Candidates for the District 1 City Council seat shared their reasons why you should vote for them by April 30 at Riverwalk Pavilion in Port Orange Tuesday evening.
The Port Orange-South Daytona Chamber of Commerce sponsored a Meet the Candidates reception at Riverwalk Pavilion at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2. Candidates for the District 1 City Council seat, vacated by the late Bob Ford, set up their campaign signs at tables around the room.
Each candidate gave a brief talk about who they are and what they would bring to city council should they be elected.
Marilyn Ford, wife of the late Bob Ford, said she decided to run for the District 1 seat because of her love of the community, but also because of her ability to bring many skills to the position. She is newly retired from being the director of the Volusia County Jail, where she managed a $30 million budget and a staff of 300 people. She said she is familiar with government systems and budgets.
Ford said is concerned about infrastructure, but also about the city's parks and recreation facilities, making sure Port Orange stays family friendly and supporting small businesses, especially when they want to expand.
“I really believe Port Orange, our best days are ahead, as long as we think about what we are doing, that we do it carefully, thoughtfully, and certainly with your input,” Ford said.
Savannah Weaver is a native Floridian who was born in Daytona Beach. She grew up in Edgewater and lived there until she moved to Port Orange in 2005. Her background is in culinary management. Weaver took a step back from her career to raise her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
Weaver said she decided to run for City Council because of her interest for community service. She has been surveying the needs of the community.
“Conservation of our land, along with balance of development, has been a top voiced improvement, along with smart solutions to our traffic, improvements to our infrastructure, maintaining our high quality of public service and preserving our family friendly atmosphere,” Weaver said, “Along with holding our government accountable for how our tax money is spent."
Weaver encouraged residents to vote no on the proposed half-cent sales tax increase.
Lee Barreiro was born in Tampa. He is the grandson of Spanish and Cuban immigrants who came to this country to work in the cigar industry. His parents were also born in Tampa and were cigar makers. Barreiro has two children and one grandson.
Barreiro said he believes he is the best candidate for the City Council position because he has a strong desire to serve the community. Barreiro said his background in both environmental engineering and nursing, with an emphasis on leadership skills, would bring a wealth of experience to the City Council position.
Barreiro has shared his skills with several volunteer organizations. In Tampa, he volunteered at the Veterans Administration nursing home, where he helped feed veterans and take them on excursions. When he moved to Daytona, he continued volunteering at the VA clinic. After he obtained his nursing degree, he volunteered at Halifax Hospice Center and taught nursing. Currently, Barreiro volunteers at the Jesus Clinic in Daytona Beach.
“I have the time," Barreiro said. "I have the desire to continue serving our community as a member of the Port Orange City Council."
Jonathan Foley said he decided to run for City Council because of his love for people. He is a musician who learned that he could make people forget about their worries for an hour or two. He started thinking about the bigger picture.
Foley moved to Port Orange when he was 4 years old. He played sports through the community programs, which taught him team work, and how to cooperate for the same goals. He said he would bring those lessons to city council.
He also talked about his father teaching him the importance of helping people. Foley helped to feed the hungry through his father’s church. He gave free music lessons to children.
Foley said that he understands the concerns about traffic and flooding. He said he believes Port Orange is a great city.
“At the end of the day, the one thing I want you all to take away from me and my speech is that I’m an honest guy," Foley said. "I’m gonna tell you the truth, and I’m gonna work hard for the city.”
Paul Rozar, a native Floridian who grew up in Tallahassee and raised his children in Port Orange, said he is running for City Council to keep family values at the forefront.
Having come to Port Orange on a Ford scholarship signed by Edsel Ford, Rozar worked his way up in dealerships from washing cars, and then became service manager for the entire dealership. He said his greatest priority was taking care of his employees. Rozar said he would make incentives for people and small businesses to keep them in the community.
Rozar said we are "Port Orange proud," and wants to maintain that quality of life. He disapproves of the parks and recreation fee increase, as he said he believes in the value of keeping children on the fields and out of the streets. He also is against the proposed half-cent sales tax.
“I want to keep everything very similar to how it is or to exceed our expectations," Rozar said. "I do not want to go backwards.”