By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
James "Jim" Hathaway has been on the New Smyrna Beach City Commission since 1994. He wants to represent southeast Volusia on the county council now.
"I believe I can bring a lot of experience to the Volusia County Council," he said. "I think I've done a good job in New Smyrna Beach, and I think I can take that experience to DeLand for the rest of the county."
DeLand is Volusia's seat, and where the county council meets twice a month.
Mr. Hathaway is a New Smyrna native, and president of the Volusia League of Cities. Additionally, he's a member of the Florida League of Cities Board of Directors. The 59-year-old graduated from New Smyrna Beach High School, and headed to Stetson University, where he studied business management.
After college, Mr. Hathaway got into his family's grocery business until 1990. He's now owns the Pepperidge Farms franchise for the New Smyrna area. Mr. Hathaway said his combination of public service and small business management help him understand how the county council can foster the local economy.
"The taxation issue is a problem and that affects jobs and growth in Volusia County," he said. "I'll look at the millage rate and see how we can reduce the millage rate and government."
Additionally, Mr. Hathaway said, if elected, he'll press for the county council to follow New Smyrna in an economic-development effort.
"New Smyrna Beach, we reduce the impact fees on industrial and commercial, but not on residence," he said. "I'd propose the same thing in Volusia County for two years, and see how it's working. See if we're generating the commercial business we're looking for."
Mr. Hathaway and his wife, Paula, have four adult children. Three live in the area. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve as an officer in the quartermaster corps. While the county council is non-partisan, he's a lifelong Democrat.
Mr. Hathaway said he's supportive of the county council's recent move to allow municipalities to provide ambulance services. The county is currently allowing the cities of Edgewater and Ponce Inlet to transport patients as part of a pilot program. Mr. Hathaway said he'll advocate looking for other things the county can shift to cities.
"I'm a strong believer in home rule," he said. "I feel cities should choose their own direction."
His campaign website is www.jimhathaway.com. The phone number is (386) 689-0255.