The Neighborhood Council was founded under Resolution No. 24-13, which states the City recognizes that:
- its democracy is enriched by the active participation of an informed citizenry; and
- it is in the best interest of the City to strengthen neighborhood participation in City governance where such participation exists, and to encourage and support neighborhood participation in City governance where it does not yet exist; and
- a Neighborhood Council would provide a structure for increased citizen participation in the governance of the City and building cooperation and improved communication between citizens and City officials; and
- a Neighborhood Council would provide an arena for residents to come together, share information, and make recommendations to the City government on neighborhood or city-wide issues.
The Neighborhood Council shall consist of nine regular members. Board members shall be registered electors and serve without compensation. Members of the Neighborhood Council shall be residents of the City of New Smyrna Beach. City employees and members of other City advisory boards may not serve as members of the Neighborhood Council.
Members shall be appointed by the City Commission. Each City Commissioner shall nominate one regular member for appointment. Each appointee must reside in the zone represented by the Commissioner nominating member. The Mayor shall nominate two regular members for appointment, who shall be residents of the City. The Vice Mayor shall nominate one regular member for appointment, who shall reside in the zone represented by the Vice Mayor. The Vice Mayor shall also nominate one regular member for appointment, who shall be a resident of the City.
The nine members of the Neighborhood Council shall serve two year terms at the pleasure of the City Commission and may be removed from the Neighborhood Council by the City Commission with or without cause. If the position of a member becomes vacant for any reason, the City Commission shall appoint another qualified person to serve the unexpired term of the vacated position. The Neighborhood Council shall work with the City Manager or the City Manager's designee.
The Neighborhood Council shall be charged with:
- providing advisory recommendations to the City Commission, Planning and Zoning Board, Historic Preservation Commission, or any other Board regarding neighborhood issues with city-wide implications; and
- reporting on concerns and interests of the residents in the neighborhoods and in the City as a whole on a regular basis; and
- serving as the liaison between the City and the neighborhoods to assist the City with disseminating information on development proposals, initiatives, and projects; and
- working to increase citizen participation in the governance of the City; and
- encouraging opportunities to increase neighborhood communication, interaction, and problem-solving; and
- serving in an advisory capacity on issues brought forth by the City Commission for its deliberation and recommendation; and
- performing such other duties and assignments as requested by the City Commission or City Manager.
The Neighborhood Council meets on the fourth Monday of each month. All meetings shall be open to the public and minutes shall be kept as provided by the Florida Open Meetings Law.
Members of the Neighborhood Council
Zone 1: Dr. Randy Herman (Chair)
Dr. Randy Herman has been a social work practitioner, mental health therapist, educator, administrator, and consultant for over 50 years. He began his career as a Vietnam-era military social worker and worked in the fields of adoption, mental health, HIV/AIDS, aging, hospice, and life planning. He is professor emeritus at the University of St. Thomas School of Social Work and currently has a small private practice for individual and couple counseling in New Smyrna Beach, where he has lived for over 10 years. He is actively involved in civic and service organizations, including his current role as Chair of the Neighborhood Council.
Zone 1: Linda Palmer
Zone 2: Deborah Bell
Debbie purchased a home on Washington Street in 2003 in the hopes of eventually retiring here and opening a bookshop. Living in Central Florida since she was very young, New Smyrna Beach became her beach, spending holidays and family vacations here whenever possible. After a major renovation to the building, her dream became a reality in 2010 when she opened Renewals Bookshop. She experiences true urban living, as well as a very short work commute, as she lives above the shop.
She soon became enmeshed in the workings of our charming and intimate community, joining a number of civic organizations.
Debbie has served on the Neighborhood Council since 2015, when she discovered a need for citizen input into the town's growth, maintenance and developmental path.
Zone 2: Teresa Bowen
Teresa joined the Neighborhood Council in November 2016 after seeing the need for keeping the charm in New Smyrna Beach, particularly with regards to maintaining and preserving the charm in the historic districts of the community. This charm that we have is very unique and helps our community stand apart from other Florida towns.
She bought a home and moved to New Smyrna Beach in 1989 after doing the "Images" art festival as a professional potter and opened Clay Gallery in 1998 in a historic home on Riverside Drive. She enjoys traveling for work as well as pleasure. Outdoor activities such as gardening, camping, and being on the water are her favorite past times.
Zone 3: James Lurkins
James was born and raised in Hollywood, FL and after serving 12 years (and 7 moves) in the United States Navy decided to call New Smyrna Beach home. His in-laws and parents had moved to the area from South Florida in the early 2000s and he and his wife always knew, when the time came, this would be a great place to raise their children.
Like many, James soon became interested in what makes New Smyrna Beach so special and inviting to residents and visitors. He believes that with revitalization and a sense of pride from the community, New Smyrna Beach can and will continue to provide that same small town charm it always has while allowing local businesses and communities to thrive economically.
James has been married to his lovely wife Kim since 2002 and has two daughters, Abigayle and Gabrielle. He works for a property management company in New Smyrna Beach and enjoys the fact that his job enables him to get to know residents and visitors on a daily basis. In his spare time James enjoys spending time with his family training and racing their horses around the Central Florida area.
Zone 3: Constance Meadows
Zone 4: Elizabeth Bell
Elizabeth "Lize" Bell retired with more than 30 years of experience in health and human services. She holds both a master's degree in public health and a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida. Prior to entering health and human services, Lize was a journalist for 12 years with two Florida daily newspapers--the Florida Times Union and the Winter Haven News Chief.
During her health care career, she served as the executive director of a program for pregnant women and children up to age five, director of community health improvement for a nine-hospital corporation, director of communications and government relations for a county government children's services agency, project director of an initiative to establish a health insurance program for the working uninsured, and director or assistant director of marketing and public relations for several hospital systems. Lize also served on the State's Regional Health Planning Councils for both West and Central Florida, chairing both committees during her tenure.
In addition to her paid positions, Lize has been actively involved in a number of health and social service projects. She co-chaired a community education initiative to support a county-wide health program for the uninsured. This project, funded by a half-cent sales tax, raises more than $40 million annually to provide health care for those without health insurance. She has served on a number of boards of directors including one that created a primary grade charter school with a health and wellness focus.
The mother of 4, stepmother of 3, grandmother of 12, and great grandmother of 6, she enjoys an active family life reading, volunteering, and traveling with her husband.