Headline Surfer photos and video by Henry Frederick / Click the video for The Sunday Conversation with County Council member Joshua Wagner, shown here.
DAYTONA BEACH -- Volusia County Councilman Joshua Wagner was a strong proponent of the new fiscal budget of $701 million and was pleased to see bipartisan support for it. He tackled the tough questions in Headline Surfer's online video news show, "The Sunday Conversation."
In the interview, Wagner addresses and defends a nearly 10-percent increase in the general fund (the part that provides for county government services under the control of the County Council), while the larger overall budget showed a slight decrease in taxes.
And because of that, Wagner said a 2 percent raise for county employees was justified with the $2426 million general fund.
The $242.6 million general-fund rate approved in a 5-2 vote by the Volusia County Council on Sept. 26, requires $6.32 per $1,000 of taxable value. That's a nearly 10% increase over the rolled-back rate. With the new rate, the owner of a $125,000 home with $50,000 in exemptions would pay $474, compared to $441 under the previous fiscal year's $5.88 rate. However, with decreases in the overall operating budget, the increase is almost negliable.
Though the council positions are technically non-partisan, Wagner was especially pleased that two registered Republicans, County Chair Jason Davis of Edgewater and Pat Patterson of DeLand voted with Wagner and fellow Democrats Joyce Cusack, the at-large member from DeLand, and Pat Northey of Deltona.
Democrat Doug Daniels of Ormond Beach voted against it because he wanted a long-range spending plan included. Republican Deb Denys of New Smyrna Beach, also voted against the budget, saying she didn't want to see a spending increase, though she didn't offer a single cut from the dais.
RESUME: Joshua J. Wagner
Photo for Headline Surfer / Volusia County Councilman Joshua J. Wagner is shown here with his wife, Jennifer, and their two small children, after a swearing-in ceremony in council chambers back in January to begin his second 4-year term as the district 2 rep. for greater Daytona Beach.
Career: Re-elected to second 4-year-term on Volusia County (dist. 2 greater Daytona Beach) and a practicing attorney for 7-plus years.
Family: Married to Jennifer Hall Wagner, two small children.
Employment: Doran, Sims, Wolfe & Kundid Daytona Beach, Florida Partner, January 2013 to present, focusing on all facets of business law.
Past Employment: Law Office of Joshua J. Wagner Daytona Beach, Florida Managing Partner: January to December 2012, Focused on business law and litigation; Bundza, Wagner & Rodriguez Daytona Beach, partner February 2007 to December 2011, focused on business law, litigation & escrow management; Office of State Attorney, Daytona Beach, assistant state attorney: May 2005 to January 2007, moved up from misdemeanor to felony & sex crimes specialty dockets.
Professional Associations: The Florida Bar, 2005; The Volusia County Bar Association, 2005; United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2009; Dunn-Blount Inn of American Inns of Court, 2007-2012; Florida Bar Journal & News Editorial Board, 2007-2010.
Education: Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Juris Doctor, December 2004;
University of Florida in Gainesville, Bachelor of Science, December 2000.
Appointments: (date when started): Democratic Executive Committee, campaign subcommittee chair, 2013; Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board, chair, 2013; Veterans Memorial Bridge Technical Committee, chair, 2013; Liaison Panel Member for State Forests located in Volusia County, 2013; Volusia County Public Safety Coordinating Council, chair, 2012; Florida Model Jail Standards (Florida Association of Counties Rep.), 2012; DUI Court Steering Committee 2011; Volusia County Transportation Planning Organization, 2009; Correctional Intervention Advisory Council, 2009; Wilbur by the Sea Building Management Committee, 2009; Substance Abuse Policy Advisory Board, 2009-2011; Halifax Historical Society Board, 2011; Drug Court Steering Committee, 2009.
Memberships: Indian River Lagoon Counties Collaborative, 2013; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 2012; The Heritage Preservation Trust, 2010; Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Association, 2008; Daytona Beach Young Professionals Group, 2008; Volusia County Gator Club, 2005; Museum of Arts and Sciences, 2008-2011; Quarterback Club, 2008-2011. University of Florida Alumni Association, 2005.
Headline Surfer videos produced by Multimedia Editor Serafina Frederick / County Councilman Joshua Wagner squared off in a public candidate debate in the Port Orange City Council chambers against challenger Nancy Epps of Ponce Inlet last year, just weeks before winning a second four-year term representing greater Daytona Beach. It was one of 15 public candidate debates moderated and sponsored by Headline Surfer prior to the November elections.