Don Burnette: Continuing to Move Port Orange Forward.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Mayor Don Burnette, the current Mayor for the city of Port Orange, is up for re-election next month. As the current Mayor, who has been in office since 2016, Burnette has a continued vision to move Port Orange forward.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Mayor Burnette to gain a little insight into what his plans for the city will look like if re-elected.
Q. What is your vision for the city of Port Orange, if you’re re-elected?
A. With so much going on, we don’t want to mess things up, but good solid re-investment into the east side of the city is one thing. We have some commercial development going on by the river creating a solid restaurant base, we have good urban planning. A new city rec center is coming, and we want to expand the Parks and Recreation Department.
Q. You expressed a want to keep property taxes low, how do you plan to do this?
A. A good mixture of Residential and Commercial development allows for lower property taxes, as the commercial development takes the brunt of the property tax burden. I want to run a city, that runs well and that uses a good urban planning aspect.
Q. What will you do to increase improvements to both Transportation and Traffic in Port Orange?
A. The primary thing we are working on to improve traffic in the city is adopting a new smart traffic light system. It’s first in the county that will extend from Beach-side on Dunlawton, and extend past the Interstate and into Taylor Rd. It should be up and running by the end of the year. We have lots of other plans but. We just need the money to do it.
Q. During these unprecedented times, how do you plan to empower local businesses?
A. The City Manager and I meet regularly with the Chamber of Commerce for Port Orange and South Daytona, so I want to say that I am aware of the struggles of our businesses. This is why the city has made changes to allow for temporary signage. Port Orange seems to carry a “Buy Local Culture,” and the communication is on-going, and we want to be able to help the best we can. Our community helps each other out and I want to encourage that we have each other’s back.
Q. Can you elaborate a little on your plan to make development in Port Orange smarter?
A. We review fees every five years, and that references impact fees. It’s important not to over-charge new development, but new growth needs to pay their way. Smart Growth means something different for everyone, but we just want to reach a happy medium. Growth shouldn’t hurt the community. We need development that is respectful to the community surrounding it.
Q. What are your ideas for maintaining a high quality of life, and a quality community here in Port Orange?
A. There’s already a great culture in place here in Port Orange. To maintain that I want to have top-notch Public Safety, affordable community and taxes, create employment and sustainability. I want residents, and their children to feel attached to our community so that we have the next generation here in Port Orange.
Mayor Burnette’s plans for our city are family-oriented, well thought out, and community-based. The Mayoral Election is Tuesday, August 18, 2020.
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