CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County voters in Crestview, Cinco Bayou and Florosa overwhelmingly approved four referendums and narrowly approved a fifth on Tuesday, changing the landscape of local government in Crestview and giving the thumbs-up for improvements to the Florosa Fire Control District.
In Crestview, voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment that will repeal the current city charter and replace it with a new one that “conforms to municipal home rule powers granted by Florida Law; describes and clarifies the duties, responsibilities and authority of City officials; makes format changes; and deletes obsolete and redundant language.”
Voters also passed an amendment that will create a city manager position in the city of Crestview. Sixty percent of voters approved the measure and 40 percent voted against it.
The city already has approximately $300,000 allocated in next year’s budget proposal for the city manager’s office. Had the amendment not been approved, that money would have gone back into the city’s general fund.
Finally, Crestview voters narrowly approved an amendment that will change the city clerk’s position from an elected position to a position appointed by the city council, 51 to 49 percent.
In Florosa, residents could see an improved fire department and enhanced fire services thanks to voters overwhelmingly approving an increase to the millage rate. With 76 percent approving, voters said “yes” to increasing the rate from 1.0 mills to 3.0 mills.
The district has operated at the 1-mill rate since 1974. According to the ballot measure, the possible increase “in no way means the district will immediately raise the current millage to the cap.”
One mill equals $100 for every $100,000 of taxable property value.
The Florosa Fire Control District had asked for taxpayers’ assistance to help pay for a new fire station and to hire paid part-time firefighters to help man the facility full-time.
Cinco Bayou voters approved extending the term for council members from two to four years, with 61 percent voting yes and 39 percent voting no.