Please join me in welcoming our new city manager Michael H. "Jake" Johansson and his family. Mr. Johansson has hit the ground running, and is providing solid leadership to the city. He has already started the hard work of getting to know the community and the organization's needs and priorities. With the addition of Mr. Johansson, means that interim city manager, David Harden, has fulfilled his commitment to serve until the new city manager was selected and on board. I want to thank Mr. Harden for his dedication over the course of this last year. Mr. Harden's government experience has served us well.
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I also want to welcome our new Chief of Police Thomas Grimaldi. At the time of this writing, Chief Grimaldi's selection is tentative pending a background review. Chief Grimaldi replaces Chief Gerald Monahan who plans to retire in November after 16 years of service. Chief Monahan has done an outstanding job of maintaining the quality of the community, and keeping Port Orange one of the safest cities in Florida.
Since the last newsletter, I am pleased to report Riverwalk Park Phase 1A has made good progress. Located north of the Riverside Pavilion, the contractor has cleared the land, hauled in fill dirt, and started construction of one of the park's two planned trailhead/restroom buildings. By the end of this year, the public will have access to the kayak/canoe launch, an eight foot wide timber boardwalk over the water, the trailhead/restroom facility and a portion of the Riverwalk trail. Another project to update you on is the Golf Course at Cypress Head renovations. All the reshaping work of the greens, tees and bunkers on the course has been completed. The new turf mix (a Jones Dwarf variety of Bermuda) was installed and is currently completing its 45-day growing in period. Improvements to the clubhouse and banquet area have already started, and the city just awarded a contract for the food and beverage service at The Tavern at Cypress Head to a local vendor – Cypress Greens, LLC.
Finally, I want to thank residents for taking an active role in preparing for the recent tropical storm. The importance of planning and gathering your supplies for such a weather event makes a difference. Emergency management experts are now indicating that citizens should be preparing to sustain themselves for first the 72 hours or more after a major storm event or disaster. Knowing where you are going stay if required to evacuate, knowing how to shut off the water, electricity, and gas to your home and having an emergency supply kit ready is key. Take this opportunity to prepare. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year.
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