Daytona Beach News-Journal erroneously reports unanimous council support for county budget with tax increases despite Chair Jason Davis' repeated 'no' votes

Daytona Beach Ne-Journal erroneouly report counrt buget vote / Headline Surfer®At left is a snapshot of the top portion of the Daytona Beach News-Journal story on the county budget with factually-incorrect reporting in the second paragraph.
 

DELAND, Fla. -- While County Chair Jason Davis wasn't as demonstrative as colleague Deb Denys was in her "No!" response votes to the county budget in her first year on the dais of the Frank T. Bruno County Council Chambers on Thursday evening for the newest spending plan, Davis was very clear in dissenting against the $807 million proposed budget.

And Davis repeated the "no" response with each succeeding supplemental budget, with tax hikes of 5 to 15 percent.

But Davis' "no" votes were apparently lost on the Daytona Beach News-Journal, which reported otherwise in a published story online following the first of two public hearings.

In the second paragraph of the story headlined, "Volusia residents could see higher taxes," the News-Journal stated the following: "With little input from the public, the Volusia County Council unanimously approved its $807 million budget including $664 million in operating funds."

But with Davis' repeated references to the fact that he was the lone vote against the main budget as well as special supplemental taxing district pending plan, all of which call for tax hikes of 5 to 15 percent,  he made a point each time of adding "that's the county chair voting 'no.' " But none of that a pointed out to the News-Journal's readers.

And Councilman Doug Daniels alo voted againt the spending plan

Even the News-Journal's claim that there was "little impact from the public," that, too, was inaccurate.  There were at least half a dozen citizens who spoke up in opposition to the tax increases while a DeLand homeowner actually said he understood the hopping 15 percent increase  in the fire tax a needed to avert closing down regional fire stations could only mean insurance premiums climbing as a result.

In fact, the News-Journal wasn't even in attendance for the budget hearing that started at 6 p.m. and lasted about 90 minutes. The budget hearing a broadcast live over the internet.

HeadlineSurfer.com and the weekly DeLand Beacon newspaper were the only media outlets present in the chamber.

Editor's Note: Headline Surfer® will reach out to Jason Davis for comment this morning for his reaction to the erroneous News-Journal reporting. Messages emailed to News-Journal Editor Pat Rice and the reporter, Chris Graham, went unanswered.

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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 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.