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National Issues that may impact DeBary


Click here for: VCSO Daily Reports - DeBary



Contact Information Sent In:

Click below for Ashleigh Hart's Website:

Link: Elect A Hart

And go to Facebook to "like" her Facebook page:

Ashleigh Hart for DeBary City Council Seat 3


Dawn Pizzo qualifies for Seat 4 - Here is here contact info:
Email: dawnpizzo4debary@gmail.com

386-337-2795 is her contact #



What will DeBary look like around Sunrail?

Get to the 6PM Workshop this Wednesday on the 20th to find out. Read the report. See what development changes are being proposed for density and usage.



Ashleigh Hart on Ch. 13 news...

Read the story:



City Council Meeting on 8/6 @ 7PM

Ashleigh Hart won the West Volusia Chamber HobNob straw poll on July 31st with 52% of the vote. Mike Brady received 33% and Marshall Lee was far behind with only 13%.

Clint Johnson won his race in the same Poll: He received 61% of the vote. Danny Tillis came in second with 25% and Jack Lenzen received 14%.

Lita Handy-Peters won her HobNob Poll: 49% Leslie Kinsella received 19% Kenny Knapp received 15% Dawn Pizzo received 16%

The Primary is three weeks away on Tuesday, August 26th. There will be at least one outright winner - Ashleigh Hart, Seat 3.

The Mayoral race will be very interesting.

Seat 4: I know from experience that the incumbent and their record can be your best friend. We'll see...

This will be interesting...to about 900-1100 people out of 13,000 registered voters, that is...

Norm Erickson



Marilyn Crotty, an expert from UCF on visioning, will be paid thousands of dollars to run the workshop tomorrow at 8:30. I'm not an expert nor am I being paid thousands of dollars to run this thing. But this is probably how it will be run based on my experience:

There will be an easel or two or three with big pads of paper on them. People will be asked to brainstorm a list of "wants" and write them on the pads of paper. Or they will be asked to work in groups and then "bring it back for group discussion". The Council and, perhaps with citizen input, will then rank the "wants" that were written down - 1-5 or 1-10 and so on. How these wants will be paid for will probably not be discussed. It will end at noon with lists on easels.

And then what do we do with this stuff when we have three new Council members come on in January? VM Hunt paid no attention to the people's vision from last November when they voted Nick Koval out of office. VM Hunt nominated Koval to be put back on the Council. So he didn't listen to the people and I haven't heard one word of criticism except by me. However, when those three new members are installed in January, will someone then come up and say, "Hey, you need to listen to the people from the visioning workshop."

Citizens writing down "wants" tomorrow need to also include how it will be funded.

The Council just voted 3-1 to raise your taxes - did you know that? CM Dwyer voted "No".

That's my vision for tomorrow's visioning workshop.

Also, as an aside to Mayor Carson: citizens are not to ask direct questions to City Staff during public participation. On the back of the yellow card for public participation it states: direct all questions to the Mayor. Mayor Carson let a citizen take over public participation, go over the allotted time, carry on private conversations with staff in public. You're the Mayor now Carson. Run the meeting...don't let the meeting run you. Put that on the list of "wants".

What is your vision for Debary?

Citizens' Workshop - City Visioning

August 2nd, Saturday, 8:30AM at City Hall

7/17: UPDATE

Sid Vihlen, Jr. is our new Councilmember - not present to be sworn in...

Vote: 3-1 - CM Dwyer dissents

Never doubt the Great Carnak:

Our new Vice Mayor: Dan Hunt

3-1 - CM Dwyer dissents. CM Handy-Peters made the motion...no second from Mayor Carson, hmmm...CM Hunt seconded the motion for his Vice-Mayorship (yes, it's a word).


DeBary Issues

Individuals are adding their names to possible appointment on the Council as an interim until the election is over. I would suggest that Council members come to the July 2 nd meeting with a list of 3 or 4 names of individuals that they would appoint. If any name is on all four lists – bingo! Or, dare I say, if 2 different names are on all four lists – that’s a good problem to have. If it takes longer than the meeting on July 2 nd to make this important decision, then so be it. After all, the visioning workshop took at least two discussions if not more to decide whether or not to have them. I would think that appointing someone to the Council would warrant at least two meetings if not more. After Rudolph Conoley quit, I believe the Council took two or three meetings to finally decide. The final date to apply is Friday, June 27 th by noon. Go to the City website for the form to fill out and turn in.

There is a rumor that Nick Koval will be appointed. I hope not. The people spoke 8 months ago and did not select to re-elect Mr. Koval. That the Council would appoint him simply because they can would be remarkably bad behavior, make a mockery of the election process generally speaking and put up a huge middle digit to the voters who voted for Rick Dwyer. That this possibility is even being discussed is disconcerting. But not someone who is not even out of office a year and, worse, someone on whom the people have already passed judgment. I don’t care about legal loopholes – slavery was once legal – did that make it right? So we will see what this Council does as it relates to listening to the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who turned out and voted against Mr. Koval. We’ll see if they put the People Over Politics – hey…that sounds familiar. In addition, the 6008 who were disenfranchised by overturning their vote on term limits – well, pass the Ben Gay for the hamstrings as you may have to grab your ankles again.

Police/Fire Services. While it was kicked around whether or not this land was for police and fire or police only, it seems that the “needs” of the police are finally being discussed. If the land that was purchased is only for the police station, we still have the fire station to address. I know CM Hunt publicly expressed his dilemma of whether or not this was for police and fire or only police. I know it was discussed about a new vehicle for the fire dept. as well as two new paramedics. If this is a shared benefit for DeBary and other cities, then it should be a shared cost. Just like Sunrail. Shared benefit – shared cost. But already DeBary is being solely straddled with costs. Why? I urge to Council to be prudent in its dealings with these services to make sure shared benefits have shared costs.

Budget: honestly, given the park in Glen Abbey, the Splash Pad, the Fireworks show, and so on, I’m not so concerned with what is in the budget – I’m more concerned with what is NOT in the budget as the items listed above as well as others did not go through the budgeting process. After the election last November, the Council purchased more land because they just wanted the land, had a vision, got a good deal on it and just bought it. Did it go through the budgeting process? So, let’s look at the budget which is a covenant of sorts with the people, but let’s keep an eye out during the year for personal pet projects that have not been budgeted but are pushed through.

DeBary Little League: is the name “DeBary” now in the West Volusia Athletic Club name? That was a condition of support. Did they add “DeBary”?


Finally, people have asked me if I have read Rudolph’s latest writings and will I respond. I did read it. I did respond – but in the following way: After reading the posting, I closed my computer and took my wife and four year old daughter to St. Ann’s Church to light a candle for Rudolph Conoley. We prayed to various saints on behalf of Rudolph:

St. Dymphna for Mental Illness.

St. John Licci for Head Injuries.

St. Jude for Desperate Situations.

And St. Viagrus from Cialis, Italy for Impotent Ideas…ok, I made that one up…I couldn’t resist.

I also prayed to St. Genesius of Rome and St. Vitus – Patrons of Comedians – but that was more for me than for Rudolph.

My daughter turned to me while we were kneeling and said, “Papa, why are we doing this?”

I replied, “Because someone has said some mean things about us.”

She asked, “Can’t we appeal to the courts, Papa?”

I responded, “Right now, we are appealing to the highest court in the land, which I think is the best response for us and for Rudolph, from this day forward.”

My daughter went back to praying.

But after a few minutes she turned to me again and whispered, “I thought his name was Van.”

“Keep praying, Emily.”

And so we shall…

Norm Erickson



6/23: The exciting conclusion...or is it?

A Foolish Editorial

Part II :



You be the judge - watch the last workshop on June 18th from 2:50:35 to the end of the Workshop...what's going on there, do you think? Use the link below to choose the June 18th meeting:



There is a workshop this Wednesday, June 18th, at 6pm and it is important with heavy duty City issues being discussed:

There is an audit presentation

Budget discussion

Discussion on the Appointment of a Council Member

Discussion on Alcohol in Public Discussion

Banners and Temporary Signs Discussion

And More…the full agenda link is below.

Suggestion to Council Members:

Council Member: Please think about having individuals putting in for appointment to fill Mayor Garcia’s seat to submit a biography or “sketch” of who they are, what they will focus on if appointed, what their goals would be, etc,. When I went through this after Rudolph Conoley quit after a year of service, I only remember getting a list of names. Perhaps the questions from the last debate in October could be used a discussion starter. I think the Council and citizens should at least have an idea of what the appointed Council member stands for in terms of governing. In addition, I want to repeat my position that no one running for office this year should even submit their name for consideration. The people can take care of that and it is necessarily unfair although one could argue it did no good for Lita Handy-Peters who was appointed, served for a number of months and lost her election bid to Dan Hunt. I get that. But still, in my opinion it is a matter of fairness.

Also, Council Members, please have a discussion on public participation and the rules. Rudolph doesn't talk about actual city issues - he wants to be provocative. Is he only to address the Mayor? Council Members? Say what you want abut Mort, he talks about City issues such as spending, programs, grants, etc,. Public Participation is only for City issues and I think the yellow cards need to be read closely. What actual City issue is that citizen bringing to the Council during public participation. If they are addressing one Council member and it's not even about a specific issue or ordinance then it would seem to be a personal issue, not a City issue and should be dealt with accordingly. One guiding question Council members or the Mayor should have for public participation should be: "What is the City issue you are bringing to our attention?" Just a thought.


Norm Erickson


The Mingle Mangle






North and South: close neighbors:

In Michigan, Traverse City, a progressive City that is all about Quality of Life issues, ponders outdoor dining rules:



Elections Never End...

Remember last November when people were saying, "I can't wait for the election to be over!" I commented then and I'll say it now: Elections never end.

Mayor Garcia is going to have to resign to seek higher office. That means we now welcome Mayor Carson for the next few months...this didn't just happen...it happened back in November...because elections have consequences...not just the day of the election...but forever thereafter...

Mayor Carson...wow...in other news... there was a snowball fight in Hell...

Also, where are the Sunrail articles?? We used to get one a day when the train was free...haven't seen any articles other than police are posted to help avoid train crashes...How many people are riding Sunrail?



Vulgarities at Council Meetings:

Selective Enforcement



"Insider 17" and Mort IN:



5/21: City Council Workshop:

Citizen Allan Gochal from DeBary Diner drops the whole word "F***" not once but twice and the Council says nothing. They allowed it.

I stood up and said, in a loud voice, "I'm glad Mort Culligan didn't say that...I'm glad Mort Culligan didn't say that because you'd want to throw him out!"

Norm Erickson

More to follow...on this disgusting Twilight Zone incident...


Rudolph with my mind so bright...

Let me guide your site aright



Although Sunrail demolished a car and a person was sent to the hospital, the headline in the Sentinel is the train ran on time today - because so few people used it - Sunrail can't even handle taking just 1% of commuters off of I-4..



Will DeBary have to take over the Sunrail Station's costs? Bathrooms? Security? And if so, what will it cost?

Real Numbers...will we always have them? The Orlando Sentinel has the ridership numbers and prints them...will they do so a year from now when people are paying? I hope so. To take 1% of the commuters off of I-4, Sunrail would have to have 15,000 riders a day. The busiest day so far during the free period was 14,700 - almost 1%.

By Dan Tracy, Orlando Sentinel

May 14, 2014

SunRail has carried more than 95,000 passengers through Metro Orlando during its first nine days of operations.

No one paid for the rides, which remain free through Friday. The base one-way fare of $2 goes into effect Monday.

The $1.2 billion commuter train has averaged more than 10,500 riders a day, more than double the 4,300 SunRail officials had anticipated.

SunRail officials waived the fare for its first 12 days as a way to generate interest in Central Florida's first fixed-rail mass transit system.

Friday was the busiest day, with more than 14,700 riders. The lowest ridership was Monday, May 5, when more than 8,500 boarded the trains.



An excellent Powerpoint on the widening of I-4 and the DeBary Bayou by FDOT. There are 1.5 million commuters on I-4 per day.

Using Sunrail's own numbers of projecting 4300 riders per day, Sunrail would reduce congestion by less than half of 1 percent (15,000 is 1% of 1.5 million). Even if we double Sunrail's desire and projection to 8600 people a day, that is just a little over half of 1 percent of commuters being taken off the roads for 1.2 billion dollars.

This is why we did Sunrail initially: congestion. But is taking less than half of one percent or even slightly more than half of one percent of the commuters off the road success? Regardless, the bills will come due and this is the cheapest it will ever be. DeBary might be asked to take over the station and its costs...



Councilmember Dwyer’s Issue with Ethics

Click here to read POP Editorials


Didn't think he'd join the party?

Then you don't know Jack...

3 Primaries -

Over before it starts?

2014 Candidates thus far - Primary for Seats 3, 4 and 5 will be Tuesday, August 26th...

Seat 3:

Mike Brady

Ashleigh Hart

Marshall Lee

Seat 4:

Lita Handy-Peters

Kenny Knapp

Dawn Pizzo

Seat 5:

Clint Johnson

Jack Lenzen

Danny Tillis


Walmart coming to DeBary:

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market stores are generally about 40,000 square feet in size, roughly one-third the size of the retailer’s Supercenter stores. Neighborhood Markets stores typically employ 95 workers and are focused on groceries, but also carry an assortment of general merchandise items.

The company is looking to develop a shopping center in south DeLand featuring a 42,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market and 16,000 square feet of additional commercial space for other tenants on a vacant lot at the corner of Woodland Boulevard (U.S. 17-92) and Beresford Avenue. The lot is currently used as a flea market each weekend.

DeBary would see a similar shopping center at the corner of U.S. 17-92 and Pine Meadow Drive, but with 14,000 square feet of commercial space alongside the market, as well as two outparcels — one about 1.5 acres and the other about 1.8 acres. The land is owned by the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA.

SUNRAIL: Steve Olson is a rep from FDOT -

SunRail started with an expectation of 4,300 daily boardings, Olson said. Instead, the train averaged 9,916 boardings in its first four days.

Olson said riders during the next seven days of free rides, ending May 16, should expect more of the same (delays).

“During this free service period, customers are advised that conditions aboard the trains will be crowded with standing room only,” he stated in the news release.

Norm: So, at least Olson is honest enough to admit that not this many people will be riding Sunrail once the free period is over. Of course, given that we’ve spent 1.2 billion dollars building it, the word “free” that’s being bandied about isn't exactly accurate. Now that Sunrail is here and the bills are coming due, Debary needs to be pro-commercial growth. DeBary needs to let developers and land owners know that "Yes" is what they will hear when they want to develop their business in DeBary. What that will do to the residential-bedroom community in our City, I do not know.

Sunrail hits landscape trailer...no one hurt...



City Council Meeting on May 7th at 7PM:

Update on I-4 Widening and Update on DeBary Bayou by Frank O'Dea from FDOT

Stormwater Assessment Study Proposal

Amending Glen Abbey PUD to allow additional uses



The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that 10,000 people used Sunrail today.

Sunrail is a success!!

Too Successful? So, don't be this successful when the free rides end? So the "excitement and wanting to be a part of it" will eventually die out and we'll be left with...empty trains? It's been a fun first day reading all of the coverage...something tells me that, in time, the newspapers will rail against it...build it up...tear it down...no weekend service but the County is already wanting to spend 2.5 million dollars for a study to extend service to Daytona Beach...

From the Sentinel...

SunRail fell as much as an hour behind schedule beginning in late morning. That's when SunRail switched from the peak morning service of every 30 minutes to every two hours and pulled back four of its five trains for maintenance.

Passenger load was expected to fall, but people kept boarding the train, leading to delays at every one of the 12 stops along the 31.5-mile route

SunRail officials blamed the backup on the crowds wanting to be a part of the excitement of opening day. Conductors, they said, were losing time helping people unfamiliar with trains on and off the cars.

This is the cheapest it will ever be...

$unrail...it will take time...

The all time quote about rail supporters from Houston's Mayor Lanier:

“First they say, `It's cheaper.'  When you show it costs more, they say, ` It's faster.'  When you show it's slower, they say, `It serves more riders.'  When you show there are fewer riders, they say, `It brings economic development.'  When you show no economic development, they say, `It helps the image.'  When you say you don't want to spend that much money on image, they say, `It will solve the pollution problem.' 

When you show it won't help pollution, they say, finally, `It will take time. You’ll see.”

Bob Lanier, before becoming Mayor of Houston

quoted in Houston Metropolitan Magazine, 

November 1990, page 49.