A Winter Park leader and longtime resident is counting on your vote.
Winter Park City Commissioner Pete Weldon announced recently his intention to run for re-election and seek a second term for City Commission Seat 4.
He will be running against challenger Todd Weaver in the upcoming March 2019 election.
Weldon said he’s proud of what the city has accomplished during his time on the City Commission, including the renovations to the city’s tennis center and the recent redesign and aesthetic improvements to Denning Drive with an added multi-use path. Weldon said he hopes to keep the city moving forward — finding more roads within the city that can be supplemented with street trees and decorative lighting and ensuring the new library and event center is created properly.
“We’ve done a fabulous job in the city over the past several years, and I think I’ve made a meaningful impact in a constructive way, and I’m looking forward to furthering all the progress we’ve made,” Weldon said.
The city is in tremendous financial shape as well, he said. It’s that confidence in the city’s financial stability that drove Weldon to request lowering the millage rate in all three years of his term. The city has acquired a total of $6 million in annual property tax revenue since 2015, Weldon said.
“My three years of recommending a slight reduction in the millage rate to return a little bit of money to the taxpayers is really about balance,” he said. “We’ve invested that ($6 million) wisely for the most part, but as a balancing proposition, when the city is doing well, I think the taxpayers deserve a little credit for their contribution.”
Weldon said he has a number of priorities for his next term: ensuring Winter Park manages its growth and maintains its single-family residential character; looking into ways to have Orange and Seminole County help mitigate traffic going through the city; and making sure the city’s electric undergrounding efforts continue on the path to success. Putting the city’s power lines underground not only provides the aesthetic benefit of clearing Winter Park’s skylines but also ensures far less power outages during storms.
“I’m trying to find ways that we can accelerate that in a practical way,” Weldon said. “We’ve gone through a number of scenarios, but there may be some things we can do given the current state of wholesale power costs and they’re coming down somewhat. There might be a balancing act to be had in the next year or so between increasing undergrounding while keeping rates the same while our power contracts become less expensive.”
Weldon has been retired since 2013, but before then worked for Johnson & Johnson in various financial positions from 1974 to 1988. In 1981, Weldon also co-founded Xanar, Inc. — a wholly owned Johnson & Johnson subsidiary focused on surgical application of laser technology.
He continued working in that area as president/CEO for another laser technology company focused on wound healing until 1991.
From 1992 up until his retirement in 2013, Weldon worked as a self-employed investment adviser focused on bio-technology and digital technology companies.
Weldon and his wife, Fran, moved to Winter Park in 1989, and raised a family within the city. In 2008, Weldon began serving the city in numerous advisory capacities, on the code enforcement board, the tree preservation board and the planning and zoning board. He said he’s especially proud of his time on the tree preservation board, where he pushed for the management of trees based on their location and species.
“The way we manage street trees and the way we manage the policy of tree removals on private property has been dramatically improved — in large part because of contributions that I’ve made, if not the arguments I’ve made that have been accepted by other members,” Weldon said. “We are really in a much better place now than we were with regard to long-term care and maintenance and flourishing of our street tree canopy…. That’s a huge aesthetic plus for the city of Winter Park over the next 100 years.”