110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Al Everson
posted Oct 17, 2012 - 12:56:43pm
Now that he has retired from the Deltona Fire Department, Christopher Nabicht has plenty of time for other pursuits, including elective politics.
This is Nabicht’s first venture into the political arena, and his first-place showing in a four-man primary race Aug. 14 gives him an edge in the general-election campaign for the honor of representing the city’s District 6.
Incumbent District 6 City Commissioner Michael Carmolingo finished third in his effort to secure re-election, and was bumped from the race.
Nabicht said he is finding voters are becoming more interested in city politics as the Nov. 6 vote draws near.
“I think obviously more people are a little more engaged. A lot of people don’t think that the primary is important,” he told The Beacon.
Nabicht’s credentials as a candidate show he has considerable inside and institutional knowledge of his city, and his desire to use that knowledge is the key reason for his entry into the City Commission race.
“I went to work for Deltona Utilities out of high school. I went to work for the Deltona Fire District Sept. 22, 1980. I did a 31-year career there, serving the people of Deltona. I started out as a firefighter and worked my way up all the way to deputy chief. I want to put that experience back to work for the people of Deltona,” Nabicht said. “I was the first and only fire marshal this city ever had.”
Nabicht, who also served on the city’s Firefighter Pension Board, retired from the Deltona Fire Department last year. He is 50 years old.
So, what else prompted him to run for office?
“Probably the most important issue facing the commission is that we need to get a cohesive group of commissioners up there, and if there is a 4-3 vote, the ones that lost need to know they need to support the winning side. Certainly that is an important issue,” he said.
Nabicht is also campaigning on a familiar point: economic development.
“The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. We hear that Deltona is difficult to work with, especially on the permitting side,” he said.
If Deltona is to get its fair share of businesses, Nabicht said, the city must invest more in its capital assets.
To be able to grow the city commercially, “we need to have infrastructure, roads, water, sewer and stormwater,” he added.
Because more money may be needed for upgrading utilities, Nabicht opposes reducing water rates, even though the City Commission has come under public pressure to lower them.
The sewage rates, not the water rates, are the problem, he said. Because the sewage system has so few customers, its costs are divided among a too-small group, he explained.
“The commission needs to have all the facts. They don’t need to ... be bullied into making a decision,” Nabicht said.
If he becomes the next commissioner from District 6, Nabicht said he would like “to be remembered as a fair and honest individual.”
MICHAEL SCOTT WYCUFF
After Michael Scott Wycuff finished second in a four-man primary for the Deltona City Commission’s District 6 seat, he began working for a first-place showing in the Nov. 6 general election.
At 59, Wycuff is the director of pastoral care of Pine Ridge Fellowship, which recently merged with Deltona First United Methodist Church. Wycuff, who has lived in Deltona since 1997, describes his interest in the spiritual and temporal domains.
“Running for the City Commission is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. Being in the ministry, I have wanted to serve. It’s something I’ve been interested in. I’ve voted in every election since 1972,” he said.
Wycuff said he supported one of his primary opponents, Michael Carmolingo, when Carmolingo ran for re-election in 2007.
“I voted for Mike Carmolingo when he came to my door one time. I tend to be more conservative than he is, more fiscally conservative,” Wycuff said.
As for the major issues in his campaign, Wycuff said the way people inside Deltona view their city affects the way people on the outside perceive it; he said that bears on other issues, such as how to improve the local economy.
“What I would like to do is bring a sense of pride to the people of Deltona. We have a wonderful place to live. I think we’ve got fine schools,” he said. “We need to improve the image of our city.”
As for businesses, “I don’t know how we’re going to attract them,” Wycuff said.
Like other candidates for the City Commission, Wycuff has encountered plenty of discontent about water bills.
“It’s a concern of the people,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot about the water bills.”
Wycuff said the cost of water is affecting the other things, such as the appearance of properties. He favors easing utility rates.
“I want to do the things that will help people get through these tough economic times,” he said. “I was talking to a family who pressure-washed their cedar fence, and it looked like new. They water their lawn once a week, and they pressure-washed their driveway, and they got a water bill for $284,” he said. “I want to do the things that will help people get through these tough economic times.”
Wycuff said while some Deltonans “are concerned about crime and drugs,” others are thinking about their city’s leadership.
“I think we need to have an ethics ordinance. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” he said.
If he is elected as the commissioner for District 6, Wycuff described the lasting effect he would seek to leave.
“The legacy I would like to leave is that I was responsive to the people. They would know that I did listen to them, and I took into account their thoughts and feelings,” he said.
Wycuff is married. He and his wife have three sons.
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