What’s Happening at City Hall?
The Place Is Hopping – Even In This Heat
You think Winter Park is sleepy during the summer? Think again. In July alone, there will be 23 public meetings.
The Voice has received requests for notifications and schedules, so we’ve compiled a list of standing boards and task forces and will post monthly meeting schedules. You can also see the schedule, schedule changes, agendas and lists of board members on the City website at https://cityofwinterpark.org/government/boards/
City Commission — 2nd & 4th Monday Each Month
Of the 23 July meetings, two are Commission meetings. These are held the second and fourth Monday of each month, beginning at 3:30 pm, in the Commission Chambers on the second floor of City Hall. They go until they’re finished – typically until 5:30 to 6:30 pm unless there is a controversial item on the agenda. In that case, they’ve been known to go as late as 10:30 pm, but under the current administration that is the exception.
Nineteen Advisory Boards
Nineteen citizen boards advise the Commission on topics ranging from Police Officers’ Pensions to Lakes and Waterways and Code Compliance. A full list of these boards and board members can be found at the above link.
All advisory boards are formed of citizen volunteers who bring their experience and expertise to the business of running the City. They operate in a strictly advisory capacity, offering guidance to the Commission, the policy-making body of the City. The boards make the recommendations; the Commission makes the decisions.
Most advisory boards meet once a month. There are a few, including the Commission, that have workshops for the sole purpose of discussion among board members. While the public is invited to observe, at workshops, there are no decisions, no votes and no public input.
Three Task Forces
In addition to the standing advisory boards, there are currently three task forces, which are formed for a single stated purpose with definite beginning and ending dates. Ending dates, known as “sunset dates,” are, of course, flexible. The three currently active task forces are described below.
Charter Review Advisory Committee
This task force is formed every 10 years for the purpose of updating the Winter Park City Charter. The Charter is our City’s ‘Constitution,’ its primary governing document. Some major issues are under discussion, making these meetings interesting and relevant.
One is the question of whether we will continue to vote ‘at large,’ as we currently do, for mayor and commissioners, or change to a voting method based on geographic districts. There is still time to get in on this discussion, as the question was tabled until the full task force is present (which hasn’t happened yet).
Other topics include increasing compensation for Commissioners and who should have the authority to appoint Advisory Board members.
Meetings are held at the Community Center from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The first hour is devoted to public comment, so best be on time. This task force began April 23 and will run through September 24. The next meeting is Tuesday, July 23.
Orange Avenue Steering Committee
The purpose of this task force is to decide the parameters of a zoning ‘overlay,’ which will establish guidelines for the redevelopment of that stretch of Orange Avenue reaching from 17-92 to just north of the corner of Denning and Fairbanks.
The discussion is informative and the outcome will directly affect the sizable population that lives in the western part of the city. City Planning Director Bronce Stephenson wants everyone involved, and you are encouraged to attend. Meetings are held twice a month from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Commission chambers. The next meeting is Wednesday, July 24.
Old Library Reuse Task Force
This group is charged with recommending to the Commission the proper disposition of the current library facility. The task force meets once a month in the Commission chambers at Noon. The next meeting is Wednesday, July 17.
Not only do we have official commissions, boards and task forces, we also have informal gatherings with the Mayor and Commissioners where you can let them know what you’re thinking and find out what they’re thinking. Except for the Mayor’s, which is at the Welcome Center across the street from City Hall, all Coffee Talks are 8:00 to 9:00 am at the Winter Park Golf and Country Club, 761 Old England Ave.
The Coffee Talks with the Mayor and Commissioners will be on the following dates.
Mayor Steve Leary – July 12 – at the Welcome Center on Lyman Ave.
(All others are at the Winter Park Golf & Country Club.)
Commissioner Greg Seidel – August 8.
Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel – September 9.
Commissioner Carolyn Cooper – October 10.
Commissioner Todd Weaver – November 14.
Here’s What’s Left of the July Lineup
Look for August when we get closer. Note: the Chapman Room and the Commission Chambers are on the second floor of City Hall.