By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
Stony Sixma is a familiar name to most West Volusians. Folks know his name because of his window tinting business, or because of his real estate business. If they don't know him because of either of those, they do because he's a published musician who plays at area venues.
Now Mr. Sixma wants folks to know his name for being a Volusia County Council member. He's running for the District 5 seat that covers southwest Volusia. Mr. Sixma said he believes the county budget inflated far beyond its needed size when area property values were rapidly increasing, and it hasn't adjusted downward to match declining property values since the so-called housing bust.
"I don't want to see it going the direction it's going - we're going bankrupt," he said. "We've got to stop crazy spending."
While he's never held elected office, the 53-year-old has served on the county's Planning and Land Development Regulation Commission since 2003.
"I learned a lot on that board," he said.
Additionally, Mr. Sixma served on a Deltona Parks & Recreation board, and the Four Townes Family YMCA board of directors.
Mr. Sixma said the formula for reducing the county budget is straightforward: spend less for luxuries.
"I know from business that when money's not coming in, you've got to cut back," he said. "You've got to look and say, 'What can I cut back?' Government never did."
However, Mr. Sixma said spending on economic-development is a necessity, not a luxury.
"Jobs, definitely," he said. "It's alarming to me how many people have to leave our cities and go to (work in) Orange or Seminole counties."
He said that something the county could do to produce more jobs that would cost nothing is reduce land-use red tape. Mr. Sixma said the protracted progress at the Southwest Activity Center is an example. The center is an 1800-acre commercial center at the intersection of Interstate 4 and State Road 472. After about 20 years, it's still largely undeveloped.
"I really want to get all that built out nice, like Heathrow," Mr. Sixma said.
He lives in Deltona with his wife, Yvonne. The couple has an adult son who lives in the area. Mr. Sixma studied music at Daytona Beach Community College, now Daytona State College. While the county council is non-partisan, Mr. Sixma is a converted Republican.
His campaign website is www.votesixma.com. The phone is (386) 848-1147.