In the wake of Tuesday’s general election in Southwest Volusia, the DeBary City Council will welcome two new members, and the Deltona City Commission will get one new member and retain a member appointed earlier this year.
In addition, Orange City will keep its mayor for another four-year term.
“It was a long process going through the primary and the general election, but it was a good exercise, and I am so excited to serve our city,” Council Member-elect Jim Pappalardo said.
Pappalardo ran for, and won, the council seat vacated by Vice Mayor Erika Benfield. Although the terms of council members begin in January, Pappalardo may assume office earlier. The City Council will discuss naming him to fill the void on the governing body Wednesday evening.
Benfield’s resignation became effective Nov. 3. Though she lost her bid for the Republican nomination to represent Florida House District 27, she had to step down in accordance with the state’s resign-to-run law.
Pappalardo polled 58.9 percent of the votes cast in the race for Seat 2. His opponent, Darius Kelley, received 41.1 percent.
Also in DeBary, incumbent Stephen Bacon was defeated in his bid for re-election to Seat 1. Challenger William Sell garnered 54.3 percent of the votes for the position, leaving Bacon with 45.7 percent.
Bacon declined to talk much about the outcome of the election, except to say he is “thanking all the people that voted for me.”
“I am not going to let them down,” he added.
Earlier this year, Bacon faced a possible ouster from office by his colleagues on the council, for allegedly violating the city charter’s prohibition against elected officials interfering in administrative affairs. Bacon was accused of trying to order the city clerk to compile the minutes of a May meeting in a manner that he preferred.
Candidates for the five-member DeBary City Council run at-large, or city wide.
Of the seven proposed charter-change questions on the ballot, DeBary’s electorate also approved six and nixed one. Among the propositions that passed is a measure increasing the pay of council members. The salary for the mayor will rise from $500 to $800 per month, while the pay for other members will increase from $400 to $650 monthly.
The proposition that failed would have allowed the city to borrow money and repay it over 10 years, rather than the seven-year limit now in place.
Volusia’s largest city will have one new member on its seven-member City Commission, while another member appointed earlier this year to fill a sudden vacancy won re-election to a full four-year term in her own right.
Julio David Sosa, whose martial-arts business remains closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, will become the new representative of Deltona’s District 6.
District 6 covers the southeastern portion of Deltona.
Sosa outpolled Jody Lee Storozuk, with 61.9 percent to the latter’s 38.1 percent.
In contrast to DeBary and Orange City, Deltona’s city commissioners are elected from single-member geographical districts.
“I feel good. This has been a great experience,” Sosa said.
Meanwhile, Dana McCool will remain the commissioner representing District 4, a political zone that covers the heart of the sprawling city. McCool defeated Ruben Munoz, an engineer who made his second attempt for the seat.
McCool received 58.2 percent of the vote, while Munoz got 41.8 percent.
McCool, a civic activist and one of the founders of Deltona Strong, was appointed to the District 4 seat in April, following the abrupt resignation of Robert McFall.
McFall resigned for unspecified personal reasons.
“I feel incredibly honored by the residents who elected me, and I feel a huge sense of responsibility to carry on the work that I have started,” McCool told The Beacon. “Now let’s get busy,”
Gary Blair won a second term as mayor of Orange City, defeating former council colleague Anthony Pupello.
Pupello could not be reached for comment.
“When you’re doing the right thing, people know it,” Blair said election night, as he paused from picking up campaign signs.
Blair scored a landslide, garnering 64.3 percent of the votes for mayor, while Anthony Pupello received 35.7 percent.