Q: How does city government currently operate?
The City of New Smyrna Beach operates under a Commission-Manager form of government. The City Commission, consisting of a popularly elected mayor and four zone commissioners, is responsible for making policy, passing ordinances, adopting regulations, and developing an overall vision for the city. The City Commission also appoints a professional city manager to oversee day-to-day operations, implement its policies, and provide advice.
The mayor serves a two-year term while commissioners each serve staggered four-year terms. Below are the current members of the City Commission:
- Mayor Russ Owen
- Zone 1 Commissioner Michael Kolody
- Zone 2 Commissioner Jake Sachs
- Zone 3 Commissioner Jason McGuirk
- Zone 4 Commissioner Randy Hartman
Regular meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the James W. Hathaway Chambers at 214 Sams Ave. except during the month of July, when the City Commission adjourns for a summer recess.
Q: How can I find out which zone I reside in and who represents me?
Residents can find their zone, voting precinct, and commissioner by entering an address on our Find My District Map.
Q: When I vote, do I only select a representative only for my zone or all of them?
New Smyrna Beach residents may vote on all open commission seats, not just the one that represents their own. For example, in 2022 a Zone 3 resident will have the option of voting for mayor, commissioners to represent Zones 1 & 2, and any municipal referendums that may appear on the ballot.
Q: Are commissioners limited to focusing only on their own zones or do they have a say in what happens in others?
A majority 3-2 vote among the five members of the City Commission decides the fate of each agenda item. For example, a commissioner may make a motion requesting funds to repair a sidewalk in their zone, but if at least two other commissioners do not agree, the motion will not pass.
Q: Why is the City Commission redrawing its zone boundaries now?
The City Charter requires that, following each decennial census or more often if deemed necessary because of population fluctuations, the City Commission shall by ordinance adjust the boundaries of its four zones. The last decennial census occurred in 2020.
Q: How do the latest proposed new zone boundaries compare with the current ones? What exactly will change?
Map of existing commission zones with current population figures
Map of proposed commission zones with rebalanced population figures
Q: What criteria must city commissioners follow during this process?
Per the City Charter, Section 3.07(b):
- Zones shall be equal in population except where deviations from equality result from the application of the provisions hereinafter set forth, but no such deviation may exceed five percent of the average population for all City Commission zones according to the figures available from the most recent census.
- Zones should be drawn in a manner that keeps neighborhoods intact to the extent possible.
- Zones shall consist of contiguous territory; but land areas separated by waterways shall not be included in the same zone unless said waterways are traversed by highway bridges, tunnels, or regularly scheduled ferry services both termini of which are within the zone, except that, population permitting, islands not connected to the mainland or to other islands by bridge, tunnel, or regular ferry services shall by included in the same zone as the nearest land area within the city.
- Consistent with the foregoing provisions, the aggregate length of all zone boundaries shall be as short as possible.
Q: What procedures must city commissioners follow during this process?
Per the City Charter, Section 3.07(c):
- The City Commission shall complete the reapportionment plan within six months after the official publication of the census.
- Proposed plans must be available to the public for inspection and comment not less than one month before the first public hearing on said plan. The plan shall include a map and description of the zones recommended.
- The City Commission shall review and adopt the reapportionment plan as an ordinance by an affirmative vote of three members of the commission.
Q: Where can I review past discussion among city commissioners on this issue?
To date, city commissioners have discussed redistricting on multiple occasions. Below are links to video replay of each: