State of the County Address: Jason Davis no debonair Frank Bruno, nor does he want to be

County Chair Jason Davis with Stan EscuderoHeadline Surfer videos produced by Multimedia Editor Serafina Frederick / Then-County Chair Frank Bruno gives his 'State of the County' address in 2012 at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.

Headline Surfer photo by Henry Frederick / Jason Davis, shown here standing with former Volusia County Republican Executive Committee Chair Stan Escudero at a function at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year honoring Embry-Riddle Aeeronautical University President John Johnson,  is preparing for his first address. 

DAYTONA BEACH -- It might be a tall order to expect Jsason Davis to deliver his first state of the county address Thursday with the glitz and the glamour that were the calling cards of his predecessor, Frank Bruno, Volusia's first elected county chair, for eight years before term limits forced him to exit stage left for the final time in 2012.

Bruno's final county address, as he was gearing up for a heated battle with State Rep. Dorothy Hukill for the newly-created dist. 8 State Senate seat, was favorably received by the mpredominantly movers and shakers and county support staff.

And while Hukill, the Port Orange Republican stalwart, prevailed in November over Bruno, few, if any of Davis' most ardent supporters could or would have predicted he'd romp in the November election with a 20,000 vote plurality over Democrat Carl Persis in the non-partisan election. 

So it could be a tall order to expect the new face of Volusia County government to come off as polished and debonair as Bruno. Davis, however, doesn't need to be, adding frankly, "I don't want to be."

So it could be a tall order to expect the new face of Volusia County government to come off as polished and debonair as Bruno. Davis, however, doesn't need to be, adding frankly, "I don't want to be."

Bruno often drew big crowds featuring the most prominent and powerful political and business leaders from across the Volusia County landscape to his prized Ocean Center with big projector screens as a backdrop with videos and graphics highlighting his achievements and those of his elected colleagues and senior administrators.

Davis, a cobat-wounded Iraq war vet who was awarded the Bronze Star, is doing his thing the old-fashioned way: boots on the ground with type-written speech in hand.

"Just the facts," he said, outlining areas that more than ever need special attention to detail: How to deal with getting a handle on spending, dealing with CRAs, Sun Rail, public safety, shortfalls in Votran and the unfunded liability in firefighter pensions, whether raises are possible for employees who haven't seen any in the last couple of years.

"I have it all ready to go," Davis told Headline Surfer late Tuesday evening in a phone call from his Edgewater home after attending a meeting between officials at New Smyrna Beach's Bert Fish Medical Center and Daytona's Halifax Health Hospital over a possible merger.

Jason Davis State of the County Chatter / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer snapshot graphic / If you want to attend Thursday's State of the County Address, the partriculars are detailed here at left.

Davis, who turned 51 on April 1, said nobody would be foolish enough to confuse him for Ben Afleck on stage at the Oscars when he gives his speech.

And nobody will confuse the locale, inside the aptly-named Frank T. Bruno County Council Chambers, minus the fancy meal that came with Bruno's private fundraising drives at the Ocean Center.

Volusia County political entourage / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer snapshot graphic / At left is County Chair Jason Davis' entourage.

And while Bruno called his elected colleages to the stage, Davis will further set his own course, sharing speech time with council elders who have preceeded him: At-large member Joyce Cusack of DeLand, Pat Northey of Deltona and Joshua Wager of Daytona Beach. Newcomers Deb Denys of New Smyrna Beach, Doug Daniels of Ormond Beach and Pat Patterson of DeLand, will be introduced.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.