Winter Park council members elect Jim Myers mayor
Jim Myers, who has played No. 2 man for many years on the Winter Park Town Council, is ready to step into the spotlight as Winter Park mayor.
He will take over for former mayor Nick Teverbaugh, who held the position for 26 years until Tuesday.
“I can’t fill his shoes,” Myers said, “but I just hope I can have fun doing it.”
Myers, 64, was mayor pro-tem for two decades. He said his new post is an extension of his former responsibilities.
“We have a few projects going. We’re maintaining what we’ve done throughout the years,” he said.
He said the town government is conservative with money and doesn’t ask taxpayers for funds.
“We’ve always paid as we went,” he said. “I just feel it will help us out a lot, being conservative and not borrowing money. If we buy new equipment we’re able to pay for it.”
Myers’ knowledge of the community and contacts “will benefit him as mayor,” Teverbaugh said.
Winter Park is a home rule government and elects its officials from within. Council members voted unanimously for Myers to lead the town.
“There were a couple others that showed some interest (in the position) but thought it would be good for Jim to come in now,” Teverbaugh said. “With all the background, I think he knows the issues well.”
Myers served in the Army as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam for four years, before he moved to Winter Park in 1971. He moved to the area to ski.
“My first year up here I was a kind of a ski bum,” he said. “I’ve seen the town change.”
When he arrived in Winter Park there were no streetlights, curb or gutters, he said.
“People didn’t have last names in the ’70s,” he said. “It’s a wonderful place to live. It’s been where I lived most of my adult life.”
He has been a member of the community’s Recreation and Chamber board. Now that he has been elected mayor, he will have to step down from his seats on the Winter Park planning and zoning commission boards. Governing rules prevent him from having a seat on all three boards, he said.
Myers is the former owner of a snow plowing service and party store in Winter Park.
He and his wife Lori have two daughters, Lindsey, 21, and Kelsi, 18.
Rusty Thompson also was unanimously selected mayor pro-tem by the council.
“He’s very good with financial situations, a very ethical person,” Myers said.
Thompson, 39, has lived in Winter Park for eight years. He has served the council for a year.
“I think the preceding councils have done a really good job of fiscal management … and promoting Winter Park, and we’d like to continue with that,” he said. “I’m raising my family here. I just fell in love with the community, and it’s just an opportunity to give back.”
He is manager of the Winter Park Station, and works part-time at Boxwell Construction.
He plans to learn more during his two-year term.
“With Jim as mayor now, he has a tremendous amount of experience,” Thompson said. “We really work well together as a council, so I don’t see much changing … as we lead the town.”
Mike Periolat will serve the council for a two-year term, while Chris Seemann, Thompson and Myers were selected for four-year terms.
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