Endorsement: Ron Mueller in the Winter Garden District 2 election

·2 min read

Two political newcomers are running for the District 2 seat being vacated by long-serving Commissioner Bob Buchanan.

We think Ron Mueller is better prepared to take on the challenges of governing Winter Garden than his opponent, Iliana Ramos Jones.

Mueller, a U.S. Navy veteran, points out that he’s attended every Winter Garden City Commission meeting for the past four years.

As if that weren’t enough, Mueller says he also a regular presence at meetings of the Planning and Zoning and Code Enforcement boards. He also served on the city’s charter review committee. He also served as an alderman in Pacific, Missouri, a small city near St. Louis.

As anyone who regularly attends municipal meetings can attest, all those meetings require stamina, patience and dedication. You can’t attend that many meetings and not have learned a thing or two about how government works.

Ramos Jones, on the other hand, has less involvement and likely less familiarity with how government works. She’s familiar with the city after living there for 20 years and doing business through her exterior finishing company. But after two decades in Winter Garden, her resume of involvement is surprisingly thin.

We think both candidates have their flaws. Ramos Jones for her lack of experience and Mueller for seeming too rigid, particularly when it comes to his opposition to apartments. We see affordable apartments as an important part of almost any city’s housing stock.

Still, on balance, we see Mueller as a hard worker who enjoys learning about the intricacies of government and how it works. That kind of curiosity leads to better decision making.

He’s the better candidate in Winter Garden’s District 2 race.

(Winter Garden has single-member voting districts, so only those living in District 2 can vote in this race. Early voting is March 1-5. Election Day is March 9.)

Election endorsements are the opinion of the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board, which consists of Opinion Editor Mike Lafferty, Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio, Jay Reddick and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Sentinel Columnist Scott Maxwell participates in interviews and deliberations. Send emails to insight@orlandosentinel.com. Watch candidate interviews at OrlandoSentinel.com/interviews.

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