Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories on mayoral candidates in Daytona Beach.
BY JAMES HARPER
Fred Hoffman wants to take on the challenge of changing Daytona Beach residents’ “lives for the better.”
Hoffman was a late entrant in the race for mayor. He is not as well known as his opponents – all whom have elected experience.
Hoffman says government experience should not be a prerequisite for the job.
“That’s why some things never change. Don’t be content with conformity. The city needs someone who can bring about solutions, and not maintain a ‘good ol’ boy policy,” he stated on his website.
Hoffman, who moved to Daytona Beach in 1972, says he has always been self-employed and currently is a motel owner, landlord and real estate broker.
Election takes place on Aug. 14
He will be competing against current Daytona Beach Commissioner Edith Shelley; Gwen Azama-Edwards, a former commissioner and city clerk; and Derrick Henry, a former commissioner.
If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote plus one during the primary election on Aug. 14, the top two vote getters will go against each other in a runoff during the general election in November.
About his opponents, he stated, “I’m sure that they would do their best. I’ve never been a clerk nor a schoolteacher, or a career politician, or any other kind of employee.
“I’ve always been in business for myself. The city is a business and should be run like any other business that has to make a profit. It’s not fair to the residents to overtax them for a poorly run government.’’
“The city needs a businessperson to run it like a business, and on that basis I am the best candidate,” he continued.
Thoughts on going green, red-light cameras
On other issues, Hoffman says all city buildings should go green.
“The city should set the example to save both electricity and water in all city buildings and provide rebate incentives for home and business owners to save water and electricity,” Hoffman explained.
Hoffman says bicycles should be allowed on city sideways, which a Florida statute allows but a Daytona Beach ordinance does not.
He would like all the money made from the red-light cameras to go to not-for-profit organizations.
“The city claims the only reason for the cameras is traffic safety and not any revenues.
To remove any doubts of self-interest, the city should donate all profits,” he noted.
Candidate against Internet cafes
“I don’t think there is any difference between an Internet cafe and legalized gambling and the state of Florida has not approved legalized gambling,” he continued.
Hoffman also says Daytona Beach can no longer consider itself as “The World’s Most Famous Beach.”
“Remember the good old days when thousands of young boys and girls crowded our beaches for spring break and came back later as adults. Well, those days are over, along with tourist dollars and special events,” he added.
“The city needs to get control of its “World’s Most Famous Beach” and bring tourism and special events back. Fort Lauderdale is spending $10 million to bring back spring break.”