New Smyrna Beach officials look ahead to priorities for 2011

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(Photos by Dale Smith). At far left, NSB City Commissioners Jim Hathaway and Judy Reiker listen to their colleagues discuss future plans. In the second photo, Mayor Adam Barringer, Commissioner Lynne Plaskett and Assistant City Manager Khalid Resheidat do the same.
Editor's note: The following story was submitted by contributing writer Dale Smith:

NEW SMYRNA BEACH – City leaders started with a list of 17 goals for the coming year, but narrowed them to 10, including issues like zoning, downtown redevelopment, parking and city employee pensions, at a visioning workshop.

These items and others were discussed during a Dec. 15 daylong retreat at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, reviewing accomplishments, assessing where projects stood and what needs to be completed before establishing new priority goals for 2011.

In the larger photo, Steve Rosenthal, host of the city' government's daylong retreat, gets ready to jot down goals. Seated to his right is Assistant City Manager Khalid Resheidat. Taking part in discussions, as shown in the smaller photo, are City Manager Pam Brangaccio, to her right is City Attornery Frank Gummey, and to her left, Commissioner Jack Grasty.

Steve Rosenthal, president of The Training Tree, a professional facilitator from Seminole, guided the City Commission and staff administrators through various schemes in order to better identify weaknesses and to focus more on how to get to where the city needs to go in the future.

City manager Pam Brangaccio walked the commissioners through the list of goals the city wanted to accomplish in 2010 and pointed out the shortfalls along the way.

“Every project this year has had their challenges,” she said. Brangaccio ticked off the priorities ranging from drafting the land development regulations to the former high school site, future home to the Marine Discovery Center to finished and unfinished streetscape projects around the city.

Mayor Adam Barringer said as far as economic redevelopment was concerned, the advisory board appointed by him was doing well and had received a lot of positive input.

“We’re really coming along,” the mayor said. “We’re accomplishing most of our goals we established and we’re moving ahead.”

Renewable leases occupied a lengthy conversation as city leaders are trying to bring in rent revenues from city-owned property, such as the Chamber of Commerce building on Canal Street.

“A lease agreement will be in place before the chamber relocates back into the building,” Brangaccio said. The chamber and the Artists Workshop have moved out of the historic building while year-long renovations to the building are underway. The new public safety building is now occupied by the police department and the question of what to do with the old site was addressed.

Currently, the city leases the building from the Federal Aviation Administration and the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport, but commissioners asked about possibly buying the property and lease it back to the FAA. The former Dunn Lumber property at Canal and U.S. Highway 1 has the potential for redevelopment once the Department of Transportation identifies how much right-of-way is needed for them to create a new intersection.

“We could re-sell what’s left of the property,” Brangaccio said. “But we won’t know how much land will be available until FDOT resolves the right-of-way issue. That resolution could be within the new year.

About the contributing writer:

Dale Smith is a resident of New Smyrna Beach, who has reported on local news in Volusia County since October 2009.  His writing background includes a mix of journalism and public relations in several community newspapers and a p.r. firm in northern Virginia. He attended Barton Academy in Barton, Vt., and the Cambridge (Mass.) School of Broadcasting for radio & TV broadcasting.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among Florida's most experienced reporters specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting and winner of multiple state, regional & national journalism awards in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of his three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores this Fall. 
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