DeLand Florida -
High Taxes, High Crime, Crony Capitalism, Corruption 

Staff & Commissioners Work for Themselves -  Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

DeLand FL High Taxes and Debts

Tax Rates – Millage

  • 2013     7.0168    unanimous vote
  • 2012     6.9575
  • 2011     6.2846
  • 2010     6.2394
  • 2009     5.25118
  • 2008     4.75549
  • Volusia Co. among highest in state; DeLand near top in Volusia; DeLand one of highest in Florida.
  • Population: 27,700
  • Average Taxpayer’s Salary: $28,712

Losses – 2013
  • General Fund - Net loss $3.2 Million
  • Gov. Impact Fees Trust Fund - Net loss $387,472
  • Community Development – Net loss $793,503

Building Projects Sending the City into Debt
  • Infrastructure Fees 143% above budget due to constructions projects
City Hall - 2007 at onset of Recession:
  • Construction - $11 Million
  • Fountain - $9,200
  • 2 Interior Flower Chandeliers - $25,000
  • Grand Opening - $15,000
  • In ’07 city expenses increased by $4.8 million primarily due to additional operating costs associated with new city hall
  • Oversized, wasted hall space on 3 levels
  • Staff on 2nd and 3rd floors behind locked doors
  • Phone calls answered by recording instructing caller to contact department; calling departments generally must leave a message
  • Not user-friendly environment
Spec Martin Stadium, Scoreboard Renovations - 2013
  • Refinanced City Hall to obtain funding
  • $3.2 Million
  • Commissioner Matusick voted for expenditures though husband Dir Stetson Public Safety
  • Bus Station – 2013
  • $1.45 Million
  • Begun 4 months after illegally raiding ARK, the adjacent animal rescue center; speculation city wanted property for expansion; state attorney found no evidence of animal abuse, the excuse city staff used to unlawfully confiscate private property
Sanborn Activities Center, Amphitheatre - 2014
  • $2.4 Million – under budgeted by $500,000
  • $1.1 Million borrowed from Hurricane Reserves
  • Manager Pleus: “Additional expenditures...propose a slightly higher millage rate.”

DeLand's City Hall 

Taj Mahal Boondoggle for Taxpayers

Pretty but excessive for only 27,000 residents but Mayor Apgar and commissioners wanted to promote their names in perpetuity. Taxpayers spent millions on it and its half empty. On the 2nd and 3rd floors the employees and offices are hidden behind locked doors: Locked away from the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

    It's three stories with massive corridors and extremely high ceilings - wasted space - costing a fortune to heat and cool. Definitely NOT A GREEN BUILDING! 

    The ceilings are so high in the commission chamber the heat floats to the top costing taxpayers high utility bills. The commissioners sit "above" the public as though they are in Federal Court. Above the common folk is how they feel; looking down with disdain on the underlings who pay their salaries and are there to request services they deserve but more often than not DO NOT GET!

     Call the front desk and you usually get an answering machine with numerous options; the personal touch gone. 

   The commissioners, manager, and lawyer sit "above" the public as though Federal Court Judges. "Above" the common folk is how they feel; looking down with disdain on the underlings who pay their salaries and are there to request services they deserve but more often than not DO NOT GET!

   The flowered "thing" is one of two "chandeliers" gracing the south and north entrances to the building and costing taxpayers over $25,000. 

City Hall - 2007 at onset of Recession:

  • Construction - $11 Million
  • Fountain - $9,200
  • 2 Interior Flower Chandeliers - $25,000
  • Grand Opening - $15,000
  • In ’07 city expenses increased by $4.8 million primarily due to additional operating costs associated with new city hall
     How many homeless people could have benefited from the money wasted on the Taj Mahal construction and annual maintenance? But then DeLand doesn't have a program to assist the homeless; they don't care because it doesn't financial benefit their crony capitalistic philosophy.

Multi-million dollar boondoggle bus station. Mayor Apgar cuts ribbon at grand opening February 2014. 

     The city raided ARK four months prior to breaking ground in the hopes of obtaining ARK's property for the bus station office. City staff though if they shut down the successful animal rescue organization the board could not make the mortgage payment.

     Are they wrong and are they crooked? Decide for yourself....