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Editor, The Beacon:

I attended my first DeLand City Commission meeting June 7 to listen to the developers and commissioners discuss the Southridge Golf Course property. I must say I was shocked at the behavior of our mayor!

He slouches, so it looks as if his chin will hit the dais. He covered his entire face with his hand, elbow on the dais. Was he tired? Bored? Unable to face the citizens as time passed?

He threatened us with “what ifs”; hypotheticals that didn’t scare anyone with any brains. 

So what if someone planned a new neighborhood on a grid? The city is built on a grid!

When the commissioners responded to the people and their own indecision about a yes vote, he called Mr. Watts, the attorney for the developers, up to the microphone — long after the public section of the meeting had ended. Then he put words in Mr. Watts’ mouth.

When the attorney attempted to take his seat, he, the mayor, asked specifically if he wanted to ask for a continuance. Wasn’t that Mr. Watts’ question to ask? If he wanted it, why didn’t he ask for it himself?

I would also like to correct a statement Mr. Watts repeated during the meeting: The 40-foot lots have been removed. No. Then he said the only 40-foot lots that remained are rear-loaded. So, they still have 40-foot lots. 

I can’t think of one person I have ever known who likes living on top of their neighbor! We were shown pictures of rear-loaded 40-foot lots with houses from their development in DeBary. Horrible!

I am disappointed in this mayor and the commissioners for allowing the unprofessionalism they exhibited at the June 7 meeting. 

The second meeting of the City Commission in July will, I hope, be attended by more citizens who are concerned about our city. 

It is time for a decision. Let’s hope it’s a good one for DeLand.

Jane Donlon




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