Congratulations Mayor Leary, Commissioner Seidel

With Gratitude to Cynthia Mackinnon and Gary Brewer for Their Willingness to Serve Their Community

L to R: Bill Leary, Beth Hall, Tom Leary, Joan Gfeller, Rich Leary. 

Mayor Leary’s brothers and neighbors support their candidates of choice.

It’s over. The yard signs are nearly all gone, most of the flyers clogging the mailboxes are once again from Publix. Life is returning to normal. 

This long, hard-fought race brought out more than 6,700 voters — a respectable showing for a non-presidential year. Unofficially, 6,722 voted in the mayor race, with Steve Leary pulling down 52.75 percent and Cynthia Mackinnon close behind with 47.75 percent. In the race for Commission Seat #1, vacated by Leary, Greg Seidel received 56.14 percent of the 6,466 votes cast to Gary Brewer’s 43.86 percent. 

These figures are preliminary. Official results will be released Friday, the 13th.

Mackinnon Looks Forward to Civility and Collaboration

In her concession speech March 10, Mackinnon said, “I expect you will see a new civility and more transparency in our city government. I expect you will see more fairness in the say city board members are selected. I expect good progress will be made in restoring our tree canopy. So, let’s focus . . . on what motivated us in the first place — we love this town. I don’t have any doubt that Mr. Leary and his supporters love this town, too.”

Brewer Deplores Campaign Cost

Gary Brewer was somewhat more pointed in his observations about the conduct of the campaign. “I believe this community needs to take a hard look at . . . how we finance and conduct campaigns,” he wrote. “More than a quarter million dollars has been spent in this campaign, mostly for attacking one another. As a charitable fundraiser, I can’t help but think what those resources could have done to support programs like the Library, Mead Garden, Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park and Welbourne Day Nurseries . . . or you name the charity.”

Leary: “Winter Park Deserves Our Best”

In an email message, newly elected Mayor Steve Leary expressed the feelings many of us share. “I appreciate those with whom I disagree, for I know they love Winter Park as much as I do,” he wrote. “We’ve had enough division, rhetoric, demonization. . . .  Let us move forward into the future together as a Community.”

At the end of the day, we’re all neighbors, and we are all looking forward to the energetic leadership of these two capable young men. Our wishes go out to both of them for success in making sure Winter Park remains the best place to live, work and play. 

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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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