Did Weaver Resign . . . or not?
Commission to decide at special meeting Feb. 15
by Beth Kassab / February 9, 2023
Commissioner Todd Weaver, who announced Friday he is “stepping down,” said at Wednesday’s City Commission meeting that he now wants to remain in the job, though the board delayed a decision about whether he can do so.
Weaver, who was re-elected last year for a second three-year term, sent a mass email on Friday that said he is struggling to manage commission duties along with his business obligations and also told the Orlando Sentinel on Friday, “I’m juggling too many balls.” He signed the email with his name and “Winter Park City Commissioner 2019-2023,” two years shy of when his term would be up in 2025.
But on Wednesday he argued the email, which carried the subject line “Stepping Down” and was sent from his campaign address to constituents, supporters and others including the city clerk, was not a resignation.
“Nowhere in that notification to residents did it say I was going to resign or resign on a certain date,” Weaver said. “It was just reaching out and showing my appreciation to all of you and all of city staff … Yes, I’m struggling a little bit with time, but I’ve made some adjustments in my personal life … I’m here tonight and I want to serve.”
In question now is if the five-member commission considers Weaver’s email an official resignation. If so, City Attorney Kurt Ardaman said Seat 4 would be considered vacant and Weaver’s participation and votes on city business “could compromise the integrity of the commission’s actions.”
Ardaman said only the commission can determine if the email constituted an immediate resignation.
A vacant seat would mean the commission would appoint someone to serve until the next general election in March of 2024 when voters would select a candidate to fill the final year of Weaver’s term. No races will appear on the city ballot this year because commissioners Sheila DeCiccio and Marty Sullivan were automatically re-elected when no one filed to run against either incumbent.
Jockeying for the vacancy had already begun by the start of Wednesday’s meeting. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Commission on Friday within hours of Weaver’s email calling for the board to appoint “someone from the African American community.”
“It has been an unacceptable 130 years since a Black person has served on the Winter Park City Commission and you now have a perfect opportunity to correct that inequity,” stated the letter from chamber President Betsy Gardner Eckbert.
Commissioner Marty Sullivan advocated to call a vote to keep Weaver on the commission.
“It’s very clear, I believe, that Vice Mayor Weaver chose to rescind that and chose to continue to stay on the commission,” Sullivan said. “It’s clear from [City Attorney Kurt] Ardaman that it’s up to us to decide whether he stays on the commission so I think it’s out of order to delay that decision on our part.”
But Mayor Phil Anderson won a vote 3-2 to delay the decision until a special meeting devoted to the matter next Wednesday. Weaver and Sullivan cast the dissenting votes.
Anderson requested an opinion on the matter from the city’s labor attorney before the next meeting.
Ardaman said that if commissioners interpret the email as an immediate resignation, then it’s likely not possible for Weaver to rescind that decision. But if they determine his intent was to resign in the future then he could potentially walk it back.
Weaver participated in votes on the remainder of the city agenda on Wednesday.