Candidates Face Off at Chamber Debate

City Has Money – How Should We Spend It?

Candidates Face Off at Chamber Debate


Before a packed audience at the Chamber of Commerce early this morning, Commissioner Greg Seidel faced off against Wes Naylor, his challenger for Commission Seat #1.

A good part of the discussion centered on the swelling City coffers that have resulted from rising property values and redevelopment within the CRA district. The City experienced an 8 percent increase in revenue last year. The candidates discussed at length the opportunities for capital improvement and additions to City infrastructure.

Talk About Traffic, Taxes, Public Safety

Candidates took up the topics of roads, traffic, parking, the installation of a fiber optic “spine” through the City, and coordination of traffic planning with neighboring communities such as Orlando and Maitland.

Taxes and crime also got some attention. The recent rash of property crimes, coupled with the tragic death of young Roger Trindade, raised questions about the safety of Park Avenue and the need for increased police presence there.

Thanks to Both Candidates

The tenor of the debate was cordial and lively. Both candidates seemed well-informed and thoroughly engaged in the community. Campaigning for office, and the devotion of time required to serve in office, represent a significant level of commitment. Both of these gentlemen deserve our appreciation for their willingness to serve this community.

The Choice Is Yours

This morning’s debate was the first of three. The Winter Park Library will hold a debate March 10 at Noon, and Rollins College will hold an evening debate at Bush Auditorium on a date to be announced.

The Winter Park Voice will post video of all three debates. Even those who cannot attend one of the debates can view the video to see which one of these candidates you would choose to represent you in Commission Seat #1.


Vote March 14.

  • author's avatar

    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.

  • author's avatar

16 replies
  1. 1984 says:

    Challenger Wes Naylor sure showed what his candidacy is all about today – imposing his “Big Brother” extremist vision on Winter Park’s 30,000 residents.

    Right about at the 22 minute point on “Part 1” of the Chamber debate video, Wes blurted out his shocking demand that all of Winter Park’s police cars be outfitted with automated license plate readers, like something out of a George Orwell novel.

    We should all thank Wes Naylor for his service to our country. But his performance today indicates that he’s not ready to be a Winter Park City Commissioner.

    He just doesn’t have the right stuff for the job.

    The highly controversial automated license plate readers Wes advocated today, were first introduced in Winter Park a few years ago. They have been limited up until now to one police car per shift, primarily because of the high error rate they produce. It’s not something a rookie cop should have in his squad car, or for that matter, most veteran cops.

    For those who don’t know, automated license plate readers capture license plate numbers through cameras mounted on the back of police cars or on stationary posts. Once captured, they are cross checked with various government data bases automatically. Then the officer driving the police car gets an “alert” message from the dashboard computer if there is a “match.”The information is stored, sometimes forever, on government computers.

    At least that’s how they’re supposed to work.

    In practice, the readers can, for example, mistake letter “O” for “zero.” And if there is a design on the plate with something that looks like an “O” it can think it’s a letter “O” or number “0” in the tag number and not part of the license plate design. And that’s just one letter of the alphabet. There are lots of possible errors.

    So, what that means to you is if Wes Naylor gets elected, and you have a license plate that has numbers or letters that are similar to someone’s who’s 1) insurance expired, 2) has not paid a previous ticket, 3) has a prior conviction, 4) is on a government “watch” list, or 5) is on any other federal, state, or local “list”for any reason, even if they are completely innocent, you or a family member could end up spending a couple nights in jail, until your lawyer could convince the cops that the license plate reader gave him or her the wrong match. And it doesn’t have to be a Florida plate either. It could be from any state.

    An automated license plate reader could also land you in jail, if for example you mailed a check for your car insurance premium, but it arrived a day late or got lost in the mail, and if the device captured your plate number as you drove by it sometime before you had a chance to balance your checkbook and realize that your insurance company never got your check.

    If Naylor was elected and stopped, he’d probably just flash his commissioner’s badge to the cop and he’d drive away. So, if you’re not treated the same way, Wes wouldn’t necessarily care.

    A second problem is the databases that are created from the automated license plate readers. Do you really want the government to have a complete, detailed record of everywhere you’ve ever driven and the day and exact time at each place – and keep the database forever and share it with whomever they choose without your consent?

    That’s what challenger Wes Naylor is proposing when he says he wants to continue to expand the city’s automated license plate reader program.

    And don’t be deceived.

    Automated license plate readers have almost nothing to do with fighting crime. A criminal with only a screwdriver, in 10 seconds can steal a license plate, and before the owner realizes it’s stolen, burglarize a dozen homes. And when that happens, automated license plate readers have no idea who the burglar was.

    So who are they really aimed at?

    Automated license plate readers are part of the “Big Brother” government guys like Wes Nalyor wants. The kind where YOU are being watched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – just so you don’t get any ideas about maybe running for office yourself one day. Or if you should become a commissioner, that you don’t “rock the boat” while you are there.

    What’s more, automatic license plate readers could win you a trip downtown to the police station for “a few questions” if you happen to have been unlucky enough to have driven past one of the readers around the time a crime occurred in the vicinity. And if you don’t have the sense at the time to realize that you are a suspect and don’t ask for your lawyer to be present during questioning, you could find yourself serving a long prison sentence for a crime you never committed.

    So what do you think of Wes?

    Wes Naylor may have officially left the government only recently, but he still thinks like he never left. He hasn’t been a civilian long enough, recently enough, to credibly represent civilians like you or me.

    Naylor’s political philosophy thus far appears to be government first, government second, residents third.

    • Pitt Warner says:

      If you’re posting comments on the internet you’re being watched. You’re being watched at virtually every store, bank, gov’t building. In WP there are police cameras on Park Ave. So let’s not pretend this is a drastic step. Stopping a car with a read out from a license plate alert is not intrusive or radical. All the knuckleheads who drive w/o insurance, BOLOs, stolen cars, all are good reasons to stop a car. I’d like to see arches at every road entrance to WP and every person who enters has to pass through the license plate reader, just like Sunrail Speed Pass. If you’re following the law, what’s the problem?

      • Facts Not Fiction says:

        You may say, “I’ve done nothing wrong. So, I don’t mind if the government spies on me.”

        And that’s your right – to waive your rights. But you don’t have the right to waive the rights of 30,000 Winter Park residents – only your own rights.

        You are in the minority. The way most people in Winter Park look at it is, “What right does the government have to spy on me if I’ve done nothing wrong?”

        Further, there is credible evidence that electronic government surveillance devices actually ATTRACT crime. So, what right does Wes Naylor have to attract crime to 30,000 residents of Winter Park?

        When the Park Avenue government surveillance cameras were installed in 2012, we were told by the former mayor, “The cameras will keep us safe.” What happened was that Park Avenue crime increased AFTER government surveillance cameras were installed. And if you believe the news accounts (not saying you should), DRAMATICALLY so.

        If Wes Naylor really wants to stop crime, he should look at the FACTS. The sensible course, it seems, would be to retrace our steps, remove the creepy cameras, and return to the sound policing practices, and less crime, we had prior to the installation of the cameras. But Wes, like the politician he is, thinks he can dazzle us with false hope, and the empty promise of “technology” to solve all our problems.

        I know. It’s hard to focus on facts, not rhetoric, when you think you’ve found the perfect candidate who will give you everything you want. But, your guy Wes Naylor may be telling you a little story about being in the race to improve Winter Park, when all he really wants is to track you around wherever you go.

        We are constantly told that our half a trillion dollars in taxes annually paid to our military is to “keep us free.” Seems like Wes Naylor never got the memo. His vision appears to be to turn Winter Park into some kind of maximum security prison, where every resident is an inmate.

        See the link to the research. Read and learn.

        • Pitt Warner says:

          I did not write that Mr. Naylor supported surveillance cameras. In fact he supports your position: more police presence on the Avenue. My point was I hope he supports researching costs/feasibility of neighborhood cameras. Before a big step we need to thoroughly research.

        • That's Not All says:

          Cameras, automated license plate readers, and the other forms of mass surveillance in Winter Park create a barrier between residents and police.

          The time honored formula of public safety is residents working together with police to stop crime.

          It’s not sexy. It’s not high tech. It doesn’t require expensive government contracts and vendors and tax increases. It just works.

          When residents are aware that mass surveillance is being used they are LESS likely to call police to report suspicious activity. That’s because they are led to believe “The cameras will keep us safe.”

          Cameras, automated license plate readers, etc. also cannot sit on the witness stand at trial. Only a person can. And most jurors are well aware that video can be edited. Only the most jaded jurors would send someone off to prison if there was any reasonable doubt about their guilt. That means fewer thugs get sent to prison when mass surveillance is in use.

          Mass surveillance also means fewer residents will take their own camera phone to film anything suspicious because they believe the government surveillance cameras and the other forms of mass surveillance are already doing it.

          Further, its hard to maintain a trusting relationship with someone you know has been spying on you daily, as is the case with mass surveillance. That’s what it is – spying on you.

          There are 30,000 Winter Park residents versus somewhere around 100 police. The solution to the crime problem is to reengage the 30,000 residents that existed prior to the installation of government surveillance cameras and automated license plate readers. And that means removing the mass surveillance and restoring the tenets of traditional policing such as probable cause, warrants, presumed innocence, etc.

          Mass surveillance wastes police resources by sending cops on wild goose chases where everyone is a suspect. When everyone is a suspect, no one is a suspect.

          Wes Naylor, if he was campaigning on a platform to INCREASE crime in Winter Park, could not have presented a recipe more likely to do just that than the expansion of mass surveillance that he has proposed as the foundation of his platform for City Commissioner.

          • Pitt Warner says:

            If you are awake at 3:30 am on a Sunday morning, be my guest and take a picture of your neighbors car being burgled. I’d prefer a camera on the entrance to my neighborhood (Mr. Naylor was non-committal) and license plate readers on entrances to the city (he likes more license plate readers on police cars rather than the 1 or 2 we have now) And the last person arrested for burlary of a car in Orwin Manor was carrying a loaded firearm. I think your comments are unrealistic.

  2. Realist says:

    Pitt, the camera will protect you. Just put up the camera and there will be no more crime in Winter Park. All those videos you see on TV of criminals committing crimes in front of surveillance cameras. They mean nothing. Punk crooks would never want to be famous and have their crime appear on TV. Criminals will not reason that if there is a surveillance camera that 1) criminals have been successful in the area, 2) that there is a good chance that there is lots of valuable stuff to be had within range of the camera, and 3) that nobody in the neighborhood has a gun or would ever want to “get involved” by calling 911 if they heard anything suspicious, so they put up a surveillance camera instead.

    Oh, and you can be sure that anyone looking to buy a home in the neighborhood, wouldn’t think it was weird at all that the government keeps track of every time residents enter and exit their own neighborhood. Home buyers like really creepy government cameras posted within range of their windows, and other government electronic surveillance intrusion into their personal lives. It makes them feel safe to know that if they buy in the neighborhood they can leave all their privacy rights behind.

    Wes Naylor is now saying that, get this, that a smart phone app will end the crime in Winter Park. Is this guy for real? Or has he been commanding a military technology center so long that he’s like the guy whose only tool is a hammer so every problem he sees is a nail.

    • Dirty Harry aka Pitt Warner says:

      I can’t speak for Mr. Naylor, but cameras are everywhere. Ask the police if cameras helped in the investigation of WPHS student who was beat up and died on Park Ave. And the last person caught burgling a car was a carrying a loaded firearm. And your homebuyer comment is a little funny. Why do so many people desire a gated community? Do you think there is a camera at the entrance of a gated community? A guard recording your coming and going? I have nothing to hide about my comings and goings and if it makes a burglar think twice about entering my neighborhood, I’d like to investigate the cost and implementation. No panacea, I’d like to hear about costs and logistics. Maybe it’s unrealistic $ wise, but the first thing police do when they’re investigating is ask if there are any cameras leading up to or away from crime scene.

      • Sherlock says:

        Winter Park actually prohibits gated communities. The only ones in the city are those that were once not in Winter Park, but were later annexed into the city. If you and all your neighbors asked the city for permission, at your own expense, for a gated entrance to your subdivision, I would be the first to support it. But a government camera is a really bad idea.

        Gated communities or limited access as they are sometimes called actually do deter crime. That’s because the gate or wall is a physical BARRIER that can prevent criminals from entering.

        Outdoor government surveillance cameras have no such benefit. As the credible research from a prior post on this article proves.

        Criminals react the following ways to outdoor government surveillance cameras:

        1) Trail of breadcrumbs. If some criminals see a camera they think it means treasure nearby.
        2) Bonnie and Clyde effect. Some criminals enjoy the notoriety they receive when surveillance video of themselves is made public.
        3) Easy peesy. To other criminals surveillance cameras indicate desperation and vulnerability. Who in their right mind would give up all their privacy, unless they had already exhausted all other means of defending their property, and nothing has worked?

        In a nutshell, government cameras ATTRACT crime.

        And the few criminals that may be deterred by one will just go to your neighbors instead. So by putting up a camera, you’re not helping yourself or your neighbors.

        First thing ANYONE in Winter Park should ask is, “How do we PREVENT crime? How do we DETER crime?”

        Park Ave has had the cameras now for 5 years. A documented miserable failure. When in Winter Park’s over 100 year history have we ever heard of such heinous crimes on Park Ave since the government surveillance cameras were installed there? Some are now even asking for uniformed police there 24/7. What is now believed to be the most dangerous street in Winter Park was the safest street BEFORE the cameras were installed.

        And if there’s an officer on Park Avenue, that means he/she WON’T be on your block! You think the criminals might notice?

        You want to play cops and robbers? You want to get out your torches and pitchforks and catch the bad guys? Fine.

        But, the other 29,999 residents just want Winter Park the safe place is was BEFORE the cameras.

        Take down the cameras. And dust off the old crime fighting book from pre-2012 please – when Winter Park was safe. No cops on Park Avenue then. No cops sitting inside headquarters staring at a screen. No cameras. Just cops out fighting crime.

        Robbing law abiding residents of our privacy with government cameras is not crime fighting. It’s just robbery.

        • Dirty Harry aka Pitt Warner says:

          You make a few assertions as if they are correct. Maybe they are. In my very preliminary discussions with a senior member of the police he thought cameras were worth investigating. I’m not advocating a purchase, but an investigation into the technology. Phew!

  3. John Dough says:

    Mr. Naylor seems like a nice guy who doesn’t realize that he has been drafted to be the “solid third vote” for the Leary machine. He is obviously flattered that his “pal” Steve, has told him that his participation in city politics is just what we need to clean up our little corner of paradise, which has become the Wild West. A quick peek at Naylor’s latest campaign finance disclosure reveals that he has quickly caught on to Mr. Leary’s game plan: take cash from developers, GOP PACs (Conservative Results), and other individuals who don’t really care about local issues, just making money under the excuse of “property rights.” Why even our mayor, Mr. Leary, found an extra $1000 under his pillow to donate to Mr. Naylor. Of course, he didn’t do it under his own name, but through an anonymous LLC, Cavalier Investments, which, according to SunBiz, is owned by Leary Management. I guess Ole Steve figured that WP voters were too stupid to figure that one out.

    Mr. Naylor also received $5000 last period from a multitude of LLCs controlled by Mr. Chris Comins, best known as the Lake Nona Dog Shooter and aspiring developer of luxury lakefront properties. I’m sure that Mr. Comins, a resident of South Orlando, gave this cash out of the goodness of his own heart.

    Naylor also raked in $2000 from two LLCs linked to everyone’s favorite developer, Dan Bellows. He even received 10 donations from out of state entities who are kind enough to help us figure out who should be in charge of OUR local government. Thanks.

    A vote for Naylor is a vote to give Steve Leary a third vote and lock down the pay for play scheme for good.

    • USS Winter Park says:

      In The Voice’s chamber debate video, candidate Wes Naylor chastises Commissioner Greg Seidel for what in Naylor’s opinion is Seidel’s failure to “collaborate.”

      It looks like someone on the comment board has finally broken Naylor’s code. “Collaboration,” as Naylor uses the word, appears to refer to the concept of selling out the residents in favor of the special interests.

      Naylor loads up on campaign money from the special interests, then pretends his candidacy is all about taxes and crime, two issues near and dear to likely Winter Park voters in March. Never mentioning to the voters that the policies of the special interests have actually driven UP both taxes and crime in Winter Park.

      Then also in the chamber debate, Naylor brags that his will be a civil campaign. “Civility” also appears to be a code word for a candidate who shakes hands with his opponent, pledging a “civil” campaign, when all the while has fingers crossed behind his back and planning one of the the dirtiest campaigns in Winter Park history!

      Naylor apparently is a student of “The Art of War,” first convincing his opponent that he is harmless. Then planning a devastatingly dirty campaign, knowing that Seidel is a nice guy who won his last election against the civil candidacy of former Mayor Gary Brewer. And wagering that Seidel will be completely unprepared for Naylor’s numerous surprise last minute campaign attacks and tricks and fail to retaliate in kind.

      Captain Wes Naylor is busy loading the torpedos in his campaign submarine.

      Winter Park watches and waits to see how Commissioner Greg Seidel will engineer an impressive backfire of same torpedos behind enemy lines just in time to see Captain Naylor wave his white flag of surrender from the bridge of his campaign submarine on election night, ensuring that Winter Park residents can continue to enjoy a remarkable quality of life.

      All hands on deck!

      • John Dough says:

        You hit the nail on the head. Mr. Naylor has enlisted the services of Millennium Consulting, the brainchild behind the Obama hit pieces used by Leary against Cindy McKinnon, and who tried (and failed) to oust Carolyn Cooper in favor of the “soccer mom” Lambrine. They have a deep bag of dirty tricks. I expect to see a “Channel 9 Exclusive” investigation alleging some fake wrongdoing by Mr. Seidel to be released in an attempt to get Wes into office. History suggests that it’s coming soon…stay tuned. Another candidate who is trying to bring party politics into our non-partisan election, where they have NO bearing whatsoever. Sad

        • Pitt Warner says:

          No bearing? I’d like to know if someone is a member of the Socialist Workers Party or even worse, The Prohibition Party.
          Seriously, everyone knows the political party of every candidate. What’s the big deal?

          • Tom Sims says:

            Socialists and Prohibitionists? Please.

            The “big deal” is that Partisan politics have become a major distraction from the local issues in City elections.

            The national political parties and their platforms rarely address local issues, which are the point of LOCAL elections. Local government trims trees, regulates growth, maintains parks, issues building permits, funds first responders, provides utility services, etc.

            City of Winter Park Government is not charged with or responsible for international diplomacy, social welfare programs, reproductive rights, military spending, labor laws, etc. These are handled at the County, State, and Federal levels, where party politics are more appropriate.
            Local issues that are under the direct jurisdiction of City Government should be the focus of these races, plain and simple.
            Partisan interference in the last few election cycles has only served to bring in more outside money and make these elections less civil, without bringing any benefit to city governance. When national parties get involved, these elections become arms races to see which one can claim another “trophy.”
            Fundraising and spending on local campaigns has gone nuts the last few election cycles, due, in part, to this mentality. It’s outrageous that $100,000 + or more per race has been collected and spent to elect part-time local officials in our village of 30,000 souls.
            Couldn’t these dollars have done more good spent elsewhere?
            City of Winter Park voters are quite capable of picking our own local leaders without input from Political Action Committees, political parties, developers, consultants and lobbyists.

            I prefer to choose a candidate for office based on their qualifications, stated positions, and record, rather than simply look for a specific letter after their name.

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