• Charles I. Guarria

Volusia County Council Candidates

Updated: Feb 15


Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/CountyOfVolusia

Hi all and welcome to my first blog! In my next blog I will explain who I am. For now, click here to see a 40 second clip of who am I. #24601


As a freelance writer I occasionally get caught between all the good information my subject(s) provide and the number of words I am held to by the place that pays me.

Like anywhere else in the print world space is limited.


But not here.


One such recent case was when I communicated with each candidate for Volusia County Council.

The election is in November. Danny Fuqua, Heather Post and Chase Tramont begin campaigning or announced campaigns last year. If it’s not too early for them, then it is not too early for us.


What follows are their unabridged answers. Sometimes it’s their writings from a reply email, sometimes it’s my notes from the conversation I had with them. Every time it is unvarnished.



You will discover who they are, where they’ve been, and what they would like to do for you.


At Large

Jake Johansson

Mr. Johansson is the founder of Core Concept Leadership, a company that coaches workers into leaders, better speakers and provides organizational consulting. Mr. Johansson was Port Orange’s city manager from August 2015 to December 2020 when he stepped down, “to concentrate on my family, my health, and explore new opportunities.”


Why do you want to run

There are many issues that need or have attention in the county that interest me. I am motivated by action not by rhetoric and posturing. I am running to get things done and not to look for time in front of the camera or in the spotlight. I am a humble servant leader motivated to do what I can to gather people together not pull them apart.

Your three big issues

1. Understanding the citizens expectation for and managing responsible smart growth and balancing environmental concerns with that growth. I believe in private property owner rights and I also want to ensure we follow the county comprehensive plan to include considerations for variances when it makes sense for the county.

2. Ensure government knows we work for the citizens and ensure citizens know we work for them as a collective body. Our actions on this council must transcend our lives and will be felt for years to come - we need to think ahead strategically. The government closest to the people is the most responsive. As an elected official I will ensure I spend the time to understand all sides of an issue and also to let people know why I voted the way I did on issues of interest.

3. Affordable Housing. This is an issue that has been talked about for the years I have lived here yet not much has been accomplished. I opine that there are some assumptions regarding affordable housing out there that need to be discussed and maybe even challenged before we move forward but we need to move forward quickly.


What is your biggest success

Other than my family (3 great sons) I think my biggest success was my command of a P-3 Orion squadron. We deployed to a war torn section of Iraq for seven months, flew over 5000 combat hours and came home without any death or serious injury. Looking back at the teamwork and coordination of over 600 sailors is one of my proudest moments.


How do you spend your down time

For the 35 ½ years I was in the Navy I didn’t have much down time but did take a few opportunities to enjoy fly fishing, a hobby I enjoy. When we moved to Florida in 2015 I picked up Beer Brewing and sports car racing. I also have been spending a lot of time on the Soccer and Baseball stands where my two youngest sons play for Spruce Creek.


Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign

Please see: https://www.facebook.com/jake.johansson.73


Heather Post

Ms. Post is the Volusia County District 4 incumbent. She announced last year she will run for the At-Large seat. Ms. Post is a speaker and instructor who retired from a career in law enforcement that included being an officer and detective.


What is your motivation to run

Through my work in District 4, it’s become clear that the needs of the district are not isolated to the northeast section of the county. I’m excited to pursue the opportunity to support and positively impact the daily lives of all Volusians. People feel comfortable reaching out to me and are confident I will find a solution so I am often approached to help while I am out and about in the county. Rather than limit my impact to d4 and those people who have reached out outside of d4 I am excited at the prospect of continuing to serve all Volusians directly. Over the last 5 years I have become known throughout Volusia County as “the fixer”, focused on “People. Not Politics”. I get from point A to point B and accept nothing less than accomplishing a mission and effecting positive change. THIS is my motivation for running. It is not to seek higher office or to be around the popular or the powerful. I have proven this motivation time and time again in my current role. My heart won’t let me walk away from this momentum of impactfulness on the daily lives of citizens.


Your three big issues

1. Veteran’s affairs – I worked hard to get our County Veterans Division expanded and provide for additional resources.

2. Public protection – I have tenaciously fought to provide our professionals in public protection with every opportunity for success in service to the community, including the leadership, resources and tools to do their jobs effectively.

3. Ensuring that the citizens have the best access to the highest quality county services possible – I have diligently sought accountability and a willingness to adapt to changing times and “out of the box” thinking from our many county divisions while consistently supporting the individual and communitywide needs of the citizens. I have knowingly and willingly become known as the fixer not only in d4 but countywide for both smaller, individual council issues and countywide issues. One sweeping example of this was my focus on getting funds directly in the hands of those persons and businesses who needed it as COVID set in.


What is your biggest success

I have proven time and time again in my role that I am strong enough to stand firm in my beliefs and have consistently made decisions and based my actions on what is best for the welfare of the people...not political favor or power. Just a few of the many examples are the removal of a negligent former county manager to assessing and rebooting various county divisions wherein there appeared to be little to no accountability that was terribly detriment to the citizens or employees. During my last two-terms in office, I have been the “voice” for many who have long been ignored or disregarded, from employees to community volunteers and partners, from homeowners to business owners, to environmentalists and more. I stand for the boots-on-the-ground citizens here and am proud to represent.


How do you spend your down time

I routinely volunteer my time with children in local schools/organizations and I like to spend quiet time with my wonderful husband and our friends. I love to read and learn new things (I firmly believe you can never stop learning). I enjoy being outdoors enjoying all of Volusia’s natural beauty including our beaches and parks.


Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign?

I am proud to have been appointed to represent over 40,000 US county commissioners in my roles as Chair and Vice Chair of the National Association of Counties’ Veterans & Military Services Committee and also the Courts & Corrections Committee for the last 3 years. I was also recently appointed to serve on the Florida Association of Counties Preemption Committee, working to bring more of the decisions affecting our local communities back to the local level. My collaborations on various local, state and national committees and projects have had an impactful return on our community that I am very proud of.

https://www.facebook.com/PublicFigureHeatherPost/


District 1

Wallace Bailey

Mr. Baily owns Gator Family Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Deland. Prior to that he worked for underground utilities and marine construction companies.


What is your motivation to run

I see the need to represent my neighbors and fellow citizens and let their voices be heard. I feel it's an honor to continue my public service to our community.

Your three big issues

1. Number one is to stop the clear cutting of our natural habitat. Not only is it displacing wildlife, but the overdevelopment will likely cause flooding in other areas and the population growth will contribute to our already congested highways.

2. Number two is keeping taxes low. My plan is to ask all county departments to trim waste and look for cost cutting alternatives. Chair Brower has also introduced several alternative revenue streams that could quite possibly help small businesses. I would like to work together to expand on those ideas.

3. Number three, there is an obvious problem with bullying and violence in our school system. I hear of altercations and fights day after day. I plan to work with the school board, parents, the Sherriff's Office and other agencies to develop and implement programs to keep our schools a safe learning environment as they should be.


What is your biggest success

Is my thirteen years as a public servant keeping Volusia County Beautiful holding violators of littering and illegal dumping responsible as a Solid Waste Compliance Officer.


How do you spend your down time

When I take one uniform off, I put another on as the Owner/Instructor at Gator Family Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For nine years I have been teaching Self Defense and competition Jiu-Jitsu for kids, Teens and Adults in West Volusia.


Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign?

I am planning numerous events throughout District One in the upcoming year and look forward to meeting everyone to learn more about your issues and solutions. To learn more about me and upcoming events please visit

https://www.wallacebailey.com/

Barbara Girtman

Ms. Girtman is the incumbent. She is a realtor at Bee Realty Corp. She also works as a consultant for Ancillary Payer Contracting and G-Team Enterprises.


Why do you want to run

I am Interested in being re-elected because I think people deserve someone with independent thought and a balanced approached.

Your three big issues

1. Quality of life

2. Work for great collaboration within Volusia.

3. Transportation


What is your biggest success

I would say, one of my biggest successes has been being an independent voice on the dias.


How do you spend your downtime

Being a wife, grand mom, dog mom, traveling,

Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign

Please see https://barbgirtman.com/


District 2

Danny Fuqua

Mr. Fuqua is a 29-year Army veteran who has lived 32-plus years in Volusia County. He graduated from Liberty University with bachelor’s and master's degrees in business administration.


What is your motivation to run?

My motivation to run is my family. I am happily married to my lovely wife, Muriel Fuqua. We have two children and three beautiful grandchildren. I am committed to seeing my grandchildren and other children in this community receive the quality of life they deserve.


Your three big issues:

1. Infrastructure

2. Development

3. Quality of Life


What is your biggest success?

My biggest success is my children. Both are successful adults.


How do you spend your down time?

I enjoy flying, spending time with my church, and serving my community.

Is there anything else you want our us to know about you or your campaign?

Readers should know that I am committed to the people of Volusia County, and I will do all that I can to protect this community, just as I did in the United States military, for over 29 years. https://www.facebook.com/danny.fuqua1

Chase Tramont

Mr. Tramont is a business development manager for DME Delivers. He currently serves on the Port Orange City Council.

What is your motivation to run

My motivation to run is to bring a much-needed level of trust into government. People are tired of politicians who say whatever is needed just to get elected. They are wanting leaders who will be honest and not tell them one thing yet do something else. I have built my reputation as someone who says what I mean and mean what I say. You may not always agree with my positions, but you will always be able to trust what I say and that I will be fair, firm, and consistent.

Your three big issues

My three big issues, among many others, will be

1. To focus on curbing the irresponsible development while promoting responsible growth.

2. Getting government growth and spending under control to prevent future tax increases

3. Supporting our residents and small businesses by investing in our local infrastructure to include better traffic management and protection of our finite clean water supply and other natural resources.


What is your biggest success

In Port Orange, we have found a positive balance of growth and preservation. In my five years on council, we have never approved any rezoning requests that led to an increase in allowable density. I have and will continue to put our current residents first when it comes to decision making and protecting our quality of life.

How do you spend your down time

I've always been an athlete so any chance I get to be out on the basketball court again, I take it. And of course, I love playing with my kids and taking my wife on day-dates.

Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign

We have always run a grassroots campaign and this one will be no exception. I will continue to be transparent and accessible to anyone who wants to know where I stand on issues, just as I have for the last five years on the Port Orange Council. My direct cell is 386.589.1320. Call me anytime! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=55715825


Paul Zimmerman

In June Mr. Zimmerman will be retiring (not withdrawing from life) from a career as a social worker for the Volusia County Schools system. He is president for six years of Sons of the Beach, a pro-beach driving organization.


Why do you want to run

I love this community. My family has been in the areas for over 100 yrs. Great grandfather was buried in Pinewood cemetery. “This is my home; I love it I think we can do better And I think it is time for a change in how we control develop of our land.”

Your three big issues

1. “The way we develop property.” No consideration for the future on habitat, water, infrastructure. Overloading sewer system.

2. Water quality, in both the water ways and what we drink.

3. First reaction of Volusia County, first reax is to request a tax increase. Hold the line on taxes, curb wasteful spending.

4. Lack of transparency. Abdication of responsibility by politicians. Leaving staff to do it.

What is your biggest success

“Raising of a wonderful daughter and granddaughter. My family is my product personal accomplishment. Professionally, dedicating my life to the service of social work in the community. Focusing on children and family that struggle with mental health issues.


How do you spend your down time

Surfing for 60 years. Off-shore fishing. Taking new dog to dog park.


Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign

Please see https://www.paulzimmerman.info/


District 3

Danny Robins is the incumbent. He is running unopposed. Mr. Robbins worked for the Daytona Beach police department until work related injuries forced him into early retirement. Since retiring from the police department he became owner in his families sporting goods business.


Why do you want to run

Same as last time. We went into this making no promises. Very rewarding feeling to serve the public. It’s an opportunity to be in the driver’s seat along the way and apply them at a greater level. Success business experience, budgeting experience, knowing how to save experience, show the public what I learned and put that back into the community. Not saying my way is the right way or long way but it is like sitting on your daddy’s lap listening to stories you can learn things. It is an enjoyable experience to have this opportunity again.


Your three big issues

1. Accessibility. People couldn’t get in touch coming from the private sector, I know how it is. People don’t want excuses. They want what they pay for as a taxpayer. They weren’t getting service or results. “I understand it firsthand”

2. Our law enforcement our first responders, I’ve walked in those boots, I’ve put on that polyester. I get it. I have a really good idea of where we can improve, get up to date, B. better pay, signing bonuses for evac, singing bonuses for correction officers. A. Our first responders are one of my biggest focuses. “Quality of life starts with our first responders.”

3. It goes back to sporting goods company and being an outdoorsman. Out on Lagoons and water quality. I spent half my life on that lagoon. There is a lot of room for improvement. Near and dear to my heart. If not the number one. “Protect it the best we can” great opp. to be in the driver seat and actually get results.”


What is your biggest success

Shying away from naming a biggest as the Volusia County Council is a team effort, he did mention anything the VCC does to improve the budget, improve or continue to fund first responders, improve water quality. He also mentioned his son. ‘I don’t know if there is a biggest. I don’t like the word I. This is a team effort (VCC) if it improves budgets, how we do things, if it improves/continues to fund first responders. Same for water quality.


How do you spend your down time

This has been a life changing experience. I am no stranger to a tight schedule. Always a battle to stay on top of things. Spending time with his seven-year-old son, fishing, four-wheeling, never a dull moment.


Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign

Please see https://www.facebook.com/marcusrob16


District 4

This seat became open with the announcement by incumbent Ms. Heather Post that she will be running for the at large seat.


Rob Littleton

Mr. Littleton is currently the Ormond Beach City Commissioner. Is the owner of Go Ormond! an education company for high school students that specializes in the subject areas of mathematics and accounting.


What is your motivation to run

I love Volusia County and want to make it the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I’m tired of Volusia County being the afterthought of the I-4 corridor.


Your three big issues

My campaign will focus on the local issues that people are talking about

1. Growth and how to manage it,

2. S.M.A.R.T. budgeting with low taxes

3. Fully funding law enforcement.


What is your biggest success

Raising a family in this crazy day and age.

How do you spend your down time

Fishing with my son and enjoying the outdoors with my family. I also volunteer at my church occasionally.


Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign

Over the next several months, I will be unveiling policy proposals for each issue. I will then back that up with examples from my public or private life and my voting record on the Ormond Beach City Commission to show that I have the experience to get things done if I am lucky enough to be elected by the residents of District 4


Ken Smith

Mr. Smith is the owner of Wall-Y-World Gallery.

What is your motivation to run I’m afraid of developments like Avalon Park, I feel strongly that they will ruin our quality of life. Our wetlands need protection, and we need to reinstate the wetland rules in Volusia County. I feel strongly that the residents of Volusia need a voice, and someone who will listen to them over the developers.


Your three big issues

1. Overdevelopment

2. We need to roll back taxes

3. Have more transparency


What is your biggest success

I’m extremely fortunate to have found my wife Janice, she is just amazing, other than that I really enjoy my work as a picture framer at my gallery Wall-Y-World, every day I get to help customers preserve their important family memories.


How do you spend your down time

I enjoy shooting sporting clays and driving my antique car. I’m a big history and space/NASA nerd so I love to learn and spread that knowledge to anyone that will listen.


Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you or your campaign

I’m extremely proud to be endorsed by both Chairman Jeff Brower and Councilwoman Heather Post. My website should be up and running soon www.4kensmith.com and for any events you can also find me on Facebook.


District 5

Victor Ramos

Mr. Ramos served as Deltona’s Vice-Mayor in 2019-20. He worked for 20 years in education teaching ESE, ESL, and GED, has been a student dean and Student Development Advisor. Currently he is Chief Executive Officer at Mid-Florida Housing Partnership, Inc., with a focus on affordable homeownership for Volusia and Flagler Counties.

Why do you want to run

I believe with my wide perspective through community organizations I can connect segments of our community.

Your three big issues:

1. Quality of Life (bike trails and parks, recreation) sustainable communities for homeownerships

2. Small business, it’s important that the small businesses on west side are successful. That can get done be working through the county and chambers of commerce.

3. Infrastructure. Water Quality.


What is your biggest success

“I think sitting on the dias becomes a group effort. As an advocate for parks and recreation it’s great to see how it’s evolved.” Providing a balanced budget. “It’s a team effort.”

How do you spend your down time

Volunteer for non-profit, avid bike rider, longest bike ride 75 miles, loves playing dominoes.

Is there anything else you want us to know about you or your campaign

I look forward for the opportunity to speak to residents, one on one, to get to know them better.

David Sosa

Mr. Sosa is currently serves as a Deltona City Commissioner for District Six. He is the owner/operator at Sosa Martial Arts.


Why do you want to run

To represent the residents of Volusia County


Your three big issues

1. Represent the residents of Volusia County.

2. Fiscal Responsibility

3. Responsible growth


What is your biggest success

Raising my son, (being) a small business owner.

How do you spend your down time

I am fortunate to be able to mentor our youth at my karate studio as well as local elementary schools. My ultimate goal is to have a positive impact on a child’s future.


Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you or your campaign

I had a successful Boxing / Kick-Boxing career

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