UPDATED VOTE TOTALS
The votes are in – and it was close.
Winter Park City Commissioner Carolyn Cooper successfully defended her seat and challenger Peter Weldon edged incumbent Tom McMacken for his seat during Tuesday’s election after more than 10,000 residents cast their vote in the two City Commission races.
Weldon led McMacken with 50.57 percent of the vote, walking away with 5,193 votes to McMacken’s 5,075.
“I am very pleased with the outcome and I look forward to serving the city and residents of Winter Park,” Weldon said.
Winter Park’s new City Commissioner has served on numerous city boards over the past 10 years, including the Planning and Zoning Board and the Tree Preservation Board. Weldon also gives his own commentary on city issues through his blog, WinterParkPerspective.org
He told the Observer in December that he’s a big supporter of the city’s effort to underground power lines and hopes to see it completed in every neighborhood within the city, going hand in hand with the city’s tree management program.
“You can envision every neighborhood in Winter Park with fully developed shade trees without unsightly trimming for electric wires,” he said. “It’s a vision for how all of Winter Park could appear to us 20 or 30 years from now. I think those two programs are a very important part of our future.”
Cooper defeated challenger Lambrine Macejewski by a more comfortable margin with 54.16 percent of the vote, earning her third consecutive term in Seat 3 with 5,702 votes.
“It means that Winter Park residents have a common vision for what this town should be,” Cooper said. “It means that we’re going to move forward, that we’re going to be a town of distinction. This is a big deal.”
“This proves that we have a vision that truly is a vision of the community. I’m thrilled. I didn’t do this, [the voters] did this. They did this because they love Winter Park.”
Cooper said her biggest focuses moving forward are “controlled growth” and “participative government,” especially making residents feel like they are involved in the upcoming visioning process for the city.
Winter Park residents also took a vote on a bond referendum of up to $30 million to help pay for a new library/civic center at the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Park. That bond was approved by the slim margin of 51 to 49 percent, meaning plans will move forward to design and construct the new facility.