Candidate Communications Seat 3
Campaign Season in Full Swing
Invitations to campaign fundraisers follow close on the heels of kickoff parties, with the holidays barely behind us. The race for Commission is ON. Lambrine Macejewski challenges Carolyn Cooper for Seat #3, and Peter Weldon will oppose Tom McMacken for Seat #4.
WP Voice Needs Your Help
We are requesting that when you receive an email or a flier from a candidate, please scan front and back and email it to the Voice at email@example.com We will eliminate any reference to your name, address or other identifying information before we publish.
The Voice will use this information to post a chronology of communications from each candidate. When you are forming your voting decisions, whether you are filling out your absentee ballot or going to the polls, it may be helpful to review each candidate’s position on the issues.
If you receive a phone call about the candidates or the issues, please record it if you can. Remember, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any telephone conversation or any in-person conversation that common sense tells you is private. We will post a link so others can listen. If you need assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 407-671-2964. There will be someone to assist you.
Some voters report they have already received one political phone call, though when the pollster was asked the origin of the call, neither he nor his supervisor could provide that information. According to the Orange County Division of Elections, if the pollsters make fewer than 1,000 calls and the duration of the calls exceeds two minutes, the call is presumed to be a “political poll,” and no disclosure is required.
This poll solicited Winter Park voters’ opinions of Congressman John Mica, Mayor Steve Leary, candidates Peter Weldon and Lambrine Macejewski, and Commissioners Tom McMacken and Carolyn Cooper. The pollster then asked closely worded questions about issues such as the Historic Preservation ordinance, the Dog Park and development in Winter Park, which could have been a reference to the Carlisle.
Attend a Candidate Forum
In addition to campaign coverage in local media, there will be four candidate forums where you can see the candidates square off in person.
Tuesday, February 9, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Sun Trust Auditorium, Crummer Hall, 1000 Holt Ave.
Hosted by Rollins College Democracy Project and WPRK
Wednesday, February 10, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Winter Park Community Center, 721 W. New England Ave.
Hosted by Winter Park Voice
Friday, February 12, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 W. Lyman Ave.
Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce
Friday, February 19, Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Winter Park Public Library, 460 E. New England Ave.
Hosted by the Winter Park Public Library
To request or check the status of your absentee ballot, visit www.ocfelections.com or call the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office: 407-836-2070.
Most Important: VOTE on March 15, 2016.
Four Candidates Vie for Two Commission Seats
Cooper and McMacken Seek Re-election
As of the qualifying deadline on December 18, four candidates have declared their intentions to run for Commission Seats #3 and #4 in the March 15, 2016 election.
Commissioner Carolyn Cooper will seek a third term in Seat #3. Challenging Cooper is restaurateur Lambrine Macejewski.
Commissioner Tom McMacken will run for re-election to Seat #4, opposed by Peter Weldon.
Introductory information about each candidate is below. In the New Year, the Voice will publish more detailed information about the candidates’ platforms and the issues each finds important.
Three Candidate Forums in February
Winter Park residents will have the opportunity to see the candidates square off in a series of three Candidate Forums in February 2016.
- Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Community Center – Hosted by the Winter Park Voice
- Friday, Feb. 12, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Welcome Center – Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce
- Friday, Feb. 19, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Winter Park Public Library – Hosted by the Winter Park Public Library
Candidates for Commission Seat #3
Commissioner Carolyn Cooper
Through her service on the Florida League of Cities (FLC) Tri-County Board of Directors, Carolyn advocates in Tallahassee on behalf of Florida’s 400+ cities. She understands first hand that many of Winter Park’s challenges can be resolved by building coalitions at the state level. The FLC named Carolyn the 2015 FLC Home Rule Hero for her advocacy during the 2015 legislative session.
Carolyn has a strong background in finance and budgeting. She has a Masters in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, worked as a Department of Defense Financial Manager and has professional training in Florida municipal budgeting. She has drawn on this background to build city reserves and maintain services while never voting to raise taxes.
Carolyn honed her management skills as a member of the Space Shuttle Ground Support negotiating team and later as Director of Contracts for Martin Marietta Data Systems. This experience, coupled with her understanding of land use gained from her service on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, positions her to effectively represent citizens’ interests as the City considers how best to grow into the future.
Winter Park Magazine named Carolyn one of Winter Park’s 25 most influential people in 2015 noting, “. . .nobody controls Carolyn … she only cares about the citizens of Winter Park.”
Candidate Lambrine Macejewski
As a citizen volunteer, Lambrine has participated in the Park Avenue Merchants Association (PAMA), serving one term as president and currently as vice president. The other city and community boards on which she serves include Keep Winter Park Beautiful and Sustainable, the Winter Park History Museum and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Lambrine founded the “Running of the Chihuahuas” to benefit Winter Park Lost Pets, and she is a Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader.
In 2015, Winter Park Magazine named Lambrine “The Entrepreneur,” one of the Winter Park’s 25 Most Influential People.
Lambrine grew up in Dallas, Texas, where her father was co-owner and chef of 4 restaurants. She was raised in their family business and worked part-time throughout high school and college.
She graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a B.B.A. in accounting and went on to work for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). She then worked for Level 3 Communications, 360networks and finally left to start her own consulting firm, which specialized in performance management, business process improvement and integrations.
With the inception of Cocina 214, Lambrine was able to go back to her roots in the restaurant business. She lives in Winter Park with her husband Ronnie, daughter Rachel and their family pet Oliver.
Candidates for Commission Seat #4
Commissioner Tom McMacken
McMacken is running for a third term on the Winter Park City Commission. Known for frequently casting the swing vote, McMacken listens to citizens and strives to hear all sides of an issue before reaching a decision.
In 2014, Tom was named Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year. He remains a member of the Chamber, as well as American Society of Landscape Architects, First United Methodist Church of Winter Park, the Orange County Community Action Board, the Friends of Casa Feliz, and the Winter Park History Museum.
He participated in planning the Park Avenue streetscape, the Winter Park Village and The Park at Orwin Manor.
McMacken has served on a City board or commission since 1998. Before becoming a City Commissioner, he chaired each of the four boards on which he served for at least one term, including the Planning & Zoning Commission.
In addition to Planning & Zoning, McMacken served on the Historic Preservation Commission, the Tree Preservation Board and the Public Art Advisory Board.
Tom, his wife, Ann, and their daughter, Emily, have lived in Winter Park for nearly three decades.
Candidate Peter Weldon
Peter Weldon earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami in 1971 and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University in 1974.
After careers for both Weldons at Johnson & Johnson, they relocated to Winter Park when Peter was recruited to run a venture capital backed startup. After leaving the startup he became a Chartered Financial Analyst and investment advisor. He retired in 2013.
The Weldons have been actively involved in the community for 25 years. Fran has been neighborhood watch coordinator. They have supported many civic organizations, including the Winter Park Library, Live Oak Fund, Polasek Museum Capen House restoration, Feed the Need Winter Park and Art in the Park. Peter Weldon served on the United Way agency review panels and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Orlando Science Center.
Pete Weldon began writing www.WinterParkPerspective.org in 2008 to share views on decision making and political processes at city hall. His intent was to help make better decisions by putting policy arguments in context with relevant facts.
Pete Weldon has served on Winter Park city boards since 2008. Currently he serves on the Tree Preservation Board and the Planning and Zoning Board. His management and investment experience is grounded in a patient, long term view, based on careful study and prudent risk taking, in context with the facts. If elected, he would bring this same focus on long term value creation to his role on the City Commission.
Political Attacks Anger Winter Park
Like many other citizens of our city, I am outraged at Steve Leary’s conduct and his personal attack on his opponent — calling her a racist and taking out of context her use of the historically correct term “Negro Town.” I cannot sit back and say nothing about the way Leary’s campaign has turned this mayoral race into a disgrace.
It is one thing to have different views on what is right for the City of Winter Park — rampant development vs. careful managed growth; transparency in government vs. keeping residents out of the “know.” The list of differences goes on.
Leary is spreading his vitriol using all available means. Peter Weldon has become little more than a mouthpiece for Leary. The Republican Party propaganda machine has poured in thousands of dollars into funding Leary’s mailers and ads. Leary’s attempt to debase his opponent’s character with unfounded lies cannot and should not be tolerated in silence. I am not the only citizen of this town who is personally outraged by the Leary campaign.
I’m Not the Only One
Randy Noles, editor of Winter Park magazine, wrote, “Ms. Mackinnon’s use of this phrase, in the context of a historical discussion, is accurate. Any effort to make more out of this is just willfully misleading and an insult to Ms. Mackinnon and to the intelligence of Winter Park voters.”
Dr. Gary Barker wrote, “Steve Leary needs to address this now or lose any credibility he has. It’s one thing to argue about trees, traffic or Trader Joe’s, but to wrongly attack someone’s personal honor and values is unacceptable in this or any election. Do what’s right, Steve Leary, and publicly withdraw your accusations and apologize to Cynthia Mackinnon.
How can any decent citizen ever offer their candidacy for city office knowing they are likely to be personally attacked for offering you, the voter, a choice?
If this is the kind of person who could be our next Mayor, how shameful for the City of Winter Park. Consider carefully when you choose on March 10th.
Special Election 2015 Section in The Voice
To see full candidate profiles, interviews, filings, positions on various issues and other stories as they are published, click on the “Election 2015” button in the upper right portion of your screen when you are viewing the website. Or click this button >
Campaign Treasurer’s Reports can be found on the City of Winter Park website at http://cityofwinterpark.org/government/city-info/election-info/financial-reports/
Leary Resigns to Run for Mayor
Generous Donors for the Holidays
On December 17, Steven J. Leary announced his resignation from the Winter Park City Commission, effective March 15, 2015, which he was required to do to launch his mayoral campaign. Leary will continue to serve as Commissioner, Seat #1, until March 15. If he is elected, Leary will assume his post as mayor at that time. If he loses the mayoral election, Leary will officially resign from the Commission.
Brewer vs. Shambeck for Leary’s Commission Seat
Either way, as it stands now, Leary’s current seat on the Commission will be filled either by former Mayor and Commissioner Gary Brewer or by his opponent, political newcomer Willow Shambeck – to date, the only two who have declared their intentions to run for this seat.
But There’s Still Time
According to Lucy Melendez of the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office, candidate qualifying begins December 29, 2014 and lasts until January 6, 2015. During that time, additional candidates may file to run either for Commission Seat #1, currently held by Leary, or for the mayoral race.
More Candidates Means February 10 Primary
Three or more candidates for any seat would result in a primary election, to be held on February 10, 2015. If any one of the three opposing candidates in the primary receives 51 percent or more of the votes, that candidate wins the election then and there. If no one receives 51 percent in the February primary, the two candidates with the highest vote counts run against each other in the March 10, 2015, election.
February 10 Primary Changes Voters’ Schedule
A primary would significantly change the dates for voters as well as for candidates. A chart of events is below. Please note: in the event of a February 10 primary, Voter Registration would close January 12, 2015.
2015 Election Schedule — Mayor and Commission Seat #1
Mayoral Donors Generous
The latest Campaign Treasurer’s Report Summaries show that political support has been robust throughout the holidays. Leary’s contributions totaled $21,700 as of an amended December 5, 2014, report. Of that amount, five of the most recent donations came from controversial Ravaudage developer Daniel Bellows and his partner, attorney Robert Saltsman.
Mackinnon Outstrips Leary
Leary’s opponent, retired Judge Cynthia Mackinnon, has so far raised in excess of $95,000. Her donations come from a somewhat broader base of Winter Park residents. That said, Mackinnon’s campaign began its efforts earlier. Leary’s campaign is expected to ramp up once the holidays are over.
Commission Donors Lag
In contrast, Brewer recently reported donations totaling $7,700 and Shambeck reported a total of $4,000 in contributions. These are early days, however, and things are sure to heat up in the new year.
Campaign Treasurer’s Reports can be found on the City of Winter Park website at http://cityofwinterpark.org/government/city-info/election-info/financial-reports/.
Greg Seidel to Run for Commission
Commission Race Now Goes to Feb. 10 Primary
Gregory S. Seidel, Vice President of the Balmoral Group, a Winter Park-based civil engineering firm, has announced his intention to seek election to Winter Park Commission Seat #1, which is being vacated by mayoral candidate Steven Leary.
February 10 Primary
By throwing his hat into the ring, Seidel throws the commission race into a February 10, 2015 primary. The primary election will determine one of two things. If one of the three candidates for the commission seat – Gary Brewer, Willow Shambeck or Greg Seidel – wins more than 51 percent of the vote, that candidate becomes the new commissioner. If no candidate wins more than 51 percent of the primary vote, the two candidates with the most votes will vie for the commission seat in the March 10 election.
Winter Park City Clerk Cindy Bonham and Greg Seidel both verified to the Voice Seidel’s intention to run.
No Word on Voter Registration or Absentee Ballot Deadlines
The Orange County Board of Elections was closed Friday and so could not be reached for comment on the effect the February 10 primary will have on voter registration deadlines or the mailing of absentee ballots. The Voice will make this information available when business resumes on Monday, January 5.
Seidel: Strong Engineering Background
Seidel has more than 23 years of experience in engineering with a focus on stormwater management. His experience also includes stormwater management design for major and minor roadways, reservoir design, flood mapping, roadway project management, water distribution design and wastewater collection design.
Seidel earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and his Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Hydraulics and Hydrology from Lehigh University. He serves as chair of the Winter Park Utility Advisory Board.
Campaign Treasurer’s Reports can be found on the City of Winter Park website athttp://cityofwinterpark.org/government/city-info/election-info/financial-reports/.
WP Election Slate Keeps Growing
Commercial Realtor to Oppose Brewer for Commission Seat #1
Winter Park’s election may be four months away, but community interest in the two open seats is heating up. Four eager candidates already have filed to run – more than a month before the official qualifying period even begins.
Shambeck to Oppose Brewer
In the latest filing, Willow Shambeck, president of Cursor Realty Commercial, a commercial real estate brokerage in Winter Park, on Nov. 10 declared her intention to run for the commission seat that will be vacated when Commissioner Steve Leary resigns to run for mayor.
Commission Seat #1 is also being sought by former city commissioner and mayor Gary Brewer, an independent consultant and former president of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.
Mackinnon vs. Leary for Mayor
Running against each other for mayor are Commissioner Steve Leary and long-time city resident Cynthia Mackinnon. Leary, who will resign his commission seat to run, is vice-president of Leary Management Group, which handles property management, sales and maintenance. Mackinnon is a retired 9th Judicial Circuit Court judge.
High Dollar Campaigns
This election promises to be a high dollar one. With their early filings, all four candidates have an early start on fundraising. Because she filed prior to October 31, Mackinnon alone had to declare her contributions in the first reporting period. The $77,100 she declared in her initial report exceeds the $65,200 that outgoing mayor Ken Bradley raised over his entire last campaign.
Candidates can submit their remaining qualifying paperwork beginning December 29 at noon. The final deadline to enter the race is noon of January 6, 2015.
WP Political Season Heats Up
Former Mayor to Run for Leary’s Commission Seat
Gary Brewer, who served as Winter Park commissioner and mayor during the 1980s and 90s, told the Voice today he intends to run again for the WP Commission.
Brewer said he plans to file next week for the seat being vacated by Steve Leary, who this week announced his run for WP Mayor.
Also today, former Florida Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Mackinnon followed up her recent campaign treasury filing with a candidacy announcement calling for “A new type of leader.”
Mackinnon pledged to “build consensus” among Winter Parkers, vowing to change the climate of governance that has sent the city “careening from one crisis of its own creation to another by promoting policies and projects that lack community support.”
Click the button below to see the full text of Mackinnon’s announcement.
Commissioner Leary declined a Voice request for a candidacy statement.
Leary to Run for WP Mayor
Leary Must Resign His Seat — Voters Will Elect New Commissioner
One week after Mayor Ken Bradley announced he would not seek a third term, city Commissioner Steven Leary filed his intention Monday to be Winter Park’s next mayor.
Leary, the mayor’s strongest ally on the board, will have at least one other challenger. Cynthia Mackinnon, formerly a judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit, also has appointed a campaign treasurer and opened a bank account in the mayoral race.
Leary’s decision means city voters now will have two vacancies to fill in the March city election. In order to run for mayor, he must step down from his current seat. He must submit his resignation plans ten days before the qualifying period starts December 29, said City Clerk Cindy Bonham. The date he decides to make his resignation effective, however, has to occur before the mayoral term begins.
Depending on what date Leary picks to resign, a temporary appointee might be needed to fill his seat until the March election. The mayor and the three other commissioners would make that appointment if necessary.
Mr. Leary said Monday he has not yet decided how soon he will resign.
Commissioner Sprinkel Re-Elected
Tonight’s Vote Count: Sprinkel 2,549, Womble 1,571
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