HOLLY HILL Florida — Holly Hill Police escorted two individuals pointing fingers and raising voices at each other out of a workshop on the issue of regulating public parks on Tuesday. The incident prompted Commissioner John Penny to remind the citizens attending the workshop the commission was “setting park policy irregardless of any individual group,” and that behavior and discussion should remain professional. In a rare move, the commission allowed the public to speak during the workshop, which is not the usual procedure. AA Daytona and NA Daytona Meetings in Daytona and Holly Hill Area.
Among 37 citizens who attended, some spoke their minds about wanting further and stronger regulations to include requiring any larger groups to reserve space and pay a fee for using the park, among other things. Steve Smith suggested having an educated and trained park director would help resolve some of the problems. Mr. Sanderford presented a petition with 88 signatures of citizens wanting stronger regulations. He operates a shop across from Sunrise Park.

A few individuals hinted at the value of self-help groups using the park often, and one person even said the groups using Sunrise Park on weekends had relocated. Not until the commission closed public discussion did the crux of the issue surface clearly. “This has turned into a battle of two worlds, and I don’t think we should be in the middle,” said Commissioner Liz Towsley Patton. “There’s no secret we are here because of the NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings at the park. I don’t think we are here to micromanage public parks.”

But Commissioner Donnie Moore had a different take, and said he had spent two hours speaking with park officials in Daytona Beach. He recommended the city attorney, who was not present, get with the Daytona Beach city attorney and park staff to come up with rules applicable to all who use the park.

The policy being discussed encompassed 13 rules laid out by acting Police Chief Steve Aldridge. The rules included such items as smoking in designated areas, pet rules, no alcoholic beverages except by permit at organized events, no littering, no discharge of firearms, designated parking and no children on the playground before sunrise or after sunset. Penny said he was comfortable with Aldridge’s list and recommended the list be forwarded for action at a future commission meeting.

Commissioners agreed to look at giving designated smoking areas a 90-day trial, and to ask the city attorney to speak with park officials in Daytona Beach to better understand the issues.

Comment- Citizens are demanding stronger regulations for the local parks
because of the increasing problems that have arisen because of the presence
of Large Party Groups and Daytona Beach Area Narcotics Anonymous and Daytona Beach Alcoholics Anonymous- Volusia County Intergroup.  Interesting that the City attorney was not present.Still no action has been taken by the City of Holly Hill regardless of the pleas from numerous local citizens.
Citizens have had their life threatened by Daytona Beach Narcotics Anonymous members and been confronted by Daytona Beach Alcoholics Anonymous Volusia County Intergroup. Others have been cussed out. Police have been called numerous times- yet Holly Hill only protects the felons that attend the meetings that have been mandated by Drug Court and the Department of Corrections.
Update- Even though Holly Hill has passed NO Smoking in the parks- AA and NA groups continue to smoke in our parks with no repercussions.


  1. Good for Holly hill to focus on the kids and start recreation programs for the children. These recreational activities will also extend to Hollyland Park where violent felons congregate for court mandated Narcotics Anonymous meetings right next to the playgrounds and ball fields. This makes no sense what so ever. Someone with an once of common sense needs to protect these children and not put them in harms way. Grown adults refuse to go to Hollyland Park because of the harassment from NA members.

    Holly Hill, church partnership to offer recreation

    By Chris Graham
    Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2013

    Daytona Beach News-Journal – HOLLY HILL — City Commissioners on Tuesday night approved contracts for two organizations to provide recreational services.

    With a unanimous vote, the city commission accepted a proposal by United Brethren in Christ, 560 Flomich St., that will allow the church to oversee recreation for up to four years. The initial agreement will be for one year while the city has the ability to extend the contract for two years and then an additional year. The church would receive $30,000 annually.

    According to the terms of the contract, United Brethren in Christ will offer recreation at 1200 Center Ave., where the old Holly Hill Middle School once stood, as well as Hollyland Park. Programs that will be offered include baseball, basketball, soccer, kickball, T-ball and flag football. Registration will be $25 per player for every team.

    The church already had a kickball league and 66 children participated, said Chuck McKeown, executive pastor at United Brethren in Christ.

    “There definitely is a need there,” he said.

    The city commission also extended its contract with the Volusia-Flagler Family YMCA to lease out the city-owned facility at 1046 Daytona Ave. The city last year agreed to subsidize the nonprofit organization for $45,000 after Y officials said the group would have to pull out of the city because of low membership. The extension is for three years and was approved by a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Roy Johnson and Commissioners John Penny, Elizabeth Albert and Penny Currie approving the measure. Commissioner Donnie Moore dissented on the matter.

    Commissioner John Penny said he believed the certainty of the Y’s status in the community will help build up membership and thinks additional programs will be offered as more residents join with the organization.

    “I think it will be a win-win situation,” he said.

    Teresa Rogers, president and CEO of the Volusia-Flagler Family Y, said the organization is “ecstatic” to remain in Holly Hill.

    “Our business is serve our community and that includes all of Volusia County,” she said.

    In other business, commissioners:

    • Approved a contract with Dickens & Associates Inc. to bury utility and power lines in the the Community Redevelopment Area. Phase No. 1 of the undergrounding project will include Riverside Drive from Mason Avenue to 3rd Street, U.S. 1 from 5th Street to Mason Avenue and 3rd Street from Riverside Drive to U.S. 1. The contract with the company is for $161,690. The city is funding the project through a $5 million bond.


  2. Will NA Daytona or AA Daytona Beach pay rent for using our parks in Holly Hill Florida? Or will they continue to leach off the City and it’s citizens?

    • Holly Hill Florida Eagles Centennial Park

      A bald eagle parent stands sentinel in a tree near its three chicks in Centennial Park in Holly Hill.

      Special to the News-Journal/Steve Brown
      By Dinah Voyles Pulver
      Published: Monday, August 5, 2013

      A pair of eagles nesting in a Holly Hill park last winter attracted visitors from near and far who watched in rapt fascination as the pair raised not one, not two, but three eaglets.

      Steve Brown, a photographer and filmmaker who lives in Holly Hill, was also captivated, not only by the eagles but also by the bird enthusiasts who came to watch them.

      He considered himself retired at the time. His last job had been co-producing the documentary on Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail that prompted the 2011 feature film “Dolphin Tale.” But the eagles lured him back to work.

      Over the space of about two months, he spent 16 hours a day at Holly Hill’s Centennial Park, shooting photos and video for a documentary he hopes will share the story of the birds and birdwatchers and families who came to see them.

      Through his camera lenses he watched as the eagles flew tirelessly back and forth bringing food to the chicks. He captured the first chick hopping up to the edge of the nest and taking flight, just as the Daytona 500 was starting to roar in the distance.

      And he watched as another chick seemed to almost fall out of the nest and then find its way to a limb on a nearby tree where it seemed to shake in fear. Brown said he watched as the eaglet sat there for hours, until a parent flew over and coaxed the baby back to the nest.

      “We got some really incredible footage,” said Brown, including more than 40,000 still photos.

      Brown was amazed that the eagles flourished despite urban surroundings that include the neighboring wastewater treatment plant and an audience watching from below. For three chicks to be healthy and fledge the nest, Brown said, “so many things have to fall in line.”

      Audubon officials said it’s uncommon for three chicks to hatch and fledge the nest. David Hartgrove, a long-time member and former president of Halifax River Audubon, said he had never seen a pair of eagles raise three chicks.

      The story seemed near perfect at first, but then, disaster struck.

      One evening Brown watched as all three chicks tried to return to the nest at the same time. “Three chicks, with 18 feet of total wing span? It doesn’t work.”

      One chick flew around the nest tree and then over toward the treatment plant. When Brown returned the next morning, the adults and two chicks were perched in a dead tree “screaming” out over the treatment plant property.

      At about 9 a.m., a city employee came around to see Brown, bearing bad news. One of the chicks had fallen into the tank and drowned.

      “I felt like I’d lost a child,” said Brown. And the eagles? Their reaction will stay with Brown forever.

      “They grieved for two days,” he said. “They didn’t eat. They didn’t fly.”

      Brown is telling the story through the eyes of 5-year-old Sadie Anderson, who he said visited the park often with her family to see the eagles and was broken-hearted to learn the fate of the fallen chick.

      He plans to include an educational element and a tribute to birdwatchers. He hopes to collaborate with Audubon of Florida on the release and distribution of a DVD. He’s working with Hartgrove and meeting this month with other Audubon officials, looking to them for guidance.

      Hartgrove, who has visited the studio, loves the concept that Brown wants to get children and families “off the couch and outdoors.”

      “I’m hoping it’s going to be a rousing success,” he said.

      Brown is excited to do a project in an area he has considered home for most of his life. “Holly Hill isn’t known for anything,” Brown said. “This is something we can share.”

      A Sanford native, he often visited Volusia County growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. He said he has lived in Holly Hill for 35 years, except for a stint in jail in the late 1980s for drug smuggling. After returning to the area, Brown said he stuck to photography to earn a living, concentrating mostly on sports. Brown said he got interested in video while working with John Fox, the pro bass fishing guide who had a television show on ESPN for many years.

      Reached in Ocala this week, Fox called Brown “imaginative” and “one of the most talented videographers in Florida.”

      Brown’s company, Gabby Mobile Productions, worked with Clearwater Aquarium to produce the original documentary on Winter the dolphin, which was rescued from Mosquito Lagoon in Volusia County. The company also collaborated with the aquarium on a sequel, “Winter, the dolphin that can.”

      After that project, Brown said he had turned the business over to his partner and long-time friend Bud Spicer, a retired Volusia school administrator, but now he’s back in the thick of things again.

      He’s turning his attention almost full time to nature and they’re talking about a series of documentaries on local wildlife.

      “I really do believe that if people can tune into nature, and just look up,” Brown said, “they’re going to be better people.”


  3. It really is who you know in The City Of Holly Hill. Even though Rick Glass is still under investigation for raping a disabled woman at his workplace, The City of Holly Hill hired him back! Unbelievable! The city says they care about children? The City should have waited until after the investigation is complete.

    Holly Hill rehires former commissioner under investigation

    By Chris Graham
    Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
    HOLLY HILL — Former City Commissioner Rick Glass has been hired into the town’s public works department, despite an ongoing investigation into allegations of possible sexual abuse of a client at a facility for disabled people.

    Holly Hill officials confirmed Glass started working for the city on Friday as a small equipment mechanic. His salary is $24,641.

    Attempts to reach Glass for comment this week were unsuccessful.

    City Manager Jim McCroskey said Glass and six other people applied for the position and he was recommended as the most qualified for the job.

    According to an application submitted by the former elected official, Glass will be responsible for, among other duties, diagnosing and troubleshooting malfunctioning equipment, dismantling defective engines and maintaining records of service and repair work. He is under a six-month probationary period, as are all employees.

    Glass’ hiring comes more than a year after authorities began investigating claims he sexually abused a client of Arc of Volusia — formerly known as the Association for Retarded Citizens.

    On Tuesday, State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Klare Ly wrote in an email that the investigation is “active and ongoing.”

    “I cannot discuss details of the investigation,” she wrote.

    According to a report from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the incident, described as a “potentially inappropriate sexual encounter,” was discovered by a Department of Environmental Protection officer in October 2011. The suspect’s name was blacked out on the report provided after The News-Journal inquired about the case.

    The Department of Children & Families confirmed at the time Glass was under investigation for an incident at Arc. The sheriff’s report indicated the alleged victim in the sexual misconduct was a 41-year-old woman. Glass was fired from his position at Arc.

    In Glass’ application submitted to the city, applicants are asked whether they have been discharged or forced to resign from any position under the criminal history section. Glass checked, “yes” and went on to explain that he was “wrongfully accused.”

    According to his work history, Glass indicated he was employed by Arc from January 2008 to October 2011. Under reasons for leaving, Glass wrote, “Eliminated my position (reason they gave me).”

    McCroskey said the city ran a background check and everything came “clean.”

    “That’s all I can go on,” he said. “I can’t go on innuendo or speculation; I have to go on fact.”

    Should Glass be charged, he would be subject to dismissal, McCroskey said.

    This isn’t the first time Glass has been hired by the city.

    He served as a maintenance worker from 1999 until he was fired in 2001 in the wake of allegations that he stole leftover concrete mix for his personal use. He was awarded back his job in 2002 after an independent arbitrator found Glass’ dismissal was “excessive.”

    On the day he was to be reinstated, Glass retired from his position, citing “stress caused from the City of Holly Hill management.”

    Some commissioners on Tuesday said they did not believe the investigation should have prevented Glass from being hired. Mayor Roy Johnson added that he made sure Glass had not been shown favoritism.

    “He was the most qualified, so I think that should be the main issue,” he said.

    Glass was first elected commissioner in 2007 but did not run for re-election in 2012. Penny Currie replaced him as representative for District 2 in the city.

    She said she advised McCroskey to wait to hire Glass until after the investigation had been completed.

    “I thought that would have been a better avenue to take,” she said. “Personally, I have nothing against him.”


  4. Here is a quote from the co-founder of AA in Tradition Three 12X12 page 139 ” No matter who you are, no matter how low you’ve gone, no matter how grave your emotional complications-even your crimes-we still can’t deny you AA. We dont want to keep you out. We aren’t a bit afraid you will harm us never mind how twisted and violent you may be”.

    This mentality is what we have been dealing with in Holly Hill for decades. The police know it too, yet they just blame the victims.

  5. This is just crazy crap! Holly Hill allows citizens lives to be threatened by Daytona AA and Daytona NA members in their parks for years without them paying, yet they are mandating the Boy Scouts to pay rent for using a building and give up their space? Some weird politics in this town. On top of that both AA and NA members are ignoring the new NO SMOKING ordinances! What are the Holly Hill police doing about it? Everyone should be treated the same- including the Boy Scouts and Alcoholics Anonymous of Volusia County Intergroup and Daytona NA.

    Holly Hill Cub Scouts seek to keep home

    By Chris Graham
    Published: Monday, February 11, 2013

    HOLLY HILL— The Cub Scouts in Holly Hill may not have a den to meet in after receiving a notice from the city they will lose free use of a building in Hollyland Park.

    But some say city officials are out of line for making the Cub Scouts pay for a facility originally intended for the organization.

    “It’s ludicrous,” said former Mayor Roland Via, who once helped with the Cub Scouts.

    Melissa Martin, Cub Master for Pack 54, said she received a letter last week from City Manager Jim McCroskey that stated the group would no longer be able to keep meeting at the building in Hollyland Park starting Feb. 17. Martin said the pack, which consists of about 20-30 boys ages 6-11, have been meeting at the facility for the past two years without any problem — or the city noticing.

    “What kind of person does it take to evict the Cub Scouts?” she said, adding she plans on being at Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

    According to the letter, former City Manager Oel Wingo, who helped negotiate an agreement with the group in 2010, did not have “the right to give property away to anyone in the City,” McCroskey wrote.

    Reached by phone on Monday, McCroskey said the city commission at the time did not vote on whether to give the Cub Scouts free rent. In this case, he said he is “required to follow (the city’s) fee schedule” for renting facilities.

    McCroskey asked that the group return its building keys to the city and offered to let them rent a pavilion at the park for a three-hour block minimum for a $15 fee plus tax and $50 security deposit.

    “Please accept the City’s apology for the misunderstanding of the usage of the building at Hollyland Park,” McCroskey wrote.

    The city apparently had not been aware of the Cub Scouts’ presence until Martin called asking to rent a pavilion for an annual banquet to celebrate the birth of Boys Scouts of America, Martin and Via said.

    “It shows they don’t cause a problem,” Via said. “If anything, they leave the building in better shape.”

    While the building in question is considered city property, Commissioner Penny Currie said the town should honor its agreement with the group.

    She said newspaper clippings show the materials were donated decades ago to construct two buildings — one for the Boy Scouts and the other for the Girl Scouts. In a recording of a June 2010 meeting, commissioners seemed to request Wingo to work on an agreement with the group.

    “As far as I’m concerned . . . it’s where they belong,” Currie said. “We need to follow through with that.”

    McCroskey said he’ll do whatever the City Commission instructs him to do.

    “If they direct me to give (the group) free rent, then that’s exactly what I’ll do,” he said.


    • After hearing the heated discussions on the rentals for the cub scout rentals, it seemed like the City Commission is leaning towards sticking to ordinances for EVERYONE. I can understand that if in fact they actually start treating everyone equally and enforce leasing ordinances and fees that the City Of Hill start mandating that the Daytona Alcoholics Anonymous and Daytona Narcotics Anonymous pay for the pavilions they have using for free for years. Also The City of Holly Hill needs to enforce and start trespassing 12 step members for violating our NO SMOKING rules.

    • How do you make an AA or NA mad? Tell them nicotine addiction is drug addiction, and that their continued use of nicotine is the same as their alcohol and drug use. You know how to make a 12 stepper mad? Tell them smoking is banned.

  6. This is interesting article. Even though there has been public outcry about crime in Sunrise Park and Centennial Park related to AA and NA meetings, drug sales and sex perverts at those parks, the City Of Holly Hill still allows AA and NA members to bully locals out from pavilions. They even do it at Holly Land Park. I had not heard of any complaints about the Riverside bathrooms. I think they were closed to please the MG on the Halifax Group that have a lot of pull with the city. It is so obvious it is who you know in Holly Hill and he has the big bucks like MG on the Halifax.

    Holly Hill: Homeless prompted bathroom closing

    By Chris Graham
    Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
    HOLLY HILL — One of the city’s newest parks had been drawing quite a bit of attention. But probably not the kind officials had hoped for.

    “It was becoming a home for the homeless,” City Manager Jim McCroskey said about the restroom facility at Riverside Park at a recent City Commission meeting.

    After a resident complained of not having access to the bathroom at Riverside Park, the city disclosed last week it had closed the building which is across the street from the city’s Second Street Market building and near the luxury condominium complex MG on the Halifax.

    McCroskey said the facility with two bathrooms was closed about 18 months ago because homeless people, believed to be coming from a camp on a vacant lot in Daytona Beach, had been using the restrooms to take baths.

    He said city staff often would find the soap and paper towels gone by 9 a.m. each morning.

    The outbuilding had also become “a meeting place for activities we don’t support,” McCroskey said.

    “That’s a dark area and it’s on the end of our town,” McCroskey said of the park. “It’s kind of like a desolate place right now.”

    It’s also the second time that Holly Hill officials have had to close a restroom facility over misuse. The city bulldozed the restrooms at nearby Ross Point Park about a year ago after complaints that men were meeting there to engage in sex acts.

    Police Chief Mark Barker said officials suspect the same illegal activity had been occurring at Riverside Park but no arrests were made.

    There is no timetable for when the restrooms may be reopened but McCroskey said city staff will open them for special events in the near future. He added the problem should be alleviated once the city builds its fishing pier and the Second Street Market building has more businesses.

  7. Man gets life sentence in fatal Holly Hill motel shootout

    Holly Hill Motel Shooting

    By Mark I. Johnson
    Published: Friday, January 11, 2013

    DAYTONA BEACH — A 21-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in jail for what prosecutors said was masterminding the attempted robbery of a known drug dealer at a Holly Hill motel that resulted in the death of a 19-year-old participating in the crime.

    It took jurors just 50 minutes Friday afternoon to find Leroy Gadson guilty of felony second-degree murder and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon for his role in the April 2011 shootout at the Pilot Lodge motel, 1400 Ridgewood Ave. During that incident, Donnell “D.J.” Ellis was fatally shot in the chest.

    This was Gadson’s second trial on the charges. His first trial in October resulted in a hung jury. But the six-member jury was unanimous in its verdict Friday.

    Immediately after the verdict, Circuit Judge R. Michael Hutcheson sentenced Gadson to life in prison on the felony murder conviction and 30 years on the attempted robbery charge. Gadson is already serving a 15-year prison term for violation of probation on a home invasion conviction, Hutcheson said.

    The verdict did not sit well with either Gadson’s or Ellis’ families, who filled the S. James Foxman Justice Center courtroom.

    “It took two trials for them to get their lies together,” said Edith Johnson, Gadson’s grandmother from Bunnell, who added, “Volusia County railroaded my grandson. He is not guilty of nothing.

    “He is not a robber and not a killer,” she said. “We did not raise him that way.”

    Gadson’s mother, Angela Johnson, added, “This was unjustified. There was no evidence, no gun, no forensics, no nothing. The judge gave him life for nothing.”

    Family members of D.J. Ellis were also dissatisfied with the verdict.

    His mother, Wisteria Harry, would only reiterate that she still believes the real killer of her son has never been arrested or charged with his murder.

    During his closing argument, Assistant State Attorney Ryan Will said Gadson planned with three others, including Ellis, to beat and rob Lawrence J. Kloc, 22, of drugs and cash.

    Speaking before the verdict was handed down, Will said the difference between October and this week’s evidence was the motive for the robbery, Will said.

    During his two-hour closing argument, Will took the jury on a step-by-step journey of what the prosecution said happened on April 16, 2011.

    “April 16, 2011, D.J. Ellis woke up, got dressed and began the last day of his life,” Will told jurors. “A life taken in a robbery planned and executed by (Leroy Gadson).”

    In their initial investigation of the motel shootout, police suspected Gadson, Ellis and Darshawn Broadwater, 21, had been shot in a drive-by shooting while standing in front of 56-year-old Jerry Roy Crew’s motel room. However, additional information came to light that indicated the four had lured Kloc to the motel to rob him.

    That plan fell apart when Kloc arrived in the company of two other men, Chauncy Gilmore, who was 17 at the time, and Jamie Evans, now 21, police said. When Kloc entered Crew’s room he was jumped by Gadson, Ellis and Broadwater, and Gilmore and Evans came to his aid.

    Prosecutors believe Ellis, armed with a 9-mm pistol, opened fire on Gilmore — armed with a .380-caliber pistol — and Evans. Gilmore returned fire, fatally striking Ellis in the chest.

    Kloc grabbed Gilmore’s pistol as he fled the room and fired back, hitting Gadson and Broadwater, police said.

    In his closing, defense attorney Kevin Bledsoe questioned whether a robbery ever took place.

    “What happened at the Pilot Lodge was not initiated by a robbery,” said Bledsoe after wrapping up his argument. That fact is important because to be found guilty of felony murder, jurors had to find Gadson guilty of at least attempted robbery.

    He claimed the state’s case was entirely based on the testimony of people willing to lie in an effort to help themselves rather than Leroy Gadson.

    Crew was sentenced in December to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of felony murder and robbery. Court records show Kloc, the intended robbery victim, pleaded no contest in February to two counts of aggravated battery and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Gilmore was charged with possession of a firearm by a delinquent, while Evans, who was unarmed, was not charged.

    Broadwater is scheduled to be sentenced at the end of January after pleading no contest in November to second-degree murder.


  8. Here we are at the 2 year anniversary of this Daytona NA nightmare event. Since this occurred there have been additional events of harassment of local Holly Hill citizens and business owners. AA Volusia County Intergroup has bullied multiple times people out of pavilions, including threatening and harassing locals. Daytona NA members have actually expanded to other parks like Holly Land Park and Centennial Park. They had an incident where an NA member tried to hit another member with a baseball bat! They continue to run people out of pavilions, and recently have been breaking the new No Smoking rules implemented by The City of Holly Hill. We commend Holly Hill for moving forward with this new Park rule! I wonder how many AA/NA out of towners will be in town for the Turkey Run. We Hope they respect Holly Hill more than Daytona Groups do. Continue reading to learn about the events 2 years ago at Thanksgiving time.

    Complete article with comments

    Updated Article

  9. A Daytona Beach AA Member harassed citizens again at Sunrise Park Holly Hill Florida November 25th 2012. The AA member approached a man drinking coffee and reading his Sunday paper on the other side of the park from where the AA meeting was taking place. She told this man that he needed to attend their AA meeting! She accused him of being a drinker. The man politely got up to move away from her and told her he did not need an AA meeting that he was not even a drinker.She started yelling at him calling him a liar. He told her if she did not stop harassing him he would need to call the police. She said ” fine, I will tell them you were harassing me! ” Another lying AA Member.

    Complete Story-

  10. Holly Hill Florida Looks at NA & AA Meeting Procedures in the Parks
    Posted on September 22, 2011
    Holly Hill looks at park meeting procedures
    January 10, 2011

    HOLLY HILL — HOLLY HILL – Children romping on playground equipment at Sunrise Park giggled and shouted in the dark recently, under the watchful eyes of their aunt, Beth Thomason.

    On the same night a woman’s low voice nearby murmured about her drug problem. She sat at a picnic table with a camp lantern glowing on nearly 20 adult faces, many under hoodies and knit caps in the cold. Thomason said she knew it was a self-help group, because she once attended similar meetings in support of a relative. No incidents occurred Friday at Sunrise. But recent conflicts over park use by large groups caused citizens to request commissioners look at stronger regulations for the city’s parks.
    Park rules and policies will be discussed at a public workshop 5 p.m. Tuesday in City Commission Chambers.
    According to a flier on a City Hall table, anonymous self-help groups meet daily at Sunrise and other parks all over Volusia and Flagler counties.
    In Holly Hill, park reservations by large groups aren’t required, but an option to assure a spot is available for $25, said Acting City Manager Mark Barker. “Any group has a right to assemble in a park for a lawful purpose,” Barker said.
    An individual at Friday night’s meeting, who didn’t want a name used because the group prefers anonymity, said the number of people at a meeting varies and many who attend are required to be there by drug court.
    Commissioner Rick Glass said he’s anticipating help from the city attorney at the workshop. “I have had many, many people call, and I just got off the phone with a citizen who was talking about it,” Glass said. “They want (sign-up) procedures put in place for parties – basic policies like other cities have, where parties of 20 or 25 people have to pull a permit.” Park regulations for municipalities at municode.com show other cities, including Ormond Beach and Edgewater, regulate many issues from conduct and park hours to penalties. Barker said “right now, to control certain behaviors,” other regulations are used – not park specific – such as laws covering alcoholic beverages, firearms and public safety issues.

    Commissioner Liz Towsley Patton said the issue has been discussed before – not at length. “We will look at all sides and decide,” she said. “I am open to that, but, do I think we need to shut parks off to groups or go through a certain process? No.” Commissioner Donnie Moore said: “As it stands right now . . . I do see some issues, and we can work on that.” Moore said requiring reservations by large groups might be considered, but he also hopes to designate playgrounds as nonsmoking areas. Commissioner Roy Johnson said he aims to find “what is best for everybody,” but not “restrict people from using the park.” A local business operator across from the park believes the city should regulate park use. “I am in a little store where people stop to get their whatnots, and they say what’s on their mind. I have heard grumblings,” said Mr. Sanderford. He spends seven weekdays operating Holly Hill River Mart, and said local residents complain about meeting groups monopolizing the park and the parking. The complaints resulted in a petition asking city lawmakers to look at the issue, he said.

    Former mayoral candidate Steve Smith presented the petition. Barker said an unsigned copy of the petition is on record. Smith said his trouble at the park began while running for mayor. He reserved the pavilion once a week for 10 weeks, having cookouts and campaigning, but encountered harassment and disagreeable persons in a group meeting at the park pavilion with no reservation, he said. “The city should limit (the number of) times,” of use by large groups, Smith said, and all groups “should be submitting some remittance to the city for the maintenance of the park.”

    Smith also had a solution.

    “The thing that is missing is, we don’t have a leisure services or parks director, so there is nothing scheduled.” Organized activities would help, he said.


  11. Great News! Roy Johnson won!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations Roy Johnson and The City Of Holly Hill!

    Johnson wins Holly Hill mayor’s race

    Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:55 p.m.
    Last Modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:55 p.m.
    HOLLY HILL — Mayor Roy Johnson trounced challenger Roland Via by 17 percentage points in his re-election bid, according to complete but unofficial results.

    Johnson collected 58 percent of the vote compared to 41 percent for Via.

    The matchup between Johnson, 72, and Via, 62, a radio talk show host, marked the third time the two had squared off in the city’s mayoral election. Via won in 2005 while Johnson took the majority vote in 2010.

    In the days leading up to the election, supporters for both candidates took a sour tone, culminating with a mailer that was sent out late last week attacking Via.

    Johnson said he’s going to continue to bring more businesses to the city. Laying out a plan for the old Holly Hill Middle School and Second Street Market building are among other issues facing the mayor and City Commission.

    — Chris Graham

    • Thank God Roy Johnson won. That is all we needed was Roland Via back in office.

      Now lets get to work people and make Holly Hill a safer place to live and play!

  12. The City originally considered having designated smoking. But the overwelming desire of the City of Holly Hill officials and citizens was to have no smoking in all of the parks for entire the entire park. This is wonderful news, and a very progressive move on part of the City as many other parks across the country have no smoking parks.

    You can get kicked out of the park for breaking the no smoking rule. I hope people will respect Holly Hill for wanting a cleaner park and cleaner air for thier citizens.

    I hear they intend to enforce all the new rules.

  13. Par for the course, Volusia County Intergroup, also known as Daytona AA refused to obey the new no smoking rules in Sunrise Park this Sunday morning. Many members were smoking away today, thumbing their nose at the City Of Holly Hill and local citizens who are trying very hard to clean up the parks. Most of these people do not even live in Holly Hill. Most live in Daytona and Ormond Beach. Why don’t they go break the rules in their hometowns?

    Holly Hill is investing a lot of money into sidewalks, repaving streets, installing beautiful signs that outline the new no smoking rules along with others rules. Daytona AA thinks they can just continue to come to the City of Holly Hill and disrespect our City and citizens.

  14. Gunfire breaks out at Daytona Beach Park where children were playing
    By Patricio G. Balona
    Published: Monday, September 10, 2012

    DAYTONA BEACH — Several men in a physical fight at Derbyshire Park pulled out guns and fired shots that sent more than a hundred children scurrying to safety Monday, a police official said.

    A woman who heard the commotion and opened the door of her Derbyshire Road home to see what was happening got grazed by a bullet that came crashing through her door, said Police Chief Mike Chitwood said. The woman declinedical treatment, Chitwood said.

    The fight broke out near the Derbyshire Park tennis courts at 6:36 p.m. Three men pulled out guns and fired. They got into separate cars – a red one and a silver one – and continued exchanging gunfire. At least 10 shots were fired, Chitwood said.

    “A woman at 840 Derbyshire Road heard the commotion and as she opened the door the bullet goes through the door and grazes her knee,” Chitwood said. “The bullet lodges in a picture frame.” Chitwood said police are working to determine what sparked the fight and are following leads. About 150 children were at the park at the time of the gunfight, Chitwood said.

    Mary McCoy, who is with the Derbyshire Tennis Program, said at least 30 children were playing tennis when the gunfire erupted.

    “We had to hit the ground,” McCoy said. “It is very unfortunate. We had 30 to 40 kids and bullets were bouncing on the wall.” Nearby, in an open field, Dahryll Brown and his coaches ushered 135 children of the Hurricanes Football Program to safety. “We took them to another area,” Brown said.


    August 30, 2012 12:05 AM Posted in: East Volusia Tagged: Holly Hill City Commission
    HOLLY HILL — Commissioners have approved a measure that outlaws smoking in the city’s parks.

    The smoking ban was part of new rules and regulations approved by the commission at Tuesday night’s meeting.

    Commissioner Liz Patton, who was not in attendance, had asked City Manager Jim McCroskey for a workshop to discuss the matter, but the rest of the board decided to move forward with a vote.

    Under the new rules, people caught smoking will first get a warning and if caught a second time will be banned from the park for six months.

    All parks will close at 10 p.m. and remain closed until 6 a.m.

    Other rules include no skateboards, scooters or bicycles except in the parking lot areas and alcohol consumption will not be allowed.

    Dogs must be kept on leash at all times and owners must carry litter bags, according to the new provisions.

    The commission approved the park rules 4-0, with Patton absent.

    In other business, commissioners:

    – Designated the Sonic Holly Hill Car Show as a special event on the city’s calendar. The event will be on the second Tuesday of every month at the Sonic Drive-In, 1830 Ridgewood Ave.

    Complete Story-


  16. Within a month of Daytona Beach AA member Bruce was being escorted out of the City Commission meeting, arrested with assault and battery with a deadly weapon! This man then went on to continue AA meetings in Sunrise Park against the wishes of fellow AA members, and even AA headquarters in New York City. His Sunrise Group continues to advertise and pay zero rent for his meetings in the park and his group continues to harrass local citizens. They also pay nothing to the Volusia County Intergroup.

    Just this past Sunday July 8th 2012 a Daytona AA member of his group named Carl, and others gave locals a hard time. Carl even was physically threating as he came up to a citizen telling him he was making a mistake to think he was passive and peaceful! No mistaking that fact! After all the harrassment from both AA and NA we know what a dangerous group they are. When the citizen pulled out his phone to call the Holly Hill Police Deparment, he finally did back off.

    Later AA member Carl was asked to leave Sunrise Park because he was also giving Holly Hill PD a hard time too, screaming and yelling at them.

  17. Here is a meth -lab bust in Holly Hill Fl that the police department patted themselves on the back for. Even though neighbors had been complaining about drugs from this house for a long time, yet police appeared apathetic as usual and the drug activity continued. Join the crowd citizens, Holly Hill PD and City Manager do nothing when AA and NA members threaten citizens in the park or call them about drug activity in the park either!


  18. Well on this past commission meeting on April 24th 2012 many citizens stood up and complained about the increasing crime in Holly Hill Florida, despite the fact that overall crime is down in the state of Florida and Daytona Beach. The sad part was when a citizen asked the Commissioners, Mayor Roy Johnson and City Manager James McCroskey what they planned on doing about it. Donnie Moore said ” Nothing”. No one else had anything of value to add.Then the City Manager James McCroskey told Chief Mark Barker at the end of the emotionally charged meeting what a great job he was doing! What a slap in the face. OMG- what is wrong with these people? Great job? I don’t think so!

    Listen to the video of this meeting and the sad state of affairs of the City Of Holly Hill Fl http://www.justin.tv/cityofhollyhill/b/316201474http:/

    WE need to clean house this November!

  19. The two men who almost got in a fight, and had to be escorted out of the
    County Commission meeting BY POLICE were both AA members that belong to the Daytona Beach AA Intergroup.
    One local AA member felt AA should follow there traditions and not get into
    controversy about meetings in the Sunrise Park by AA and NA members.
    Bruce wanted to fight to stay for his Sunrise Group that meets Sunday mornings
    at the park.It is a part of the Volusia County Intergroup.

    It is pathetic they wont follow their traditions and continue to refuse to pay
    rent and avoid controversy. At least one AA member wanted to do the right thing
    and listen to the community and find another place.

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