Headline Surfer Endorsement: Billie Egger Wheeler is as transparent as it gets & deserving of district 2 seat on County Council

Willie J Kimmons / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer video / Billie Wheeler, a Daytona Beach Shores councilwoman since 2010, is the endorsed candidate of Headline Surfer for the district 2 seat on the Volusia County Council. Her opponent, Willie J. Kimmons of Daytona Beach, was the only no-show among six candidates for three county council seats in the Headline Surfer Public candidate Debates held Oct. 21 in Holly Hill. The internet news outlet stood alone in holding debates in Volusia County leading up to Tuesday's general elections. The district 2 seat is currently held by Joshua J. Wagner, who, nearing completion of his eigth year on the dais, is barred by term limits from seeking a third consecutive four-year term. 
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer
 
Headlinre Surfer endorses Donald J. Trunp for president / Headline SurferDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Billie Egger Wheeler is as transparent as it gets: She's not one to hide her emotions or run the other way when questions arise that are not necssessarily pleasant or in her favor. 

When she was called on by this media out to debate the issues, she didn't hesitate.

The same cannot be said for her opponent, Willie J. Kimmons, who has gone out of his way to avoid being in the Sunshine. That Kimmons, 72 and a married man,  was accused of rape earlier this year, an allegation that was dismissed by the State Attorney's Office, should not have precluded him from active participation in a media-style debate.  In fact, he was the only no-show among the six candidates vying for rthree srats on the council. 

Nothing should have precluded him from participating in the debate, short serious iinjury or illness, of which neither was in play.

After all, the fundamental right of innocence until or unless proven otherwise in a court of law is the standard we live by in this country -- whether or not a criminal act was committed. It's one thing to allege a criminal act. It's another to bring that peraon or pewrsons to trial and a jury of their peers.

What makes this particular case more trying is that teven as the state dismissed the case, the alleged victim has sought and was granted a hearing for a permanent order of protection to be heard before a Family law judge in circuit court on Nov. 9, the very next day after the election. 

We all have our crosses to bear, so to speak, but the act of service above self is what elective office is supposed to be about. Wheeler herself, who just turned 70, has not had an easy time of it all. Her husband died suddenly midway through the campaign. But like Kimmons, she remains committed to the campaign's end and her hope for the district 2 seat on the council, representing greater Daytona Beach.

Wheeler has plenty of experience as an elected municipal leader in Daytona Beach Shores and as a past president of the Volusia League of Cities.

Kimmons has no prior experience in politics, though he has been active in civic causes for the benefit of poor children. Kimmons, a longtime college administrator and educator left his last two jobs in higher ed under a a cloud of controversy.

There are far too many unanswered questions for voters to put someone on dais who refuses to actively participate in debate where the questions can be tough, but the answers clearly answerable if one is transparent. Kimmons exercised his right to silence in the rape case, but that does not extend to the expectation of availability and transparency -- at the minimum, a call back.

With that said, Headline Surfer puts the full weight of its award-winning journalism and integrity in complete favor of endorsement to Billie Egger Wheeler, candidate for the district 2 seat on the Volusia County Council n Tuesday's general elections.

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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.