Assessing Mismanagement and Malfeasance in Winter Springs

Assessing Mismanagement and Malfeasance in Winter Springs

The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee has approved a request for an operational audit of the City of Winter Springs.

WINTER SPRINGS, FLORIDA, USA, January 27, 2023 / EINPresswire.com / —

The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) unanimously approved a request for an Auditor General to conduct an operational audit of the City of Winter Springs. The Auditor General is a state Constitutional Officer which investigates various local governments and other agencies in order to “promote government accountability and stewardship and improve government operations”, according to its website.

“I am aware of concerns regarding activities of the current Mayor, City Commission and City Manager,” State Senator Jason Brodeur said in a letter requesting an independent audit. “The residents of Winter Springs have compiled extensive material showing rampant mismanagement and even malfeasance which is harming the 38,000+ residents of the City of Winter Springs.”

The scope of the audit includes investigating issues related to wastewater, third-party contracting, Consumptive Use Permits, public records requests, testing documentation, ethics, fraud, and the City’s Code of Conduct.

The request letter from Senator Brodeur for an independent audit included concerns about “rampant mismanagement and even malfeasance”, “[s]uspected violations of state ethics laws”, “a complete lack of transparency and censoring residents”, “taxpayer funded misinformation campaigns”, and “[p]ossible public corruption and profiteering with a commissioner”.

The independent audit will proceed following the unanimous vote of the JLAC. The broad scope of the inquiry could lead to referrals to other state agencies. The letter from Senator Brodeur’s office states if “fraud is suspected, the Auditor General may be required by professional standards to report it to those charged with the City’s governance and also to appropriate law enforcement authorities.”

Jesse Phillips, President of the Winter Springs Community Association, made the following statement: “The issues facing our City necessitate an independent review. We need to stop the finger pointing and to understand how we got here and to find solutions to fix the problems affecting our health and livelihoods. We received hundreds of responses to our annual survey and 9 out of 10 Winter Springs residents support the idea of an independent audit of the City of Winter Springs. We strongly recommend City leaders fully cooperate and allow this independent audit to be conducted in full transparency.”

About Winter Springs Community Association: The Winter Springs Community Association (WSCA) was created to help our community become “One Winter Springs”. We are “Living, Growing and Promoting One Heart, One Pulse, One Community, One Winter Springs.” The WSCA serves Winter Springs residents and business leaders who wish to contribute and propel the most positive Community rebuilding effort ever undertaken in our City. Winter Springs is woefully short on entertainment, dining, medical and other important professional services and our Association seeks to serve you, our neighbors by helping any new business wishing to join our community to enhance your quality of life.

Jesse Phillips
Winter Springs Community Association

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida – Oviedo Branch

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida – Oviedo Branch

Today I was able to visit the local Boys & Girls Club in Oviedo Florida! It was a great opportunity to celebrate Friendsgiving with the kids. 

“Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”

The location is impressive and they are trying to get more exposure since they opened around the time COVID started. They are fully open now and ready to get the word out about this amazing place. Once they get more kids and families involved, the plan is to expand the offerings.

Contact for More Information

Anthony Floyd

Service Director

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Oviedo Boys & Girls Club

55 Adeline B Tinsley Wy., Oviedo, Fl 32765

O: 407.542.5607 | C: 330.881.2726

https://www.bgccf.org

Winter Springs Election Results 2022 

Winter Springs Election Results 2022 

I want to thank all the residents of Winter Springs who came out to vote. Words cannot express how humbled and grateful I am for your support for me to be your City Commissioner.

When I first decided to run back in June, many told me that I had no chance and it would be virtually impossible to beat a man who held office for 8 years.

Now, five months later, we are victorious.

Throughout this campaign, we have tried to share the message that as residents of Winter Springs we expect more. It is not acceptable to not be fully transparent and honest with residents about all matters. We expect more from Winter Springs and our government.

Because of the help from supporters like you, we were able to beat Kevin Cannon and start the city down a new path. A path that demands excellence in every aspect of our government.

Our campaign received support from all parts of Winter Springs. We heard from and received votes from each and every corner of our city. After early voting we had a sizeable lead and then last night, our lead grew and you elected me to be your new Winter Springs City Commissioner for District 2.

None of this would be possible without resident support like yours!

You are the reason I ran for office. To be a voice for all residents and to work to keep Winter Springs the reason we all moved here.

Thanks to your help and your vote, I will now be able to work to keep Winter Springs one of the best cities in Florida.

We’ve accomplished a lot during this campaign: Bringing light to the Parkstone artesian well, discussing the challenges with our water infrastructure and understanding our pond and creek maintenance. But of all the concerns, the biggest concern by residents is the concern of overdevelopment. 

Our work has only just begun.

Last night’s tremendous win is the spark needed for Winter Spring’s future.

I will fight for Winter Springs like I fight for my own family and my own business. I will not back down from anyone in my efforts to keep Winter Springs one of the best cities in Florida to live.

Because of your trust in me, Winter Springs will remain one of the best places to raise a family, school our children and run a business. 

In Winter Springs, Florida the future is bright.

Thank you again for your support.

Florida Family Policy Council Winter Springs Endorsement

Florida Family Policy Council Winter Springs Endorsement

Florida Family Policy Council shifts their endorsements away from the incumbents and to the challengers because of Winter Springs’ disgusting and dangerous water issues.

“The damage done by the Winter Springs water utility which necessitated the Florida Department of Environmental Protection action made it clear a change in leadership in Winter Springs is needed.”

Read Full Story: https://floridafamilyaction.org/2022/11/ffa-announces-change-in-endorsement-for-city-council-of-winter-springs/

Interlocal Agreement with Seminole County School Board

Interlocal Agreement with Seminole County School Board

I am running for Winter Springs City Commissioner to be the VOICE of Winter Springs! 

I want Transparency, Honesty & Integrity! 

I will bring a wealth of knowledge, resources and communication skills to the City! 

I have 3 children in 3 different Winter Springs Schools, my priorities are the Children First! 

Currently, Winter Springs is the only 1 of the 7 cities in Seminole County who is refusing to sign the Interlocal Agreement with the Seminole County School Board. 

Why won’t the City cooperate with Seminole County School Board?

“Concurrency is not a tool to encourage or discourage a new development”

Candidate Night Recap

Candidate Night Recap

The afternoon started with a little rain, but the residents still came out and enjoyed the food trucks and community. The Trotwood Park pavilion provided excellent cover. After spending a few hours with the residents, it was time to head over to Tuscawilla Country Club for Meet the Candidate night. It was a fantastic day.  The opportunity to speak with residents of our community is the fuel that powers my campaign.  The things I hear and learn during these events are the very things I will be fighting for when I am elected.  Collaborative leadership is what our city needs right now.

“We need to be a good steward of the land and also our neighbors as far as the school board, and the county and the other municipalities around us, and right now I am not hearing favorable things about our city and they’re begging me to win,” District 2 candidate Victoria Colangelo said.

“Let’s not rip down 100-year-old trees and then plant a tree that’s, you know, a seedling,” she said.

Check out this article and full audio from the event: https://oviedocommunitynews.org/2022/09/21/candidates-trade-jabs-at-winter-springs-forum/

Please learn more about the issues facing our city, please visit my blog https://victoriaforwintersprings.com/blog/ and if you need to reach me, please contact me directly friends@victoriaforwintersprings.com

What has Kevin Cannon’s Advocacy Done For Winter Springs?

What has Kevin Cannon’s Advocacy Done For Winter Springs?

City Budgets and Fiscal Responsibility

Cash Rich, Water and Infrastructure Poor

In the spirit of bragging about our strong financials, Kevin Cannon and our City Manager have ignored the lessons of the past. In 2017 during IRMA millions was set aside to avoid this situation, but it was never executed. We have a multimillion dollar Lake Jesup Waste Water Plant that has never worked right and we recently learned will never work correctly. So we brag about the money we save but watch our city’s infrastructure completely fail across the board? Not the advocacy we need for our community.

Please watch the video below.

 

Voting on Development to Increase Traffic

Although Commissioner Cannon (elected 8 years ago in 2014) made campaign promises to stop development and reduce traffic, here is a partial list of projects which have been passed while he has been in office since 2014, all of which a) he has voted to advance at some point or b) have passed through a commission whose votes he controls. These developments have overburdened our roads and water systems as we all saw during Ian.

 
Some Projects Since 2014
  1. Southern Oaks (54 units)
  2. The Blake Apartments (279 units)
  3. Vistawilla ALF (77,000 SFT)
  4. Integra 360 (360 units)
  5. The Enclave at Dunmar (8 units)
  6. Redbug (Morningstar) Self-Storage
  7. Northern Oaks (35 units)
  8. Tuscawilla Crossings (379 units)
  9. Hawthorne ILF (145 units)
  10. The Gatherings (108 units)
  11. Dream Finders (114 units)
  12. The Studios at Tuscawilla
  13. Hickory Grove (132 units)
  14. Winter Springs Marketplace (Aldi’s, etc)

FIRE THE CANNON SAVE OUR CITY

Winter Springs Development Plans

Winter Springs Development Plans

How do you plan to deal with development in Winter Springs?  Once a land owner/developer has a permit from the water management district, what can or would you do to minimize the impacts from that development-on the environment, on our roadways, on the sprawl we’ve been experiencing?

  1. Trees: The City has the rights to the Trees. Therefore, I would make sure that the Trees are incorporated into the development; and the natural landscape is priority – more green space; more OLD trees. 
  2. Drainage: Make sure the drainage engineers are done right (Chao Medical- currently has issues and it was just developed)
  3. Planners: The City of Winter Springs currently does not have a Planner and outsources it to the East Regional Planning Council; I will have a qualified expert in-house working directly with the landowner/developer on future site plans. This includes access roads, emergency exits, etc…. The current Aldi Development entrance by Chipotle is not acceptable. The Rise so close to the street! Hickory Grove, only saved 3 trees out of 1,000.
  4. Most importantly, I want to be helpful to the landowner/developer; not giving them a run around (like what is currently happening at City Hall). I want to make it an easy process to work with The City; but also understand the high standards of working with the City of Winter Springs. Currently to get a permit to have a shed takes several steps with several departments. The residents are fed up with the red tape bureaucracy and want an efficient process! 
Winter Springs 2022-2023 Property Tax Rate

Winter Springs 2022-2023 Property Tax Rate

At the City Commission meeting held on Monday, July 11, 2022, our Mayor and City Commissioners approved the 2022-2023 Property Tax Rate. The millage rate for the City of Winter Springs, Florida for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 is set at 2.4100 mills. The tax rate remained the same as the previous fiscal year.

However they also claimed they are saving us money, when actually since our property values have increased, the amount of taxes we will be paying will increase too. They city could have rolled back the mileage rate, something that is not done often, but they could have done that and really saved us money. If they had rolled back the rate, they really would have saved us money since the approved budget is 9.2% above the roll back rate.

 

The City of Winter Springs payroll has ballooned from $7M only a few short years ago, to $9M today. Our City Manager almost makes more money than our Governor. Our longest standing City Commissioner Cannon has kicked the can on our water systems, body cams and what else? It’s time for change in City Hall.

 

 

FACTS:

  1. The City of Winter Springs has adopted a measure to increase its property tax levy from $6.8 million to $7.6 million for this upcoming year.

  2. This represents a 10.5% increase of taxes over the prior year.

  3. The tax increase was passed by the commission unanimously, with all commissioners voting in favor of increasing taxes.

  4. This vote directly contradicts the tax-payer funded social media campaign in which the commission wrongfully claimed they are “Saving you money”, when taxes are in fact being increased. (See tax increase notice Winter Springs placed in the Orlando Sentinel which was required by the State)

The City of Winter Springs has allocated $197,000 tax payer dollars for an election year marketing spree, which has included misinformation sites touting a science center which doesn’t exist, and the video below which claims the tax burden on residents was decreased (i.e. “Saving you money”) when the public notice above states taxes were in fact increased (i.e. “Notice of Proposed Tax Increase”).