ENDORSEMENTS: As NSB mayor, Jim Hathaway would fight to end trend of tax hikes pushed by Jack Grasty

Native son hoping to follow in late father's footsteps as municipal leader

Jim Hathaway endorsed by internet newspaper for NSB mayor / Headline Surfer®Jim Hathaway endorsed by internet newspaper for New Smyrna Beach mayor / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® endorses former city commissioner Jim Hathaway for mayor of New Smyrna Beach over Commissioner Jack Grasty in the Nov. 4 elections.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The time has come for an experienced community leader to take the reigns in New Smyrna Beach and right the ship that has run aground, especially in the last couple of years. That leader is none other than Jim Hathaway.

With that said, Headline Surfer® wholly endorses Hathaway for mayor of New Smyrna Beach in the Nov. 4 general elections over City Commissioner and former colleague Jack Grasty.

The taxpayers of the city by the sea have been hit with an increase in taxes for the new fiscal year that began Wednesday, following a tax increase last year as well. This is unacceptable in a city known for its charm that has a large bloc of seniors on fixed incomers and working class families struggling to put food on the table.

Tax increases in two consecutive years in a city known for its charm that has a large bloc of seniors on fixed incomers and working class families struggling to put food on the table is truly unacceptable.

Nobody knows two-term City Commissioner Jack Grasty's voting habits better than Jim Hathaway whose mantra is "the buck has to stop somewhere" because his opponent can't seem to reign in spending. 

"I sat next to Jack Grasty for seven years and he's never talked about cutting taxes -- not once," Hathaway told Headline Surfer® on Friday while making his early morning bread deliveries at grocery stores in New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.

NSB dais in 2012 / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® photo by Serafina King-Frederick /  2014 New Smyrna Beach mayoral candidates Jack Grasty, at far left, and Jim Hathaway, at far right are shown on the dais in 2012, with lame-duck Mayor Adam Barringer.

Nobody knows two-term City Commissioner Jack Grasty's voting habits better than former 18-year City Commissioner Jim Hathaway, whose mantra is "the buck has to stop somewhere" because his opponent can't seem to reign in spending. 

"I sat next to Jack Grasty for seven years and he's never talked about cutting taxes -- not once," Hathaway told Headline Surfer® on Friday while making his early morning Pepperidge Farm bread deliveries at grocery stores in New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.

In addition to cutting taxes, Hathaway believes the city has to set priorities on capital projects, such as badly-needed storm-water drainage improvements to deal with the recent massive flooding due to heavy rainfall over several days.

We have a legitimate threat to public safety with dangerous flooding in parts of our city," Hathaway noted. Then he asked rhetorically, "Our best answer is we are pushing for grant money? That is unacceptable."

NSB flooding from the recent heavy rainfall / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Flooding conditions like this shown here are commonplace in New Smyrna Beach from the recent heavy rainfall.

Hathaway has a common-sense solution.

"Let's scrap the $5 million for the Brannon Center and fix the flooding issues and rebuild the football stadium," he said. "Vote for me for mayor and I will bring city government back to reality."

Hathaway also believes the city needs to react faster to pressing issues like the deplorable situation with the New Smyrna Beach football stadium stands compromised by extensive rust, adding these kinds of situations require a plan of action sooner than later.

Hathaway was on the dais four 18 years until 2012, when he opted not to seek another term as he made a run for the district 3 County Council seat that was opening with then-incumbent Joie Alexander barred from running again due to term limits.

Headline Surfer® videos produced by Multimedia Editor Serafina Frederick /
Jim Hathaway is shown in this HeadlineSurfer.com-sponsored public candidate debate with Deborah Denys at Oak Hill City Hall in their campaign for the County Council district 3 seat on the eve of the 2012 general election. Hathaway won the primary, but Denys prevailed in the general election with strong GOP support in the non-partisan race. It was the second debate between the two, sponsored by the internet newspaper. The first was held at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach before the primary.

Hathaway found himself in a crowded field in that 2012 campaign with then-Edgewater Councilman Justin Kennedy and former School Board member Deborah Denys running as well for the two-year seat. 

Hathaway won the primary with Denys finishing second en route to a November showdown in a presidential election year with Volusia County Republicans pushing Obamacare as an evil.

And though the county race was non-partisan, Denys got the partisan support to get by Hathaway, a registered Democrat, in the general election with the GOP getting a Volusia County win for Romney.

Regardless, Obama carried the Sunshine State en route to a near-landslide victory for another four years in the White House. Deep down inside, Hathaway knew his destiny was to follow in his late father's footsteps.

That was then in terms of the county campaign and this is now. with the mayor's race and Hathaway is hungry to get back into elective office.

Opponent Jack Grasty silent on flooding & huge expense for football stadium; gets union support for raises supported by a tax increase for a 2nd consecutive year

Jack Grasty is running for mayor of New Smyrna Beach in the Nov. 4, 2014 elections / Headline Surfer®Still images from New Smyrna Beach mayoral candidate Jack Grasty's Facebook page /
At far left is a summary of Jack Grasty's platform in his campaign for mayor. All of the achievements he writes about were done with his opponent, Jim Hathaway on the dais as well. Where they differ, though, is Grasty voting for tax increases last fiscal year and the new fiscal year that began Oct. 1. Grasty got the endorsement of the Teamsters 385, the union that represents the police force, but that's because of Grasty's support of slight raises for the rank-and-file cops and because four new officers are being hired. But at least one of those positions was left unfilled earlier this year with the sudden departure of a high-ranked administrator in the NSBPD in response to the scandal involving more than 900 missing and stolen items from the evidence room, which Grasty has been silent on as well. Despite what Grasty claims about addressing parking, it remains woefully inadequate, especially on the beachside on weekends due to beach traffic that backs up all the way to the I-95 interchange on S.R. 44. Grasty makes reference to the Ester Street flooding project, which the city has been sitting on for two years now with the recent flooding forcing the park to be closed. Grasty makes no mention of the flooding nor does he address the problems with the NSB football stadium bleachers that have rendered it unusable this season with more than a million bucks needed than has been budgeted. Grasty's campaign page is saturated with fundraisers for his election.

Though the mayoral election, too, is non-partisan, Grasty is getting considerable support from the Volusia County Republican Party and Hathaway's former nemesis, Denys, who has a Grasty sign plastered on the front of her husband's insurance business.

Grasty and Hathaway are vying for the mayor's post held by Adam Barringer the last five years, who opted not to seek re-election amid a host of personal financial problems, including the closing of one of his two restaurants, unpaid back taxes and a massive judgment on his family's construction business.

While Barringer, a registered Republican, supported Hathaway two years ago,  he supported Denys in her campaign for re-election in the August primary. Barringer supposedly is staying neutral in the mayor's race between Hathaway and Grasty.

And while Grasty has been very quiet in recent weeks, Hathaway has spoken out against the tax increases, the deplorable condition of the New Smyrna Beach football stadium and the lack of planning for storm-water improvements that became a major issue with the recent rainfall that caused massive flooding.

Fulfillment of Hathaway family legacy: Like father, like son

New Smyrna Beach mayoral hopeful Jim Hathaway with his 97-year-old mom / Headline Surfer®The late William S. Hathaway was NSB mayor from 1964-1966 / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Jim Hathaway, former longtime New Smyrna Bech city commissioner running for mayor in the Nov. 4 elections, is shown with his mother, Lucille, celebrating her 97th birthday recently. His late father, William S. Hathaway, shown in the inset, was New Smyrna Beach's mayor in the mid-1960s.

Hathaway's father, William S. Hathaway, was New Smyrna Beach's leading political figure in the 1960s, culminating in his election as mayor for two years, beginning in 1964.

The elder Hathaway served on the New Smyrna Beach Planning and Zoning Board, and was elected as a city commissioner prior to becoming mayor.  He also owned and operated Hathaway's Food Store on Flagler Avenue.

So while Hathaway ran for county council, following in his father's footsteps, was inevitable. The only reason Hathaway hadn't done it sooner was the logjam of three successive mayors with Jim Vandergrifft holding down the top seat on the commission for a couple of term before he was defeated by Sally Mackay in 2007.

Then Mackay narrowly lost to Barringer in 2009. Barringer and the commissioners gave themselves an extra year by switching to even-year elections and then Barringer automatically won a another two years at the helm in 2012, when nobody else put in qualifying papers to run against him.

But with Barringer beset by financial and political issues, including ethics complaints, and a whole host of other issues that continue to dog him, including a scandal in the police department that continues to evolve under the former Police Chief Ronald Pagano, Barringer announced on WNDB Radio's Marc Bernier Show (a safe haven), that he was not seeking a third term.

Still image from Jim Hathaway Facebook page / In yet another debacle under the administration of New Smyrna Beach City Manager Pamela Brangaccio and lameduck Mayor Adam Barringer, the city will be forced to spend $1.1 million more than budgeted to replace the rusted and compromised home bleachers at New Smyrna Beach Stadium, rendering the facility unusable for home games and forcing the NSB High Cudas football team to play their home games on the road. City Commissioner and mayoral candidate Jack Grasty has been silent on the issue.

Grasty was the first to throw his hat into the ring, but Hathaway soon followed, knowing the time was right to follow a dream of following in his father's footsteps. Sadly, the elder Hathaway died on Feb. 26, at the age of 97.

Still, Hathaway, would like to honor his father's legacy by becoming mayor himself.

Headline Surfer® believes Hathaway, by far, is better candidate to truly lead New Smyrna Beach over Jack Grasty, who has demonstrated time and again in his eight years on the commission that he is either unwilling or incapable to break away from the status quo of putting the taxpayers second while continuing the escalation of personnel salaries at the expense of vitally needed infrastructure and capital improvements.

New Smyrna Beach desperately needs a municipal leader, something that has been missing for the better part of a decade now.

Jim Hathaway has long ago earned the respect of the internet newspaper, and with it, this strong endorsement for mayor of New Smyrna Beach in the Nov. 4 elections.

Headline Surfer® videos produced by Multimedia Editor Serafina King-Frederick / Then-New Smyrna Beach City Commissioner Jim Hathaway speaks on the grand opening of the Walmart Supercenter on State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach in November 2011. In the previous month, Hathaway is shown answering questions following an NSB City Commission Economic Summit. 

FAST FACTS: James West Hathaway bio

Age: 61. 
Home Community: 
• Born at Halifax Medical Center and raised in New Smyrna Beach;
• Lifetime member of First Baptist Church of New Smyrna Beach. 
Family: Married for nearly 33 years to Paula Hathaway; four children and four grandchildren. Education:
• 1971 graduate of New Smyrna Beach High School;
• 1975 recipient of a Beachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Stetson University in DeLand.
Military Service: 
U.S. Army Reserves, during which earned rank of captain in the quartermaster corps.
• Self-employed small business owner of a Pepperidge Farm bread distributorship since 1991, requiring him to start before dawn to bring fresh bread to local grocery stores in the New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater areas;
• Before going into business for himself, managed the family grocery store, Hathaway's, on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach.
Political Career:  
• Elected four  times to the New Smyrna Beach City Commission, serving from 1994 to 2012;
• Served five terms as New Smyrna Beach vice mayor and has represented the City of New Smyrna Beach on various boards, councils, and committees through the Florida League of Cities, including the board of directors;
• Former president of the Volusia League of Cities with service on the executive committee;
• Trustee of the New Smyrna Beach Fire Pension Board while serving on the New Smyrna Beach City Commission;
• Commissioner on the New Smyrna Beach Community Redevelopment Agency prior to elective office on the New Smyrna Beach City Commission;
• Ran for the Volusia County Council District 3 seat in 2012, winning a three-way primary over Deborah Denys and Justin Kennedy before losing narrowly in general elections to Denys;
• Current candidate for New Smyrna Beach mayor in Nov. 4 elections.

Jim & Paula Hathaway of NSB / Headline Surfer®

Headline Surfer video produced by Multimedia Editor Serafina King-Frederick /
STILL IMAGE: New Smyrna Beach mayoral candidate Jim Hathaway and his wife, Paula, are shown on Sept. 28 on Flagler Avenue attending the NSB Jazz Festival. The event caused Hathaway to remark, 'I love this community and I want what is best for it. I've raised my family here and look forward to continue to improve our slice of paradise.'
VIDEO: Hathaway is shown with his wife, Paula, during the 2012 New Smyrna Beach High School Cudas Homecoming football game, when he came up short in his run for a seat on the Volusia County Council. Hathaway, endorsed by HeadlineSurfer.com,  is running for mayor of New Smyrna Beach in the Nov. 4 elections.
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.