Town of Windermere residents soon will notice two new faces on the Windermere Town Council.
Bill Martini, Liz Andert and incumbent Bob McKinley were the top three vote-getters out of the packed six-candidate race for three of the Town Council seats during the March 12 election, which saw a 23.69% voter turnout.
Martini, 56, pulled in the most votes at 445, accounting for 28.40% of the votes cast. McKinley, 73, received 333 votes (21.25% of the votes), and Andert, 44, earned 300 votes, totaling 19.14% of the votes.
Current Council Member Richard Montgomery received 251 votes (16.02%), Dina Pryor received 133 votes (8.49%), and Mike Hargreaves received 105 votes (6.70%).
Andert, a career consultant with a background in marketing and communications, said she feels honored by the support and hopes her constituents reach out to her so she can know how to help.
“I feel honored and humbled by everyone’s vote and their support, and I couldn’t be more excited,” Andert said. “I’m really looking forward to serving the town, and I’m appreciative of everyone who supported me — whether or not they had a real chance to get to know me. I’m hoping they take the opportunity to reach out to me and help me learn what they’d like to see from the council and how I can best serve them.”
Martini, a finance specialist for Volunteer Florida and licensed Realtor and Notary Public, was thrilled to receive the opportunity to serve on the council and promised to do his best to do what is right for his constituents.
“I’m very excited about the win,” Martini said. “I look forward to serving the people of the town of Windermere, as I have for the last 22 years in various volunteer positions. So I look forward to now serving in an official capacity with the rest of the council and our new mayor, Jim O’Brien. … And I’m really looking forward to learning as much as I can from town staff and helping the town move forward into the future while maintaining the character and charm that enticed us all to move here in the first place.”
McKinley, who has served on the Town Council for four years, shared his gratitude both to those who voted for him and voted in favor of funding new modern facilities for its town staff and police officers.
“I just thank everyone for the support and their vote of confidence in me,” McKinley said. “We’ve been able to accomplish a lot in the council, and I’m happy to continue working on the traffic issues and the town facilities, the funding of which was approved. So that’s good, and welcome Bill Martini and Liz Andert to the council.”
The new council members will serve two-year terms.
TOWN REFERENDUM PASSES
Due to limits imposed by the town’s charter regarding how much money the town can borrow for capital projects, the town included a question on the ballot asking residents if they would approve of the town incurring debt to fund its initiative to construct new town administration buildings and police headquarters.
The ballot question requested town residents to permit the town to borrow up to $5.2 million for the project, and 65.06% of voters voted in favor, while 34.94% voted against allowing the town to incur debt. With the referendum approved, the town’s facilities are expected to be completed in about three to four years, Windermere Town Manager Robert Smith said in a December 2018 interview.