June 11, 2015
I’m still waiting for a response from City of WP Electric Utilities. I have left phone messages. The electricity in my home has been dimming at least six times per day and has been doing this for the past few months. Please take care of our electric utility problems soon. Several of my neighbors have the same problem. Thank you.
June 12, 2015
That’s just plain wrong. I have a small house in Winter Park and the rates are ridiculous along with consistent power outages because of overhead power lines! That fund in no way should be touched except to enhance the utility system or lower rates! Ridiculous
June 14, 2015
I think it’s interesting that of the 27000 or so citizens of Winter Park, only a fractional Number of the citizens either can actually Afford to purchase tickets to the Performing Arts Center or Would have no interest in this entertainment venue.
The public wasn’t asked if they wanted to donate a million dollars to The Performing Art Center because the answer would have been No.
However a reduction in City wide utility bills amounting to one million dollars Would Have received a resounding YES.wouldnt it.! Now there’s something you wouldn’t have to ask about.! See the difference!!!!!
June 12, 2015
I want to thank THE VOICE for finally giving an explanation how the funds were dispersed to DPAC without a referendum. Again, the City Commission pushed to the limit. Nothing illegal was done but ethically it was wrong. The Charter needs to be changed to read, “all utilities” not just sewer monies.
June 15, 2015
I am not in favor of using utility money for anything other than utility maintenance, updates, etc. Not for charitable contributions!
June 15, 2015
This was wrong. Keep the money in WP.
Clarissa C. Howard, City of Winter Park Communications Director
June 16, 2015
Attached are links to the minutes and audio file from last year’s Utilities Advisory Board (UAB) meeting on June 10, 2014. At this meeting City Manager Randy Knight discussed in detail the proposed policy of using 1/4th of 1% of gross utility revenues for outside organizational support. This was discussed with the UAB before he presented the proposed FY2014-15 budget to the City Commission in July 2014.
June 15, 2015
Whoever thought that giving $1 million of the money we pay for utilities to Orlando to fund a building (regardless of its function) should be held accountable. No doubt they will say it is “legal” and that it was done with “full approval”, but that does not make it acceptable or appropriate. What an outrageous level of political arrogance.
June 16, 2015
The Utility Board is a highly qualified board (licensed professionals) and their recommendations should not be dismissed. They have a fiscal responsibility to make recommendations to the Commission. I believe Randy Knight and the Commission have not done anything wrong or inappropriate. The issue is should we be using Utility Funds for non utility related projects.
Sec. 2-69. – Utility advisory board.
There is established within the City of Winter Park pursuant to the provisions hereof a utility advisory board, subject to the following provisions:
(1) Membership. The utility advisory board shall be established pursuant to the procedures in divisions 1 and 2 of this article. To the extent reasonably possible, the membership shall consist of licensed professionals without conflict of interest who have expertise in the utilities and infrastructure for provision of utility services, or the legal and business aspects of providing the subject utility services to the customers of the municipal utility systems within the City of Winter Park. One member shall be a nonresident customer of the water and sewer utility.
(2) Advisory board. The utility advisory board is an advisory board and shall have no enforcement or adjudicatory authority or responsibility.
(3) Functions and responsibility. The utility advisory board shall organize itself and develop rules for procedure in accordance with the requirements of divisions 1 and 2 of this article. Following the receipt of information and deliberation, the utility advisory board shall advise the city commission, city manager and the management of the various utility service departments and authorities servicing the City of Winter Park regarding the following matters:
a. The utility advisory board shall make recommendations concerning opportunities for enhancement, expansion, maintenance, improvement and development of utility services within the City of Winter Park.
b. The utility advisory board shall make recommendations regarding improvements to safety and procedures in the provision of utility services within the City of Winter Park.
c. The utility advisory board shall make recommendations concerning the improvement of fiscal responsibility in connection with the provision of utility services, and will explore opportunities to make utility services available at a reasonable rate to the customers and residents of the City of Winter Park.
(Ord. No. 2843-11, Â§ 2, 6-13-11; Memo of 2-22-12(Att. A))
June 24, 2015
I agree that Winter Park should not be subsidizing Orlando’s performing arts center with our electricity profits. Our city has much better uses for this money. However, I am not opposed to spending our electricity profits on police, trees, and other “non-electric” purposes — as long as they’re in Winter Park. In fact, I now favor this. Recent letters to editors and conversations with friends have caused me to change my thinking on this subject. I now favor greatly reducing the undergrounding project because it’s too costly and it’s not essential (our trees and wires coexisted more or less successfully for 130 years), and spending that money on other priorities. A lot of electricity profits must be reserved for electric operations and maintenance, but the rest could be spent on other city services, and this is what many cities with city electric systems routinely do.