CRESTVIEW—The City Council prepared for improved code enforcement and the city touted a new way to explore local events at its meeting Monday evening.

Code enforcement

Ordinance 1619 was approved on its first reading by unanimous vote. The ordinance allows the city and the city’s code enforcement to define what an “unsafe structure” is and how they can begin to be dealt with.

“Until this ordinance passes, [the city] has no definition of what an unsafe building is,” Growth Management Director Teresa Gaillard said during the introduction of the proposed ordinance. “It’s the first (step) towards a solution” to code enforcement and blight, she added.

Melissa Simpson, a local Realtor, asked during public comment if the ordinance would provide the city with the ability to penalize individuals for blighted structures and allow them to demolish those buildings if remediation attempts failed.

City Attorney Ben Holley and Gaillard confirmed it would not grant those abilities.

“You can’t make a step until you take this one,” Gaillard said in reference to Ordinance 1619. Without its adoption, the city would not have a way to spearhead later efforts to condemn or demolish unsafe structures.

The ordinance will go to a second reading before it is adopted to the city code.

Councilman Joe Blocker expressed interest in hosting a town hall-style forum or workshop for property owners to explain what the current code laws state and what rights they have property owners.

“Property owners have rights as well,” Blocker said, a sentiment he has expressed during past conversations on code enforcement.

“Property owners have rights but they also have responsibilities,” Gaillard added.

Community events

Crestview launched a new Facebook page called “Crestview Events” as a source for events and happenings in the community.

Events are currently listed on the official city page and website but are limited to those endorsed or sponsored by the city, according to City Clerk Betsy Roy. The new page will allow citizens a chance to promote and discover other events happening in the area.

Roy also highlighted a mobile app for Android and iPhone users called “City of Crestview” for free download. The app presents users with several icons including City Council, police and fire departments, public services and jobs. Clicking the icons will bring individuals to the city’s mobile website for the respective selection.

Users can also register for alerts and notifications from the city using the app or the www.cityofcrestview.org web page. The alerts include public safety information, road closure details, meeting agendas and office closure information.

The goal of the notifications is to provide an additional method for people to stay informed during emergencies.

Honors and appointment

Two service recognitions were made during Monday’s meeting—Mayor David Cadle and Fire Chief Joseph Traylor presented firefighter Jonathan Hoke with a service award commemorating his 10 years of service with the Crestview Fire Department.

Additionally, Cadle and Police Chief Tony Taylor recognized investigator Ralph Garrett as the department’s officer of the year.

Cadle appointed Joshua Molyneux to be the commissioner of the Crestview Housing Authority, an appointment that was unanimously adopted by the council. Molyneux has been the interim commissioner for over a year and will now serve in the official capacity for four years.

“He’s going to do a great job in anything he does,” Councilman J.B. Whitten said. “He’s the right man in the right place.”

The next City Council meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 27. A workshop will precede the meeting and is currently scheduled for 5:30 p.m.