By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
While Doug Daniels has never held an elected office, he's helped shape Volusia County. The Daytona Beach attorney helped write the most recent County Charter amendments.
Mr. Daniels is now running for the Volusia County Council District 4 seat, central east Volusia. He said, if elected, he'll use the council seat to urge more talking in the county. The attorney said that as the county reels from the housing collapse, it's often stood in its own way for local recovery.
"What's held Volusia County back all these years is the divisions," he said. "The east versus west division, and the divisions between the political entities and divisions in the business interests. While that's mildly tolerable in good times, we're not in good times."
He said, "I have worked with county government and city government for 20 years. There's a resistance to sitting down and talking."
Mr. Daniels said there are a few things the county council needs to do to attract more and better-paying jobs to the area.
"The tax rates are pretty high," he said. "One way to reduce the tax rates is to get the economy going."
He said during economic recoveries and boons, governments can more easily reduce taxes, because properties are worth more, and ownership more widespread. However, Mr. Daniels said that to attract business governments need to reduce their taxes first.
Another draw for business, Mr. Daniels said, is quality of life.
"We have to protect Volusia County's environment," he said. "That's one of the draws for the economy to attract high-wage jobs."
Additionally, Mr. Daniels said that, if elected, he'll advocate gearing the Daytona Beach International Airport toward being an aeronautics-industry park.
"You've got Embry-Riddle (Aeronautical University)," he said. "You've got the business incubator out there. You've got a 10,000-foot runway, which not many do. You've got a lot of vacant land. And you've got a lot of engineers around here."
The 59-year-old is a Florida native. He lives in Daytona Beach with his wife, Angela. They have four adult daughters. Three live in the area, one out of area. While the county council is non-partisan, Mr. Daniels is a Democrat. However, he said his voting record is independent, and he dislikes political partisanship.
The campaign phone number is (386) 255-8118.