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COLUMN

Happytown

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So with that in mind, we were hoping that when Jackson took the stage for a candidate's forum on Feb. 17, there would be plenty of seething dog owners (even dogs) there. Instead what we got was a tame, plodding, I-love-Winter-Park-too affair that made us realize that her opponent, Sarah Sprinkel, is very lucky to have the dog vote. Though looking quite dashing in her red pantsuit and keffiyeh, Sprinkel used the most bewildering anecdotes to answer the moderator's questions. When faced with "Are there any city ordinances that need to be enforced more effectively, and if so, how would you do it?" she cited a pearl of wisdom from one of the many anonymous individuals in her life: "The most compassionate people I know are those who see the world in shades of gray, not in black and white." So Winter Park!

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. The first question of the evening was about the "park user fees," with the term "dog" gingerly avoided. All three candidates besides Jackson came out against the fees, but Jackson stood her ground. "Our revenues since 2007 have declined by 10 percent. You can't start out in an economic downturn and start talking about eliminating user fees." Then, however, she said the revenue gained from the fees at Fleet Peeples Park would be put back into the park. We thought the contradictory remarks justified a raised eyebrow, but Sprinkel preferred the eye roll.

We know you've got the Sentinel's endorsement and the dog vote, Sprinkel, but beware: pride cometh before the fall. Also, don't wag the dog. She might be a bitch.

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