DAWN PIZZO is running for Seat 4...
ASHLEIGH HART is running for Seat 3
DID YOU KNOW?
Do we really want a Football Stadium on Highbanks?
Let us not forget:
I believe Ashleigh Hart is the first elected/appointed individual to use POP to introduce herself to the community and ask for feedback.
For those of you who don't know, the other night at the City Council meeting, I was nominated by Rick Dwyer to be a member of the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC). The Council voted on all of the board members and I gladly accepted a seat on the Committee. It is an honor to serve the citizens of DeBary in any way that I can.
To find out more about the EDAC please go to this link: http://debary.org/Pages/DeBaryFL_Clerk/EDAC
If anyone has ideas on Economic Development for DeBary, or any other ideas or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or better yet, come to the meetings! The first one is, February 13,2014 at 7PM - and at 7PM the second Thursday of every month thereafter.
Mort in Citizens' Editorials with a note from Norm -
It's an election year...lets get those names in the City's Newsletter this year...
In DeBary we say we want to know who the people running for office are about. What they want to do. What is their campaign platform? VM Carson wants a visioning workshop – the man just spent most of last year running for re-election and he wants a conversation on what the vision is to be. What was his vision? Did anyone know? Let me give you some of my notes from the political forum on October 24 th, 2013. These are the platitudes from VM Carson when he discussed his vision:
“DeBary is a special destination.”
“Quality of life issues.”
“Taxes and conserving money.”
Two weeks later VM Carson wins re-election and is in the paper talking about reviving the football stadium issue. Where was the specificity during the campaigning? MIA. But this isn’t new.
I don’t get into national politics because I can’t make sense of some of the stuff in City politics. But below is a very interesting conversation between two news people just a week or so before another election – and a candidate that these two news men knew very little about even though their job is following the news of political leaders and candidates.
Transcript of a conversation. Tom Brokaw. Charlie Rose. October 30th, 2008 – roughly a week or so before the Presidential Election that President Obama won:
ROSE: I don't know what Barack Obama's worldview is.
BROKAW: No, I don't, either.
ROSE: I don't know how he really sees where China is.
BROKAW: We don't know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.
ROSE: I don't really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?
BROKAW: Yeah, it's an interesting question.
ROSE: He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational speeches.
BROKAW: Two of them. I don't know what books he's read.
ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?
BROKAW: There's a lot about him we don't know.
In following and learning about what happens at the local level, it mirrors what happens at the County, State and Federal level.
Potential Campaign Slogan: “If I win the election, I’ll tell you about my campaign issues.”
WHAT A MEETING!
Is Gambling coming back?
Mort on Carson, Koval and Hunt:
From Norm: In August of 2011, Chris Carson, Dan Hunt, Nick Koval and Bob Garcia all voted to put back on the ballot a referendum on term limits for council members. It had been voted on in November of 2008 - 6008 citizens said, keep two seats on the off years and keep the term to 3 years. Now all seats are going to be at mid-terms or presidential elections and for 4 years. Vice Mayor Lenzen was absent from the August meeting for the vote to place this back on the ballot, but he spoke strongly in favor of it at the May 18th, 2011 City Council Workshop.
I’ve been telling some friends lately that I could make a better argument to hold DeBary elections ONLY during off-year elections because the people who come out to vote are coming out because they care about what happens in DeBary. This November many will show up to vote for the mid-terms, Governor, etc,. and only incidentally vote for the three seats up for election in DeBary. If 3000 total vote this November we know that 1500 came out for the mid-terms because 1500 came out this election that just passed. That is to say, out of 13,000 registered voters, only 1500 last November cared enough to vote. So if 3000 show up this November, it's not for DeBary, it's because of the mid-terms and voting for DeBary officials is secondary. In fact, not everyone voting for the Governor will vote in any of the DeBary seats.
The Council that put term limits back on the ballot really got it wrong.
Also, the article below goes to why I focus on City politics over County, State and Federal. If you can’t get a competent City Council, it’s not going to happen at those other levels.
Governor has most power? Nah. It's your city council
Local News Columnist
6:59 PM CST, January 8, 2014
I bet you can't name the people elected to represent you on your local city council.
How do I know?
Because voter turnout in city elections is usually abysmal.
In most of the towns in Orange County, turnout was about 20 percent or less (Apopka was just 8 percent and Winter Garden just 9 percent) during the most recent elections.
Meanwhile, during the last gubernatorial election in 2010, turnout in Orange County was much higher: 44 percent.
That tells me that nearly half of the registered voters in Orange County care enough to vote for governor. But when it comes to electing the people who represent us closest to home, only about one-fifth of the voters can muster enough concern to go to the polls.
Now I'm going to tell you why that is so wrong. And why you need to show up in March and April when Maitland, Winter Park, Apopka, Orlando, Windermere, Winter Garden, Belle Isle, Edgewood and Oakland are scheduled to have elections.
Governor may be Florida's highest political post, but it's not even close to the most powerful when we're talking about decisions that can make your life better or worse.
No, the most powerful people sit on your local city council — the people many of us can't name or wouldn't recognize if you sat next to them at a Magic game.
Don't believe me? Consider the following:
Your money. The governor influences how much money the state spends on schools, state parks, transportation, the court system and more. That's important stuff, no doubt.
And the governor can influence a number of fees that cost you money, such as the auto-tag fee or court costs.
When it comes to hitting your wallet on a monthly basis, the city council has as much muscle. Fees you pay every month for sewer service, garbage collection and water are set by the council.
The city council sets your property taxes. It's rare nowadays to see a council raise property taxes, but they have the power to do it.
If you want to pull a permit to renovate your home or repair a plumbing problem, how much you pay (and how easy or difficult it is to follow the process) is all determined by the council.
Traffic. The governor oversees the state Department of Transportation. That's a big deal because the DOT decides when and where to widen state roads and highways, build overpasses and invest in transit such as SunRail.
But, when it comes to your daily commute, the city council can be just as powerful. Council members set the budget for local road projects and influence everything from whether an intersection should have a traffic light or a roundabout to how many lanes the road outside your subdivision has.
More important, it's the council that decides whether to add more cars to the roads by approving a new Walmart or apartment complex.
And don't forget, local elected officials also dictate if a town will have red-light cameras and how high the fee will be for violators.
Quality of life. This is a biggie when it comes to city councils. The governor can do a lot of things, but he isn't going to build a splash pad for your kids at the local park or organize an outdoor movie in the town plaza.
Council members can influence everything from whether time and money is spent to try to revive a dreary downtown to whether parks need new playgrounds.
They set the tone for how welcoming a city is for art festivals, farmers markets and other events.
And your council can bring misery just as easy as it can the fun stuff. A city's elected officials decide if land near your house will be rezoned for a gas station or an office building. They choose where the landfills go and which neighborhood gets the next park.
Final authority. The Legislature acts as a check (at least, theoretically) on the governor. The governor can veto laws, but also can be overruled by two-thirds of the Legislature.
There isn't another branch of government keeping tabs on the city council. You can always sue the council if you disagree with a decision, but that takes considerable time and money.
It's much easier to pay attention to elections, decide who you think will do the best job and vote.
No more rules?
And how would that be different than what is going on now?
The Art of the Reach Around
This past weekend someone entered the restroom at the Splash Pad and shattered the sink into pieces...
DeBaryPOP begins its 9th year
There has never been a website like DeBaryPOP covering just DeBary issues...DeBaryPOP was the brainchild of Lenny Marks...along with John Likakis and Norm Erickson the three of them have provided this service free of charge and open to the public to read and/or discuss City issues.
In starting our 9th year we now know that everyone reads POP...even though they say they don't...and usually the ones that say they don't quote POP word for word...
Goodbye, DeBary Little League:
From the webpage of DeBary Little League - Norm's comments in red...
Friday, December 27
DeBary Little League now West Volusia Athletic Club
We have exciting news! (exciting for us)
DeBary has switched our league affiliation from Little League to Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball. To most, the changes will not be noticed; baseball and softball will go on as usual.
Organizationally, a Babe Ruth Charter allows us the flexibility players and parents have been demanding and the ability to compete on a more level playing ground. We are not alone, 7 leagues in Florida have made the switch this season and there are neighboring leagues all around us. (Everyone else is doing it...why not us? Great lesson for kids. Beat back that peer pressure by example.) Our boundaries will be expanded which will allow us to grow, especially in our Softball program.
Play with your friends! We are now the place “where everyone can play.” Our new boundaries are all of Volusia County west of I-95. Now all of you can play with all of your friends from all over!
We do not take this change lightly. We are very proud of our accomplishments as Little League but we have done our research and listened to others who have made the change. (Everyone else is doing it...weren't we just champs with national exposure and all that? Not good enough) At the end of the day we all feel this will keep our league healthy and thriving for years to come.(Read it this way: someone is going to be making more money on the side by switching to this new club).
Effective immediately, our organization will be chartering with Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken baseball under the name of the West Volusia Athletic Club. We are very excited about the opportunities that this affords us and look forward to seeing some great ball!
From Norm: Seems like whether it is the DeBary Art League or DeBary Little League, after taking our money and kissing us, they change their name and go separate ways...why do they not want to be associated with DeBary? Now everyone in Volusia can enjoy the Parks we've invested in...hey...look at the editorial below on spending..SHAZAM!
Gateway Center for the Arts
What a great performance was given by the Orange City Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Rick Dwyer on Saturday December 14th. This was their first Christmas Concert performed at the Debary Civic Center (free of charge to all who attended) and was preformed to a standing room only audience.
The orchestra was at its best with each selection played with total professionalism. Maestro Dwyer had them right on target.
The members of the orchestra are all volunteers and are more than willing to share their God given talents. They give hours of their time to practices and rehearsals just to perform for us, the musically challenged people. I want to personally thank them for sharing their talents and making the Christmas season a lot brighter.
I also would like to thank Mrs. Susan Palmer for her excellent vocals on White Christmas. It was wonderful when she asked the audience to join her and just as wonderful to hear everyone sing along. This was just a warm up for the audience sing-along. It reminded me of the old fashioned Christmases, just like the one’s I used to know. Thanks for the memories Orange City Orchestra.
As a special treat to the audience the Singsations Youth Choir under the direction of Ms. Marci Wiltz preformed Christmas and Seasonal Songs. They were terrific and worked hard to be ready for the concert. The young people in the group also give their time by practicing after school. Great job Singsations Youth Choir.
I hope they will be back to do other performances next year. They are a treasure for all of us to enjoy.
Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year to all.