Four Candidates Vie for Two Commission Seats

Cooper and McMacken Seek Re-election

Four Candidates Vie for Two Commission Seats


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

headshot-carolynCarolyn and Ned Cooper have lived in Winter Park for over 20 years and raised 3 of their 5 children here. Carolyn was elected to the City Commission in 2010 and re-elected in 2013.

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

headshot-lambrineMost people know Lambrine Macejewski (Lam-bree-knee Muh-chess-ski) as one of the co-owners of Cocina 214, the award-winning Tex-Mex restaurant just off Park Avenue.

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

headshot-tomTom McMacken brings over 30 years of experience as a landscape architect, creating parks and communities, and six years of service as City Commissioner.

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

headshot-peterPeter and Fran Weldon have lived in Winter Park since 1989. Their children were born at Winter Park Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Park.

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 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

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

Leary Resigns to Run for Mayor

Generous Donors for the Holidays

Leary Resigns to Run for Mayor

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

Greg Seidel to Run for Commission

Commission Race Now Goes to Feb. 10 Primary

Greg Seidel to Run for Commission

Greg SeidelGregory 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 at

WP Election Slate Keeps Growing

Commercial Realtor to Oppose Brewer for Commission Seat #1

WP Election Slate Keeps Growing

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.


Shambeck Announcement

Brewer Announcement

Brewer Treasury Filing

Leary – October Treasury Report

Mackinnon – October Treasury Report

WP Political Season Heats Up

Former Mayor to Run for Leary’s Commission Seat

WP Political Season Heats Up


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.

Mackinnon Announcement

Mackinnon Treasury Filing

Leary Treasury Filing

Leary to Run for WP Mayor

Leary Must Resign His Seat — Voters Will Elect New Commissioner

Leary to Run for WP Mayor


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

Commissioner Sprinkel Re-Elected

3/11/14 — Winter Park City Clerk Cindy Bonham reminds citizens that these are “unofficial” results — adding that “Any provisional ballots that cannot be handled the night of the election will be made part of the official results at the time of certifying on Thursday, March 13.”

 March 6 Winter Park Library Debate (click image for video)
Exclusive One-On-One Candidate Interviews (click image for video)


Website (click image)

Why Sarah Sprinkel? (from campaign website)

“I have decided to run for reelection to the Winter Park City Commission-Seat 2 to continue my leadership in the Winter Park Commission. I have been a strong leader in the Winter Park community as commissioner for three years, and the last three years have been very rewarding for me and for Winter Park. As a city, we are financially sound, and I would like to continue to improve our services while not raising your taxes. I ran three years ago to create a more cohesive atmosphere with people and programs, and successfully achieved this vision. With your help, we can achieve this vision for another three years.”

Website (Click image)

Why Sandy Womble? (from campaign website)

“Sandy Womble is committed to putting community first. She is an independent thinker whose priorities are to make sound decisions for Winter Park. She believes in applying the rules fairly and being a disciplined steward of your tax dollars . . . Sandy is committed to maintaining Winter Park’s unique charm. She understands our community character is the end result of thoughtful regard of our homes and tree canopy. She brings fresh ideas and balance to the dais. As an independent thinker, her priority will be to make decisions representative of the community.”

Campaign Video

Campaign Mailers & Palm Cards
Campaign Mailers & Palm Cards

Sprinkel Platform
(provided to Voice by candidate/campaign)

Statement from Sarah Sprinkel
“I’ve learned over last 3 years serving as a city commissioner . . . that it’s not about me- it’s about our community and a collective us. While I may have strong ideas about a certain topic, the overall health of our city is always first.

My personal goal is to continue working with the city and the community to make information and goals more accessible so that the picture of our entire city is easy to understand, see, and evaluate. I want all we do to fit into a schema so that our success can be measured and noted.”

Statement from Campaign
Sarah stands on her record as Commissioner where she has studied each issue carefully, listened to citizen input, and made thoughtful decisions based on what she determined was in the best interest of the City. She supports: Holding the line on taxes; Dynamic business community; Sound fiscal management; Protecting the City-wide tree canopy; Preservation of the quality of life in Winter Park; and Strong citizen boards who study issues and make recommendations to Commission.

Womble Platform
(excerpted from campaign website)

Urban Design
Community Character
–I support good urban design that promotes both economic growth and management of our historic resources. **
–I support the view that Preservation & Growth are friends, NOT rivals. **
–I support conducting a public hearing of the Professional Historic Preservation Consultant’s findings and upgrading our historic preservation ordinances.
–I support our Comprehensive Development Plan that guides development within Winter Park and evens the playing field between developers.

**Bland Report Submitted to the City of Winter Park, November, 2013.

Park Avenue & City Wide Merchants
–I support the development of corridors leading into Winter Park in alliance with our independent businesses. (Fairbanks/Aloma, New England, Lee Road, Hwy 17-92, Denning and Morse Avenues).
–I support that independent storefronts and eateries are Winter Park’s unique trademark, especially along Park Avenue.

Family Safety
Bike & Pedestrian Friendly City
–I support seeking out private, state and federal funding to grow our pedestrian walkways and bike lanes.
–I support partnering with citizen driven initiatives like the Cady Way bike lane improvement.
–I support the Sustainability Action Plan devised by City staff. It is our road map for future sustainable initiatives.

Central Florida Commuter Rail
–I support our regional partnership for the CFCR initiative.
–I support implementing the best equipment for public safety and quiet zones.

Greener Winter Park
–I support our diverse tree canopy and the promotion and planting of city orchards.
–I applaud the rebirth of Mead Gardens and I support building on their energy. Let’s implement community gardens throughout the city on unused city property. I’d like to explore using the Hannibal Land trust to purchase land for gardens. –I support the green roofs initiative.

Fleet Peeples Park
As many know, I was a defender of the dog park. A small group of us successfully fought to keep the park’s dog friendly status. This park is one of the finest in the country; a true community spirit exists here.

Comprehensive Plan
I respect our Comprehensive Plan and support sensible development inside our boundaries. We have plenty of unfinished projects and more to come. Being mindful of our comprehensive plan when making policy decisions on growth is paramount.

Campaign Finance Reform
I support opening the playing field for future candidates. Let’s encourage residents to run for office.

The costs to run a campaign are ridiculously out of control in Winter Park. Why should a candidate have to spend $50,000 for a campaign? I am interested in studying the feasibility of restricting business donations to broaden the public arena of decision-making. Corporations and banks aren’t people.

–I support Commissioner Bridges’ policy to list on the city website her private meetings. I think it’s a sound transparency policy and I intend to copy her.
–I support providing an easily accessible means for citizens to view proposed and passed city ordinances as well as commissioner votes on such ordinances.

Transportation & Downtown Parking
–I support another public/private partnership like the Park Place garage to offset parking.
–I support upholding the concurrency requirements for parking in our Comprehensive Plan.

Citizen Advisory Boards
Good Government
–I support Winter Park instating a Certified Local Government (CLG) status to enable us to compete successfully for limited funds available only to CLG cities. To achieve this status we must reinstate professional qualifications for certain boards.
–I support an application process that assures board membership of qualified electors and full-time residents of the city (unless there is a statute that requires otherwise) at the time of appointment and during their entire incumbency. –I support that all members of Boards making quasi–judicial decisions that bind the city sign a conflict of interest form.


From Budgets to Baseball: Candidates' Debate Covers It All in 60 minutes

From Budgets to Baseball: Candidates’ Debate Covers It All in 60 minutes


Click Image Below for Debate Video.
by Anne Mooney

Despite the dreary weather and with less than a week to go before next Tuesday’s decision on who will occupy Commission Seat #2, concerned Winter Park citizens filled the Public Library community room on Thursday to hear candidates Sarah Sprinkel and Sandy Womble hammer the planks into their respective platforms. After the candidates’ opening remarks, moderator Laura Turner presented questions from the audience and each candidate had 90 seconds in which to respond.

Although audience participation was robust and there was no shortage of 3 x 5 index cards being handed to Turner and her helpers, the questions seemed to center on the same six issues — historic preservation, tree maintenance, the city budget, civility at city hall, whether baseball is appropriate for Winter Park, and the quality of life as it is impacted by development, density and the resulting traffic.

Predictably, both candidates vowed they would not raise taxes and would be scrupulous about fiscal responsibility; there was no discussion of whether there are any Winter Park citizens who might be willing to pay a little more if it would make their lives more quiet and less congested.

There did seem to be some divergence on the subject of historic preservation. Asked about the recent consultant’s report about the Historic Preservation ordinance that is currently on the books, Sprinkel stated that she did not want to “take away [ people’s ] right to vote,” implying that a stronger historic preservation ordinance might restrict the rights of property owners. Womble, on the other hand, stated that she would like to see the ordinance strengthened and that she thought members of the Historic Preservation Advisory Board should all be Winter Park citizens.

Based on the performance at the library, it seemed each candidate would independently vote her conscience, each would protect the tree canopy, protect park land, foster citizen participation in city government and promote civility at City Hall. The question seems to be:  three years’ experience on the dais at City Hall, or a fresh perspective? The answer will reveal itself on Tuesday, March 11.


Sprinkel Draws Opponent in Commission Race. Leary Wins New Term -- Unopposed

Special Alert for WPV Subscribers Only

Sprinkel Draws Opponent in Commission Race. Leary Wins New Term — Unopposed

Earlier today – as of the noon deadline for filing candidate qualifying papers – Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel learned for sure that she will face Sandy Womble in a race for City Commission seat 2.
The City’s municipal election for Commission seats 1 & 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11. Winter Park Voice will cover the campaign in its entirety and follow this special alert with an expanded story that will include qualifying papers filed by Sprinkel, Womble and Leary.
Ms. Sprinkel formally announced her candidacy almost two months ago at her “Re-Election Announcement” event on November 19 at Palmano’s on Park Avenue. Tonight, at 5 p.m., her campaign held its “Re-Election Campaign Kick-Off” at the Kummer-Kilbourne House in Winter Park. 
Sandy Womble is a Winter Parker who has been active in causes as varied as Historic Preservation and development of the Fleet Peeples dog park.
Ms. Womble completed her qualifying paperwork today in the midst of gearing up her campaign to unseat Ms. Sprinkel. According to campaign associates, Ms. Womble has lived in Winter Park for over ten years.
Commissioner Steve Leary automatically qualifies for a second term by virtue of his unopposed status.
By today’s noon filing deadline, no prospective candidate had filed to challenge him for City Commission seat 1.