Open Letter to Mayor Steve Leary

The Meaning of NO

Editor's Note: Articles written by citizens reflect their own opinions and not the views of the Winter Park Voice.  

Open Letter to Mayor Steve Leary

By Sally Flynn, Guest Columnist

Sally Flynn and her family have been residents of Winter Park since 1961.

On Friday, February 22, Mayor Steve Leary delivered his “State of the City” address to a capacity audience at the Alfond Inn. The event was a luncheon in the Alfond dining room, and those present paid either $40 per plate, for Chamber members, or $80 per plate for non-members.

Toward the end of his address, our Mayor made the following statement.
“We must pay special attention to how we treat one another,” he said. “We cannot be a special place if we treat each other in a common way. . . . The NO people who stand against everything but have no plausible alternative for all that they oppose . . . you cannot build a community on NO. It holds no value, it holds no hope and it holds no promise.”

When I last checked, Winter Park was a democracy in which everyone has the right to oppose something with which they do not agree. Mr Leary, is your problem with those who say NO simply that they do not support your agenda?

I believe NO means: NO more density, NO more diversion of our tax dollars to developers, NO more variances from our Comprehensive Plan and NO more selling public property without consent of the tax payers.

Mr Leary, you too are one of the NO people. You have said, quite clearly, NO to a tree ordinance that has teeth. You have responded NO to citizens who gather petitions. You said NO to a Historic Preservation Ordinance, one that represented a year’s work and was approved by the Historic Preservation Board and passed by the Commission. That ordinance was barely three months old when Peter Weldon was elected. You and Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel joined ranks with Weldon to weaken the ordinance, discouraging any serious historic preservation effort citizens of this City might wish to undertake.

When the citizens you have characterized as the “NO People” said YES to expanding Martin Luther King Jr. Park, you said NO and sold adjoining property. You said NO again to parks expansion when you refused to include language in the Comprehensive Plan that would have provided for the acquisition of the Post Office property, if it became available, to augment Central Park.

So, Mr. Leary, there are two sides to NO.

The NO People say Yes to leaders who possess the ability to see all sides of a question. The NO People say yes to leadership that represents all citizens, not just those who agree them. The NO People say yes to compliance with the Comprehensive Plan and the stewardship and preservation of the character of our City.

It is deeply troubling that you have chosen to use the State of the City address to single out those who do not embrace your agenda. You label us the NO People while, in the same breath, urging us to “pay special attention to how we treat one another.”

How does such open disrespect for opposing views, expressed by the mayor in such a public way, foster genuine accord among our citizens?

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64 replies
  1. NObody In Particular says:

    May I ask how much in Winter Park taxpayer dollars went to paying a professional to help Mayor Leary write his speech?

    At the risk of being labeled another “No” person, how about NO more lying, deceit, deception, illusion, less than the full truth, hoaxes, false pretenses, phony excuses, political theater, scapegoating, planting untrue media reports, misleading, misstating, concealing intent, distraction, misdirection, dodging questions, and how about NO more supporting false allegations and false stories for political purposes?

    • John Dough says:

      How about NO to accepting campaign cash from PACS, consultants, and LLCs?

      How about NO to paving every square inch of our City?

      How about NO to pay for play (see NO #1 above)?

      How about NO to the Mayor’s monopoly on City Board appointments?

      • Ideas says:

        A good thought is good no matter who wrote it. And a bad thought is bad whoever wrote it.

        I’ve noticed on here that, whenever someone attacks an author for using a pseudonym, it’s usually because that author hit the nail right on the head.

          • Fact Checker says:

            Do you have any meaningful contributions to the dialogue or were you tapped by Pitt and Ellie to take their places in criticizing those who express their thoughts here just because they feel free to offer them? Your thoughts on the topic would be most welcome if you care to express them. Attacks on the thoughts of others merely because they do not identify themselves by name? Not cool. Am I your closest neighbor? Do I sit next to you in church? Am I your employer or employee? Am I on the city payroll? Many factors which are not nefarious may cause one to use a pseudonym. Think…

          • Common Sense says:

            Those of us who have studied and cherish the ideals and principles of traditional American democracy know that the debate between British oligarchs and Americans living in the colonies arose from newspaper essayists and anonymous pamphleteers whose identities were often known to their contemporaries.

            One of the most important of these writings was “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine. Published in 1776, “Common Sense” did not credit its author or its publisher, Benjamin Rush.

            The pamphlet generated excitement and inspired free and open dialogue in the colonies, but Paine and other anonymous writers instrumental to the founding of the nation chose to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation, and because they believed that ideas are more important than the identity of the speaker or writer expressing them.

            Many thanks to “Ideas,” and to all contributing to this and other important discussions at WPV, and to the editors and publishers for making this forum possible.

            “Men who look upon themselves as born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.”

            ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

      • King's Court Needs No Pseudonym says:

        Ed, since you’re so willing to speak your mind, tell us 3 things you don’t like about Mayor Leary.

        We’re waiting.

        • Ed Sabori says:

          If I’m not mistaken, pseudonyms were a life or death issue for people like Thomas Paine, not sure the same applies to Winter Park politics, though. In terms of meaningful thought, if I listed 3 NO things and 3 YES things about Mayor Leary, what would that prove, that I’m able to speak my mind using my real name? Guilty as charged. That said, I’m open to meaningful dialog minus the Pitt and Ellie innuendo, etc.. Also, minus the pseudonyms, otherwise, see you all after March 13th.

          • Civility says:

            Not only Thomas Paine, but founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the “Federalist Papers” under the pseudonym “Publius,” and “the Federal Farmer” was a rebuttal. Despite differences of opinion and political agenda, the founders of American constitutional democracy sought to constructively respond to the other party’s viewpoints, not because of death threats, but because they knew that the foundation of democratic governance is freedom of thought and speech.

            Thankfully, Winter Park does not have an official “thought police,” although this community does have self-appointed members who seek to create chilling effects on thought, speech and political engagement in an effort to create city-wide, uniform groupthink to more easily achieve political outcomes not supported by all residents.

            Many people don’t want the things they say online to be connected with their public identities. The reason: concern about political or economic retribution, harassment and incvility (including at this page).

            But they need not have a reason at all. It is uncivil (and perhaps anti-American) to attempt to intimidate residents participating in open dialogue by demanding they state their names.

            The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995): “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . .”

            Political civility is not about being polite to each other. It’s about reclaiming the power of ‘We the People’ to come together, debate the common good and call American democracy back to its highest values amid our differences.

            – Parker Palmer

          • Not Parker Palmer says:

            Parker Palmer, the author of “Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit,” is the author of the end quote (without punctuation), not the author of the post.

        • Integrity says:

          “During the Civil War, traumatized combatants developed a condition that they called “soldier’s heart.” The violence that results in soldier’s heart shatters a person’s sense of self and community, and war is not the only setting in which violence is done: violence is done whenever we violate another’s integrity. Thus we do violence in politics when we demonize the opposition or ignore urgent human needs in favor of politically expedient decisions.”
          ― Parker J. Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

  2. Albert Michejda AIA says:

    Very well written letter. It encapsulates the critical diffence between dissent and dialogue. The Mayor is correct about his NO to divisiveness, but not so much as it comes down to democracies fundamental right of free speech and inclusiveness.

  3. WhyPerson says:

    Way to Go, Sally, Ride Sally, Ride!

    We cannot disagree with edicts from our Esteemed Mayor – he knows what is Best for us (Him)!!

    Maybe we can get him promoted above Winter Park and fulfill his lofty ambitions…

  4. BJ says:

    Collaboration and compromise take longer but result in more creative ideas and projects. This administration has not listened when suggestions are made, nor solicited feedback or dialogue. Other cities do this & it’s appreciated by all parties in the conversation.

  5. NO means YES says:

    I’m an old timer, so what do I know. But, seems to me, there’s a reason that the Bible says, like it does, when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, that 9 out of 10 of them included the word “NO” or “not.”

    If we don’t agree on everything, that’s fine. We’re not carbon copies of one another. But in the Bible story, Moses didn’t tell God, “You cannot build a community on “No!”

    In fact, not just a community, but an entire world civilization was built on the word “NO.”

    But, a lot of people in politics nowadays, don’t have a problem with stretching the truth, or even outright lying to the people.

    So let’s all pray that if our Mayor becomes tempted in any way to participate an anything that is deceitful, that he will say “NO.” Because there’s a reason why the 9th commandment says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Civilization depends on it.

  6. Longtime Resident says:

    Beautifully stated, Ms. Flynn. Thank you.
    Many residents have been uncomfortable and angry with the mayor’s attitude and values but could not formulate why. This summarized the problem perfectly.
    It is also distressing to see our own mayor adopt the name-calling that has infected the highest level of our national government.
    I am very sad for our city. It had so much that made it special.

  7. John K says:

    Mr Leary .. you actually have a name for those who oppose the increasing traffic and don’t agree with your thoughts as the “No People” ? I would bet that you have said “no” to more proposals over time to those you have said yes to. Well, I am one of those “no” people and stand with Sally as she points out in paragraph 5 of her article. You have no trouble saying and repeating the word no when it suits you. Take a closer look at the ordinances you said no to and maybe you’ll find you also say “no” more that “yes”.

  8. Eyeless in Gaza says:

    The respect for the minority voice is what makes our American brand of democracy so unique and admired throughout the world. This was anticipated at the outset of our country:

    All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Thomas Jefferson

    In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority. James Madison

    It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. Samuel Adams

    Freedom of speech and thought matters, especially when it is speech and thought with which we disagree. The moment the majority decides to destroy people for engaging in thought it dislikes, thought crime becomes a reality. Ben Shapiro

    Perhaps Mr Leary should better define his leadership style (and by the way, if he is leading, who’s following?)

    • Sue Masselink says:

      Yes, our forefathers went to great lengths to protect against tyranny of the majority. If we who do not agree with our mayor and commissioners on certain issues are in the minority, that does not make us wrong. Sometimes it only takes a lone voice to sway public opinion. Thank you, Sally, for being the compelling voice of those who believe that we have so much to lose when we rush to make changes to our beloved community without careful consideration of long-term consequences.

      • Pitt Warner says:

        Nobody says you’re wrong. Everybody wants WP to maintain it’s charm and beauty. Ideally, an election campaign would give people who disagree with some of the recent decisions an opportunity to voice their concern directly to the candidates. Unfortunately, his opponent has decided not to participate in public debates. It’s too bad. A missed opportunity to hear the facts and compare the candidates. I think this will only frustrate people. Very selfish.

        • Sue Masselink says:

          Being derisively labeled “no people” might reasonably lead one to believe that “somebody” thinks they’re right and those who don’t agree are wrong. If “everybody” wants Winter Park to maintain its charm, I wonder why it has lost so much in recent years. I, too, would welcome a debate with the hope that both candidates would not only hear the voices of the “no people,” but also give fair consideration to heeding them.

          • Pitt Warner says:

            I think you’re misunderstanding. The NO was about “no” to development, not right or wrong. I’d welcome a debate (too late now), too. For 3 years some people have been frustrated with density, development and traffic. A good debate would be beneficial and fair to everyone. Not to be this year, but maybe in the future strong candidates will emerge.

  9. Anonymous says:

    While it may be difficult to side with a community leader on 100% of the issues, I for one have been pleased with the many accomplishments realized during Mayor Leary’s term.


    Gene Hays

    • Fact Checker says:

      Gene Hays,
      Of the many accomplishments with which you are pleased can you name 3 other than the refurb of the 9 hole? Was it the unchanged millage rate in the face of bulging coffers? The delay in the undergrounding? The refined style of the latest commercial development? The increase in the number of townhomes? The contribution of tax dollars to Bellows/Ravaudage for infrastructure? The repeal of the strengthened HP ordinance? The relentless traffic management efforts? I respect your right to be impressed but it would be helpful if you would share the reasons, please.

      • Ed Sabori says:

        Fact Checker,
        Full disclosure: I know Mr. Hays and can attest that, like Ms. Flynn, he has often questioned decisions made by the City and the Commission. Myself, I’ve been involved in campaigns for Winter Park mayoral and commission candidates since 2006, which did not always work out as I expected. My point being that No and Yes have often been part of the discussions and not once during those times have I seen our right to freedom of speech threatened, as often confirmed by commission meetings that begin at 3:30pm and last until past 11pm. That said, why not ask the overflow crowds at the Farmers Market, Park Ave.restaurants and real estate brokers (as well as, those of us that love the 9-hole course) why people are so impressed with Winter Park and why it’s envied by other cities throughout Florida and beyond?

        Lastly, as I reread Ms. Flynn’s open letter, I could not find where Mayor Leary specifically singled her out as a No person. That being the case, I hope he wasn’t referring to me or Mr. Hays.

        • Fact Checker says:


          The crowds downtown are noted. But the brand, if you will, of WP has ALWAYS been its charm. For this charm Steve Leary fairly lately of Rye NY can take no credit for contributing to or augmenting in any way- large or small.

          What he can take credit for is whittling away at that innate charm in a method akin to Chinese water torture or death by a thousand cuts. For example, Paseo does not belong…never did. He championed that. He voted to repeal the HP ordinance, replacing it with paltry incentives which pale by comparison.

          I will admit, if one equates townhome projects with charm, Leary is tough to match. If medium to high density residential is your thing, Leary is your man. He voted to be sure that “Village scale” and “low density” were phrases not to be used in the revised comp plan to guide our development. He agreed with Sprinkel and Weldon that Winter Park is NOT A VILLAGE. That is a self fulfilling sort of prophesy in and of itself.

          We have witnessed this unfortunate mindset bearing fruit since Leary was first elected to office in 2011.

          Ask yourself if Winter Park is more charming today than it was at the time Leary came to office. I defy anyone to say that it is so.

          Your involvement in city government does not place you at the commission meetings. Your involvement must be the type that is more behind the scenes.

          Perhaps you will come to the aid of your friend Mr. Hays. It seems he is struggling to narrow down to 3 the many impressive achievements of Mr. Leary. And the 9 hole refurb don’t count.

        • Beth Hall says:


          Your loyalty to Steve Leary goes without question. Widely known. A given.

          But your insinuation that because Sally Flynn was not mentioned (nor anyone else) by name that Leary might have been referring to you and/or to Gene Hays as NO people is fairly laughable.

          When was the last time you (or Gene) appeared at a commission meeting and spoke in opposition to a positon taken or a vote made by Steve Leary? When was the last time you wrote to the mayor and commissioners to let them know you thought they had done or were about to do something you thought would be harmful to the city or to you as a resident?

          Have you or Gene ever sported a NO DENSITY sign in your yard? An EXPAND MLK PARK sign? I am betting no.

          To be sure, Sally Flynn never suggested that Leary had thwarted anyone’s freedom of speech. She expressed that we have the right to disagree.

          She took issue with the fact that Leary went out of his way at a very public, civic forum to single out and roundly condemn a segment of the population of the city merely because they do not embrace his particular agenda. This on what should have been a happy occasion celebrating the city and some exemplary employees.

          Leary could have chosen another route from the podium. He could have taken the opportunity to encourage civic involvement by everyone. He could have said “We may not always agree but we are always richer for the debate.” Or similar. That brand of leadership is in short supply these days.

          • Edward Sabori says:

            Beth, Got me on the loyalty issue. Not going to speculate on your loyalty to anyone, though. If you had bothered to discuss concerns or issues with Gene, I suspect he would have sympathized with you. Me, maybe not. I’m all for the debate, though.

    • Cynthia Mackinnon says:

      Well, Gene, respectfully, the manner in which a leader treats his constituents can often overshadow accomplishments.

      For example, a former mayor is probably better remembered for having been rude and condescending to people rather than for his accomplishments.

      Moreover, with so many citizens concerned that, particularly on a national level, civil discourse has completely broken down and people who disagree with each other resort to name-calling and vilifying each other, leaders need to be especially careful and respectful toward constituents with opposing views.

      This is especially true in a small town like ours where people on both sides of issues are neighbors and friends and think of themselves as “extraordinarily” civilized!

      Leaders who resort to sarcasm and name-calling run a real risk of being remembered as just jerks rather than accomplished leaders.

    • Pitt Warner says:

      I agree. Millage rates could be reduced a little and some other budget issues are a little too rich for me, but it takes 3 to change policies. Overall, city in great shape, financially and physically.

      • Sally Flynn says:

        Pitt, I believe your comment about the tree ordinance

        was put on Facebook but I want to make sure my

        correction about the tree ordinance can be read here.

        You need to read more carefully before writing

        something that is not accurate. I never wrote that

        the ordinance had been RESCINDED. I wrote that

        it had been reduced to something worthless…my

        words “no teeth in it”. Indeed it was revised!

        • Pitt Warner says:

          My mistake, but you say it is now “worthless” with “no teeth in it”. Is that not in effect, the same as being rescinded? And the really funny part is the ordinance is still ridiculous. Nobody cuts down a tree unless it’s a health or safety issue. Why should an owner pay a tax to cut down a tree? Just like the Historic Districts, your group went too far. The revisions to both are better, but in my opinion, more improvements could be made. Most residents appreciate the Mayor and Commissioners. I do.

  10. Bill Shallcross says:

    I can’t for the life of me understand what any of you hope to accomplish by whining about mayor leery on this or any other forum. I am so happy that I moved out of Winter Park and left all this nonsense behind God bless you all

    • Cynthia Mackinnon says:

      What do people who post hope to accomplish? Perhaps,

      1) prompt more residents to vote;

      2) increase the large numbers who are concerned with the direction of the City to at least 51%;

      3) prompt people who share their views to run for office

  11. The Sound of Galloping Horses says:

    Call Out the Cavalry !!

    With a blatant and all too public stumble by mayoral candidate Leary at the State of the City address, it was clear he had given Fitch a real boost. Maybe even the keys to City Hall.

    Leary’s comments lambasting all those who dared to oppose his “growth at all costs” agenda were preserved for all posterity at too many media outlets to ignore, including both the city website and YouTube. Worse still, they had been broadcast LIVE.

    What to do? Call out the cavalry, of course!

    Leary sent up the signal flare. Capt. Edward Sabori saddled up immediately. But soon, sensing it was more than he could handle alone, he jingled up his compadre in arms Gene Hays.

    Finding himself in unfamiliar and uncharted territory, Gene saddled up but was soon revealed to be a greenhorn. Not looking for a fight, he posted a comment written as if it were a letter- signing it ever so kindly with a “Respectfully submitted” and his name. Still it posted by “Anonymous”. Beginner error. Very understandable.

    Like drowning men, clutching at a life ring, they pinged ol’ Pitt. It did not take long. Pitt saddled up but he had to admit, maybe the millage rate should have come down. He gave Leary a pass anyway because shucks… he is only one vote. Never mind that he (Leary) had used it to vote to maintain the millage while another commissioner voted to lower it at the same meeting and he could have done the same.

    Will the three amigos ride off into the sunset? Did they counter or at least distract from Leary’s breathtaking arrogance? Was Fitch watching? Is Fitch leading? Stay tuned…the election is 2 weeks away.

    Whoever you are a’rooting for, please VOTE ! It’s how this whole thing works.

  12. Divine M says:

    This letter was spot on. Instead of singling out those who question the mayor’s judgment, building community by kinder words would’ve served the common good of everyone. Perhaps if the mayor would reach out to the community to form his path to decisions, we wouldn’t be in this pickle. I will continue to hope he one day realizes the value of peace and his power of unity by bringing people together.

    I can’t imagine the awkwardness among audience professionals and those who felt targeted by his hate. Professionals operate on a whole different level realizing building bridges begets success while challenging enemies brings everyone down. Note to Leary – if you’re leadership model provides access to only a slim few, get used to anger from the masses and don’t complain.

    Given the recent school violence and past Pulse event, Florida citizens have crossed over into a world where ugliness and horrific crimes permeate into our every day lives. There is no turning back the clock which gives us all the more reason to be vigilant of the intolerance and lack of decorum from our leaders. Speaking out and seeking change could not be more important.


    • Mark "the sociologist" Winton says:

      I think the big thing is that Winter Park, along with Maitland, and all the surrounding cities are growing too rapidly. Change is going to happen but maybe these changes are too quick. My fear is massive traffic jams but this is not just a Winter Park issue. Has anyone been to Maitland on the 17-92 route? The sun will not shine on a large portion of the road. Finding a balance that works is very difficult and I think everyone on this site, based on their comments have indicated either Winter Park is growing too fast or too slow. Too big or too small. My recommendation is to carefully monitor everything to try to adjust to these big changes. This is Chaos theory in practice and an entropic result can be avoided if we use scientifically based data to make decisions. We have already created new problems but I think we can mitigate some of these problems. P.S. Used my real name.

      • Pitt Warner says:

        WP isn’t growing too fast/too slow. It’s changing. A property owner has the right to build an 80,000 sf building on Trader Joe’s property and instead, builds a 45,000 sf, one story retail center. People complain. Go figure.

        • Just Another Dumb Bumpkin says:

          An 80,000 sq. ft. building would be vacant because no business would lease space in that size building with only a postage stamp size parking lot. So no developer would build more than 45,000 sq. ft. on that site. The property has been developed at the absolute maximum square footage that would yield maximize profits for the developer.

          Pitt, c’mon. You still think we’re a bunch of bumpkins who just fell off the truck?

          • Pitt Warner says:

            Lakeside Winter Park at 17/92 and Morse

            This property could have been developed as a four story and almost 80,000 square foot office complex under existing entitlements. The initial request for a single story 35,500 square foot retail center on 3.86 acres was approved February 25, 2013 consistent with zoning rules, including required parking. The developer subsequently requested an additional 2,500 square feet with a parking variance that was denied January 27, 2014 (see page 6 item c) (applicant withdrew the request facing denial). The developer then entered into a contract for nearby property to provide for employee parking to meet city requirements and the additional square footage was approved. The developer failed to close on the additional parking space and the additional square footage request was denied by the Commission.

    • Pray for Leary says:

      Did you see the part of his speech from 45:00 to 45:03 ? There’s something really weird happens in the video. The whole right side of Leary’s face changes, but just for a few seconds.

      I’ve seen momentary grotesque changes of faces of some other politicians too in news videos online. Florida Governor Rick Scott and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanel come to mind.

      I looked online to see if I could find an explanation. Some say it means the person is possessed by a demon, or is a demon in human skin, or is being influenced by a demon. The old saying “the camera doesn’t lie” comes to mind. But no one seems to know for sure what it is.

      One thing I read said that TV news normally edits out that part, when it occurs, before they air it so people don’t see it. So, the videos where it is most notable are the small production shop ones. You won’t see it on the big TV stations because they edit it out.

      Maybe that’s why it’s not on the City of Winter Park website yet? It’s not a bad speech (aside from his rude comments and testiness). He got a standing O from the chamber at the end. Or maybe they were just tired of sitting so long.

    • Pitt Warner says:

      No mystery. Why is everything a reason to be paranoid? Maybe it’s something logical, like it took a few days to get it up on website. I found it.

    • Three More Things says:

      Here’s three more things not to like about Mayor Leary:

      ONE He has the reading level of a first grader
      TWO His favorite book is “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site”
      THREE He sits in his mayor’s chair when nobody is around and reads his favorite book for hours on end

  13. Beth Hall says:


    What would it prove if you posted 3 things you liked about Leary and 3 things you didn’t using your real name? It would, for one thing, prove that you were willing to live by the rules which you would so readily impose on other people posting here under pseudonyms.

    Now you have established that despite what you have said to others, you are not even willing to do the same.

    I am unable to see where you were asked to post anything positive about Steve Leary. I looked back and I see that someone asked you to post 3 NEGATIVES about him.

    You did not say there were not any negatives to post. You merely asked what that would prove? Isn’t that a dodge?

    Gene Hays was challenged to post 3 POSITIVES about Leary from among the “many impressive accomplishments” noted by Gene during his tenure. Nothing but the sound of crickets.

    If you wish to set the rules by which others should abide, Ed, it would be fairer if you followed them too. It would show that you have the courage of your convictions.

    Opinions from all vantage points can only work to enlighten any group. Non- constructive criticism does not.

    • Ed Sabori says:

      Okay Beth, you got me. Although, I can’t figure out if I see it as a negative or positive that Mayor Leary did not make a BIGGER issue over his opponent’s refusal to attend an open and public debate. Like the one at the WP Park library you and I have attended many times prior to a city election. I always found the Q&A part to be very enlightening. That said, I like that (so far as I can tell) Mayor Leary held off making his opponent;s debate refusal a major campaign issue. So, in terms of 2 negatives: I don’t agree with his taste in library architecture, and I don’t always agree with his support of various modern residential architecture or the architects. Regarding 3 positives from Gene Hays, I’ll have to ask him if he wants to chirp about it or not. Finally, any rules I set SHOULD apply to me, especially when it results in constructive criticism from people who are willing to show their courage of conviction by including their “real” handle, like you.

      • First and Ten Do it Again! says:

        Ed, you would be good at being interviewed for job. Such as: Questions. “What is your major weakness?” Answers. 1) “Often I work too hard.” 2) “I am a perfectionist.” 3) “I frequently become so absorbed in my work that I work late into the night and all weekends too.

        So Ed, this time tell us three REAL things that you don’t like about Mayor Leary.

          • Continue says:

            Which is it, Ed, Edward, what? What is your full LEGAL name, as it says on your drivers license. Middle name too. No hiding behind nicknames here. No changing names from Ed to Edward. Must include suffix too if any, such as Jr. Must show government issued photo id before posting. Must state how many home runs Babe Ruth hit to prove you are an American. Must say the name of the architect who designed Casa Feliz to prove you are Winter Park resident. Must breath into a mirror to prove you are a real person and not a robot.

            Hey, a better idea. Why not just let everyone call themselves whatever they want on here and focus on ideas that can help Winter Park, and not on who’s saying it.

        • 3 Things says:

          OK, We’ve given Ed, Pitt, and the others every opportunity to tell 3 REAL things they don’t like about Mayor Leary.

          They have consistently changed the subject.

          So, now I invite EVERYONE here between today and Election Day to say 3 things YOU don’t like about Mayor Leary.

          I’ll Start:

          1) He doesn’t put residents first.
          2) He’s making living in Winter Park worse, not better.
          3) He’s not transparent about how he profits by being mayor of Winter Park.

          • Pitt Warner says:

            I said millage needs to be lowered and the other “rich” things in the budget need to be reduced. There are a hundred different items that could be reduced. Mayor didn’t vote or propose any. So I disagree with him on budget. I was against WP9, until it was completed. Now I see I was wrong. My only beef with Mayor/Commission is they could spend less and tax less. They’re essentially volunteers and saying he “profits” from being mayor is absurd.

  14. Beth Hall says:

    Ed, I’m sure you know that I absolutely adore, Gene. I cannot even imagine sharing a cross word with him even if we had widely divergent views on a subject. I bet if you look up the word gentleman in the dictionary, you’d see Gene’s picture right next to it. We discuss city stuff from time to time. Always interesting, always a pleasure. Was glad but shocked to see him post here since he never has. I’ve never known that he reads the WPV. Maybe you can help him come up with 3 Leary accomplishments that he admires.

    • Ed Sabori says:

      Beth, Without a doubt, Gene Hays used to have his picture next to the word gentleman in the dictionary, until he started hanging out with me.

  15. Tree Man says:

    Listing negatives about Leary policy and behavior is not a hard job. HIs willingness to attack a segment of the population at well attended function is one of them. The decline in city tree protections while he has been on the commission is another. Ask yourself if our canopy looks better today than it did when he was first elected.

    Peter Weldon has circulated a letter addressing Ravaudage with references citing commission meetings thru the years. See page 5 of the minutes at the link below to see when your commission decided that even SPECIMEN trees could be replaced with two 3 inch trees. Yes, Leary voted to do this. Only Cooper and McMacken voted no. Start reading at Page 5.


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