DeCiccio & Sullivan Win Commission Seats
10 Charter Amendments Approved
by Anne Mooney / March 18, 2020
Well, it’s over for another year, but newly elected Commissioners Marty Sullivan (Seat #1) and Sheila DeCiccio (Seat #2) will not take their seats on the dais March 23, as that Commission meeting has been cancelled because of the current health crisis. Here’s hoping April will see us return to normal.
Thanks to Blydenburgh and Creasman
Our City owes a debt of gratitude to the four candidates and their supporters who worked so hard in this race. To Carl Creasman and Jeffrey Blydenburgh, we appreciate your engagement in our community and your willingness to serve, and we look forward to your ongoing contributions as our City continues to go about its work.
Poll Results – Commission Races
As of February 20, Winter Park has 22,366 registered voters. Of those, 8,610 – or 38.5 percent – cast their votes. Not every voter voted for every ballot item, however. Apparently, there were around 600 voters who voted only in the Presidential Primary and declined to participate in the local races. In the races for the two Commission seats, for instance, fewer than 8,000 cast votes.
For Commission Seat #1, Marty Sullivan received 4,360 votes and Jeffrey Blydenburgh received 3,519, for a total of 7,986 votes cast. Votes not cast, called “under votes,” totaled 624.
For Commission Seat #2, Sheila DeCiccio garnered 5,415 votes to Carl Creasman’s 2,366, for a total of 7,989, with 627 under votes.
Ballot Amendment Results
All Charter Amendments passed except one. Question #9, on whether the City Auditor Contract Term should go from three to five years, failed by a decisive margin – 4,442 to 2,712.
The Charter Amendment questions fared even worse than Commission races in number of votes cast. Although this is only conjecture, it looks like voters may have simply gotten bored with the exercise as they began going down the list of Charter Amendment questions. Question #1, which established the use of gender-neutral language throughout the Charter, drew 7,785 votes. That number declined steadily, so that by Question #11, only 6,977 people cast votes.
For a detailed breakdown of votes on the Commission races and the City Charter Amendments, go to https://cityofwinterpark.org/government/city-info/election-info/
Congratulations to Marty and Sheila
I believe the election results speaks volumes about how the citizens of Winter Park feel about the library and the Orange Avenue overlay. Our new commissioners have their work cut for them. I wish them the best of luck and thank them for the job in front of them.
Wish List for A New Leadership Direction in Winter Park–
Bring back the Ethics Advisory Board
Revisit the recent vote (and assumptions) on the Orange Ave Overlay: limit FAR to 100
OAO- get a better deal. This is supposed to be a negotiation!
OAO-Keep Progress Point. It is an asset. It is potential green space
Actually conduct a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA). Ask FDOT for grant assistance.
Develop and fund a 10 year Parks Master Plan.
Add to green space. City-owned parcels are assets. Don’t sell them.
Install an MLK Jr Memorial in MLK Jr Park.
Hold a commission meeting in Hannibal Square 4 times a year.
Redefine green space calculations per 1,000 residents, and don’t count lake surface acreage.
Answer the question, where is our future green space coming from five to ten years from now?
Bring back Dru Dennison, our former arborist, and Amy Giannotti, our former Lakes Division Director.
Move development focus to West Fairbanks and West Lee Road. Leave Orange Avenue alone.
Recalibrate the Library and focus on getting it right. Make Events Center Phase II — later.
Be truthful about the Library budget. It’s’ over budget and has been from the start.
Be truthful about the Library design. No one likes it. It does not even acknowledge the park.
Trees, trees, trees – stop cutting them down.
Ten-minute walk: make this our mantra.
Since the citizens overwhelmingly passed the amendment to allow the commission to establish a quorum with dial-in conferencing commissioners, let’s get on with business on the 23rd. No need to cancel a meeting that need not take place in person anyway. Seat the new commissioners on the 23rd!
For some reason Jeffrey and Carl didn’t read the memo – they lost. And they lost, not because they were inferior candidates or less qualified or because they didn’t have the $$. No not at all.
They lost because of their unwavering support of the Overlay development which affords unusual entitlement to two very wealthy parties. And they lost for their blind support of the library boondoggle and a mayor who callously misspent his political capital by ignoring peoples’ voices.
For Jeffrey to attempt to incite ire because a new Commission is going to over turn the rushed thru Overlay is divisive, silly and unnecessary sour grapes amid such international crises. Your post proves you would’ve been just another rubber stamp for high-living developer friends.
Note to Leary – the last man standing – no one, including you, has ever been swept into office championing intense development. Marty and Sheila had the winning platform. You best get used to that truth. Karma.
As a resident of Winter Park for 47 years, I represent a family of homeowners, property owners, business owners, and developers who travel Orange Avenue two and three times a day. Presently, my hope for smart growth ahead looks very grim. What our community needs right now are informed citizens, public input and consideration for this project and a smart consensus, in order to move forward.
At this time, we have newcomers in town influenced by a handful of stakeholders who do not value the essence or history of the City and unfortunately, are in a position to make impactful decisions in self interest, rather than for our community. It’s simply reckless and irresponsible for us to allow this to happen. It’s time to dial this project back.
I adamantly oppose the Orange Avenue Overlay for obvious reasons, which lacks common sense and clarity to us residents. I have yet to see any comparable models in support of this overlay given the existing conditions and opportunities. I have yet to see any sufficient traffic audits that support the foreseeable density, traffic flow, and increased parking with our given infrastructure. I have yet to see any feasible plans rendering what the future redevelopment looks like to warrant amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinances.
I fully understand that growing as a community is both inevitable and exciting, but we must do our homework first before changing the City rules for Future Land Development. In this age of technology, a tattered foam board with rudimentary 2D triangles and squares is just not acceptable at this level of placemaking. We can do better than this.
I ask with our newly elected commissioners, to step back and look at this project with a fresh set of eyes and unbiased influences, dig deeper and really look into what is actually being presented. I urge all of us citizens to help our City raise the bar and seek out the professionals who can really execute this project successfully. So far, it’s just a rush to judgement, and a very poor delivery of a potential overlay district. We are not prepared for this opportunity yet, and we need to start over.
Concerned Citizen and Resident for over 47 Years