February 27, 2017
by Jerry Milligan
There are two meetings of the City Council tonight at city hall. A Workshop meeting on the Homeless in Crestview will be the primary matter for discussion beginning at 6:00 PM. Prior to the workshop, at 5:00 PM, there’ll be a special meeting on the subject of Changing the City Charter in Crestview.
A Change in the City Charter?. Yes, as happens every few years in Crestview, someone else is lobbying the City Council to change the charter.
The last time that subject was dealt with was in 2012. Council members who were in office then made some major legal blunders in the process, and the referendum had to be cancelled; however, the question could not be removed from the ballot in time for the General Election. In what amounted to a straw ballot on the issue, City voters very solidly rejected the Charter Change proposal and voted No. Now, once again the Charter Change issue is before the City Council.
According to the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Office Website, the citizens of Crestview voted 53.22% against replacing the City Charter of Crestview.
Here is a quote from the Agenda for this evening’s Special Meeting:
Larry Harris, of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, behalf of the Studer Community Institute, will present a summary presentation of the recent interviews of city officials, staff and stakeholders along with research addressing a course of action.
i. To establish a Charter Review Commission.
ii. To establish an Administrative Board to advise and facilitate City structure, procedures and operations management in anticipation of a new City charter.
And that’s where the matter lies right now.
The question is, Will the City Council rush to accept the proposed “Course of Action” in order to propose wholesale Charter Change now, or take a page from Fort Walton Beach’s successful plan of presenting voters with opportunity to make smaller changes in the charter, a few at a time with no changes in the current form of government?
Council Special Meeting on the matter is at 5:00 PM this evening and the Workshop session at 6:00 PM. Council Chambers, Crestview City Hall, Downtown!