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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021 9 months ago

Ormond Beach begins redistricting process

Also in City Watch: Ormond Beach Police receive donation for new K-9.
by: Jarleene Almenas Senior Editor

In the last 10 years, Ormond Beach’s population has grown by a little under 5,000, and local officials are deciding how these new voters should be split among their zones.

In 2010, according to a city memo, population totaled 38,139. Population totaled 43,080 in the 2020 census, which marks an increase of 13% or 4,941 people, and an annual average growth rate of 1.3%. The most growth occurred in Zones 1 and 3, both of which include neighborhoods west of I-95.

With a target population for each commission zone of 10,770, the City Commissioners decided at their workshop on Tuesday, Dec. 7, that an option with the least amount of change for the majority of the voters was the way to go.

The commissioners decided on “Option 6,” which shifted 479 residents living between Airport Road and the Tomoka River from Zone 3 to Zone 1, as well as 999 people living between Sanchez and Domicilio avenues.

“It has the fewest number of changes,” Commissioner Dwight Selby said. “It impacts the fewest number of zones. ... It respects geography and I think it would be very effective.”

Commissioner Troy Kent pointed out that his zone — which saw the least amount of growth in the last decade — likely wouldn’t grow  much in the next 10 years. Yet, under “Option 6,” his zone would be one of the lowest in population count, which could trigger major changes in the next redistricting process, as Zones 1 and 3 continue to grow.

“I just think it’s probably the wisest choice,” Kent said.

Commissioners agreed to shift a section of North Beach Street (from Granada up to Cameo Circle) to Zone 2, adding 103 residents. The commission will review a resolution of intent to adopt the new boundaries at its Jan. 4. The first reading of the ordinance will occur on Feb. 15.

A map showing “Option 6,” the favored redistricting plan by the Ormond Beach City Commission, though some modifications were made at the workshop. Map courtesy of the city of Ormond Beach

OBPD receives donation for K-9

The Ormond Beach Police Department was the recipient of an almost $12,000 donation by a Portuguese businessman and former consul of Portugal to Florida to help the department acquire and train a new K-9 after the recent death of K-9 Kane.

Caesar DePaço, who is also the founder and CEO of Summit Nutritionals International Inc. in New Jersey, has a history of supporting K-9 units in law enforcement, according to his webpage.

Ormond Garage to get live music

The Ormond Beach City Commission unanimously approved at its Dec. 7 meeting a special exception to allow Ormond Garage to host live outdoor music.

The hours were designated to start after school, per its proximity to Ormond Beach Elementary.

School Board member a ‘star’

Volusia County School Board member Linda Cuthbert was among two statewide school district leaders in Florida recognized for their leadership by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations at the 76th annual joint conference of Florida School Boards Association and Florida Association of District School Superintendents on Dec. 1.

Cuthbert, a past chair of the School Board, received the “2021 Star: School Board Member of the Year” recognition because of her history with the FUTURES Foundation, according to a press release.

“Volusia County has been extremely fortunate to have Ms. Cuthbert and her tireless leadership and talent for more than thirty years as an educator and now school board member,” said Heather Bond Vargas, FUTURES Foundation board President, in her recommendation letter. “She is a star and the world should know it!”

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