Fitch Campaign Kickoff Cancelled

Will He Still Run?

Fitch Campaign Kickoff Cancelled

The Jim Fitch for Mayor campaign announced last weekend that the Fitch for Mayor campaign kickoff party, which was to be held at the Winter Park Country Club this evening, has been cancelled.

Fitch told the Voice, “There were disagreements within the campaign organization that were irreconcilable.”

Timing is a consideration, and Fitch is in the process of deciding how to proceed. He is committed to Winter Park and looks forward to serving in some capacity in the future.

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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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12 replies
  1. Silence is Golden says:

    I’ve seen campaigns end based on disagreements over what color T-shirts to order. Not to say that was what happened in this instance. Could have been something much more serious – like whether to serve chicken tenders or hamburgers at the kickoff party.

    “Coincidentally,” Commissioner Seidel announced around the same time that he would not be running for mayor. He did not say why.

    That’s two Winter Park residents who will not be running for mayor.

    Now, let’s hear from the other 29,000, whether any of them will run or not. Qualifying is not that hard to do. There are not that many hoops to jump through for anyone who has an interest. The City Clerk can provide all the information to anyone who is thinking about running for mayor.

    Longwood, Florida last year had an interesting local campaign. Near candidates waving their signs at motorists along State Road 434 were people holding signs pointed in their direction that said “LIAR.”

    I’m sorry Mr. Fitch won’t be running. I enjoyed reading the couple of sentences he provided The Voice over the past month. Very inspiring. I think he could have won with that approach. Say almost nothing. Let the voters project their best hopes and dreams on the candidate like a kid playing with a Superman doll.

  2. Reasons says:

    May have been a time conflict with glow in the dark golf. Or the room could have been previously requested by The Grande Society of The Great Peacock of Winter Park.

  3. Barbara says:

    I’m not quite sure what purpose it serves to have a self appointed search committee that sought out qualified candidates yet they excluded everyone else’s input and ideas . Many including me never met Fitch nor were we contacted by the committee for input. Case in point – there was another person interested who was never interviewed and most likely the committee didn’t realize it because of their secretness. He may have been a better choice.

    Is Fitch running, yes or no? Voters deserve an answer Committee people. We have the better platform, yet we keep losing. Don’t point the finger at the other side, because it’s not their fault. Money isn’t a motivator for us, all the more reason to build a team not walls.

  4. Barbara says:

    You know, someone needs to be an adult and inform us the race is either over or launching. And, perhaps it’s time for a change of the self-appointed selection committee that reaches these decisions without anyone else’s input. For those of us who would’ve appreciated an alternative to the growth monster, leaving everyone out except for walking to hang door flyers is not team building, rather insulting. How many times do we have to LOSE before we can figure out how to bring in new leadership.

  5. Fact Checker says:

    Someone needs to run against Leary. Just look at the “facts” on the door hangers his campaign distributed today.

    “No more R-4 (large) apartment zoning”?

    This ignores that Leary enthusiastically supported the Paseo and thought it was “great ” for Winter Park.
    This ignores that MacKinnon successfully argued that the developers of Paseo had no vested rights to develop at the size and scale that the commission allowed.
    And, it ignores the fact that the quest for R4 zoning was abandoned by the city staff due to major public pushback ahead of finalizing the comp plan, not a Leary choice.
    Plus,, where in God;s green earth can we shoe horn in another HUGE apartment complex unless it goes where the Mayflower is expanding? They’ve (the commission) filled in the entire west side already.
    R-4 isn’t the only way to get multi-family into WP. R-3 will suffice just as well. And Ravaudage makes R-4 look like doll housing. (I know, Our zoning rules don’t apply there..)

    Adopted historic preservation Incentives???
    Well, why not mention that Leary voted against the strengthened Historic Preservation ordinance adopted 3-2 by the commission just before Peter Weldon was elected. Then when Weldon beat McMacken and won a seat, Leary, Weldon and Sprinkel immediately repealed the new HP ordinance as their first order of bizness. Are you proud, Mayor?

    Increased green space?? Sure we got 55 acres of partially submerged land out on Horatio/Howell Branch. True enough. But what about Leary voting to sell 1110 West Fairbanks- the bowling alley site- the city owned parcel of land contiguous to MLK Park rather than voting to keep the land to expand MLK Park?
    The opportunity to acquire this parcel will never come again in the 21st century.
    And, when it came to deciding whether the aspirational goal of buying the post office to augment Central Park should be in the new Comprehensive Plan…How did Mayor Steve vote??
    He voted… “N-O” ! Against aiming to add to Central Park by including a goal of buying the Post Office in the future. Lip service as opposed to concrete action. That’s our Mayor Steve!

    Electric undergrounding 60 % done with 9 years remaining? He is so proud.

    Then why is Greg Seidel standing on his head to get 1 on 1 meetings with Leary to speed undergrounding? Tell the people who lost power in Irma that we are “right on schedule and under budget” as they head to the Batteries Plus store for flashlight batteries and Gander Mountain for propane ahead of the next storm? If you were in the dark you owe a debt of thanks in part to Mayor Leary.

    Decreasing traffic congestion???
    See reference to Greg Seidel one on one meetings above…Greg Seidel asks in vain for traffic management to get serious in WP. His pleas fall on deaf ears. Despite the wording of his door hangers, Leary can be quoted as not making any promises about fiber optic network really getting done in this city. He’s just thinking over the options. No promises….
    Leary’s main statement about traffic is that we are helpless in WP as we occupy arterial roads and folks drive thru WP to get somewhere else. Traffic is not something Leary feels he can do a thing to change or try to manage. It is a Leary mantra.

    Read the door hangers and then research the facts…. They are what some people call a bunch of hooey.

    But when a guy like Steve is running it is open season on the facts.

    Now for the flip side of the door hanger card:
    Safe neighborhoods with top notch police and fire…?? True ‘dat about fire. But Leary voted against adding addtl officers because the nature of policing has changed and feet on the street aren’t as important due to advances in technology in law enforcement. That right…Leary voted AGAINST adding the addtl officers.

    Protecting Winter park’s “Village character”???
    Leary voted to make sure “human scale” and “village character” were not included anywhere in our new comprehensive plan when latest version was adopted several months back. If Carolyn Cooper had not insisted there would not even be any mention of village character. Period. The only portion of Winter park where the term “village character” may be still be applied is to a section of Park Avenue. Period. It almost killed the trio to allow village character to be applied to Park Avenue. Go back and play the video where the final vote on the revised comp plan is taken.

    It is nothing short of amazing that the door hangers did not self combust as they were printed.
    Must be a special kind of fire retardant paper.

    “My City”? My Priorities” ??? “My Mayor”????? Not so much.

    • Cigar says:

      OK, so you want a new mayor. What to do?

      1) Don’t waste a bunch of time trying to recruit someone who agrees with you 100% about everything. If you happen to find someone willing to run in that category, chances are they will be unelectable.

      2) Only recruit a very good looking candidate, age 45-65. If you can’t find someone in that age group, find someone younger. Voters are disengaged and superficial. They’ll vote for the better looking candidate who appears to have the stamina to stay awake through a three hour City Commission meeting.

      3) Identify ALL (emphasize ALL) of the issues that hundreds, even thousands of voters oppose in the current mayor. There’s lots of these kinds of issues, some development oriented, some not. You may not even be aware of what they are. You may not agree with some of the same things that hundreds or thousands of voters do. Campaign on these issues, anyway. Winning elections requires feet in the voting booth. You need to give EVERYONE who opposes ANY policy of the current mayor REASON to believe your candidate will do right by them, and VOTE.

      Good luck to all the candidates.

  6. Ellie Warner says:

    Wow, would love to be a fly on the wall at the “secretive search committee” meetings, although we can guess at some of the puppet masters you all are getting tired of. It’s hard to have sympathy when all the comments here are anonymous. This website is very illustrative. Mr Gorbachev, Tear down the walls of secrecy, lock-step dogma and anonymity!!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no secret committee. In my experience, a group of interested citizens, not always the same people by any means, approach people who may not have considered running. That’s what happened with me. It’s helpful to a potential candidate to know there is a group who stands ready to help them should they run.

      Considering the nature of Winter Park races in the last few years and how personal and vitriolic the race may become, any potential candidate is entitled to a mull this decision over with friends and family after being approached.

  7. Fact Checker says:

    Apparently there are some Winter Parkers who love a conspiracy theory at least as much as they love a parade…Still others can’t keep themselves from visiting (or commenting on) the website they love to hate.
    What lure do you suspect Ellie believes the secret committee of puppet maestros laid before Fitch to compel him to run against his will?

    • Ellie Warner says:

      Yes, I admit to being a prolific poster here if the criterion is at least once a year. As to the secret selection committee, I am just quoting anonymous Barbara and have no beliefs about it, although anonymous Barbara did get me thinking of some legendary secretive politicos around town on fire for ethics committees while arranging illegal money drops, utilizing a dupe, things like that. Good times! I do apologize that I glazed over at your earlier post, anonymous gender unspecific poster calling yourself Fact Checker. I agree with Shakespeare in that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’.

      • Fact Checker says:

        Did I suggest you are a “prolific poster” to the WPV. Only suggested that you love to hate the Voice but cannot stay away.

        As for brevity being soul of wit. May be that is the case.

        But debunking several of the lies and half truths on Leary’s door hangers called for point by point rebuttal.

        A bald faced claim that Leary is a fibbing incumbent may be brief , may be witty, but it does not document the underlying facts of Leary’s actual votes and positions

        Dr. Seuss may be for you. Brief and even rhymes. Brightly colored pictures to look at too.

        • Ellie Warner says:

          I was early to the disdain for Dr. Seuss (40 years ago ish), having to do with his work being unimaginative, but most importantly, hideously illustrated. Now that he’s been deemed a racist by the tolerant left, tho, I am more a fan. But gosh, Anonymous Fact Checker~ I am cut to the quick by your [thankfully brief] characterization.


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