Despite being central Florida’s second most populous city, Deltona might have an image problem, according to Mark Harper in The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
During a city workshop Monday, Deltona officials agreed that they have an uphill battle to wield influence for their share of state funds funding transportation and economic development projects.
In his time in Tallahassee, State Rep. David Santiago, Deltona’s first elected state legislator, learned how other communities had an upper hand in getting state funding.
Santiago’s recommendation to city commissioners — Deltona should hire a lobbyist.
Although no one disagreed with the idea, many on the committee asked questions wondered how to pay $50,000 for someone to represent the city’s interests in the capitol. Santiago said they city needs a plan, one that will focus on creating local jobs. He also recommended they begin the process of the city becoming an enterprise zone, which provides tax incentives to companies looking to relocate to the Deltona area.
In the next few weeks, city leaders expect to approve a plan.
Adam Smith, the political editor of the Tampa Bay Times, labeled Santiago’s idea, the numbskull comment of the day in Florida politics. “Note to Santiago: When you’re a vulnerable one-termer in a district Barack Obama won twice, you might want to think twice before telling leaders of your hometown and largest city that they need to hire a lobbyist to be successful in Tallahassee,” writes Smith.