Greg Seidel, Wes Naylor Vie for Commission Seat #1

Traffic Congestion, Public Safety Top Priorities

Greg Seidel, Wes Naylor Vie for Commission Seat #1

Three Candidate Debates

Open to the public and free of charge.

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Spring is right around the corner — which means yet another election cycle for the City of Winter Park. On March 14, there is one contest in Winter Park – Commission Seat #1.

Greg Seidel has held Commission Seat #1 since 2015, when Steve Leary resigned to run for mayor. As the three-year term for Seat #1 comes to a close, Seidel is looking for a second term, “to continue the work we’ve begun during my time on the Commission,” he says.

Seidel – Civil Engineer

Seidel owns the Winter Park-based engineering and economics firm Balmoral Group, and has a 26-year career as a civil engineer. He has lived in Winter Park off and on since he was eight, when his father came to work at the Naval base. Greg and his wife Val are rearing two daughters in Winter Park and are active in the First United Methodist Church. Seidel serves on the school advisory council at Glenridge Middle School. Before he took his Commission seat in 2015, he served on the Winter Park Utility Advisory Board, which he chaired from 2011 to 2014. Seidel was instrumental in the utility undergrounding currently underway in Winter Park.

Naylor – Navy Veteran

Seidel is challenged by Wes Naylor, president of the Orlando-based consulting firm Coe & Naylor Group LLC. Naylor completed a 28-year career as a Naval officer and aviator. He is former commanding officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division. He is a member of the Winter Park Police Pensions Board, St. Margaret Mary School Board, the Orlando Science Center Board and the Central Florida Partnership Board. Wes and his wife Lori have a 10-year-old daughter.

Traffic & Public Safety – Key Issues

In separate interviews with the Voice, both candidates expressed their concern for the safety and well-being of Winter Park residents and the need to manage the growing traffic congestion that is one result of the economic prosperity Central Floridians are enjoying. Watch the videos above to hear how each candidate plans to approach the issues that face Winter Park.

But, before you do – and however you decide – Do Decide. Cast Your Vote on 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

12 replies
  1. No Thanks says:

    This is an election that will determine whether Winter Park is run by local residents, or whether it continues to slide down the slippery slope of becoming owned and controlled by federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

    The job of the U.S. Navy is to kill people and destroy property. That’s what the military does. And every commander in the navy understands this. And that is a legitimate function of the federal government.

    Winter Park is not a military base. Winter Park is not a war zone. Winter Park is not a military training facility. And Winter Park residents should not have to be forced to be guineau pigs of the military industrial complex.

    Some inconvenient facts:

    Winter Park’s congressional seat was taken from us last fall by another member of the military industrial complex.

    Particularly in policing, the line has become blurred between constitutional law enforcement and militarization of local police.

    Should Winter Park continue down this perilous course, you won’t have to worry about your taxes being raised, because you will have no economic liberties.

    That’s what happens when local police become militarized around the world.

    Back when Winter Park was safe, we had no “technology.” So maybe technology is the problem. Cameras don’t stop crime. They are crime, chipping away a the privacy of law abiding citizens every day. When criminals see cameras, they see opportunity – places where locals have given up on crime fighting and thrown up cameras.

    Mr. Naylor had the resources of a $1 billion Department of Defense to assist him in keeping crime out of his most recent naval command. Does anyone really believe he won’t raise taxes here in Winter Park to fund his apparent passion of militarizing local police?

    Public safety begins with civil rights, and clearly drawing a line between the constitutional responsibilities to residents of local police and the military’s national and international role in waging war.

    Mr. Naylor as commissioner cannot send an F-16 from an aircraft carrier to stop criminals from burglarizing your home. But he can in the name of “safety” position a government surveillance camera outside your bedroom window as Winter Park has already done at the corner of Morse and New York.

    Creepiness is not safety.

    This is not a military training film. And Winter Park is not a foreign enemy to be overthrown by the military. Beware of those who use words like “culture” and “heritage” with no track record to back their rhetoric.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    Reply
    • Pitt Warner says:

      “Back when we were safe, we had no technology” That reminds me of a candidate for WP Commission in late ’80’s early 90’s. They sent out a postcard with a picture of a home burglar taken from the perspective of a sleeping resident looking down to the foot of their bed. The burglar was at the foot of the bed or crossing the bedroom. It’s been awhile, so I may not be 100% correct, but it was an “elect me to stop this crime wave”. We’re still talking about crime. Maybe we ought to investigate/try some new approaches? Criminals have improved techniques. We should, too.

      Reply
  2. Beth Hall says:

    Wes Naylor’s willingness to serve his new home city is admirable. But after watching Mr. Naylor’s video a couple questions came to mind. First, I wondered how much time he has spent actually following city government or the commission votes since moving to the city 5 years ago. Mr. Naylor cites crime as one of his top concerns- yet of the two commission members who were up for re-election this time, Naylor chose to OPPOSE the commissioner who voted FOR adding 2 additional police officers while Sprinkel (and Leary) voted NOT to unfreeze these 2 police officer positions. If adding uniformed police is a priority one would think a challenge to Seidel on this score is misguided.

    Naylor also cited traffic concerns as being high on the priority list. Is he aware that he is mounting a challenge to the commissioner who has made traffic modeling and improvements his mission? Is he aware that he is opposing the guy who makes his living as a civil engineer dealing with transportation and the DOT? Will the commission have to pay to replace the sort of expertise Seidel brings to the table if Naylor succeeds in knocking off “the traffic guy”? Did Naylor miss the meetings where Sprinkel joined Leary in declarations that Winter Park is merely a victim of its position on arterial roads in a growing region and that the commission has no chance or obligation to try to improve the traffic mess within which we find ourselves? A challenge to Seidel if traffic management is the issue is most curious indeed.

    The decision to oppose Seidel seems illogical to this observer. Abandoning Seidel’s traffic work now would be kinda like swimming 2/3 of the way across the Atlantic Ocean, deciding you can’t make it, turning around and having to swim back.

    And, if Naylor wins do we politely ask Seidel if he would mind leaving all his traffic files/notes/work product behind as he “cleans out his desk and leaves the building”? Bear in mind that Greg Seidel has not yet enjoyed even a full term on the commission- his term was only 2 years (not 3) since he won the seat which Leary vacated to run for mayor. Seidel has done so much more than talk during this time. I believe his hard work should be rewarded with a second term- his first full term.

    Reply
    • Pitt Warner says:

      I think Mr. Naylor’s point is technology can cover a lot more ground than 2,3,4 new officers.License plate readers and more visible policing are his priorities. I like neighborhood cameras distributed throughout the city on logical entry/exit roads. Hopefully, a new commissioner could bring this up for investigation.And traffic is a red herring, a political talking point that voters seem to think is a problem that can be fixed. If you’re interested, read the last 2 reports on local and state roads traffic counts. The city has them. From 2005-2016 virtually no change in traffic volume or direction. The consultant, Kimley/Horn and Associates, concluded that our roads are handling the same amount of traffic because there are other options. WP is not the only cut through. A dramatic example of traffic reality is Glenridge Way. From Old Winter Park Rd to General Rees the average traffic count is 7,200 car trips per day. From Gen. Rees to Lakemont the average traffic count is almost 20,000. Obviously, most cars are coming from Orlando, turn on Corrine to Gen Rees, turn on Glenridge and go north on Lakemont. The stats have been available for 5 years, 2 studies. I have yet to hear any solutions or suggestions from anyone. And in the next 15 years our 2M Greater Orlando population is expected to grow by 1M. I think we’re doing a great job by keeping traffic levels at 2005 levels!

      Reply
        • Jean Sprimont says:

          On another note….

          How disturbed I was to find on my answering machine a message from “Scott” calling from the Orange County Young Republicans to encourage me to vote for “Wes Naylor for Winter Park City Commissioner, the only Republican on the ballot.”

          Winter Park City Commission campaigns have traditionally been nonpartisan. With only one exception, we have voted for individuals without party involvement. In these divisive days of fiercely making every issue partisan, let’s return to the more thoughtful, civilized manner of casting our votes for the candidates who best represent the direction we endorse for Winter Park. Appealing to party affiliation panders only to those disinterested in becoming informed about the candidates themselves. The need to make this – or any – campaign partisan is suspicious.

          Reply
          • Pitt Warner says:

            Well, this didn’t start with the current campaign. If you believe this should be a non-partisan race, (and I don’t think they should be) both parties in recent years have used the party label to promote the candidates.To me, that’s one piece of information to make an informed decision. I see your point, but the genie is out of the bottle.

          • Margaret Davis says:

            AGREED – although I do wish every candidate made it easy to find-see their affiliation because in reality their core values are usually in alignment with their party affiliation.
            During Mayor’s Race we saw ‘party affiliation’ used against the very smart and dedicated woman, a Judge who was evidently ‘Democrat’ –
            aghast? She ran a clean race, was very fair but Republicans spent lots of money making sure their fellow was elected. Made sure to get word out that she was the ‘D’ word… many of us were very disappointed and felt as you do.
            The reality is that just as nation is currently divided and unable to settle issues, now local politics are also infected with the disease. We will pay bitterly as the divide creates inability to get things done. Look at Washington if we need to see the danger in partisan politics.
            Many of us live in and love Winter Park. We like to believe we can rise above party lines, but in the last 3 elections the issue is fast becoming a problem… Thank you for courage to bring this up!
            Its been VERY disturbing to the 3 registered voters in my home!

    • Pitt Warner says:

      I have heard about “traffic modeling” for 2 years. Not one other commissioner supports it (cost $500,000) and city staff, to the best of my research, has not endorsed it. If staff were for it and a one other commissioner was for it I’d say he may have a point worth investigating. Greg Seidel needs to convince his fellow commissioners, not the voters.

      Reply
      • Beth Hall says:

        Wouldn’t it be nice if the citizens’ desires dictated what happened in WP and not those of the staff or the commission? Was the whole “visioning” process a charade? Did citizen input not have a significant impact on the comp plan revisions at the last moment before plan was sent to the state? (Staff sure listened to citizen outcry there. ) Personally, traffic issues matter to me a great deal. Traffic is the bane of WP life. I don’t buy into the notion that we are just powerless victims of “progress”. Sure, rail is a failure to date but staff and the commission saw it as a heaven sent solution. Traffic modeling might be a way more effective tool to improve our quality of life.

        Reply
        • Pitt Warner says:

          I’m not in favor of modeling traffic, but if 3 out 5 commissioners, even 2 out of 5 commissioners wanted it, I’d say it deserves a review. Just because Greg wants to spend $200,000 (his request during budget meetings that did not get a 2nd from any commissioner) and has no support with city staff (according to my research) doesn’t mean we should spend it. He needs to convince his peers it’s a worthy project. Being a commissioner doesn’t come with a blank checkbook. And once again, traffic figures are flat from 10 years ago.

          Reply

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