Save Our Library PAC Disputes Judge’s Ruling

Requests Rehearing to Present New Evidence

Save Our Library PAC Disputes Judge’s Ruling

city-libary-cogsThe Save Our Library WP PAC has filed two motions with Orange County Circuit Court requesting a rehearing of the library bond validation suit and asking Judge Margaret Schreiber to amend her Final Judgment, issued December 7, 2016.

PAC Wants to Present New Evidence

The request for rehearing is to present evidence, not presented at the hearing on October 20, 2016, that contradicts the City’s position that the new library-event center complex can only be built in Martin Luther King, Jr., (MLK) Park.

Memory Jog for City Manager

The evidence in question is video of City Manager Randy Knight speaking April 21, 2016 at a public meeting about the library. In the video, Knight states that the library could be built in a location other than MLK Park. At the October court hearing, Knight testified that he could not recall whether or not he had made that statement at the April meeting.

PAC Asks Judge to Strike 3 Paragraphs

The motion to amend the Final Judgment asks the Judge to eliminate paragraphs #26, #34 and #35 of the Final Judgement. Click Here to read Final Judgment.

Paragraph #26 refers to the PAC’s petition as a “reconsideration of the Bond Ordinance,” and states that the petition is now barred because it failed to meet a 30-day deadline for filing.

‘Reasonable Voter’ Paragraph Questioned

Paragraph #34 holds that a reasonable voter, upon reading the bond ordinance, would have understood that the new complex was to be built on the site of the existing Civic Center, and Paragraph #35 states that the MLK site was a matter of public record because of the motion passed at the October 26, 2016 commission meeting.

No Decision Reached in Separate Case

The PAC’s requests are based on a separate action filed in the Ninth Circuit Appellate Division in which they claim their petition is a Citizens’ Initiative and does not seek reconsideration of the bond ordinance. They hold that, because the intended location of the new complex did not appear anywhere on the ballot, the voters did not knowingly vote to locate the complex in MLK Park. They voted only to approve the library bonds.

No One Contested the Bond Validation

“In the bond validation case,” said PAC President Michael Poole, “the judge was asked only to validate the bonds. No one contested that. I do not know how [Judge Schreiber] could also decide on the library location when the location language appeared nowhere on the March 15 ballot. And the decision as to whether our petition constituted a reconsideration of the bond ordinance or not has nothing to do with validating the bonds.”

PAC: Court Lacks Jurisdiction

The PAC’s Motion to Alter or Amend Final Judgment states that paragraphs #26, #34 and #35 refer to, “. . .a collateral issue to the bond validation proceedings and [we] respectfully believe the Court does not have jurisdiction over this issue. The Court is aware that a Writ of Certiorari has been filed with the Ninth Judicial Circuit . . . . This case is pending and specifically addresses [these issues].”

The pending case is before a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Appellate Division. Poole says they do not know when the panel will issue their ruling.

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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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22 replies
  1. Margaret says:

    Is the Voice only a “voice” for the anti-library PAC now? Every article is incredibly one-sided. I am disappointed that I ever donated to support this paper and will not do so again.

    I am so mad at this waste of taxpayer time and money that I could spit nails. This is hurting the library!

  2. C. Skogsberg says:

    RE: Library PAC lawsuit. The public was informed and the measure was passed. The proposed location and upgrades make sense for library viability. As a 32-year resident of WP, I am distraught that our city monetary resources have to be spent to defend frivolous sour-grapes lawsuits. Yes, our little world is changing; as it must to remain relevant to younger generations.

  3. Unimpressed says:

    Not a huge fan of this government boondoggle, but even less a fan of pointless litigation. It’s clear this is about overturning the election result. I won’t exactly cry if that happens, but they should at least be honest about it. Doesn’t sound like they want to ‘Save’ the library at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous: I agree, I have yet to learn where exactly these people want the

      library to be.

      Sometimes complaining just makes people feel important.

      So SAD!

  4. December 7th says:

    Something fishy about the Court’s choosing of December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, to unleash its attack against the residents of Winter Park.

    The Court could have chosen ANY day. There was NO deadline for the ruling. Yet, the Court chose December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, the last time the American people were attacked by a foreign government on US soil. Curious.

    Thanks to The Voice for providing the link with the ruling. Talk about judicial bias.

    It’s funny when you read it. The Court actually admits, in the ruling, that the voters were misinformed about the project by our government prior to the election. See the section where it says the Library Board told the public that there is no need for a new parking structure? See that?

    So, the Court actually seems to imply in its own ruling that the voters can’t trust what they were told by the City prior to the election – at least as it pertains to the parking structure. Yet, at the same time, the Court decrees that so called “reasonable voters” should have believed EVERYTHING the City told them before the election – even the lies! And, what’s more, the voters should have believed other known liars around town as well – like the newspapers – that MLK Park was the site, even though it never said so on the ballot!

      • Strength In Numbers says:

        If the court schedules the re-hearing for 3:30 pm, even the most ardent coincidence theorists here on the comment board will have to re-examine their long held belief that this is all a coincidence.

        • Afternoon Delight says:

          Having had a mother who worked as a court stenographer for many years: court times are never convenient. And nearly always occur during the 9-5 workday. It’s part of why going to court or having jury duty is such a pain.

    • Pitt Warner says:

      “The Court actually admits, in the ruling, that the voters were misinformed about the project by our government prior to the election. See the section where it says the Library Board told the public that there is no need for a new parking structure? See that?”

      I think you, like most anti-MLK move people, are not being careful readers. You are caught up in emotion. The quote above is 100% incorrect. Misunderstood. The Final Report by the Task Force in June of 2015 recommended the “Northern” area of MLK Park. That location does not require a parking structure. Additional surface lot only. After 4 months of public debate, workshops, presentations, the city commission voted to focus the construction on the current Civic Center site AND build a parking deck over the current parking lot.

      You can interpret your news any way you want, but to correctly assess a community decision, you need to understand the material provided by the participants. Throwing out insinuations like “misinformed” or “voters can’t trust..City” is inflammatory and 100% incorrect. Before you post more incorrect information, talk to the library people who have the information. You don’t have to like the move, the cost or the building in the park. But argue those points. Not incorrect ones.

      • Clarification says:

        Let me get this straight. First the City told us it would be “surface” parking. Then later the City told us it would be a parking “deck.” Then when we got to the voting booth we were told it would be a parking “structure.”

        Is that about right?

        I’m beginning to think the next thing you folks will tell us is that by parking “structure” you meant a garage the size of the one at Universal Studios! And that any “reasonable voter” would have known that right away when they saw the word “structure.”

        It’s New Years weekend folks, but we’re still way too sober to fall for more of the same lines we’ve been fed way too long from the library moving gang. Here’s an idea. Next time, hold your election at about 2 am New Years Day. Then you can tell the court that “reasonable” voters should have been drunk enough to say YES to anything on the ballot.

        • Pitt Warner says:

          “Let me get this straight. First the City told us it would be “surface” parking. Then later the City told us it would be a parking “deck.” Then when we got to the voting booth we were told it would be a parking “structure.””

          No, you did not get it straight. Do your homework. For the 2nd time, the Final Report of Library Task Force recommended “northern” area of MLK Park for new library with a surface parking lot. After 4 months of meetings, discussions, presentations and public recommendations, the idea of replacing current Civic Center and combining with new library in the NW corner of the park emerged. Lower impact on park and getting a bigger, better library and civic center. In this scenario a 2nd deck to the existing lot was needed. Don’t mislead people with your false narratives and hyperbole. That’s unethical.

          • North By Northwest says:

            I’m confused. I feel like I’m in an old Alfred Hitchcock movie.

            You’re saying that Northwest, is not in any way related to North?

            When I was in elementary school, teacher taught us about sets.

            Northwest is part of the set of North, just like Northcentral and Northeast are part of the set of North. They are all North.

            But you are saying oh no, the government task force never said NorthWEST wouldn’t need a garage. They only said NORTH wouldn’t.

            This is the kind of convoluted rhetoric that the residents of Winter Park are tired of. Speak plainly, please. Most residents don’t think in double speak, like the politicians. When someone says “North end of MLK Park,” we believe the speaker is describing the half of the park to the North of an imaginary horizontal line that divides the park in half – North and South.

            Save your double speak for someone else. We readers of The Voice are ethical people and are wise to your tricks.

      • The Eye says:

        Do you really believe that in order to be considered a reasonable voter, that, prior to the election, someone should have to wade through all the minutes of the Library Task Force, listen to all the City Commission meetings and discussions, talk to representatives from the Library, read all the media accounts? Take notes? Then, have to go back and ask questions of the local officials to clarify what have been their numerous inconsistencies and shifts in stated position?

        If you do, how to you propose that these same reasonable voters do all of that, and yet have enough time to go to work to pay the taxes that fund the library and the court, spend time with their families, attend church, have a social life, and maybe have a few minutes to spare to go Christmas shopping to keep the local economy humming another year?

        At some point, doesn’t the government take ANY responsibility for what it SAYS and DOES NOT SAY on the BALLOT? Or is the ballot language to be just another public relations stunt by the City to fool the voters, and later handed off to a jurist who rubber stamps it, and adds wording that was never there at the request of those at the top of the pyramid?

        • Aye yi yi says:

          Like… It was not difficult to get info on this.

          There was a widely available fact sheet that was dumbed down to the most basic ‘who what when where and how much’ for even the busiest person to read.

          There’s still a full FAQ on the library website. It’s one of the first things you see on the library website.

          It’s not the city’s responsibility to spoonfeed lazy voters.

          Btw, it is obvious who the above ranting commenter is.

          • Whos in Whoville says:

            And it’s also obvious that YOU’RE the GRINCH who’s trying to steal our library AND our park!!!

        • Pitt Warner says:

          Did you listen to recent POTS debates? Read websites? Talk with friends. Watch news shows? Maybe attend a rally? That’s a reasonable voter for the presidential vote. Why would a municipal decision be any different?

  5. Observe Winter Park says:

    To Margaret, sorry to hear you won’t support the VOICE. It is the last source of local news about what our City government is doing. The last articles were “Judge Validates $30m Bond for Library in MLK Park”; Clerk Declares Library Petition Insufficient”; City Sues to Validate Library/Event Center”, hardly one sided. The Sentinel hardly covers local news, Observer only has 1 to 2 articles. The VOICE presents a fair overview of the many sides of an issue. Mr. Poole’s actions and the group he represents (2500 petitioners) have as much of a right to be a part of the evolving story as the library group. As I see it, his group is not against libraries, but FOR parks. An important distinction.
    Don’t shoot the messenger.
    I for one, will continue to support the VOICE. Not because I agree with every story, but because a free press is essential to a democracy.

    • Pitt Warner says:

      Can’t understand how an underutilized park (MLK) will not benefit from a new building which will bring more people to the park. A 2 story library/civic center will increase the lot coverage in the park by a microscopic amount-about 1-2% depending on final design. I am FOR parks and the more people that use them, the better. Trading off 1-2% increased coverage for much more usage is a great way to build our park system.

    • Eyeroll says:

      And yet his group is called “SAVE OUR LIBRARY.” Misguided at best, calculating and manipulative at worst. What has he ever done for the library?

  6. Pitt Warner says:

    North By Northwest:

    All I am doing is reciting the facts. Personal insults are usually the last resort of someone who has either not read the material or declined to understand. As written in the Final Recommendation to City Commission.

    “Task Force Recommended Site for a New Library in the Northern Sector of MLK Park”

    No double talk. Cut and paste.

  7. Sensible Teacher says:

    For the confused “Northerner” above:

    Step 1: Library Task Force submits report recommending northern section of MLK, i.e. above the lake. Conceptual drawings are created showing a two-story building in either the northeast, middle, or northwest section of MLK Park. Final recommendation is for library only — and recommends surface parking.

    Step 2: City Commission, after hearing citizen concerns, decides surface parking would take up too much “surface”. To reduce overlapping functions and footprint, project should include the civic center and should be placed on existing building site. Makes sense.

    Step 3: At City Commission’s direction, Task Force goes back to redo the final recommendation. Returns with recommendation for three-story library & events center with parking deck situated on civic center site.

    A combined project means combined parking — which means adding a parking deck above the existing civic center parking.

    Pretty simple.

    If even THAT’S too confusing, there are pictures in the reports.

    LOL @ “Grinch.” Can we stay ON the conversation rails, please?

    (P.S. — Step 4 was “Vote”. We did.)


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