BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
A previous commissioner and a longtime political insider are vying for two open seats on the Daytona Beach City Commission.
Steve Miller, who served on the commission from 1993-1995 in Zone 5, is seeking to unseat Kelly White, current commissioner for Zone 3. Andrew Moore, who has been involved in government from one aspect or another his entire life, is eyeing the Zone 1 commission seat currently held by Carl Lentz, IV. Both of Moore’s parents have served as city commissioners.
If elected, Miller and Moore, who are Black, will join the two other Black commissioners – Paula Reed and Patrick Henry – as well as Mayor Derrick Henry, which would create a minority majority on the commission with five Blacks. Robert Gilliland and Pam Woods would be left as the only White commissioners.
Majority in 2003
The racial makeup of Daytona Beach’s 62,316 people is 57.8 percent White and 35.4 percent Black.
“We’ve had that situation before and I don’t know whether that is a good or bad thing,” Miller said, referring to the only time in history to date that Daytona Beach had a majority-Black commission.
State Rep. Dwayne Taylor Gwen Azama-Edwards, the late Charles W. Cherry, Sr. and the late Yvonne Scarlett-Golden, who became the city’s first Black mayor, served on the commission from 2003-2005.
“I perceive my job to serve the city at large, however I can’t deny the color of my skin. There are some concerns that are innate to me,” Moore told the Daytona Times.
“How do I feel about it? As long as we do the job that needs to be done and serve the community than everything will be fine.’’
Youth and the future
Miller is running on a platform focused on the youth of Daytona Beach.
“We have issues. I am advocating that we create a parks and recreation board. We pay so much to law enforcement to lock these kids up, but nothing on the front end to prevent it,” Miller remarked.
Miller also wants more accountability within the city budgeting process.
“We spend 64 percent of our budget in public safety and around 5 percent on our children in leisure services and that shows you our focus is on locking them up. We can’t afford a whole lot of things, but we must take care of our children. The Bible tells you charity begins at home, if you don’t take care of your family you’re worse than an infidel.
“We have too many of our young males going to jail, going to prison, we need more advocates and I appoint myself to that. We need someone who is going to be more passionate.”
More about Moore
Moore’s platform is multifaceted. He is advocating for safer communities, a diverse job market, resurgence of city pride and respect, and to establish community partnership teams.
“As a youth growing up in our city, I saw adults working to support their families and raise their children in a safe community. Times have changed. Crime has increased, the jobless rate has sky-rocketed and respect of others and their property is at an all-time low,’’ he stated.
“The good news is that our economy is recovering, but we have much more to do. I do not have all the solutions for correcting these social and economic problems, but I do know my community and the people and values that made it a wonderful place to grow up and raise my children.
“I want to be the voice of the people, I feel the need to be here. From the different boards I’ve sat on, it has increased my desire,’’ he added.
Moore has worked on multiple campaigns in the area, including judges, commissioners, mayors and for both of his parents – dad Andrew J. Moore Sr. and mom Freddie Moore, who both served as Daytona Beach city commissioners.
Both Moore and Miller have passed the qualifying stage.
A primary election will be held for Moore as there are three candidates, including Ruth Trager vying for the seat on Aug. 26. Miller will run against White in the general election on Nov. 4.