volusia county district 3 candidates robins noftall
PHOTOS COURTESY DANNY ROBINS, TED NOFTALL Volusia County Council District 3 candidates Danny Robins, left, and Ted Noftall

Frederick “Ted” Noftall is challenging incumbent Danny Robins for the District 3 Volusia County Council seat in the election Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Most of District 3, by far, is in southeastern Volusia County, but the geographically sprawling district also takes in areas of West Volusia, including the Daytona Park Estates neighborhood to the north, and homes along the shore of Lake Monroe to the south.

Both District 3 candidates are registered Republicans, but Noftall is attempting to emphasize a divide between them.

“Just about everything I believe, my opponent doesn’t believe,” Noftall told The Beacon. “So I’m supporting; he’s opposing. … Just about every issue that’s before us, if I’m opposing, then he’s in favor. … That’s how we’re different, night and day. I mean it’s a very stark black-and-white choice.”

Noftall points to their positions on taxes as an example.

Robins took to Facebook in July to list his accomplishments since taking office in 2020. According to him, he supported setting the tax rate to full rollback, as well as reducing the general fund tax rate two years in a row. The post states he helped reduce tax burdens during his political career, “which kept money in taxpayers’ pockets, right where it belongs.”

Noftall disagrees.

“I support lower taxes for the people of Volusia County, and he’s voted to increase taxes,” Noftall said.

A political ad posted on Noftall’s Facebook, and paid for by the FAIREST PAC, claims Robins “raised your taxes every year in office. [He] represent[s] the status quo pay-to-play politics.”

The ad states that Noftall signed the Volusia Taxpayer Protection Pledge, whose signers vow to oppose “any and all” tax increases. Noftall also has been endorsed by County Chair Jeff Brower as part of what Brower calls the “Volusia Values” slate of County Council candidates.

“I believe we need smaller government everywhere, not just for Volusia. I’m for smaller government on every single level,” Noftall said. “I have studied enough to know that liberty and government compete for the same space on a continuum.”

Noftall said less government equals more liberty for the average citizen. For him, the smaller the government, the less possible corruption and less favoring of special-interest groups.

But Robins said he’s also for reducing the size of government.

“I am a less-government, less-red-tape, less-bureaucracy kind of guy,” Robins told The Beacon.

Robins’ July 20 Facebook post lists “protect[ing] our local control and [keeping] big [government] out of Volusia County” as one of his achievements. He said he did so by striking down laws that aimed to restrict citizen property rights and by reducing tax burdens.

NEW GRANDCHILD — Volusia County Council District 3 candidate Ted Noftall holds his third grandchild, Madison, who was born in July. Maddie lives in Jacksonville with her parents.
PHOTO COURTESY TED NOFTALL

Both candidates also portray themselves as staunch environmental advocates.

The second issue on Noftall’s campaign platform is halting overdevelopment. He wants to do so by ending what he calls “sweetheart impact fees” for developers, halting automatic land use and zoning changes, and banning toilet-to-tap water.

Noftall speaks passionately about his dislike for developers and overdevelopment.

“I oppose unplanned overdevelopment and, of course, what flows from it: traffic congestion and pollution. I oppose the massively environmentally destructive Farmton project … and I also oppose the proposed interchange at Pioneer Trail. My opponent supports both those initiatives,” Noftall said.

Robins told The Beacon he is searching for a definition for the word “overdevelopment.”

“I’m still trying to figure out what this word ‘overdevelopment’ is. When you look at the facts, I think it’s very subjective,” Robins said. “Overdevelopment? Define it.”

Robins said a multitude of factors go into decisions about development, including the rights of landowners. He cited the Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Company court case and the Harris Act as examples of possible legal precedents that limit government’s ability to control or stop development.

“There’s a lot of laws in place that we can’t control here,” Robins said. “What I can control is the fact that we have 70-percent approval with programs such as ECHO and Volusia Forever. … Over 50 percent of Volusia County is already in permanent conservation.”

One of Robins’ top priorities is finding better conservation practices and ways to clean Volusia County waterways. His campaign website labels him “a champion and leader within Volusia County when it comes to pursuing clean water.”

The pair have taken their disagreements to social media.

On Aug. 12, Robins took to Greg’s Local Politics Page, a Facebook group, to celebrate the dismantling of the Daytona Beach toilet-to-tap testing facility.

“TOILET TO TAP can finally be put to bed,” Robins wrote.

FAMILY DAY — Incumbent District 3 County Council Member Danny Robins, with his wife, Michelle, and their 8-year-old son, Carson, assists with a Riverside Conservancy project in Edgewater.
PHOTO COURTESY DANNY ROBINS

Three days later, Noftall had a response for Robins that he posted on his own profile.

“SO Danny is the first out of the gate taking a victory lap for the announced dismantling of the Daytona Beach toilet-to-tap TESTING facility,” Noftall wrote. “What Developer Dan is not telling you is that it was always going to be dismantled once it served its purpose approving treated sewage water for human consumption as to allow over-development madness to continue.”

The post continues in that vein.

“Do I agree with toilet-to-tap? No, that’s disgusting,” Robins told The Beacon. “But the biggest thing here is, if we want to really conserve water, we should have the ability. … As it sits now, my opinion could change, and technology could change. But to take it off the table at this point because of the other uses that you may need it for, you’d be kind of cutting yourself short.”

Noftall has a few plans in mind for putting toilet-to-tap to rest if he is elected.

“If I were elected, I would propose an ordinance to ban the toilet-to-tap, and then I would also look to put it on the ballot in 2024 as a charter amendment, and let the people weigh in on it,” Noftall said.

Both candidates vying for the District 3 seat believe they have the skills for the job.

Robins describes himself as an accessible public servant who pushes for accessibility in politics.

“Accessibility is huge, and I’ve made that a staple part of our campaign. … Whether you support my policy or no, part of leadership is that fact that you have to represent everyone. Even if they don’t agree with you, or even if they don’t support you, they’re still your constituents and you still work for them,” Robins said.

Meanwhile, Noftall wants to be a mouthpiece for the people of Volusia County and create a more transparent government.

“Giving voice to the people has always been of interest to me,” Noftall said. “Holding government to the strictest standards of transparency and accountability is big on my agenda. Government has got to be transparent and then held accountable for their flaws.”

As of his last report on Sept. 9, Noftall had $12,850 in his war chest and had spent $6,181.85. As of his last report on Sept. 23, Robins had $78,795 at his disposal and had spent $42,144.19.

MAP COURTESY VOLUSIA COUNTY ELECTIONS OFFICE
NEW DISTRICTS — Incumbent Danny Robins and Ted Noftall, profiled here, are vying to represent District 3 (in blue) on the Volusia County Council. Six of the seven County Council seats are up for election this year. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters will decide between incumbent Barb Girtman and challenger Don Dempsey in District 1 (pink), between Victor Ramos and David Santiago in District 5 (green), between Danny Fuqua and Matthew Reinhart in District 2 (melon), and between Troy Kent and Ken Smith in District 4. Also, all Volusia County voters may cast ballots in the race between Doug Pettit and Jake Johansson for the at-large seat.

1 COMMENT

  1. Danny Robins is the chosen one for the developers, real estate investors, establishment politicians, and the uber rich power brokers from the east side of the County and they have poured nearly $100,000 of their dirty dark money into his campaign to ensure he wins and does their bidding for them. Danny Robins could careless about you, your needs, or your quality of life. Ted Noftall will be the better choice…

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