By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
Pat Northey has been the District 5 Volusia County Council member since 2007, and she's asking voters to keep her in the seat. She said experience is important to keep on the council as the continuing housing-value bust keeps the county's budget heading downward.
"It's real easy to say, 'Let's cut taxes,' Ms. Northey said. "We've done that, but we've done it while maintaining service levels. That's the hard part."
Ms. Northey was on the county council from 1993 to 2004. She left to run for the Supervisor of Elections, and returned in '07. She said things the council has done to promote the local economy are starting to pay off, even if the results are dulled by a weak national economy.
"I think we're going to need to focus on an economic recovery creating good-paying jobs," she said. "We've put some things into place that I think are beginning to bear fruit."
One thing bearing fruit, she said, is the University of Central Florida Business Incubator at the Daytona Beach International Airport. The county council approved $750,000 for the program that opened a year ago. Eligible businesses are able to rent space and consult with incubator staff and mentors.
"We've got a full complement of small businesses we're incubating," Ms. Northey said. "We have a robust economic development program in Volusia County, and I'm very proud of them."
Ms. Northey said the incubator is one of many things the council has done recently to encourage the local economy.
"We've suspended impact fees temporarily to encourage construction," she said. "We've reduced taxes. Volusia County has been right sizing the budget for the last five years. I think we're poised for recovery for when recovery happens."
The 63-year-old relocated to Deltona from South Florida in 1974. She lives there with her husband, Ed. The couple have two adult sons. Both live in Ms. Northey's district. She joked that they're two votes she can count on.
Ms. Northey studied business management at Miami-Dade Junior College and Nova Southeastern University.
Her campaign website is www.patnorthey.com. The campaign's phone number is (386) 789-1021.