By Erika Webb
Anthony T. Bellizio has replaced Fred Lowry Jr. on the Deltona City Commission.
At a special meeting July 7, commissioners ranked the candidates, choosing Mr. Bellizio over four others to serve as interim commissioner.
Commissioner Bellizio, 31, an information specialist for University of Central Florida Foundation who is working toward a master's degree in public administration, was selected for the District 5 seat over applicants Michael Kerns, Frank Doglione, David McKnight and William Maxwell by the six-member commission.
He will serve for the next four months until a new commissioner to represent District 5 is elected in November.
Commissioner Bellizio is not running in the general election. Brian David Soukup and Victor Ramos are candidates for Deltona's seat 5.
"I primarily applied for the position for the appointment because it's temporary," Commissioner Bellizio said after being sworn in.
Surprised and honored to be chosen he told commissioners "temporary" is a term he wants to emphasize.
"Eventually I want to give the city a mission, an option, an individual who has no ties to the city whatsoever," Commissioner Bellizio said.
He has never held an office, nor is it an aspiration, the commissioner explained in a phone interview.
Mr. Soukup and Mr. Ramos will not be vying with him in the fall.
"They've absolutely earned the right to run," he said. "They went through the process."
"One of those two is the deserving candidate, not the interim," Commissioner Bellizio added.
For now, he wants to use his education, experience and skills to aid the city and help the elected individual learn the position.
Mr. Lowry resigned in June after moving from Deltona to Enterprise. He held the District 5 seat since 2010.
However, he plans to run for another District 5 seat -- on the Volusia County Council -- in November.
The District 5 seat is held by Councilwoman Pat Northey, who is running against Councilwoman Joyce Cusack for the at-large seat. Deltona Commissioner Webster Barnaby also is a candidate.
Mr. Lowry will run against Rich Gailey of DeBary and former Councilman Phil Giorno, of Deltona for the District 5 seat.
"You get baptism by fire in the budget Thursday," Mayor John Masiarczyk told Commissioner Bellizio.
The new commissioner said his are the goals of Deltona individuals, who work, attend school, take care of children and take care of their houses.
"The best approach for me is to ensure that I am educated in every issue as much as possible," he said.
"It will be no issue for me to fulfill this duty," Commissioner Bellizio said.
He was Commissioner Chris Nabicht's first choice.
"He's a home grown boy," Commissioner Nabicht said in a phone interview. "He's from Pine Ridge High School. He has great credentials as far as education and he's never been involved in the political arena so I didn't feel like he has preconceived ideas."
"He seemed like a level-headed young man," Commissioner Nabicht said.
Commissioner Zenaida Denizac, who teaches Spanish at Pine Ridge High School, reminded her former student that he is now "not Anthony."
"You are Commissioner Bellizio," she said. "I welcome you."