Vision Statement

Ponce Inlet is and will be a residential haven for those persons who value nature, quiet, privacy. It offers a small town lifestyle where people feel safe and should have easy access to small scale businesses serving their needs. The community will continue to be particularly distinguished by its natural beauty and its access to nature. It has ensured that its built environment is of high quality and appropriate scale while protecting historic features. The community will be recognized for the professionalism and integrity of its government and the high level of citizen involvement and participation in the life of the community.

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Local Government

Ponce Inlet is organized with a council-manager form of government:

Voters elect a Town Council, which consists of five members who serve two-year staggered terms. All five seats including the Mayor are town-wide; there are no districted seats. The Town Council establishes ordinances and policies for the town. It also reviews and approves the town budget annually. The Council appoints a Town Manager, who implements policy as voted on by the council. The town manager is the senior administrative official of the town,and is responsible for all aspects of administrative oversight.

Jeaneen Witt, Town Manager

Jeaneen Witt, has worked for the Town of Ponce Inlet since 2005, serving as Assistant Town Manager from 2005-2010 and Town Manager from 2010-present. Jeaneen is a multi-generational Daytona Beach native. She served four years in the United States Air Force after graduating from Spruce Creek High School. Jeaneen earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida with a major in Public Administration in 1996 and a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration in 2017.

In addition to her work for the Town, she is the volunteer treasurer for St Peter the Fisherman Episcopal Church in New Smyrna Beach, where she and her husband Chip are members. Jeaneen is proud of her two adult children, Joshua and Elizabeth (twins), who have embarked on their own careers after graduating from college. Jeaneen, Chip, and their dogs Adella (German Shepard) and Finley (American Bulldog mix) live in Ponce Inlet.
Gary Smith, Mayor

I have served as Mayor since 2011 after serving the Town as a member of the Planning Commission and Planning Board. I have been a property owner since 1991 and a permanent resident since 2006.

My formal education includes a Professional Engineering Degree and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. I am a professional engineer, retired, licensed by the State of Florida. My 40 years of career experience include 24 in the private sector and 16 in County Government.

I served as a Lieutenant in the Army Combat Engineers and am a Viet Nam Veteran.
Mary Hoss, Vice Mayor

Mary Hoss has served on the Town Council since 2011 and as Vice-Mayor since 2012. She moved to Ponce Inlet from Pittsburgh in 1994 with her late husband, William. Having a passion for education and the skills for accounting, she held careers in both; teaching secondary education and owning a tax consulting business. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Education. She has taught at two Florida colleges, worked with the Volusia Literacy Council, and serves on the scholarship committees in the Women’s Club and the Garden Club. She served on the Town’s Board of Adjustments and the Planning Board for eighteen years combined. Vice-Mayor Hoss was selected as Ponce Inlet Citizen of the Year in 2016 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. She is proud of her three sons, her daughter, and her grandchildren, though her four great grandsons are the joy of her life.
Bill Milano, Seat #3

Bill Milano has served on the Town Council since 2012. He moved to Ponce Inlet from Broward County in 2002 with his wife Patty of 52 years; retiring after 38 years as an Educator, 16 of which as a high school principal. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education and a Masters in Guidance &
Counseling, and an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration Leadership and Guidance and Counseling. He was honored as Florida Principal of the Year by the Florida Thespian Association, as United States Principal of the year by the North America Thespian Association, the Int’l Exchange club secretary/treasurer of the year, and also honored as the Alumnus of the year for Broward State College for community service. Bill’s service record includes: 2 years as a Planning Board member; 16 years and counting as a homeowner’s association board member & president; earned designation as United States Swim Official & was selected as the meet referee for the Florida High School Swimming Championship; and Bill is currently treasurer on the First Step Shelter for the Homeless Board. Bill & Patty enjoy frequent visits with their 2 children and 5 grandchildren.
Joseph Perrone, Seat #4

I’ve served on the Town Council since 2011, having previously been a member of its Board of Adjustment and Planning Board. Homeowners here since 2000, I became a permanent resident in 2004, joining my wife, Patricia, after retiring from the NYC Housing Development Corp. I’ve worked mostly for banks in the field of mortgage loan origination and administration, notably for one owned by The Dreyfus Corporation, managing their 16 state mortgage banking program. While residing in New Jersey, I served on my town’s municipal budget committee, its zoning board, and was an elected member of its regional school board. I also served for six years in the New York Army National Guard and have held licenses to sell real estate (NJ) and insurance (NY).

I’ve authored three books and volunteer at Epiphany Church where I’ve served on their Pastoral Council, their collection counting committee, and recently in their RCIA program. I’m also a member of the Ormond Beach chapter of the Florida State Poets Association. It was our son who first discovered Ponce Inlet, calling it, “The best kept secret in Florida,” (which, thankfully, it still is), and who preceded us in relocating here.
Lois Paritsky, Seat #5

I am an attorney, licensed to practice law in New Jersey, and founding partner of Myers & Pico, PC. As a trial attorney I litigated a wide range of civil and criminal cases. The New Jersey Supreme Court appointed me to the Committee on Attorney Ethics, where I adjudicated cases involving the conduct of attorneys. I am admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

I first discovered Ponce Inlet in 2009 while on vacation, and made this paradise my home with my husband, Howard. In 2013, I served as Vice-Chair of the Planning Board until 2015, when I became a Councilmember. I currently serve as Second Vice-President to the Volusia League of Cities and advocate in Tallahassee to protect and preserve what we value as a Town: peace, quiet and tranquility. I am honored to serve as a member of the Advisory Board of the American Flood Coalition, a national organization focused on finding solutions to mitigate the damage caused by flooding and sea level rise. I am an animal advocate, a member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and a member of the Animal Law Section of the Florida Bar Association working to advance the welfare of animals through protections within the legal system.
Cliff Shepard, Town Attorney

Cliff Shepard is a University of Florida grad and practices local government law, complex commercial litigation, real estate development, insurance defense and construction law. He is Board Certified in City, County and Local Government Law.

He serves as City Attorney for Maitland, Town Attorney for Ponce Inlet and General Counsel for the Orange County Charter Review Commission and the Florida Redevelopment Association.

Cliff has been named to The Best Lawyers in America© and Orlando’s Best Lawyers (2017-2020) and is also recognized as one of Florida’s ‘Legal Elite’© by Florida Trend Magazine and a Florida Super Lawyer©