Carolyn Cooper earns fourth term on Winter Park City Commission

City Commissioner Pete Weldon will run against Todd Weaver and Barbara Chandler for Seat Four.

  • By
  • | 6:14 p.m. January 22, 2019
City Commissioner Carolyn Cooper will serve for three more years after running unopposed.
City Commissioner Carolyn Cooper will serve for three more years after running unopposed.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
  • News
  • Share

The stage has been set, Winter Park. 

A general election set for Tuesday, March 12, will not include Winter Park City Commission Seat Three, as City Commissioner Carolyn Cooper earned a fourth and final term by default after no other candidates threw their hat in the ring.

Winter Parkers will however cast their vote in March for City Commission Seat Four, as City Commissioner Pete Weldon looks to defend his seat against challengers Todd Weaver and Barbara Chandler, who qualified before the Jan. 22 deadline.

Cooper said that earning another term is gratifying, and affirms a vision for Winter Park moving forward.

The City Commissioner said that she will continue to focus on holding on to city-owned property, determining what mixed-use development looks like, trying to obtain the post office property, and deciding what to do with Community Redevelopment Agency revenue in her final three years on the City Commission.

“It has been real touching to me to see how appreciative people in this community are of what I have done already – that’s a real good feeling,” Cooper said.

“When you go up for re-election, you get an opportunity to be out there and to be talking to people and you really realize how much what you are doing matters to their everyday life. That’s pretty cool.” 

Chandler, the newest candidate to declare in the race for Seat Four, is most widely known throughout the community for her work as manager of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center – a facility that pays tribute to the past, present and future contributions of Winter Park’s historic African-American community. The center features a variety of historical photos, archives and artwork, all building the timeline of the Hannibal Square neighborhood in west Winter Park.

If Chandler is elected, she would become the first African-American Winter Park City Commissioner in over 125 years, she said.

“In my work serving families on the westside of Winter Park, I’ve seen how difficult it can be to connect with the hearts and minds of some Winter Park commissioners and board members,” Chandler said. “I know that my neighbors are not the only ones who feel a loss of connection with city hall – that’s been happening in many Winter Park neighborhoods for a long time.”

“That’s why our first order of business is to communicate directly with Winter Park families in neighborhoods all over Winter Park in a way that expands and sharpens our understanding of issues that are important to all Winter Park families.”

That ties right in to the main component of her campaign, she said.

“One thing that won’t change is the core value of our campaign: families come first,” Chandler said. “We’ll look at the status quo from that perspective.”

“We know that in the recent past there are a number of times that city hall hasn’t put Winter Park's families first. We have proposals to put us back on the right track – to re-connect city hall with Winter Park families – but first, we’re going to take the time to process what we’ve learned from Winter Park's families and make sure that our proposals are shaped by their input.”

A runoff election, if necessary, is set for Tuesday, April 9. 


Related Articles