The $30 Million Question

New Library? Or Not?

winterpark-library2When Winter Park voters mark their ballots, they face a decision that will have a far greater, more lasting impact on the life of this City than any politician is ever likely to have. Commissioners come and go, but this is a 20-Year, $30 Million Dollar Question. Will the citizens of Winter Park vote to spend $30 million tax dollars over the next 20 years on a new combined Library – Events Center?

Official ballot language

“For the purpose of building the Winter Park Library and Events Center, to include library facilities, civic meeting and gathering facilities and related parking structure, and improvements, and all purposes incidental thereto, shall the City of Winter Park, Florida, issue not exceeding $30,000,000 general obligation bonds, bearing interest at not exceeding the maximum legal rate, maturing within 20 years from date of issuance, payable from ad valorem taxes levied on all taxable property in the City area, without limitation as to rate or amount; as provided in Ordinance No. 3020-15?”

Two PACs – Two Points of View

Citizens are divided. Two political action committees have been formed to advocate for and against the Bond Referendum. You can follow these links to their websites.

PAC Leaders Speak to the Voters

The PAC presidents articulated their positions for The Winter Park Voice. Jeffry Jontz, President of the Board of Winter Park Library Trustees, speaks in favor of building a new library. Michael Poole, who currently chairs the Keep Winter Park Beautiful and Sustainable Advisory Board, speaks in favor of leaving the Winter Park Library in its current location.

Voters Will Have the Last Word

A Yes vote is a vote for the Referendum. A No vote is a vote against the Referendum. The vote is not for or against the Library. Winter Park will always have a Library, but You, the Voters, must decide whether or not the City will issue $30 million in bonds to erect a new building in MLK Park.

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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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