William “Bill” Coakley and Jody Lee Storozuk are competing for the District 6 seat on the Deltona City Commission.
Voters who live in the district will choose between the two men in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, election.
The seat on the seven-member City Commission opened up when Commissioner Julio David Sosa vacated it to make a bid for a seat on the Volusia County Council. Sosa fell short of a runoff in his three-way race, getting 24.23 percent of the vote in the August primary. So, Deltona voters will also face a choice on Nov. 8 between Victor Ramos and David Santiago for the County Council’s District 5 seat.
The winner of the Deltona City Commission election will serve out the remainder of Sosa’s four-year term.
Coakley, a longtime electrician, said he is a political newcomer with no experience other than voting “every year since 1980.”
Storozuk, on the other hand, has some experience under his belt after running to be mayor of Deltona in 2014 and city commissioner in 2020. Both bids were unsuccessful.
He has also served as vice chair of the Deltona Planning and Zoning Board for the past three years.
“I’ve been involved in the city to see what’s going on. I’ve watched it; I’ve been a part of it. I go to a lot of the meetings, and I’m there voting on a lot of the things on the Planning and Zoning Board,” Storozuk told The Beacon. “I just know how the city runs.”
Coakley said he is running to fix the current government.
“The biggest issue right now is our basic leaders are not really good,” Coakley said. “They’re not real transparent. … It’s just in turmoil to me. … They’re not all on the same page. As a city, they all need to be on the same page.”
“From the outside looking in,” Coakley said, he doesn’t know how to increase transparency about what’s going on in Deltona government.
“I don’t know why it’s like that. Maybe that’s the way it’s got to be. Because I’m not in office right now, so I couldn’t answer that until I get in there, to be honest. … I’m not in the shoes to fix it yet,” Coakley said.
Storozuk is also a supporter of increased transparency.
“Government transparency, it should be open, everything. … We don’t work for City Hall; City Hall should work for us,” Storozuk said. “And that’s my biggest issue. Because there’s a lot of people in City Hall that think because they work for City Hall, they don’t have to explain to the residents in the city. That is totally untrue. … 99 percent of the money comes from people living in the city. So, City Hall is supposed to be for us, not us for them.”
Storozuk said he does have a plan to foster transparency.
“I would put more things out there for people to see. I wouldn’t hide nothing. And I don’t believe we should be hiding anything,” Storozuk said.
Coakley is pushing for more commercial development.
“Right now, we’re overdeveloped for residential,” Coakley said. “We have all the infrastructure, but we have no restaurant basis. We don’t have [a] commercial basis to get any tax base from it. … We need to get the Darden Corp., you know, the Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays … Chili’s. That’s what we need out here. We need more industry … We need more restaurants … just even business in general,” Coakley told The Beacon.
Meanwhile, Storozuk said Deltona is facing an overdevelopment problem.
“It’s definitely overdevelopment. … Now they’re starting with almost zero lot lines, and they’re putting houses on top of each other. And then you have some people that moved here, and they have 3, 4, 5 acres of land, and now a developer buys the land next to them. So, they want to put, you know, 2,000 houses in someone’s front yard. … It’s just not right,” Storozuk said.
Coakley said there are many small things he wants to focus on.
“There’s a bunch of little things that are not so much as one thing,” Coakley said.
Storozuk was more specific: He wants to curb the Deltona budget.
“I have the common sense and the background to start checking into more things with the spending that goes on with the city, so we can work on curbing some of the excessive spending,” Storozuk told The Beacon.
Additionally, Storozuk wants to focus on small businesses.
“And we need to start taking care of our small businesses. A lot of things that the city does, like at The Center, they want other companies to come do entertainment. So why don’t you go to business owners in the city and see if they want to do stuff? … Our local business and talent are important,” Storozuk said.
Coakley says his honesty is what makes him a good candidate.
“I’m 100 percent honest. That’s my main thing,” Coakley said.
Storozuk said the same about himself.
“Whether you like it or not, I’m going to tell you how it is. I’m gonna tell the truth about how it is in the city. If we can fix it, we can fix it. If we can’t, I’m gonna tell you we can’t,” Storozuk said.
As of his last report on Sept. 9, Coakley had collected $1,180 in campaign contributions, and had spent $856.49. As of his last report on Sept. 9, Storozuk had $5,000 he lent his own campaign, and had spent $569.55.