Winter Garden Commission Candidate Q&A: Dawn Antonis, District 4

Dawn Antonis is one of two candidates running for Winter Garden Commission District 4.

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  • | 12:19 a.m. February 11, 2021
Courtesy Dawn Antonis
Courtesy Dawn Antonis
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Age: 55

Family: Married with three children 

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Fairleigh Dickinson University; Master’s degree, University of the Rockies

Related experience: I have broad experience in identifying the problem, identifying the best solution and then implementing that solution. I get things done. Also, I have a lot of experience in creating an ethical work environment, and general compliance with laws and regulations.

Why do you want to serve as District 4 commissioner? 

I am running because I love this (city), and I want to help make our (city) of Winter Garden a better, safer and healthier community for everyone.

If you are elected, what do you hope to accomplish as a commissioner? 

I plan to ensure we are engaging in smart growth, and that we carefully balance our growth with protecting the environment. We want Winter Garden to maintain its natural beauty, because that is part of why people come here. 

Why should District 4 residents vote for you? 

I live in this town, and I love it here. I want to be the voice of the community and ensure that the entire community is better served. While I have a lot of ideas, I think it’s important to stop and listen to what the people want and need.  

What are your thoughts on Winter Garden’s approach to managing or accommodating growth within the city? 

I think the city has done a pretty good job, but I remain concerned that they will continue to approve growth that might have negative impacts on the town. I plan to do a review of the processes that the city uses to evaluate the decisions that are being made to ensure that we are consistently asking the right questions to make the best possible choices for the (city).  

What are some potential solutions for managing traffic conditions in conjunction with the city's growth? 

We have to assess how the volume is impacting traffic. Once we have that data, I will explore options such as optimizing road logistics and routes, additional parking if necessary, and also explore public transit options that can help tremendously. 

What are the top challenges you believe the city of Winter Garden faces? What are some potential ways to address them?  

I think the top challenges are potential overdevelopment, which I have discussed already. I really believe there are ways to keep the beauty of our town intact while growing wisely. But additionally, I think education is an important topic. I want to ensure access to online education is available to all students in Winter Garden. We have to ensure our people have what they need. And lastly, I think we need to ensure we have a more fair and equitable tax system for all people. All of this along with keeping the (city) beautiful and green. 

If you had a magic wand, what three issues for Winter Garden would you change immediately? 

I think most people would join me in saying the traffic! But honestly, the three would be: No. 1, traffic; No. 2, more arts and cultural events; and No. 3, strong business development while maintaining the integrity of the (city) and preventing chains from shutting down our local business owners.

If elected, how will you ensure transparency and open communication with residents?  

I will remain in contact with residents by using social media, face-to-face meetings (Zoom for now) and by just talking to people. I will guarantee transparency by … sharing what we are doing as a committee and ensuring I am the voice of the people. 


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