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Click here for: VCSO Daily Reports - DeBary



DAWN PIZZO is running for Seat 4...

ASHLEIGH HART is running for Seat 3




Orlando, he said, also is trying to encourage people to use different transportation options, from walking to biking to buses to SunRail.

"It's just not sustainable to rely only on the automobile," he said.

From Norm: In time I'm sure the DeBary station will also charge for parking. Also, remember the automobile break ins at Gemini Springs? Stations not charging are origination points which means cars will be there longer. Security?

Read the whole article at:



As a DeBary resident, I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the DeBary City Council Seat 3. I have filed all of the required legal documents for qualification and have opened my campaign account.
My name is Marshall Lee. I was born in Florida and have been a resident of Debary for 25 years. I am married and my wife and I have one daughter. I earned a degree in mathematics from Daytona State College and have been an independent businessman for 25 years.
I would like to thank the editors of DeBaryPOP.com for allowing me to announce my candidacy on their popular website.

Marshall Lee
DeBary City Council-Seat 3

From Norm: Marshall Lee is a friend of Rudolph Conoley and was invited to a party Mr. Conoley hosted back in March of this year. I appreciate Mr. Marshall choosing DeBaryPOP to announce his candidacy.



It's been reported that Sunrail backers wanted to sell 10,000 tickets. The Orldando Sentinel has given us where 6,000 of the 9,000 already sold have gone:

Orlando Regional Realtor Association dues are underwriting one of the area's largest bulk purchases of SunRail passes to date.

The association is among four groups that have each purchased 1,000 reloadable tickets (From Norm: Total: 4,000 tickets). Other bulk-pass buyers include VHB, Morgan & Morgan and the Orlando Magic, according to a monthly report from the Florida Department of Transportation. Only the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce has purchased more — 2,000 (From Norm: Total: 6,000 tickets - where are the citizens that back this thing?).

As of early March, associations, businesses and government agencies had purchased about 12,000 passes. Among downtown Orlando employers, CNL Financial and Bank of America have each purchased at least several hundred passes.

Read the whole story: CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY


Several dignitaries were on hand for the ribbon-cutting, including U.S. Rep. John Mica, DeBary Mayor Bob Garcia, Volusia County Council Chairman Jason Davis, County Council member Pat Northey and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Noranne Downs.

“As far as the train system, I’ve yet to find one that makes a profit,” Davis said. “They’re not here to make a profit. They’re here to move people, to get them from one destination to the next, to bring the people in to go to the shops and do whatever they want to do.”

Note: The Sunrail train does not run on the weekends. Only weekdays during work hours.



The Mingle Mangle on what is going on...

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And bricks for all...a change for the Harts - they can have their brick as they designated it at the park...



From Norm: Eric Blair...a name I've used myself...said it best:

All bricks are equal...but some bricks are more equal than others:

Posted on Facebook by Ashleigh Hart - reposted here with her permission:

JJ Hart is not allowed to partake in DeBary's Commemorative Brick Program

March 22, 2014

 March 20,2014. I was told that I cannot purchase a brick for JJ for  the Commemorative brick program)

On September 18,2013 the City Council was presented with a Mosaic Hopscotch court proposal along with a Commemorative brick program. According to the September 18,2013 meeting video (http://debary.org/Pages/DeBaryFL_Council/video) , it was voted on and approved that the Commemorative brick program would be sought to memorialize the efforts of those who have molded the shape and face of the community - 30 bricks were reserved for current council, past council, board members and the remaining bricks were placed on the "open market" for first come first serve. 

On March 13,2014 I spoke to the City and it was confirmed that there are plenty of bricks that still need to be purchased. Wanting to a) Contribute to the City of DeBary and b) Memorialize "JJ's Fight" I purchased a brick which stated: 

"JJ Hart 2013 You Can Fight City Hall and Win!"

Today I received a call from the City.... She was very apologetic and stated that City Manager Dan Parrott sent a message stating more or less that I cannot purchase a brick because it doesn't fit with the theme or what was presented to Council. 

I have watched the September 18,2013 video several times. I have also gone over the application for the bricks, the letter from Alan Cohn (DeBary Parks and Recreation) stating what the program is etc. and I can say: JJ made history in the City of DeBary. His fight brought the community together and it encouraged people not to give up and to fight for their rights. 

All of that being said, JJ and his chicken fight was a SIGNIFICANT event for the City of DeBary in both 2012 and 2013. According to the attached documents, the purpose of the commemorative bricks is to "Set your memories in stone". My stone for JJ is not profane, it accurately states a historic moment in DeBary. My money is just as good as the next persons, I serve on the EDAC, and my son brought the community together (even if only for a second, it made a positive impact on so many people) Mr. Parrott and the City not allowing me to purchase a brick for JJ, in my opinion and according to the attached documents, is absolute discrimination. 

Ashleigh Hart


From Norm: The Gateway Center for the Arts removed Mort Culligan for expressing his opinion. Ms. Wilson just didn't understand why he would want to be there - so she had him removed - I asked her why - and that's what she told me. Now, why is the City supporting and working with an entity that is a species of a dictatorship? Why is the City of DeBary supporting and working with an entity that removes a DeBary citizen from a building, which was created solely for the freedom of expression, for expressing his opinion? You can't make this stuff up...


DeBary is looking to do an "art in public places" program. Murals. Art. Here is an excerpt from the Orlando Sentinel:

Downtown Sanford is known for its century-old brick buildings and scenic walkway along Lake Monroe.

But what Sanford needs is artwork — including sculptures and murals — in public places and on buildings to make it even more attractive, Commissioner Mark McCarty said Friday.

"We've got so many great brick buildings that would be great for murals," McCarty said. "Art is one of those quality-of-life things that are very important for a city. Art makes you think about what a beautiful world we live in."

Mount Dora, Eustis, DeLand and Casselberry also have recently launched public-art projects.

"Quality of life things". "Quality of life issues". "It's an investment" - that was from CM Koval about the Splash Pad. Do these people get their talking points via email or just at conferences or what?

Does anyone do their own thinking? That's on one side of the spectrum. The other is just "lets do what they're doing". I remember when I motioned to do a fiscal audit, ala Winter Springs, when we had a new city manager coming in, VM Carson couldn't wrap his head around why we would want to clear the financial decks with a new manager coming in. But whether it's splash pads or art in public places, fireworks...everyone else is doing it...why not us.




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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. 

Ashleigh Hart




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.”

“Public Safety.”

“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.”

Norm Erickson



The Editorial...

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Mort's View:




Is Gambling coming back?

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Mort on Carson, Koval and Hunt:



The Mingle-Mangle:

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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

Beth Kassab

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?

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Assault II:

The Art of the Reach Around

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This past weekend someone entered the restroom at the Splash Pad and shattered the sink into pieces...

Civic Minded

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

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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.

Lenny Marks