• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

NSB commission candidates answer News-Journal Q&A

ByChad J. Johnson

Oct 14, 2022

The two candidates for New Smyrna Beach City Commission Zone 1 are incumbent Michael Kolody and challenger Valli Perrine. While Zone 1 covers downtown and part of the northern causeway stopping at the edge of the beach, voters across the city elect the four commissioners and the mayor.

More from NSB:Lisa Martin and David McKenna vie for City Commission Zone 2 seat in New Smyrna Beach

The battle for mayor:Fred Cleveland and Spencer Hathaway to face off in NSB mayoral race

Michael Kolody

Michael Kolody

Age: 76

Occupation: Licensed Professional Engineer with Kolody Engineer and Surveyor, New Jersey, specializing in land use planning, municipal engineering, environmental permits, and surveying

Political experience: Elected Township Councilor 2000-2003 Stillwater Township, New Jersey, and Elected City Commissioner, New Smyrna Beach, 2018-Present

What are your top three priorities?

[Kolody has not yet responded to this question. When he does, this story will be updated.]

three questions

1. Why are you running?

I ran for election in 2018 and was lucky enough to be elected. I served on the economic advisory board and the planning and zoning board. My credentials include over 40 years as a land development and municipal engineering company owner. In New Smyrna Beach, I became increasingly concerned about the direction of the city. After attending many city commission meetings and speaking out, the then-mayor suggested, “If you want to speak for more than 3 minutes, get elected. I did, but found that the municipal government moves very slowly and one more term is needed to accomplish what I set out to do.

2. What is one life achievement that sheds light on the kind of city commissioner you will be?

Happily married for 38 years to Mary Lou. I consider myself a social moderate. Through my work with social and environmental organizations, both locally and nationally, I believe my efforts to protect the quality of life of many people have been enhanced. Environmental preservation both on land and in marshes and open water areas has been protected. The social welfare of homeless people and low-income families has been a concern of mine for decades. I will continue on this path.

3. What do you love about New Smyrna Beach that you will fight to protect, and conversely, what will you fight to change?

The environment and the character of the city must be protected. Through my years of public service and my knowledge as a licensed land use engineer, I have the ability to advise colleagues on land use planning and similar matters. My desire to consider all citizens as equal strengthens community unity. The city is beset by development. We respect the rights of visitors and landowners but must allow smart growth without overdevelopment. We cannot allow the city commission to be controlled by real estate agents, developers and those who can authorize overdevelopment.

Valli Perrine

Valli Perrine

Age: 61

Occupation: Retired US Regional CFO

Political experience: 4 years Vice Chairman of the NSB Economic Development Advisory Board

What are your top three priorities?

Fiscal Accountability: Expertise in balancing the city budget and holding government accountable.

Maintain OUR way of life: Protect local charm, history and business.

Safety and emergency preparedness of our city: Ensuring that the municipal government is prepared and properly funded.

three questions

1. Why are you running?

Because the number one challenge for cities in the country is managing their budget! For more than 25 years, I was responsible for managing budgets, processes and forecasts for Fortune 500 companies such as Target and Kroger. I have worked with small businesses to help them become more financially sound. Our budget must be managed to meet residents’ goals, whether it’s traffic, roads, parks, preservation of history or infrastructure. We need to stop kicking the streets, spending money on expensive studies, and failing to act on viable solutions and decisions that citizens want.

2. What is one life achievement that sheds light on the kind of city commissioner you will be?

I have proven results of implementing viable budgets and forecasts for all types of businesses. Our current city council lacks that kind of budgeting leadership. They rely primarily on city staff for this knowledge. Good leadership means listening to the needs of taxpayers and proposing viable solutions. After our recent hurricane emergency, our citizens need this expertise more than ever. Our city will face many challenges over the next four years that are very different from the past four years. My strengths, my professionalism, my hard work, my integrity, my determination and my full-time dedication are what our community needs.

3. What do you love about New Smyrna Beach that you will fight to protect, and conversely, what will you fight to change?

I will fight to protect our safety and ensure that we have adequate police, first responders and an adequate BALANCED budget to pay for these much needed areas. I will protect our local businesses, our clean beaches, our history, our parks and green spaces, everything that makes our city so charming. For the change, each general expense line item should be parsed rather than stamped. I will make recommendations and workable solutions for our affordable housing needs. I will prioritize our parking and traffic issues and create short and long term solutions and better transparency and communication between city councils and citizens.

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