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Editor, The Beacon:

I am writing to support Chris Cloudman for mayor. Having lived in and worked as a veterinarian in DeLand and the surrounding community for more than over 22 years, I believe he is the most-qualified candidate to replace Mayor Apgar and maintain our town’s success, charm and quality of life.

When I first moved here in 2000, DeLand was a sleepy town with great character and possibility. I have enjoyed and taken pride in our community’s growth over the years. Our thriving Downtown is the envy of many, and we have thus far managed to grow our city without forgetting who we are or what truly matters.

I have known Chris Cloudman for nearly 10 years. Over this time, I have watched him dedicate his time and energy to our city and the community at large at every opportunity. Chris has been a city commissioner for eight years while still holding a day job with a firm contracted by Stetson University, and is frequently busy attending a meeting or conference with our best interests at heart.

Examples of Chris’ service to our city and citizens include personal mentorship of at-risk high-school students, travel to the state capital to learn about resources available to DeLand, and personally advocating for our city, remaining active with Rotary to serve our community, volunteering time and talent to young musicians, and support for the local arts.

He somehow still finds time to be a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is invested in our future as a city because it is his home, too. He is raising two daughters here and it matters to him that they, and all of our children, have a thriving home town as their base.

One of my favorite things about Chris is that he does not need to agree with you to engage in thoughtful conversation. Time and again we have discussed local, state and even national dilemmas, often starting on opposite sides of an issue. Chris’ calm demeanor means that I have always left those discussions with a feeling that both of us better understood one another and found common ground.

Chris truly cares to see and value everyone’s vision for our community’s future as well as his own. In these times, a person who is able to objectively evaluate many opinions and not simply adhere desperately to their own is worth their weight in gold. Add common sense and experience, and you have Chris Cloudman.

We are facing a time of possible recession and uncertainty. Who better to lead our city than Chris? He understands how our city works and arguably how it does not work as things currently stand. Importantly, he is also familiar with the resources we have available at county and state levels, and how to access those. He has always been concerned with our city’s ability to grow, but at a sustainable pace. He has balanced our city’s growth with educational and environmental concerns, sometimes being a lone voice against a project that does not make sense for our community. Chris also has experience with the legal and bureaucratic issues that must be tackled to change policy when needed.

Chris has been a student and advocate of our city’s well-being for as long as I have known him. Who better to take the reins and help steer DeLand towards an even brighter and more prosperous future?

DeLand is my home, and I am proud to say I trust Chris Cloudman with her future. I sincerely hope your readers will take the time to look at his voting record and record of service, and place their votes for Chris on election day.

Dr. Jessica Hathaway



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