110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted Nov 2, 2012 - 10:44:37am
I follow local elections closely. That is because I believe that our city and county governments probably have more impact on our daily lives than higher levels.
I, and other voters, also have the opportunity (with a little effort) to get a true sense of local candidates. I have read all of the articles about our local political races that have appeared in The Beacon, studied the informative Beacon Voter's Guide and I have attended several candidate forums and debates.
In many local races the opposing candidates are fairly evenly matched. That is not the case, however, in the race for chair of the Volusia County Council.
I know one of the candidates personally, but even if I didn't, I would have quickly and easily come to the same conclusion. One candidate has prepared himself for the position for many years and is very qualified.
The other one comes across as waking up one day a few months ago and saying to himself, "I think I'd like to lead Volusia County." The "prepared" candidate, Carl Persis, has lived here for many decades. He was an educational leader — a Volusia school principal — for many years. He was also a city commissioner and mayor, and he has been a Volusia County Council member.
Those are strong qualifications for a position that is our highest local elective office. I believe that we need someone with his leadership skills, knowledge of our county and government experience to lead the council and our county.
I believe the role of chair of the council is very similar to that of a mayor of a city. The chair guides the council, and is the face of the county and serves as our lead representative in negotiations, discussions and meetings with other levels of government.
He is also the point person in trying to recruit companies and factories to locate here.
I'm uncomfortable about having someone who hasn't been here very long, who doesn't have a record of significant personal professional achievements, and who has no governing experience — trying to lead the council and our county. Those are the reasons I strongly support Carl Persis for Volusia County chair.
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