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No election for Windermere this year, says town clerk

Instant Photo Poster
Norine Dworkin

Founding Editor

Friday, January 7, 2022


Paul Morrison/VoxPopuli

All three candidates — Mayor Jim O'Brien, Council Member Loren "Andy" Williams and Molly Rose — will automatically take their seats on Windermere's town council because no one opposed them. Rose came out of retirement because there was no one running for Council Member Chris Sapp's seat.

The Town of Windermere will not be holding an election for town council  March 8, according to Town Clerk Dorothy Burkhalter. Once the qualifying period for the election closed at noon Friday, only a single candidate had qualified for each of the three open seats.

Former Council Member Molly Rose qualified to replace Council Member Chris Sapp, who decided against running for a third term.

“This is not my first rodeo,” Rose said in a phone interview. She had previously served on town council for eight years from 2010 to 2017 and then was called back to fill out another member’s term from 2017 to 2018.

"I’ve been involved with the town for a long time. They know they can call me if they get desperate," she said. "I got a call from Robert Smith [the town manager]. He said No one’s running. Would you do it? So, here I am again.”

One of Rose’s goals as a council member is to raise awareness about the council and its many committees and boards to entice more people to get involved in local government. “I stepped down because they need fresh blood. Other people should be doing this,” she said. “It’s your civic duty. People should want to do this.”

Re-elected by default to their third two-year terms each are Mayor Jim O’Brien and Council Member Loren “Andy” Williams.

Reached by phone Friday, Williams, a real estate broker whose grandfather served as mayor in Windermere, said he had “no comment” on his re-election. He also said nothing about what he hoped to accomplish in his next term. “Nothing that’s not already in the works,” he said.

Mayor O’Brien was a little more expansive. In a text message to VoxPopuli he said, “I am honored to serve as mayor of the Town of Windermere for another term. Representing our residents and neighbors is a privilege that I take seriously. I look forward to our continued efforts to make Windermere the best place to live in Central Florida.”

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