New Smyrna Beach City Commission acts as de facto CRA; approves Hub artist rental program on Canal Street
NSBNews.net photo by Henry Frederick / Former New Smyrna Beach Mayor Sally Mackay confers with her "Hub" group's attorney, Bill Preston, during Monday night's City Commission meeting.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Former Mayor Sally Mackay's Hub artist rental program on Canal Street was approved tonight by the City Commission as a de facto Community Redevelopment Agency, a move that essentially puts the CRA out of business as a governing body.
The CRA couldn't act on the program earlier this month because it's down to four members and one of them, attorney James C. Petersen, its acting chairman, had a conflict of interest and had to abstain, leaving the board without a quorum.
The City Commission was supposed to act on the Hub application tonight and send it back to the CRA for final approval, but with the reality that the CRA, which has already seen five of its seven board members resign since April, is likely to lose two more -- Chad Schilsky and John Kinney -- reality set in that the commission may very well have to take over the responsibilities of the CRA any way.
Regardless of the technical or legal entanglements, Mackay was ecstatic with the commission's action granting her group $50,000 in taxpayer money to pay for year's worth of rent for 30 artists.
"This has been a total volunteer effort," she told NSBNews.net immediately after the funding was secured. "We're pleased to get a unanimous vote of the city commission.
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Henry Frederick is editor/publisher of Headline Surfer, Florida's first 24/7 Internet newspaper, launched April 7, 2008 in New Smyrna Beach, and accessed via HeadlineSurfer.com, NSBNews.net & VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Frederick was the top winner in the 2012 Florida Press Club contest: 1st place for Blog Writing & 3rd place each for General News Writing, Public Safety Reporting & Best Online Presence (with social media). He's received 18 major journalism awards as a breaking news, investigative reporter & city editor for daily newspapers in Florida, Massachusetts, New York & Connecticut since the mid-1980s.
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