For Jodi Rozycki, it’s the teacher going back to school, this time to learn as much as she can about city government before she starts her term as a Satellite Beach City Council member. She was elected unopposed to fill the seat to be vacated this fall by Steve Osmer.
Rozycki, a long-time teacher at Surfside Elementary, has been told by city leaders and others that joining the City Council at this juncture will be intense, with the challenges related to possible long-term contamination, development issues, and the ever-looming preparation and recovery from hurricanes.
To help her hit the ground running, Rozycki spent the summer meeting with the city department heads to understand their roles and budget needs.
“It seems like everybody is on the same page and the feeling is the city is on a good path,’’ she said.
Self-described and known as a “reasonable person,” Rozycki believes that having a level head and sense of balance will help her be an important part of community decisions. And, as any good teacher knows, you have to be willing to do the work in advance to understand all sides of the issues. “People have told me that it’s going to be a lot of homework, but I am ready. It’s interesting to me.”
Born and raised in the Satellite Beach/Indian Harbour Beach area where her mother still lives in the same house, Rozycki attended Ocean Breeze Elementary, Hoover Middle School and was a 1990 graduate of Satellite High, where she got her first civic experience with recycling efforts and met and became friends with city leaders.
After an education degree from the University of Central Florida, she and her husband moved back to Satellite Beach in 1996 and she started teaching at Surfside Elementary School, teaching fourth grade this year.
The youngest of seven children and now with four active children from 9 to 15 years old, Rozycki, who is also active in Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, prides herself on maintaining a good pace while keeping up with the details.
Joining the City Council now is Rozycki’s way of preparing for her involvement once her children get to college age, and putting in real effort toward a bright future for her hometown of Satellite Beach.
“This is our home. I am a born and raised beachside girl. I want it to continue to feel the same charm. I want the good parts to be stuck in time,’’ while progressing in an intelligent sustainable way, she said.
Dominick Montanaro was also returned to his council seat unopposed as he and Rozycki were the only candidates to qualify. After serving from 2002 to 2009, Montanaro rejoined the council in 2013 when he was appointed to fill a vacancy. He has been active in the Florida League of Cities.
For the Indian Harbour Beach City Council, only Mayor David Panicola was re-elected unopposed. Originally from Long Island, New York, David Panicola has lived in Florida for over 23 years and in Indian Harbour Beach for 18 years. He has served on City Council since 2002 and has served as deputy mayor for four one-year appointments. Panicola was elected mayor on Nov. 6, 2015.