Anderson, Sprinkel Run for Mayor

by Anne Mooney / October 25, 2020

Former Commissioners Phil Anderson and Sarah Sprinkel will vie for the Mayor’s seat being vacated in March 2021 by Steve Leary. Even though the filing deadline is not until January 19, 2021 — which means there could be additional contenders — Anderson and Sprinkel have established campaign organizations and will begin active campaigning following the November 2020 election. The Winter Park general election is March 9, 2021. A runoff, if necessary, will be held April 13, 2021.

Platform Statements

On her platform, Sprinkel promises not to raise your taxes, to provide leadership during the pandemic and to exercise fiscal responsibility. In his platform, Anderson promises to protect the charm and character of Winter Park, to put residents’ interests first at City Hall and to make decisions that will keep Winter Park financially strong and prepared for the future.

You can find out more here

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Campaigning in a Pandemic

This pandemic-era election cycle will look very different from previous campaigns. Sprinkel said, “I never want to put someone else at risk. I worry about my husband as much as I worry about myself. I don’t think I’ll be out and about very much – I don’t think we’re quite ready for that. So, this will be a different kind of campaign.”

Anderson was of like mind. “We are holding virtual campaign meetings and small-group outdoor meetings,” he said. His campaign is holding ‘meet & greets’ either outdoors with social distancing or via Zoom. He said they are also relying heavily on social media.

Anderson talked about the difference between this campaign and the campaign when he won the Commission seat he held from 2008 to 2011. “What I enjoyed about the 2008 cycle was the door to door thing, meeting people, hearing their stories,” he said. “But we can’t do that this time. I’m still going to do the Farmer’s Market – but not until after the general election.”

Who is Sarah Sprinkel?

Sprinkel served three terms as Commissioner from 2011 to 2020, when she stepped down in order to run for Mayor in 2021. If she is elected, Sprinkel will be the first woman to serve Winter Park as Mayor. Asked if she thought her gender would influence her leadership style, Sprinkel replied, “Yes, women look at things differently than men. My whole life has been spent lifting up families. I think we could do with some nurturing in leadership, under the circumstances. We should be working on a safety net for families right now. You have to have that open heart and that open mind.”

Sarah Sprinkel is a teacher. According to her website, she taught kindergarten for 10 years, then moved into administration to develop early childhood programs. She retired from the Orange County Public School System after 33 years and went to the Central Florida YMCA to partner with Disney to create two child development centers for cast members’ children. After retiring from Disney, she went to Florida Virtual School to create an Elementary program for FLVS. She now teaches classes as an adjunct at UCF and works with interns there.

Who is Phil Anderson?

Phil Anderson is a business executive with 35 years’ experience in finance and operations. He earned a degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech and began his career building power plants for Georgia Power Company — valuable experience when it comes to understanding the complexities of the City of Winter Park utilities.

Over the past 35 years, Anderson has helped create several businesses that have invested over $10 billion dollars in more than 300 communities across the country. Most recently, he co-founded Bridge Seniors Housing Fund Manager in Orlando where he serves as Chief Investment Officer. Prior to that he served as Chief Operating Officer of CNL Retirement Properties.

Anderson and his wife Jennifer are patrons of local organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Eatonville, the Albin Polasek Museum and Gardens, and the Winter Park History Museum. Anderson is the founding treasurer of the Winter Park Land Trust and a member of the board of directors of Legacy Pointe at UCF — a non-profit retirement community.

How do they feel about the Orange Avenue Overlay?

Asked about her feelings on the OAO, Sprinkel said, “I have no problem with it. Remember, it didn’t begin with this project. They’ve been looking at this since form-based codes in 2003. It’s past time for the city to solve the problems that are in that area, especially road safety. People working together can solve things. That is the most dangerous road in Winter Park. Safety is paramount. For me, it’s never been about anything but safety. I do hope it eventually comes to fruition.”

To the same question, Anderson responded, “This is a great illustration of differences between me and Sarah. The OAO is very good as a concept. I do not agree, however, that it was ready for a vote when it got pushed through at the last minute. I’m glad the present commission is demanding illustrations of what the increased density would look like before they grant three to four times the increased maximum allowable building size.”

Anderson continued, “I believe we didn’t follow the norms of how we grant substantial increased densities to various landowners. When Rollins moved forward with the Innovation Triangle, we got a flier in our mailboxes with a diagram of the new buildings and a statistical table of their “ask.” The table showed what they were entitled to and what variances they were seeking. Why did that not happen in the largest rezoning in Winter Park history? The situation is now being corrected by the new commission. That’s the substance of the work sessions – illustrations of what these plans might allow. We badly need that to encourage an informed debate about the future of our city’s skyline.”


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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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