Daytona Beach owes 'thank you' to watchdog whose courage fighting corruption will be a lasting legacy

Ronald J. Bynum: May 7, 1959 - Dec. 2, 2013

News-Journal Center funding challenged in court by Ron Bynum of Daytona / Headline Surfer®Ron Bynum / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer photo / Ron Bynum, an activist and watchdog of local and county government, died Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, at the age of 54. Among his pursuits was legally challenging funding for the News-Journal Center, a project that became a debacle that resulted in the newspaper being sold in  federal-court supervised sale and more than half its 800 employees losing their jobs.  Here is a link to Bynum's challenge of government funding for the News-Journal Center now owned by Daytona State College: http://www.standdaytona.com/stand/Complaint.pdf.

 
By Greg Gimbert

Exclusively for Headline Surfer®

DAYTONA BEACH -- While the country was mourning another movie star, Volusia County lost a true local hero, Ron Bynum of Daytona Beach.

He was survived by a loving Wife and Daughter as well as 64,000 residents, most of whom never knew the work he did on their behalf.  

Bynum's primary business was that of a recruiter for the food industry as an expert in finding chemists and management. He was also a commercial land lord and local angel investor for small business start ups. But what really set him apart from other business leaders was his willingness to fight rather than turn a blind eye to government corruption and abuse of power at the local level.

Knowing an individual’s contributions can be limited he poured himself into educating and empowering those around him. His efforts came in many forms, first as a strategist who helped elect and then sometimes un-elect local politicians but he did not stop there.

In 2007, Bynum financed the STAND Daytona Charter Amendment Drive to limit land use changes and curb corruption at the Commission level.

STAND collected over 10,000 signatures from registered Daytona Beach voters to place the amendments on the ballot. Unfortunately, the effort died in court unable to maintain the appeals against the unlimited spending of Daytona Beach and County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall.

Politicians from throughout Volusia celebrated, because up to then, they were terrified Bynum's crusade would result in them losing their power to abuse and cash in. His most courageous moment was when he filed criminal charges with the State Attorney's Office proving the corruption in Daytona Beach government.

Politicians from throughout Volusia celebrated, because up to then, they were terrified Bynum's crusade would result in them losing their power to abuse and cash in. His most courageous moment was when he filed criminal charges with the State Attorney's Office proving the corruption in Daytona Beach government.

Knowing about corruption is one thing but taking a stand in spite of the threat of slander and business interference suits is extremely rare. Such suits are commonly called “slap suits” and used against residents to crush dissent.

Neighborhood group leaders from throughout Daytona Beach had all the same information, but it was Bynum who rose to the occasion and stepped forward to make it official and bring the proof.

Another of his efforts stopped the proposed 30 percent-plus water rates increase that would have hit the poor especially hard. After all this, Bynum then became able to stop other political betrayals before they ever happened, most of which residents never knew of. These were accomplished based on his fearlessness to drag an issue into the public square.

For now, most of the abuses he sought to prohibit via charter amendment have stopped in fear that his proposals will get new legs. This community owes a big "thank you" to Ron Bynum. He used his knowledge to lead from the front instead of profiting from it. He never sought his name on a street.  

Bynum's goal was only to protect our commons and put us in a place to earn better government instead of just complaining that we are not getting the government we think we deserve. Rest In Peace my friend. You will be terribly missed; never forgotten.

Bynum's goal was only to protect our commons and put us in a place to earn better government instead of just complaining that we are not getting the government we think we deserve. Rest In Peace my friend. You will be terribly missed; never forgotten.

Editor's Note: Greg Gimbert of Greater Daytona Beach is a community activist, husband and father. He wrote this guest column exclusively for Headline Surfer®.

Obituary for Ronald J. Bynum:

Ronald J. Bynum / Headline Surfer®Ronald Jay “Ron” Bynum, 54, of Port Orange, Florida, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 2, 2013, after an 18 month battle with cancer. A Service of Remembrance will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 3:00 P.M at Lohman Funeral Home Port Orange, 1201 Dunlawton Ave, Port Orange, FL. He was born in Hobart, Indiana and was a 1977 graduate of Hobart High School and a 1981 graduate of Indiana State University. He earned his MBA from Northwestern University. Ron was a business man and entrepreneur throughout his adult life, as the owner of Right Source International, an executive search and consulting firm for the food industry. He was also a club owner in Daytona Beach and was very involved in local politics and community service. Ron gave back to his community by joining and eventually becoming president of the Ormond Beach West Chapter of Rotary Club International. He was also a 32nd degree Mason in the Masonic Lodge of Naperville, Illinois. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Rebecca Bynum (Sabino), and his daughter Rachel, as well as a brother, Terrance (Terry) Bynum of Duluth, Minnesota. He had a large, loving family, including in-laws Art and Shirley Sabino, brothers-and-sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins. His parents, Buell Bynum and Norma Bynum (Waggoner) of Hobart, Indiana, preceded him in death. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Paul Harris Foundation of Rotary International, 1560 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201-3698.
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

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 narly eveenly 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 Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.