Years In Review 2011 – 2021
By Mayor Steve Leary
It has been an honor to serve as the 54th mayor of the City of Winter Park. Prior to my serving the past six years as mayor, I served four years in Seat 1 on the city commission. I am fortunate to have followed, and served with, many dedicated elected officials who have contributed to our progress these past ten years.
I would especially like to thank my immediate predecessor, Mayor Ken Bradley, for his vision to build our rainy-day fund. We began this fiscal year with 30% of our General Fund in reserve, due to Mayor Bradley’s goal and past commission’s budgetary restraint. In addition, former Mayors Brewer, Hotard, Johnston, Marchman, Terranova, and Trovillion have always been great sounding boards for me. I’m very thankful for Congressman John Mica, Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Andy Gardiner who have all assisted in moving forward some of our major improvements such as the Howell Branch Preserve, Fairbanks Transmission Line Undergrounding, Amtrak Station, and others. The three projects I noted totaled more than $20 million, and were all paid for with state and/or federal dollars.
I have served the past two years as the chairman of the Orange County Council of Mayors and wish to thank other local leaders for their support. We are only as good as our neighbors and we all work well to build a better whole. Thank you to Commissioners Sarah Sprinkel, Pete Weldon, Tom McMacken, Greg Seidel, Doug Metcalf, and Karen Diebel for your counsel and steady hand.
Lastly, when functioning properly, your city commission works with staff to set objectives, develop strategies, and set a budget to run Winter Park on a daily basis and to plan for a brilliant future. We ask City Manager Randy Knight, Fire Chief Dan Hagedorn, and Police Chief Michael Deal to work with +500 professionals who represent us every day to manage to the plans and budgets. These men and women take great pride in Winter Park and I take great pride in calling them friends. Thank you for your continued support.
Mayor Steve Leary
Some highlights from the past 10 years:
- Downtown Winter Park Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Winter Park certified as a Green Local Government at the Gold level.
- Completed the 2.7-mile Lake Baldwin Trail in partnership with the City of Orlando.
- Opened the new, state-of-the-art LEED certified Winter Park Community Center.
- Removed user fees on our dog-friendly waterfront Lake Baldwin Park.
- Celebrated the city’s 125th
- Urban Land Institute TAPS panel 17/92 and Fairbanks corridor study.
- Interlachen Avenue Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Grand re-opening of Winter Park Country Club Pro Shop.
- Grand opening of the new Winter Park Community Center Pool.
- Grand re-opening of City Hall, made possible by a stimulus grant from the federal government.
- Dedicated the Winter Park Fallen Heroes memorial paying tribute to lives lost on 9/11.
- Celebrated the opening of the new Alfond Inn.
- Dedicated Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.
- Welcomed home Lt. Chuck Nadd with a Hometown Hero Welcome Parade featured as a Superbowl commercial.
- Installed solar panels at the Public Works Compound, the city’s first solar energy project.
- Celebrated the grand opening of the city’s new Winter Park Train Station serving both Amtrak & SunRail.
- Dedicated “The Peacock Project” fountain in the Central Park Rose Garden designed by John Michael Thomas in memory of his late friend Elizabeth Buckley.
- Developed the city’s First Urban Forestry Management Plan to ensure a multi-generation healthy tree canopy.
- Launched the Vision Winter Park
- Dedicated Shady Park Pavilion in honor of Dr. Mitchell L. Dawkins, Sr.
- Adopted the Sustainability Action Plan.
- State funded $400,000 for improvements to Lake Lillian in Mead Gardens.
- Purchased & demolished 2600 Lee Road – Club Harem – property purchased by the city in 2014.
- Celebrated the grand re-opening of the Winter Park Golf Course, a.k.a, the WP9.
- Opened Lee Road Extension, a road improvement project funded by the neighboring developer.
- Renovated and reopened Showalter Field.
- Began work on Railroad Quiet Zones.
- Referendum passed for $30 million bonds for Library & Events Center.
- Renovated Ward Park bathrooms.
- Acquired the Fairbanks bowling property for future roadway improvements.
- Began Denning Drive Multi-Use Trail Project from Orange to Fairbanks.
- Acquired +50 acres of the Howell Creek wetlands for natural park with $2 million funded by the state.
- Approved funding for a fiber optic network that will connect our traffic signals and other city assets.
- Began work on the Andrews Trail a $2 million project funded by the state.
- Began the new Community Paramedicine Program.
- Launched new Police Neighborhood Advisory Committee.
- Planted new a 20-foot Red Cedar holiday tree.
- Funded Mead Botanical Garden Habitat Enhancement Project.
- Launched Family Fun Program of the Parks & Recreation Department.
- Began undergrounding of Fairbanks power lines, a +$16 million project funded by the state.
- Opened newly renovated Fire Station 64 on Howell Branch Road.
- Celebrated the city’s arts & cultural organizations by hosting its inaugural “Weekend of the Arts”
- Completed Denning Drive Multi-Use Trail Project from Orange to Webster avenues.
- Celebrated the grand opening of Azalea Lane Playground.
- Celebrated the grand reopening of the Winter Park Tennis Center.
- Center for Health & Wellbeing held a grand opening.
- Opened the new Charles H. Morse Park Moonlight Garden.
- Installed a new geothermal pump to the Cady Way Pool allowing year-round swimming.
- Installed new lake buoys to help mitigate unsafe boating activity on the lakes.
- Completed the undergrounding of transmission and distribution lines on Fairbanks Avenue.
- Completed Quiet Zones at all railroad crossings throughout the city.
- Celebrated Winter Park Library & Events Center official Topping Out Ceremony.
- Planted nearly 200 native trees as part of the Mead Botanical Garden Wetland Restoration.
- Beautified and enhanced the habitat at Ward Park.
- Started new educational fund in memory of WPPD Lieutenant Stanford Locke.
- Approved $2.8 million for improvements to Ward Park sports fields and Mead Botanical Garden.
- COVID-related assistance:
- Approved $9 million for community support that included Feed the Need and utility assistance.
- Approved $500K for business assistance in partnership with the Economic Recovery Task Force.
- Secured $3 million in CARES ACT reimbursement funds for Winter Park community.