Four Candidates Vie for Two Commission Seats
Cooper and McMacken Seek Re-election
As of the qualifying deadline on December 18, four candidates have declared their intentions to run for Commission Seats #3 and #4 in the March 15, 2016 election.
Commissioner Carolyn Cooper will seek a third term in Seat #3. Challenging Cooper is restaurateur Lambrine Macejewski.
Commissioner Tom McMacken will run for re-election to Seat #4, opposed by Peter Weldon.
Introductory information about each candidate is below. In the New Year, the Voice will publish more detailed information about the candidates’ platforms and the issues each finds important.
Three Candidate Forums in February
Winter Park residents will have the opportunity to see the candidates square off in a series of three Candidate Forums in February 2016.
- Wednesday, Feb. 10, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Community Center – Hosted by the Winter Park Voice
- Friday, Feb. 12, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Welcome Center – Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce
- Friday, Feb. 19, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Winter Park Public Library – Hosted by the Winter Park Public Library
Candidates for Commission Seat #3
Commissioner Carolyn Cooper
Carolyn and Ned Cooper have lived in Winter Park for over 20 years and raised 3 of their 5 children here. Carolyn was elected to the City Commission in 2010 and re-elected in 2013.
Through her service on the Florida League of Cities (FLC) Tri-County Board of Directors, Carolyn advocates in Tallahassee on behalf of Florida’s 400+ cities. She understands first hand that many of Winter Park’s challenges can be resolved by building coalitions at the state level. The FLC named Carolyn the 2015 FLC Home Rule Hero for her advocacy during the 2015 legislative session.
Carolyn has a strong background in finance and budgeting. She has a Masters in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, worked as a Department of Defense Financial Manager and has professional training in Florida municipal budgeting. She has drawn on this background to build city reserves and maintain services while never voting to raise taxes.
Carolyn honed her management skills as a member of the Space Shuttle Ground Support negotiating team and later as Director of Contracts for Martin Marietta Data Systems. This experience, coupled with her understanding of land use gained from her service on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, positions her to effectively represent citizens’ interests as the City considers how best to grow into the future.
Winter Park Magazine named Carolyn one of Winter Park’s 25 most influential people in 2015 noting, “. . .nobody controls Carolyn … she only cares about the citizens of Winter Park.”
Candidate Lambrine Macejewski
Most people know Lambrine Macejewski (Lam-bree-knee Muh-chess-ski) as one of the co-owners of Cocina 214, the award-winning Tex-Mex restaurant just off Park Avenue.
As a citizen volunteer, Lambrine has participated in the Park Avenue Merchants Association (PAMA), serving one term as president and currently as vice president. The other city and community boards on which she serves include Keep Winter Park Beautiful and Sustainable, the Winter Park History Museum and the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Lambrine founded the “Running of the Chihuahuas” to benefit Winter Park Lost Pets, and she is a Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader.
In 2015, Winter Park Magazine named Lambrine “The Entrepreneur,” one of the Winter Park’s 25 Most Influential People.
Lambrine grew up in Dallas, Texas, where her father was co-owner and chef of 4 restaurants. She was raised in their family business and worked part-time throughout high school and college.
She graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a B.B.A. in accounting and went on to work for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). She then worked for Level 3 Communications, 360networks and finally left to start her own consulting firm, which specialized in performance management, business process improvement and integrations.
With the inception of Cocina 214, Lambrine was able to go back to her roots in the restaurant business. She lives in Winter Park with her husband Ronnie, daughter Rachel and their family pet Oliver.
Candidates for Commission Seat #4
Commissioner Tom McMacken
Tom McMacken brings over 30 years of experience as a landscape architect, creating parks and communities, and six years of service as City Commissioner.
McMacken is running for a third term on the Winter Park City Commission. Known for frequently casting the swing vote, McMacken listens to citizens and strives to hear all sides of an issue before reaching a decision.
In 2014, Tom was named Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year. He remains a member of the Chamber, as well as American Society of Landscape Architects, First United Methodist Church of Winter Park, the Orange County Community Action Board, the Friends of Casa Feliz, and the Winter Park History Museum.
He participated in planning the Park Avenue streetscape, the Winter Park Village and The Park at Orwin Manor.
McMacken has served on a City board or commission since 1998. Before becoming a City Commissioner, he chaired each of the four boards on which he served for at least one term, including the Planning & Zoning Commission.
In addition to Planning & Zoning, McMacken served on the Historic Preservation Commission, the Tree Preservation Board and the Public Art Advisory Board.
Tom, his wife, Ann, and their daughter, Emily, have lived in Winter Park for nearly three decades.
Candidate Peter Weldon
Peter and Fran Weldon have lived in Winter Park since 1989. Their children were born at Winter Park Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Park.
Peter Weldon earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami in 1971 and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University in 1974.
After careers for both Weldons at Johnson & Johnson, they relocated to Winter Park when Peter was recruited to run a venture capital backed startup. After leaving the startup he became a Chartered Financial Analyst and investment advisor. He retired in 2013.
The Weldons have been actively involved in the community for 25 years. Fran has been neighborhood watch coordinator. They have supported many civic organizations, including the Winter Park Library, Live Oak Fund, Polasek Museum Capen House restoration, Feed the Need Winter Park and Art in the Park. Peter Weldon served on the United Way agency review panels and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Orlando Science Center.
Pete Weldon began writing www.WinterParkPerspective.org in 2008 to share views on decision making and political processes at city hall. His intent was to help make better decisions by putting policy arguments in context with relevant facts.
Pete Weldon has served on Winter Park city boards since 2008. Currently he serves on the Tree Preservation Board and the Planning and Zoning Board. His management and investment experience is grounded in a patient, long term view, based on careful study and prudent risk taking, in context with the facts. If elected, he would bring this same focus on long term value creation to his role on the City Commission.
Let the games begin!
It’s not correct to say Cooper was re-elected. Cooper was never re-elected. What happened was, three years ago, nobody else ran for her seat. A fluke. There was a candidate interested, but missed the filing deadline – by an inch. So Cooper got her most recent three-year term without ever having to face the voters. It was automatic, because she was the only candidate who made the 12:00 pm filing deadline on time. Cooper is unelected for the current term of the seat she now occupies.