Kurt Swartzlander became the City Manager of the City of Daytona Beach Shores on June 6, succeeding longtime City Manager Michael Booker, who retired.
Swartzlander, 51, was the city’s Finance Director for four years and served as Assistant City Manager for the past year. Before that, he spent 11 years as Finance Director and Assistant City Manager at the city of Holly Hill. Originally from Michigan, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College and an MBA from Stetson University in DeLand.
“Kurt Swartzlander has been a valued member of our management team, and the City Council and I feel fortunate to have someone with his talent, experience and dedication as our new City Manager,” said Daytona Beach Shores Mayor Nancy Miller. “We welcome Kurt to this new role and look forward to working with him in the years to come.”
Swartzlander said he plans to build on the foundation laid by Booker and the City Council over the past two decades. “We have a great staff and well-run city already, so the transition will be relatively seamless,” he said.
With his background in finance, fiscal management is one of his strengths. The City Council adopted the rolled-back rate for property taxes this budget year, and the Shores’ tax rate is among the lowest in the county.
“The city is in a good position, financially,” Swartzlander said. “As leaders, we have to strike the right balance between providing the high-quality services our residents are accustomed to, planning for a rainy day with adequate reserves, and managing the budget properly to keep the tax rate low.”
His priorities include recruiting employees for hard-to-fill positions, advancing technology and automated services, and upgrading the sewer system in partnership with neighboring governments. The city will continue to manage the impact of unsanctioned special events using its unique model of public safety that combines fire/rescue and police services.
Maintaining an excellent quality of life is a top priority, and Swartzlander and his management team are studying Census data to ensure services and amenities support the growing population. The Shores will also continue to attract commercial growth through economic development incentives.
As he takes the helm of the city, Swartzlander’s family will be cheering him on to success. His wife, Stacy Swartzlander, is an educator for the hearing-impaired, and their youngest child, son Jackson, 14, who is deaf, is a student at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine. Daughter Kinsley, who was 9 when she was adopted, and son Jadon both graduated from Spruce Creek High School in May. Both 18, they are affectionately known as “the twins.” Daughter Sydney, who turns 21 this week, will graduate from Florida State University in July.
“My dad was a pediatrician in a small town and when I was young, he worked a lot of hours,” he said. “That motivated me to develop a healthy work-life balance to make sure I was always there for my kids even as my career advanced.”
“Now that our children are older, I can fully commit my time and energy to serving as City Manager,” Swartzlander said. “I love Daytona Beach Shores, the citizens and employees here, and I’m honored to serve in this new role.”