Todd Weaver to remain in office
Close vote determines resignation wasn’t sufficient
Todd Weaver will remain on the Winter Park City Commission after three of the five commissioners voted to determine an email he sent earlier this month titled “Stepping Down” was not a “legally sufficient” resignation.
The 3-2 vote concluded nearly two weeks of debate over Weaver’s future since the he sent the message to supporters and senior city staff on Feb. 3 only to say days later that he didn’t want to resign after all and asserting in a commission meeting last week that the email was merely an “announcement” rather than a resignation.
A contrite Weaver apologized for the hubbub at a special meeting on Wednesday to decide his fate.
“I apologize for being the cause of this special session,” he said, noting that he was sleep deprived and contending with new work duties outside of City Hall on the morning he sent the letter. “I should have given it a little more time before I hit the send button … it was just a stupidity move on my part.”
At stake was whether Weaver could serve the remainder of his term until 2025 or if the City Commission would appoint someone new to fill the seat until the next general election in 2024. The city attorney said at last week’s meeting that if Weaver’s note was considered an immediate resignation then it was unlikely he could take it back.
Jockeying among interest groups and candidates to fill the post began within hours of Weaver’s email.
An opinion from a labor attorney sought by the city on the matter questioned Weaver’s credibility and concluded his message was a clear resignation.
“In my view, Mr. Weaver’s recent statements appear to be a crude attempt by him to recharacterize the events of him drafting and sending the email,” wrote Benton Wood of law firm Fisher Phillips.
Mayor Phil Anderson and Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio voted in favor of calling Weaver’s action a resignation and pointed to the attorney’s opinion as well as language in Weaver’s letter, including his use of the past tense when talking about his tenure and his signature on the email, which noted his time as a commissioner from 2019-2023, two years before his term is scheduled to end.
“The clear thrust of the communication is to inform residents he’s stepping down,” DeCiccio said.
Commissioners Marty Sullivan, Kris Cruzada and Weaver himself voted to keep Weaver in place and rejected the legal opinion.
Sullivan said Weaver clearly wanted to continue to serve and it was in the best interest of Winter Park residents to have a commissioner elected by the people rather than one appointed by the commission.
Ten residents spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and were split over whether to keep Weaver, a proponent of more sustainability policies in the city, on the board.
“Have you ever changed your mind about something?” asked resident Pat McDonald, noting that at last week’s commission meeting the people on the dais conceded they wanted to change course on plans for the old library building when they ended an agreement with one developer to solicit new ideas. “Let’s just assume it was a resignation letter. He changed his mind.”
At least one resident noted her “trust is not within Mr. Weaver anymore.”
Cruzada said he found Weaver’s email to be “ambiguous” and assigning meaning to it would be a “slippery slope.”
“When I read the email, it was kind of like reading a book with no ending …,” Cruzada said. “It’s not as crystal clear as I would like it to be … Do I cringe about how we got here? Yes, it’s regrettable. We’re all human. We all err every now and then.”
In order to resign, one must use the term “resignation” or “resign” and provide a specific date. Todd did not do that. By the way, I am going to eat healthy food and exercise (starting in 2024). And power politics came into play. In the end, we are very fortunate to have an individual who deeply cares about the environmental health of our city and beyond and uses sound and rational approaches to our rapidly changing society.
Proud to be a 10 year Voice reader and looking forward to reading The Voice for another 10 years!
Don’t let the “2023” fool you. It’s a statement of what has been. And since I don’t know the end year of my readership yet, why wouldn’t I say “2023” to identify the years I have been a Voice reader SO FAR?
That’s all Vice Mayor Weaver was doing in his email – identifying the years he’s served SO FAR.
Those who think otherwise have been looking at too many tombstones.
You used the words “sound and rational”. Very Weldonish. Yikes!
I’m glad Todd didn’t get booted out and to correct the record, this issue was dragged out by the two people who lost the vote and wanted him gone, not Todd.
People make bad choices, get over it.
THE COMMISSION MADE THE RIGHT DECISION WITH REGARD TO VICE MAYOR TODD WEAVER. THE CITY IS FORTUNATE TO HAVE HIS WISE COUNSEL. IT WAS OBVIOUS TO ME AND MANY OTHER WINTER PARK RESIDENTS THAT HE HAD NOT OFFICIALLY RESIGNED. HOWEVER IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE COMMISSION TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT SO THAT FUTURE VOTES OF THE COMMISSION WHERE TODD PARTICIPATES WOULD NOT BE QUESTIONED. LET’S KEEP IN MIND THAT WE ALL ARE HUMAN AND SOMETIMES WE SAY AND DO THINGS WE WISHED WE HAD NOT SAID OR DONE. I FOR ONE AM PLEASED WITH THE FINAL RESULTS OF THIS INCIDENT.
There seemed to be an unusual emphasis and apparent need during the Feb 15 special commission meeting to pull out the dictionary and quote source material. One relevant nautical definition which might have helped clarify the current state of affairs is a the sailing navigation term called “apparent wind” (as opposed to “true wind”). Simply put, apparent wind is the wind speed you “feel” on you as you sail. True wind, on the other hand, is the actual speed of the wind as it passes over the sea. True wind is what sailors need to know to in order to adjust the sails to navigate the boat. For Winter Park, true wind is our adopted majority-vote mantra “residents first”. Perhaps the resulting 3/2 commission vote underscores a need to recalibrate under performing wind instruments, but more importantly: don’t be fooled by apparent wind. The successful path forward relies on true wind. Residents (and the voters) know best.
You know you are in deep guacamole when you have to rely on
a dictionary to try to bolster a wobbly legal opinion.