Stewart Cruz, a certified planner who has served as the City of Daytona Beach Shores’ City Planner for the past 17 years, has been promoted to Director of the Community Services Department.
Cruz was appointed Deputy Director of the department last November leading up to his promotion as Director. He succeeds Fred Hiatt, who retired from the position after a 35-year career with the city.
“Stewart is an exceptional planner and leader who has played a critical role at the city for 17 years,” said City Manager Michael T. Booker, who will retire Friday, June 3. “He has a broad understanding of the divisions under Community Services and a strong vision for the future of the department. Incoming City Manager Kurt Swartzlander and I agree he was the perfect choice for this role, and we both welcome him to the management team.”
The Community Services Department includes the city’s Building, Business Tax Receipt, Code Enforcement, City Facilities, Planning, Public Works, and Sewer divisions. As Director, Cruz manages all aspects of the department including daily operations, the budget, long-range planning, bid specifications and consultant contracts. He oversees capital improvement projects and utility concurrency to ensure utilities are available for new development and growth.
As a member of the Shores’ management team, Cruz works closely with the City Manager and supports the functions of the Planning and Zoning Board, Special Magistrate and City Council.
Cruz said he has two major goals for the department – making services more efficient while keeping costs low and improving the city’s aging sewer system. The Shores is a small city with a small staff, and employees will be cross trained for coverage where they are needed most, he said.
As City Planner, Cruz has played a key role in Community Services for many years. He administers the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code and drafts land-use, growth and development ordinances. He manages new residential, hotel and commercial development to ensure it meets the Shores’ land development standards, including technical review of plans, and oversees future land use and long-term planning.
In addition, Cruz has managed the city’s floodplain management program and stormwater management program for the past eight years and serves as the city’s representative on the Volusia/Flagler River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization Technical Coordinating Committee. The city is now seeking a new City Planner.
Cruz has a Master of Science in Planning from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. He is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners and is currently working toward a Master of Public Administration degree.
He is a member of the American Planning Association, the American Public Works Association, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Parish Council. He enjoys volunteerism, philanthropy, teaching Sunday School, traveling and spending time with his family.