Eatonville Takes Action for a Healthier Community

Eatonville citizens approved a new town charter during their general election held during December 2016. Technical assistance for development of the new charter was provided by the Institute of Government at UCF thanks to a grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF).

“The charter had not been updated since 1998,” said Marilyn Crotty, Executive Director of the Institute of Government at UCF. Following a unanimous vote of the Town Council in May 2016 to establish a Citizen Charter Review Commission, Ms. Crotty worked with the Town’s residents and Council to review and recommend a new charter to the voters.

The charter revisions include extending elected officials’ terms to four years, and requires the mayor to appoint a chief administrator; whereas, the mayor previously had the option to serve as both the chief administrator and executive. In addition, the new charter provides for citizen oversight of the council and for council oversight of one another. According to Ms. Crotty, these are standard features of most town charters that were missing in the Town of Eatonville; however, they are rarely used.

Officials will now have to review the charter at least every eight years.

The WPHF grant additionally supported technical assistance and planning that allowed the Eatonville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to approve a new CRA Master Plan for the town that incorporates the principles of healthy community design and lays the groundwork to ensure Eatonville continues to be a walkable community in the future. The CRA gathered community input via four community workshops involving over 150 residents.

Healthy Eatonville Team members served as advocates for healthy community design at the community visioning workshops held as part of preparing the Master Plan. The WPHF grant to the Institute of Government at UCF was extended during December 2016, providing for an additional two years of technical assistance and a grant writer to seek funding to support plan implementation.