Chris Sapp and Loren “Andy” Williams will assume positions on the Windermere Town Council in March.
Come March, there will be two new faces on the Windermere Town Council.
Set to fill the two seats that will soon be vacant are Chris Sapp, a Realtor with Suzi Karr Realty, and Loren “Andy” Williams, founding partner and licensed broker of Lakeside Realty Windermere.
They will take the place of Councilman John Armstrong, who is not seeking re-election, and former Councilman Al Pichon, who resigned in November. Former Councilwoman Molly Rose has been serving temporarily in Pichon’s place.
Sapp, who has been in real estate for 10 years, first moved to Windermere in December 2007. Just a few months later, he joined the town’s Downtown Business Committee and has been on it ever since.
He first decided to run for Town Council after being asked by several residents to step up. Sapp ran against Councilman Richard Montgomery in the last election and lost by four votes but now is excited for his chance to serve.
“It was really the end of my time for the Downtown Business Committee, (and) I was going to be resigning anyway to let someone else move in and find something else impactful to do with the town,” he said. “I live and work here, so I have a love and vested interest in the town of Windermere. It’s my way to serve my community and hopefully make a positive impact.”
Although he believes the council is moving forward in a positive direction and is operating responsibly, he wants to help ensure it keeps up that momentum.
“I’d like to keep pushing forward for giving the police department a better facility and continue the efforts on pedestrian sidewalks and multi-use paths,” he said. “Of course (I also want to) make sure we stay on track to being fiscally conservative. We’ve got a lot of things on the agenda in regards to Second Avenue and (need) to make sure that money is pushed aside to ensure we stay on track.”
Keeping the town on track to update its facilities, multi-use paths and roadways will be Sapp’s priorities on the council. One of the challenges that comes with that is ensuring everything is addressed while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
“I’ve been on the DBC for a while, which is impactful with the amounts of things we do and being the voice for the businesses, but I’m looking forward to the impact on a larger scale,” Sapp said. “That includes on working with particular committees and boards and the residents, (as well as) the new branding that the town is in the middle of developing.”
LOREN “ANDY” WILLIAMS
Williams’s Windermere roots run deep: He’s a fifth-generation Windermere resident whose great-grandparents and their parents moved to the town in 1914 to become citrus growers.
His family has lived in the town ever since, with generations growing up among the lakes. In fact, Williams is named after his grandfather, Loren Robertson “Andy” Williams, a former mayor of Windermere.
It only made sense, then, that he wanted to be a part of bringing positive changes and updates to his hometown.
“Part of it is just my civic duty, (having) grown up and living here and seeing myself here another 50 years,” he said of his decision to become a councilman. “That part makes you want to be involved and for things to change for the better.”
Williams said he will work to ensure Windermere is secure financially for the future. The town has many needs, he said, and having a plan to get necessary projects funded and complete is crucial. He doesn’t want the town to change much but agrees some of the next projects should include infrastructure and getting utilities to more residents.
“We need to have skin in the game and have a plan to get there, whether it’s bringing (city) water to the homes or sewer downtown to where the businesses are,” he said. “That all needs a long-term goal and vision to get there. … We can’t have everything right now, so we’ve got to sit down and plan for something further out. That may take 10 or 15 years, but without that kind of long-term plan to get us there, it’ll never happen — we’ll always just be wanting and talking about it.”
Now, he’s looking forward to representing fellow residents and having an impact on the town and its future.
“What I’m most looking forward to is being able to represent the local residents,” he said. “I think maybe some people don’t think that the Town Council hears them. … (I like) the idea that I can bring a fresh face (to the table).”