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.