NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Volusia County Councilwoman Deb Denys won re-election to her district 3 seat in 2014, in part by pledging to convince her colleagues on the dais in DeLand to approve new Community Redevelopment Agencies for New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.
And soon after the election, she did just that, getting CRA passages for both cities in 6-1 votes with only County Chair Jason Davis dissenting each time.
The County Council stopped short of rescinding New Smyrna Beach's two CRAs -- an older one on Flagler Avenue that goes down the North Causeway Bridge to Canal Street and the Westside and then back across the South Causeway Bridge to Flagler. That CRA sunsets the end of this month and ends a 30-year run.
The newer CRA focuses on the entire stretch of U.S. 1 and includes side streets of Canal (but not Canal itself) as well as the Westside, plus a portion of State Road 44 up to the old K-Mart. It is scheduled to go for 20 years.
That is, perhaps, unless New Smyrna Beach fails to play ball with the County Council.
New Smyrna Beach doodged a fatal bullet when its City Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday to rescind a plan to charge county residents $10 a day or $100 a year to park in off-beach municipal parks while allowing city residents to park in these locales for free.
"That shows an act of good faith on out part," New Smyrna Beach Mayor Jim Hathaway told Headline Surfer® the following morning. So we'll see what they do on Thursday."
Even after New Smyrna Beach's action Tuesday night, the County Council on Thursday wasn't so forgiving. Denys actually singled out Neww Smyrna Beach by name as a target for future punishment should it change its mind on the parking fees, but she backed off when Councilman Doug Daniels said such action was tantamount to the death penalty as punishment for committing a misdemeanor.