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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Friday, Sep. 1, 2017 4 years ago

Winter Park Mayor proposes library/event center task force

New task force would help protect interests of residents regarding upcoming MLK Park project.
by: Tim Freed Former Managing Editor

There’s plenty of questions surrounding Winter Park’s new library/event center. What will it look like? What will it be called? When will residents get to see the initial concept by world- renowned architect David Adjaye?

Many of those questions will be answered soon, but in the meantime, Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary wants to help set the record straight.

Leary proposed implementing a library task force during the Aug. 28 City Commission meeting — putting an entity in place that would focus on communicating what’s happening with the project and advise the City Commission on both the library and the event center aspects.

The idea comes in the wake of rumors about the facility’s name, as well as numerous unofficial and official meetings of which the City Commission isn’t aware of, Leary said.

“I’m going to bring to you next week the idea of a task force to try and make sure the interests of the citizens are represented,” he said. “I know they are by staff, and I know they are by the library, but I want the individual parties to come together and make sure we’re all on the same page with this moving forward. I’m just trying to get a little structure. ... There needs to be a settling and organization to this.”

Other commissioners agreed the measure would be beneficial.

“If it’s to stop the rumor mill, that would be good,” City Commissioner Greg Seidel said.

Residents will be able to see Adjaye’s initial conceptual design at a public presentation to the City Commission at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at The Alfond Inn, 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park.


Commissioners also participated in an ongoing budget discussion. Seidel and Commissioner Carolyn Cooper proposed adding $100,000 to $150,000 to go toward smart traffic signal technology at three intersections along Aloma Avenue.

“It took me 20 minutes to head down Aloma this morning,” Seidel said. “I don’t know if there was something going on, but it was packed. These signals could be smarter and tie in to the ITS system. It would have cut my time in half.”

Leary said he would support the idea but only if the commission finds money in the budget.


Commissioners also were approached during the meeting by representatives of Never Stand Alone, a nonprofit organization that brings awareness to college sexual violence.

Representatives came before the commission looking to gain approval for an Oktoberfest event set to take place Oct. 29 along two blocks of Park Avenue. The request was made with the hope of overriding a decision made earlier by City Manager Randy Knight, who denied the event because of Park Avenue merchants complaining in the past about the closure of the street for events.

Knight offered the West Meadow area as an alternative, but the nonprofit was not interested, he said.

Commissioners agreed the event didn’t make sense on Park Avenue but instructed Knight to see if he could come up with another alternative.


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Tim Freed was the managing editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Southwest Orange Observer. 


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