, promoted and approved by citizens isn’t a so-called “living document” to be routinely dismissed by the commission.
      4. Foster in-depth discussions in City Commission Meetings. Pivotal events take place with votes after minimal discussion in the City Minutes.

  2. Six Points says:

    I dunno, Cigar. Weldon’s been running since the first time he moved to lower millage the rate during his initial term in 2016. Viewed in this way, Weaver was wise to announce when he did because Weldon’s been running for almost three years already. Weldon’s millage charade becomes less convincing each year. He realized if the amendment on homestead exemption passed, it would work hardship on the city, but he threw down the millage card anyway because pandering for votes mattered more.

    • Pitt Warner says:

      Pete Weldon, a long time resident of Winter Park since 1988 is trying to put the citizens back into the taxation equation. Since the homestead amendment did not pass, there is no excuse not to lower millage rates.

      And I don’t mind putting my name to it.

  3. Six Points says:

    Pitt Warner- Pandering is pandering. You appear to suggest that the decision as to millage is still pending. It is not. Weldon made that motion 2 months before voters went to the polls. (He did not receive a second.) He went Full Monty and threw caution to the wind.

    • Jim Fitch says:

      It is always Amusing and sometime Interesting to read the anonymous comments here.
      However, they would have more credibility if they had the cojones to give their real names…

      • Stick to issue please says:

        Credibility also involves substantive comments.

        Disappointed to see a former mayoral candidate I voted for make such a meaningless remark and use a vulgar word like “cojones.”

        Now beginning to think that those who suspected he was a “plant” candidate were right.

  4. WP Politics Documentary says:

    A British filmmaker has produced a thoughtful and well researched documentary about the 2019 Winter Park City Commission race.

    This is the first time anyone can remember that a documentary film has been made about a local Winter Park campaign.

    Here is a brief preview exclusively for Winter Park Voice readers:


    The red carpet official release of the film is TBD.


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