CRESTVIEW — The Charter Review Committee, along with Mayor David Cadle, on Thursday discussed the mayor's duties under a proposed new city charter.
The list of powers and duties currently outlined in the proposed charter for the mayor are: to be recognized as head of the city for ceremonial purposes; to participate in city council meetings with authority to participate in discussions but have no vote; to present recommendations to the city council; to exercise veto power over ordinances adopted by the city council within five days of adoption; to see that provisions of the charter, laws, ordinances and rules of the city are complied with and enforced; and to hold no other elected public office. The proposal notes that the mayor may be removed from office.
“One of the things I thought was very important that I lobbied for the last time around is that the mayor remains a non-voting member of the council,” Cadle said. “This gives the mayor the opportunity to speak individually with each member. That’s been very helpful. One thing I did suggest, and the council approved that, was that the mayor would moderate the meetings.”
Currently, Council President J.B. Whitten moderates city council meetings. In many communities adjacent to Crestview, the city’s mayor is in charge of council meetings and only has a vote in the case of a tie.
According to Ellis Conner, the committee’s chairman, the new charter relieves Cadle from heading the police and fire departments, giving him more time to oversee the entire city and its operation.
Andrew Rencich, the charter committee’s vice chairman, asked Cadle what he believed were the pros and cons of the mayor’s current oversight. According to Cadle, lacking a strong chain of command structure for department heads to answer to is a disadvantage. This is where a city manager would come in, which would cause more cohesiveness, according to Cadle.
Cadle said 80 percent of Crestview residents don’t realize that the city doesn’t operate on a strong-mayor form of government, where all key policy and management decisions flow from the mayor's authority.
Nearly every day, residents call Cadle with concerns ranging from mistakes on their water bill to a street light that is out, Cadle said. According to Gene Strickland, a charter committee member, reasons such as that are why there needs to be a city manager.
Cadle agreed to review the powers and duties section of the proposed charter and return to the next committee meeting with any input or additions he would like to see put in the charter.
The Charter Review Committee will meet for the last time on Sept. 7, when the city attorney will look over the draft of the proposed charter and make any necessary adjustments.