Updated: Last glance before the polls

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

Local candidates share their views in Times questionnaire

BY THE DAYTONA TIMES STAFF

What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

It’s the first question posed to candidates who are seeking elected office in Daytona Beach and Volusia County. A detailed questionnaire was submitted by the Daytona Times to candidates seeking public office during the Nov. 6 general election.

The future of Volusia County is in voters’ hands as all county council seats are up for grabs with the exception of the at large seat held by Council member Joyce Cusack. There will be three and possibly four new representatives on the Daytona Beach City Commission.

History will be made in Daytona Beach for mayor as the choice is between the first Black male or the third female.

In this week’s issue, the Times presents comments from Daytona Beach mayoral and for Daytona Beach City Commission Zones 1, 4 and 6 candidates. The candidates weigh in on a variety of subjects – from their thoughts on Daytona’s population change to embracing an event to draw more Black visitors.

The candidates in the Volusia County sheriff’s race also present their views this week.

Questions also were sent to candidates vying for Volusia County clerk of the court, county chair and county council reps for district 2 and 4. Candidates running for Volusia county judge and school board were asked for their views as well as those seeking state legislative and congressional seats.

Candidates in other races will be featured next week.

It is important voters know where those running stand on issues. A tough economy has affected Volusia County and has disproportionately hit the predominantly Black communities of the city. Will those elected have this on their minds if elected?

The Questions

Question 1: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

Question 2: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population?

Question 3: Another form of Black College Reunion (BCR) known as “Spring Bling” is scheduled to return to Daytona Beach in April. In its heydey, BCR attracted between 100,000 to 200,000 mostly young and mostly Black visitors to the area every year over the course of a single weekend. Are you willing to embrace the return of such an event? Why or why not?

Question 4: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

EDITH SHELLEY

1.  My overarching goal is to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Daytona Beach. That will be accomplished by:
Job growth/economic opportunity-by providing an atmosphere that encourages local business expansion and new business development. I will use our colleges and universities as economic engines.

Safer streets – through infrastructure improvements, community policing and proactive techniques for neighborhood improvements.

Work to promote City Pride – using technology solutions to improve customer service and accountability within City Hall.

2. A city that is losing residential population is not a thriving city. As with physical fitness if your core is not healthy, your body is not healthy. This underscores the vital role that the Midtown/Core City area has to the revitalization and future development of our entire city.

Part of the challenge is to create new diversified economic opportunities in Daytona Beach so that our young people will choose to live here, rather than move away to find those opportunities. We have to do a better job of promoting our outstanding resources (the I-4/95 interchange, health care facilities, research technology, colleges and universities, and fabulous natural environment). Many local businesses have expanded here in the last year, but there is a disconnect between awareness of the jobs and accessibility to the jobs.

I have worked and will continue to work to ensure that residents of Daytona Beach be given priority in hiring. I have also initiated a jobs network link for the city website to allow our citizens to access the job opportunities in our city.

This also shows the need to improve our residential neighborhoods. Many people that work in the private sector in Daytona Beach choose to live in surrounding cities because they believe that their quality of life is better.

Families want recreational programs for their children and clean, safe neighborhoods they are proud to call home.

Young people are also looking for entertainment venues. As your Commissioner, I voted to approve a large entertainment project that will be bringing additional shopping, restaurants and theaters into our area. This complex will also be a job creator for our citizens and encourage further business development in our city.

3. I embrace events that enhance the quality of life for our residents and promote economic vitality for our city. Why stop at a single weekend? I am supporting the committee that is putting together the first Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Educational and Cultural Arts Festival. It is being scheduled for April 4-7, 2013 in Daytona Beach. This festival committee has worked with members of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival committee to establish an annual and growing event here in Daytona Beach.

I would support a Daytona Beach Black Heritage Festival similar to the festival in Savannah. This is a two-week festival that brings in over 500,000 visitors to the City of Savannah. It celebrates performing and visual arts with a focus on fun and family. This festival is a partnership between the city and an HBCU, Savannah State that receives community support and has multiple corporate sponsors.

We need events/festival that celebrate our heritage and bring tourist dollars to our city core. The fact that we have a beautiful beach can only enhance our event/festival visitor’s experiences.

4. My experience, my knowledge base and my commitment to this community set me apart. My qualifications and demonstrated record of accomplishment in the community lead the local chapter of the NAACP to honor me with a Trailblazer Award in 2011 and the Surfcoast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association to present me with their Focus Award in 2010. (Daytona Beach Planning Board – 18 years, served as both Chair and Vice-Chair; Daytona Beach Vision Committee – Chair; Bethune-Cookman University Performing Arts Center Advisory Board; Mayor’s Complete Count Census Education Committee, Daytona Beach Education Alliance, International Speedway Blvd. Coalition, Mayor’s Community Advisory Board, Downtown Ballough Road Redevelopment Area Advisory Board, Longstreet PTA, Spruce Creek High School IB Parents Association to name a few of the public/community boards I have served on.)

•••

DERRICK HENRY

1. The restoration of the cities infrastructure including the resurfacing of Orange Avenue and the improvement of storm Water Drain issues that were exposed by the floods in 2009. The restoration of the cities infrastructure is one of the safest and most productive ways to service the interest of the residents and the business community, which is necessary to help create an environment that enables business to thrive, thus create new jobs.

A second priority is to resolve the budgetary crisis confronting the city. The Police and Fire pension is the greatest impediment to putting forth a sustainable budget. 3 Serve as the leader of the community and the drive to reduce crime and decrease the drop dropout rate among African-American males. I aim to insure that the parks and recreation programs are adequately funded and that the fees to use city facilities are reasonable and that the city joins with community groups to make the most of city facilities.

2. It is a problem that can be attributed largely to the fact that the quality of life issues in the city needs to be enhanced. Any time a city the size of Daytona Beach looses 5% of its population while similar cities are growing it reflects a systemic problem. The fact that the number of African-Americans living in the city increased is not a problem, but it does point to a need to create an environment where job opportunities are increased.

3. I am willing to embrace any event that generates revenue and promotes the merits of our city, I believe that we need greater diversity in our events and need to be known as a city that embraces the college community that we are and that includes African-American students. I am looking forward to working with the business community in an effort to increase the number of college aged African-American and White students who visit the city and consider the great reduction in the number of them visiting our community to be a great financial and social loss. I will work to remove any barriers perceived or real to welcome them to our community.

4. I have had a 20-year career as an administrator, child advocate, business owner, and elected official. This uniquely qualifies me for dealing with the myriad of problems confronting our city. The volume and diversity of leadership roles that I have had along with a consistent record of supporting residential and business concerns distinguishes me from my opponent. I have a record of viewing business and neighborhood issues as congruent and I have a voting record that demonstrates the ability to meet the needs of both.

DAYTONA BEACH COMMISSIONER ZONE 1

CARL LENTZ

1. Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

Answer: The biggest issue in Daytona Beach remains Economic Development. As we encourage the growth of our existing companies and recruit new companies to our area, we will be able to increase the quality of life for our residents.  The tax base will increase and we will be able to effectively address many additional issues with the additional revenues.

Infrastructure improvements are also critical in Daytona Beach. It is not acceptable to have flooding in our neighborhoods and streets that are inadequate.

Crime rates have continued to drop but we need to make sure we provide the necessary resources to law enforcement to ensure a safer community.

 

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population? 

A: Population decrease is a problem for the City.  The fact that more whites left than blacks is insignificant. Our city needs to become more business friendly in order to encourage new businesses and the growth of our existing businesses. When there are more job opportunities in the city, there will be more reasons for people to move here and stay here.

Q: Another form of Black College Reunion known as “Spring Bling” is scheduled to return to Daytona Beach in April 2013. BCR in its heyday attracted between 100,000 to 200,000 mostly young and mostly Black visitors to the area every year over the course of a single weekend. Are you willing to embrace the return of such an event? Why or why not?

A: Our community thrives on special events. As long as resident safety is not compromised, I would be in favor of this type of event.

Q: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

A: This position requires leadership, energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of the issues. I have strongly encouraged all who will listen to look back at past joint appearances and Economic Development Board meetings when my opponent and I have been together. It will be clear that I am a better candidate because I surpass her in all of the above categories.

 

I have worked with business leaders in my career and I have the ability to have the important discussions with them regarding the best ways to advance our business community. I have also earned my Master’s in Business Administration from UCF (University of Central Florida).

 

I am also committed to be available to the residents regarding their concerns in the neighborhoods. I will attend all local neighborhood meetings once I am elected.

 

Q: What are your suggestions to address the discrepancies between the predominantly Black and White areas of the city.

 

A: Undoubtedly, all residents should be treated equally.  That includes funding for infrastructure, crime prevention, utilities and leisure services. My goals for economic development also incorporate all areas of the city.

 

Q: Due to tax cuts and depressed real property valuations have resulted in less revenue in the county and city coffers. Many jobs the city and county had in the past have been eliminated or are on hold; government services have been reduced or cut. Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: As your previous question mentioned, our population has decreased in the city and tax assessed values have decreased. As a result, there is substantially less revenue.  The only way to make up for the lost revenue is to increase property taxes. I do not think it is a good idea in this economy to increase taxes. When the economy begins to recover and our population starts to increase, it would then be worthwhile to discuss filling the vacant positions.

 

Q: All three community centers – the Midtown Cultural Center, the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Center and the John H. Dickerson Center – all are understaffed. Recently at Derbyshire Park, an incident occurred where shots were fired and people were hurt. Some attributed the incident to lack of supervision at a city facility during a city-run event.  Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: I think it is highly unlikely that a few more city employees would have prevented the actions of the person responsible for the shooting. However, it is important that we have the proper staffing at our community centers to ensure a safe environment. Staffing issues exist at most of our community centers. I would like to see an expanded volunteer program to make sure the children using the facilities get the supervision they need.

 

Q: What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word.

 

A: Honor and integrity are qualities that have been instilled in me since I was a child. I assure you I will always do what I think is right. I will be accountable and listen to the concerns of all residents.

•••

RUTH TRAGER

 

Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

 

Answer:  We need to bring more jobs to Daytona Beach, help our existing businesses, and develop our neighborhoods to attract more residents and businesses.

 

 

 

 

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population? 

 

A: Whenever we lose residents it is a shame, but when residents lose jobs, they go to where the work is. Why should the fact that our White population decreased and our Black population increased be a problem?  Every resident should be welcome in our city.

Q: Another form of Black College Reunion known as “Spring Bling” is scheduled to return to Daytona Beach in April 2013. BCR in its heyday attracted between 100,000 to 200,000 mostly young and mostly Black visitors to the area every year over the course of a single weekend. Are you willing to embrace the return of such an event? Why or why not?

 

A: Most of our Black College Reunion guests behaved well and it was a fun event for all, except for the much-increased traffic.  Many of our new tourists in Daytona Beach are the attendees who had a wonderful time here and wanted to return later with their children. Our residents are used to having patience when events occur, but I think traffic patterns need to be better. This event should be treated the same as Speedweeks or Bike Week.  The revenue received greatly helps our city.

 

Q: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

 

A: I have been a resident of Zone 1 for over 55 years and I have been active in the community for that long. My opponent has lived in Zone 1 for less than one year. I graduated from Seabreeze High School with highest honors. I have served on the City Boards of Keep Daytona Beach Beautiful (Member of the Year), Economic Development Advisory Board, and Community Development Advisory Board. I was appointed to the boards by both Mayor Yvonne Scarlet-Golden and Mayor Glenn Ritchey. I am the president of the Halifax Historical Museum and the Volusia Anthropological Society. I have attended two series of classes of Citizen’s Police Academy and the City’s Citizen’s Academy. I was awarded a commendation and recognition for helping to catch a serial burglar by (Police) Chief Chitwood. My practical and business experience and knowledge of the whole city makes me the best choice for residents to elect as City Commissioner Zone 1.

 

Q: What are your suggestions to address the discrepancies between the predominantly Black and White areas of the city?

 

A: I believe in the past that it was thought that if the Beachside was successful, then the success would spill over to the whole city.  However, it never happened.  Now we need to prioritize the needs, where ever they may be.

 

Q: Due to tax cuts and depressed real property valuations have resulted in less revenue in the county and city coffers. Many jobs the city and county had in the past have been eliminated or are on hold; government services have been reduced or cut. Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: Of course the lack of revenue has caused many needs to not be addressed.  It is distressing to me that the first programs they want to cut are the very programs that the residents consider the most important. We need to carefully examine all aspects of the budget to see if there is any duplication or waste. We need to not only raise revenue but cut costs. Perhaps some services could be better if they are outsourced to our local businesses.  We need to ask for some of our residents to volunteer for some programs – neighbor helping neighbor. As they say, we need to think outside the box for solutions.

Q: All three community centers – the Midtown Cultural Center, the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Center, and the John H. Dickerson Center – all are understaffed. Recently at Derbyshire Park, an incident occurred where shots were fired and people were hurt. Some attributed the incident to lack of supervision at a city facility during a city-run event.  Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: Unfortunately, there are some residents in our city who are troublemakers. I think this was an extremely unfortunate incident but more supervision would not have guaranteed more safety. I do not know if this could have been prevented but the bad guys were determined to start trouble.

 

Q: What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word.

 

A: Many in the Black community have known me and my husband for many years and know that we have always been fair to all. This is the city we live in and we care about ALL of the residents of the city. Our businesses have been located on Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard for many years (over 117 years for Kressman’s Repair); and we both have been members of Dr. (Trudie Kibbe) Reed’s (Bethune-Cookman University) Roundtable and received an award from her.

DAYTONA BEACH COMMISSIONER ZONE 4

THOMAS A. KACZKA

Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

 

Answer: As we stand up and look around, we cannot help but take notice that Daytona Beach is still very much an attractive and livable community.  As to property values, unfortunately, the economy is at fault for the downturn in values. I have faith however that our nation’s economic outlook and our city’s economic outlook will rebound.

 

Yes, there are areas in our city that are in need of clean-up and improvement, there are no easy or quick fix solutions for the problems that exist. For far too long this city, as well as others, has relentlessly fought the battle to try to treat the diseases of apathy and complacency that have infected our run-down and economically depressed neighborhoods. This city needs to be more proactive by directing its resources to prevent the causes and conditions that breed apathy and complacency and replace them with visions of hope for the future.

 

The City of Daytona Beach is at a critical juncture to either find new sources of revenue to provide for the delivery of basic city services or to be forced to pare down existing services, however, of utmost importance and an absolute need is for the city to act to restore public confidence in the American system of government (paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln) “of the people, for the people and by the people.”

 

To deal with these two issues, we must insure that the quality of services delivered by the city to its residents is not diminished. We must insure that public safety is not compromised by under-funding police and fire budgets, and we must solve problems rather than avoid problems.

 

 

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population? 

 

A: Should I perceive the drop in the White population vis-à-vis the rise in Black population as a problem? Quite frankly, NO! I feel it necessary to make this statement…‘White flight is not occurring in Daytona Beach,’

 

Daytona Beach is an old, southern predominantly ‘White’ city… and without sounding too crude or morbid, people die and as a consequence certain segments of an established segment of society as a result of the natural processes of life will experience a decline in population. Case in point. In my neighborhood during the past year we experienced the loss of seven residents… those souls left spouses that chose to leave Daytona Beach and return to their respective hometowns.

 

The economy affects a city’s ability to keep and maintain population…this city and county have extraordinarily high foreclosure rates… people lose their jobs, cannot find work, lose their homes…families then pack up and move away.

 

The annual census report…just how accurate are those numbers…personally I am of the opinion that this city is experiencing some growth in both racial groups. In recent years we have seen the developments, catering to the younger generation of both racial groups, of Andros Isle, Integra Shores, Cape Morris Cove, Carolina Lake Apartments and the revitalized Granite Garden Home Apartments.

 

 

Q: Another form of Black College Reunion known as “Spring Bling” is scheduled to return to Daytona Beach in April 2013. BCR in its heyday attracted between 100,000 to 200,000 mostly young and mostly Black visitors to the area every year over the course of a single weekend. Are you willing to embrace the return of such an event? Why or why not?

 

A: Would I be willing to embrace the return of a BCR type event to Daytona Beach?  YES, I would. Speaking, if I may as a potential elected representative of our city, any event that would “showcase” our city with all it has to offer and at the same time result in economic benefit is an absolute necessity.

 

 

Q: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

 

A: I will be a “Full-Time” Commissioner. I will be the unrelenting voice of all the people of Daytona Beach for what is fair, just and equitable… I will fight for the fair and equitable delivery of city services for all the residents of Daytona Beach… I will be accountable only to the people…

 

I served the citizens of my hometown Chicago for over 30 years with professionalism, integrity, strong moral and ethical conviction, and dedication as a proud member of the Chicago Police Department.

 

As a public servant, I swore before God and the citizens of Chicago that my fundamental duty as a public servant was to serve all People, to be honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, to never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions, and to recognize my Public Office as a Public Trust to be held so long as I am true to the Ethics of Public Service, to my beliefs and the beliefs of the people for and in their best interests.

 

 

Q: What are your suggestions to address the discrepancies between the predominantly Black and White areas of the city?

 

A: It is painfully obvious for those of us that have come from ‘big cities’ to take notice to what may be occurring in our inner city. It is my opinion that this city, whether intentionally or unintentionally… whether with purposeful intent or without purposeful intent, has for far to long neglected the basic needs of the poor people that reside in our most economically depressed and disadvantaged areas of the city.

 

Many, many years ago, a famed sociologist developed a theory appropriately entitled “The Concentric Theory of Urbanization.” Many big industrial cities of the north, Chicago included, were guilty whether intentionally or un-intentionally, of purporting to this theorem. Urban growth, urban sprawl, urban development around and out from the city’s poor and economically depressed inner city, eventually forcing out the poor and allowing for private ventures to come in and profit from the re-development of prime inner city real estate.

 

In continuing on this path, we will no longer be a city government of the people, for the people and by the people, rather, we will become a city government of the few, for the few and by the few at the expense of the many.

 

We no longer have the luxury to evade the issues that face our city. We can no longer afford the problems that beset our city. Is it not easier and less costly to prevent disease then it is to treat it? We need to solve our problems and not avoid them.

 

We can no longer pretend we all live in a vacuum. There may exist six (6) political sub-divisions within Daytona Beach, but in reality there are four (4) very distinct and separate sections, and each is an different as they are alike, and each section DESERVES the OPPORTUNITY and has the INHERENT RIGHT to be treated Fairly and Equitably.

 

 

Q: Due to tax cuts and depressed real property valuations have resulted in less revenue in the county and city coffers. Many jobs the city and county had in the past have been eliminated or are on hold; government services have been reduced or cut. Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: Our city is at a critical juncture. Do we allow the status quo to continue or do we choose a different? The answer has to be obvious… we must choose the latter.

 

We can no longer afford budgets that are overloaded with top-heavy salaries with elaborate, extraordinary and very costly perks and benefits at the expense of us the taxpayer. We cannot ethically or morally justify any increase in any type of tax or fee on the resident while we continue to subsidize private ventures with public funds. We cannot disregard the Public Trust by reducing the most vital of city services, namely police and fire. We can no longer justify putting the interests of the few ahead of the welfare and interests of the many. We cannot continue down these paths.

 

We need to cut unnecessary funding, upper management perks and benefits from an over-inflated city budget. We need to work to return more of our property tax dollars to our neighborhoods.  We need to explore the possibility of privatizing the city’s seven (7) enterprise funds. We need to streamline top management heavy city government.  We need to stop the costly out-sourcing of basic city functions. We need to work to change the state’s revenue sharing allocation formula to benefit Daytona Beach.

 

 

Q: All three community centers – the Midtown Cultural Center, the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Center, and the John H. Dickerson Center – all are understaffed. Recently at Derbyshire Park, an incident occurred where shots were fired and people were hurt. Some attributed the incident to lack of supervision at a city facility during a city-run event.  Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

 

A: YES, this bothers me. It bothers me even more that the incident occurred in the inner city.  Why? Because it goes to the very heart of the matter that I spoke to in my answer to your question #5.

 

Hard-pressed or not, it is the city’s responsibility to provide for the safety and well-being of all its residents. In the cited instance, accountability must be established, discipline enacted if dereliction of duty is determined, and steps/procedures put into place to insure that all city facilities are properly manned and supervised during hours of operation, and that a constant police presence is provided at the city’s three inner city community centers.

 

 

Q: What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word?

 

A: I sincerely hope that the fact that I am a White candidate seeking the endorsement of the Black community is not construed as being politically motivated.

 

My desire and determination to serve all the residents of our city is unwavering. I am neither two-faced nor hypocritical… my word is my bond.

 

It is unfortunate that I cannot call upon my friends and colleagues (both White and Black) to vouch for my integrity and attest to the fact that I am who I say I am. For years, in Chicago, I along with my friends and colleagues together worked the streets of the inner city, the ghetto, and the high-rise public housing projects day after day, month after month and year after year.  We upheld our oath of office and fulfilled our public trust to serve without prejudice all the citizens of Chicago and keeping true to the motto of the Chicago Police Department “To Serve and Protect.’’

able community.  As to property values, unfortunately, the economy is at fault for the downturn in values… I have faith however that our nation’s economic outlook and our city’s economic outlook will rebound.

Yes, there are areas in our city that are in need of clean-up and improvement, there are no easy or quick fix solutions for the problems that exist.  For far too long this city, as well as others, has relentlessly fought the battle to try to treat the diseases of apathy and complacency that have infected our run-down and economically depressed neighborhoods. This city needs to be more proactive by directing its resources to prevent the causes and conditions that breed apathy and complacency and replace them with visions of hope for the future.

The City of Daytona Beach is at a critical juncture to either find new sources of revenue to provide for the delivery of basic city services or to be forced to pare down existing services… however, of utmost importance and an absolute need is for the city to act to restore public confidence in the American system of government (paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln) “of the people, for the people and by the people.”

To deal with these two issues, we must insure that the quality of services delivered by the city to its residents is not diminished. …we must insure that public safety is not compromised by under-funding police and fire budgets…, and we must solve problems rather than avoid problems.

2. Should I perceive the drop in the White population vis-a-vie the rise in Black population as a problem?   Quite frankly, NO!

I feel it necessary to make this statement…, “White flight is not occurring in Daytona Beach.’’

Daytona Beach is an old, southern predominantly “White’’ city… and without sounding too crude or morbid, people die and as a consequence certain segments of an established segment of society as a result of the natural processes of life will experience a decline in population.  Case in point. In my neighborhood during the past year we experienced the loss of seven residents… those souls left spouses that chose to leave Daytona Beach and return to their respective hometowns.

The economy affects a city’s ability to keep and maintain population, this city and county have extraordinarily high foreclosure rates, people lose their jobs, cannot find work, lose their homes, families then pack up and move away.

The annual census report… just how accurate are those numbers. Personally I am of the opinion that this city is experiencing some growth in both racial groups. In recent years we have seen the developments, catering to the younger generation of both racial groups, of Andros Isle,  Integra Shores, Cape Morris Cove, Carolina Lake Apartments and the revitalized Granite Garden Home Apartments.

3. Would I be willing to embrace the return of a BCR type event to Daytona Beach?  YES, I would. Speaking, if I may as a potential elected representative of our city, any event that would “showcase” our city with all it has to offer and at the same time result in economic benefit is an absolute necessity.

4. I will be a “Full-Time” Commissioner.

I will be the un-relenting voice of all the people of Daytona Beach for what is fair, just and equitable.

I will fight for the fair and equitable delivery of city services for all the residents of Daytona Beach I will be accountable only to the people.

I served the citizens of my hometown Chicago for over 30 years with professionalism, integrity, strong moral and ethical conviction, and dedication as a proud member of the Chicago Police Department…

As a public servant, I swore before God and the citizens of Chicago that my fundamental duty as a public servant was to serve all People… to be honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, to never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions, and to recognize my Public Office as a Public Trust to be held so long as I am true to the Ethics of Public Service, to my beliefs and the beliefs of the people for and in their best interests.

•••

BOB GILLILAND

Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

 

Answer: While there are still many opportunities for improvement, Daytona Beach is heading in the right direction. Taxes and crime are down.  Investment and jobs are up. I firmly believe that having a robust local economy is the key to achieving our goals. In short, I would continue looking for ways to improve efficiency in order to lower taxes, increase public safety and encourage economic development.

 

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population? 

 

A: Actually, the demographic changes were not great in magnitude. When you look at the age distribution of those that no longer live in our great city, it is clear that the loss was due to the end of our housing boom. The real tragedy was that many of those that left were families with children going to Volusia County Schools. School funding is driven by number of students.  When those families moved, the funding for our schools dropped significantly. We need to get more families living our community to fix this!

 

 

Q: Another form of Black College Reunion known as “Spring Bling” is scheduled to return to Daytona Beach in April 2013. BCR in its heyday attracted between 100,000 to 200,000 mostly young and mostly Black visitors to the area every year over the course of a single weekend. Are you willing to embrace the return of such an event? Why or why not?

 

A: Actually, Daytona Beach does not support any event. The races are NASCAR, Bike Week is the Chamber of Commerce, and Biketoberfest is the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Private sector promoters put events on our city dozens of times a year. The only time that the city gets involved is when the event sponsor wants to utilize a city facility. I have not yet seen any requests from this group. I look forward to seeing their plans.

 

Q: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

 

A: Experience. I have been involved with public policy at the federal, state and local level since 1990. Since 2005 I have had the honor of serving as the Daytona Beach City Commissioner representing Zone 4. I am Daytona Beach’s representative on the Volusia Transportation Planning Organization where I serve as Chairman. The relationships that I have built over the years give me unique opportunities to create partnerships with many public and private entities that benefit Daytona Beach.

 

Q: What are your suggestions to address the discrepancies between the predominantly Black and White areas of the city?

 

A: We need to maximize opportunities for everyone that lives in our city.  I feel the best way to do this is through economic development. Creating jobs, developing educational/training programs, and allocating resources to the parts of city that need them most. While I represent the west side of the city, I think the best investment opportunities are in Midtown. The Midtown Master Plan is wonderful. I’ve talked to business owners that find the vision inspiring. When that investment comes, crime will drop, property values will go up, and jobs will come to the part of our city that needs them the most.

 

Q: Due to tax cuts and depressed real property valuations have resulted in less revenue in the county and city coffers. Many jobs the city and county had in the past have been eliminated or are on hold; government services have been reduced or cut. Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: We are at the minimum staffing level that the city can withstand. To increase staffing, we need to increase revenue. The best way to do that is to get construction going again. We have reduced taxes, waived impact fees, and partnered with the county, state and federal governments to encourage investment into Daytona Beach. Permit application are increasing. I truly believe that we hit bottom about a year ago and things will continue to improve for years to come. With that said, many of our neighbors are still hurting.  We need to continue working together to get through this final rough spot.

 

Q: All three community centers – the Midtown Cultural Center, the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Center, and the John H. Dickerson Center – all are understaffed. Recently at Derbyshire Park, an incident occurred where shots were fired and people were hurt. Some attributed the incident to lack of supervision at a city facility during a city-run event.  Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: Daytona Beach is trying to fill the gap created by the elimination of extra curricular programs in our schools and the loss/reduction of programs and services provided by community based organizations. The number of programs offered by the city has actually increased, but the total of programs in our community has decreased. I am particularly disturbed by the closing of the Daytona Beach YMCA. I played soccer and swam there when I was a kid. I asked that we partner with the YMCA to prevent the closure. I lost that argument but have fought hard to make sure that the Yvonne Scarlettt Golden Center becomes a reality.

 

As for the Derbyshire incident, many city staff were on the premises when this event occurred. Also, multiple police officers were on site with their families and on-duty officers arrived within minutes. Unfortunately, if we had 100 city staff on site, the event still would have happened. While it is hard to find a silver lining in an event that put children at risk, the bright spot was that everyone pulled together and worked to minimize the negative effects of this tragic incident.

 

Q: What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word?

 

A: Look at my record. Over the last seven years I have supported almost every initiative brought before the Commission related to Midtown. Funding of community centers, infrastructure improvement, and stormwater mitigation initiatives is greater than any other part of Daytona Beach. The Midtown Redevelopment Area needs an infusion of seed money to help stimulate investment. Bringing the old police station site back on the tax rolls will help. We are close to identifying the funding needed ($17,000,000) to rebuild Orange Avenue.  I have always, and will continue to, prioritize project in Daytona Beach based on need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAYTONA BEACH COMMISSIONER ZONE 6

PAULA R. REED

 

 

Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

 

Answer: As a result of my walking my zone and talking with the voters, I have identified three priorities:  Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Community Development.

 

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population? 

 

A: Any loss in population that our city suffers could pose a potential problem.  Although it’s necessary to keep demographical statistics on our population, as long as the citizenry is contributing to our overall mission of the city I don’t see this as a problem. Factors that could have contributed to this loss in population include the economy, employment opportunities and crime.

 

Q: Another form of Black College Reunion known as “Spring Bling” is scheduled to return to Daytona Beach in April 2013. BCR in its heyday attracted between 100,000 to 200,000 mostly young and mostly Black visitors to the area every year over the course of a single weekend. Are you willing to embrace the return of such an event? Why or why not?

 

A: Yes, I would support this effort. We have a number of special events that come to our town annually and they are very successful. We need to adopt other events during the slow periods that put more feet on our streets, meaning more money being funneled into our local community.

 

Q: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

 

A: I am a highly ethical person, I have a genuine concern for others, and I am just and fair in my dealings. My community engagement, enthusiasm, determination, and dedication to serve separate me from my opponent.

 

Q: What are your suggestions to address the discrepancies between the predominantly Black and White areas of the city?

 

A: We cannot afford to allow any division to separate us as a city. I propose that the leaders of these communities come together and address the discrepancies between them and agree to ratify the problems to the best of their ability.

 

Q: Due to tax cuts and depressed real property valuations have resulted in less revenue in the county and city coffers. Many jobs the city and county had in the past have been eliminated or are on hold; government services have been reduced or cut. Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: It is critical to recognize that local governments are operating year after year with lower budgets; the cuts are being made and residents still expect and deserve quality service. Core services provided by local government are essential to ensuring a great quality of life for residents. I propose to address this problem; we create partnerships with other local colleges and other entities that are willing to provide these services either voluntarily or at an affordable cost.

 

Q: All three community centers – the Midtown Cultural Center, the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Center, and the John H. Dickerson Center – all are understaffed. Recently at Derbyshire Park, an incident occurred where shots were fired and people were hurt. Some attributed the incident to lack of supervision at a city facility during a city-run event. Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: Shootings and other crimes are acts of violence that don’t always take staffing or the lives others under consideration. However, I do see the understaffing of these facilities as a problem. The lack of staff means the citizens will not be afforded the full utilization of the facilities. Partnerships with our local universities and colleges, sororities & fraternities, and local churches could help to alleviate the lack of staffing. These organizations offer a plethora skills and expertise and they are committed to serving the community.

 

 

What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word?

 

A: I have lived in zone 6 all of my life.  For me this is not just politics, it’s personal. The decisions made regarding zone 6 have a direct impact upon my neighbors as well as me. I have a proven history of being able to sit across the table from anyone and be just and fair in my dealings. When elected to this office, I will remain engaged, approachable and dedicated to serve.

•••

CATHY WASHINGTON

 

Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

 

Answer: There are a number of issues to be addresses but first and foremost the priority would be the budget. The current fiduciaries of the budget have not given the residents the best bang for their taxes paid. The budget should be analyzed very carefully. A clearly articulated “Check List” should be identified with dates certain for correcting items. Residents should be aware of the revenue of the city as well as the expenses quarterly.

 

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population?   

 

A: Some would say that jobs or the economy are reasons. The question has been “What does Daytona Beach want to be when it grows up?” Another reason often overlooked is there are very few neighborhood schools. Schools are being built away from the city proper. Local neighborhood schools are a thing of the past and we really have no idea why. The lines for redistricting as it relates to public schools are revisited/re-drawn annually.

 

As a result, elementary school children have to catch the bus at 6:30 to arrive at school on time. New residents purchase homes near neighborhood schools.  Families with children living where there are no neighborhood schools have relocated to be closer to the schools.

 

Q: Another form of Black College Reunion known as “Spring Bling” is scheduled to return to Daytona Beach in April 2013. BCR in its heyday attracted between 100,000 to 200,000 mostly young and mostly Black visitors to the area every year over the course of a single weekend. Are you willing to embrace the return of such an event? Why or why not?

 

A: Prior to agreeing to such an event I must first be provided with a detailed outline of the plan. Promises for support of such an event are not enough. There must be firm contractual agreements so that failure to perform has a concrete consequence. There must be clearly defined duties and responsibilities.  The additional revenue would be great for the city, but poorly planned activities would generate a greater cost to the city. BCR was a great event initially. Near its end visitors were mistreated and misrepresented. Hotel prices were doubled and in some cases tripled. Police were recruited from all over the United States to monitor the visitors.  Daytona did not want BCR and it was made clear to the local residents as well as the visitors.

 

Q: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

 

A: Preparation is essential when accepting a task such as that of a City Commissioner.  I have studied, prepared and been actively involved in City Boards, Committees and Commission. Learning the Land Development Codes and the process for making projects materialize is essential to serving as City Commissioner. The individual holding this position must be willing to be a servant and spokesperson for the residents not just a figurehead.

 

 

Q: What are your suggestions to address the discrepancies between the predominantly Black and White areas of the city?

 

A: The predominantly Black areas of Daytona Beach have been overlooked. There is no doubt about that. What is now referred to as Midtown was known for decades as the Westside of town.  I remember clearly the News-Journal Sunday edition had a section for the Black neighborhood and it was called “The Westside News.’’ The former city fathers promoted the “beach” and the “family vacation” area. It is now clear that our entire city is important. The realization is that our entire city is in need of serious work.  Infrastructure issues, abandoned homes, foreclosed homes, patched streets to name of few of the issues. Orange Avenue is about to receive the overdue attention. Once that work begins, you will then begin to see other progress throughout the city.

 

Q: Due to tax cuts and depressed real property valuations have resulted in less revenue in the county and city coffers. Many jobs the city and county had in the past have been eliminated or are on hold; government services have been reduced or cut. Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A. Yes, there is a problem, but it can be addressed. Some jobs are eliminated due to advanced technology. A large number of issues our issues revert back to proper budget management. Hiring more technologically trained staff would cut staff costs. Hiring more independent technically trained staff would eliminate replication and duplication of duties.

 

Q: All three community centers – the Midtown Cultural Center, the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Center, and the John H. Dickerson Center – all are understaffed. Recently at Derbyshire Park, an incident occurred where shots were fired and people were hurt. Some attributed the incident to lack of supervision at a city facility during a city-run event.  Do you see this as a problem? If this is a problem, what are your proposed solutions?

 

A: Proper budgetary planning was not done. In attending budgetary meetings as well as City Commission meetings, I realized cuts were being made to the Leisure Services budget when attempting to open a new center. No long-term goals or short-term goals – just cuts.

 

The shooting incident had no relation to the lack of city supervision although there truly is a problem. The three facilities should be fully staffed and activities made available at reasonable costs for the residents beginning with after-school programs and including summer enrichment programs.

 

Q: What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word?

 

A: I have been in training for a number of years. The residents have been shortchanged long enough. My decision to seek this position was not made last year. I have trained and am now ready to serve the residents. I am a leader but would not attempt to lead where I have not been. A servant who will work in the trenches with a goal of making a difference in zone 6 community as well as the city of Daytona Beach.

SHERIFF

BEN JOHNSON

1. I’m very proud of the significant reduction in the crime rate (51.5% in the violent crime category and 12.6% overall) that has occurred since I took office.

If returned to office by the voters, my top priority will continue to be sustaining the crime reductions through effective and aggressive enforcement and wise use of personnel, resources and technology. Some of my other top priorities will be to continue to aggressively suppress drug crimes, wisely manage resources and evaluate all programs and services for efficiency and effectiveness in order to maintain the highest quality law enforcement for the citizens of Volusia County, oversee transition to the new Communications Center as the final step in the consolidation of countywide emergency dispatch services and to begin planning for a new, modern evidence storage facility to replace the existing, undersized/outdated facility.

2. I don’t have any factual basis for determining the cause of the population shift within the City of Daytona Beach.

3. All special events that attract large crowds of people – regardless of their race – pose public safety challenges for law enforcement. However, the events themselves and the diversity and economic impact they bring to our community have a very positive effect on the area and are something that I wholeheartedly embrace.

4. My combination of education (both in college and at the FBI National Academy), experience in virtually all aspects of policing, my institutional knowledge of the agency and my prior service for 26 ½ years as a Deputy Sheriff with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office – including the supervisory ranks of Sergeant and Lieutenant as well as assignments of high responsibility such as a District Commander, Watch Commander and SWAT Team Entry Leader – and then the last 12 years as the elected Sheriff, are some of the factors that I believe make me the better candidate.

Another critical factor is my leadership ability, as demonstrated during my tenure as Sheriff in leading the agency and working effectively with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, through multi-agency task forces and the Police Chiefs Association, in taking on the lead role in a successful effort to unify the emergency dispatch system for the entire county and in my selection and service as President of the Florida Sheriffs Association.

Additionally, I am active in numerous civic endeavors and have been endorsed for re-election by our Deputies through the Volusia Deputies Association.

My re-election also has either been endorsed or recommended by the Daytona Beach Police Officers Association, Teamsters Local 2011 representing members from the Florida Department of Corrections, Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #40, the New Smyrna Beach Board of Realtors, West Volusia Board of Realtors and Housing For Tomorrow.

Finally, I’m the only candidate with the supervisory, administrative, personnel and budget experience necessary to effectively manage an agency the size of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. I believe all these factors combined, plus my record of proven results while in office, not only make me the best candidate, but make me the only qualified candidate in the race.

•••

WENDELL BRADFORD

1. First I need to mention that I am not part of the cronyism that has plagued Volusia County for decades and I will promote and hire individuals based on merit, not friendship. As a newly elected Sheriff, my first priority is to complete an audit of the Sheriff’s Department so that I will be able to determine where the resources (tax payer’s money) are being spent and how we can utilize the funds to better serve the community. We must look at new ways to utilize the funds provided to maintain an up-to-date and professional Sheriff’s Department. I will focus on Volusia County’s long term vision, developing partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and policy changes that will break down obstacles and make Volusia County a better place to live and work.

The reactive approach has not worked for the Sheriff’s Department, we must initiate PROACTIVE programs within our communities to fight against the social disorder that is disrupting the lives of our family and friends. When you listen to the other candidate’s speeches, it sounds like an echo. Education through partnership is the key to a successful future for Volusia County. Since 2000, Volusia County Sheriff’s department has been eliminating valuable community programs, such as Crime Against Seniors, Gang Enforcement and School Resource Deputies, and spending taxpayer’s money on high priced equipment and millions of dollars on excessive overtime. By working together we can reduce crime and the fear of crime within our communities.

2. I personally do not believe the overall decrease in population has anything to do with the increase in Black population. The state of the economy has put a burden on many families and businesses, and homeowners have walked away from their homes because their home values have depreciated. According to FDLE UCR Arrest Data between 2007 and 2011, arrest of criminals within Daytona Beach per 100,000 dropped from 16,995.5 to 14,258.3.

3. Yes. The event will bring increased revenue to the businesses in Daytona Beach as well as Volusia County. If the City decided to facilitate the event, as Sheriff we would work with all agencies to coordinate police coverage of the event and any other event they would need our assistance with.

4. I am not part of the cronyism that has plagued Volusia County for decades. I have been a Deputy Sheriff for over 21 years and I have my Bachelors in Business Administration and Masters in Strategic Leadership. When elected I will focus on Volusia County’s long term vision, developing partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and policy changes that will break down obstacles and make Volusia County a better place to live and work.

By working together with local law enforcement agencies and citizens we can maintain the peace, safety, and security for the citizens and businesses, thus reducing crime and the fear of crime. It is time for New Leadership and a New Perspective. Volusia County needs a leader that has the skills, energy, strength, and commitment to lead and execute the laws that will make our community safer. Volusia County has been under the same “cronyism” leadership for over four decades and it is time to bring leadership in the VCSO that will promote individuals based on merit, time served, and their strengths.

Volusia County Clerk of the Court

DIANNE MATOUSEK

Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

Answer: We have consistently moved the Clerk’s office forward with increased applied technology and the highest level of customer service. My three goals for my next term include completing the task of making the office entirely accessible through self-directed online requests. I also want to improve the efficiency of our telephone resource center so as to provide information more quickly, thereby reducing on-hold time. Finally, I want to launch a community information program to educate the community as to what the Clerk’s office does and how it can be of service to residents.

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population down to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population? 

 

A: Changes in the racial composition of a community are natural, just as shifting growth patterns are natural. However, regardless of changes in the balance between Blacks and Whites, leaders must ensure that the community is safe and prosperous. The Clerk’s office is committed to serving every corner of the community and all ethnic groups.

Q:  What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

A: The differences between my opponent and me are as stark as can be. My resume presents decades of experience in public records management, continuing education and community service. I have managed the Clerk’s office with efficiency and exceptional customer service. I have operated under extremely tight budget constraints, yet still come in under budget year after year. I have been aggressive in applying technology to efficiencies in the office. And I manage the Clerk’s six offices, 270+ employees and $10+ million dollar budget office with integrity.

My opponent, on the other hand has no experience managing anything more than her husband’s small law office. She has no experience in managing a large staff. She has no experience in managing a complex budget. And she has demonstrated a shameless lack of integrity by conducting a dishonest and misleading campaign.

Q: What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word?

A: I have a long record of distinguished service as the Clerk of the Court. I put a premium on honesty, integrity and customer service. I pledge to continue to serve the community with the same commitment for my next term.

 

CHRISTINE SANDERS

Question: What will be your priorities or top issues you will focus on if elected?

Answer: My top priorities are to reduce spending and improve customer service. When faced with budget cuts, the incumbent Clerk created 23 higher paying positions and currently utilizes one supervisor for every five employees.  In an effort to reduce spending, I will restructure the top-heavy workforce, transition to a paperless system and have litigants sign for their notices while in court.

The incumbent claimed while campaigning over the summer that by Labor Day, a long-awaited upgrade would be made to the Criminal Case Computer System. Labor Day has come and gone and this upgrade still has not occurred! Improvements to customer service will be achieved by updating the technology and eliminating the existing call center and 20-minute wait times.

Q: According to the 2010 Census, Daytona Beach’s population fell to 61,000. The number of Whites living in the city dropped while the number of Blacks increased. Is this a problem? Why or why not? What would you attribute to this decrease in population? 

A: White or Black, a decrease in population is a problem. Volusia County is home to several colleges and universities, yet there is a lack of employment opportunities for graduates in our area. Without job prospects, we are essentially exporting our children.

Q: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

A: I have 13 years experience in the legal field. I’m a former Deputy Clerk of Court and have worked as a legal assistant and managed a law office. I bring the right mix of public service work and private practice experience to manage the Clerk’s office.

The incumbent clerk is double dipping with a second retirement.  If re-elected, she will retire with a lump sum of $601,000 in addition to her annual pension of $110,000. Replacing her in this election will instantly save taxpayers $164,527 that will no longer have to be paid into her golden parachute.

When asked about her excessive absenteeism and how many days she has missed, the incumbent responded, “I cannot tell you how much time I have been out of the office.”

I will have a hands-on approach to effective leadership, will have a presence in the courthouses and be accessible to the public.

Q: What can you say to ensure the Black community that you will make a difference, be fair and can be trusted to keep your word?

A: For 20 years, the incumbent clerk has failed to deliver savings to the taxpayers while the level of service is on the decline. As your fiscal conservative, I will bring responsible spending and better management to the Clerk’s office.

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