CRESTVIEW — Crestview voters approved three amendments on the primary ballot Aug. 28 that would allow for a change in government structure.
Here are some of the reactions from Crestview citizens.
Matt Gates started a Facebook group called “Crestview Citizens for Change” that has over 1,600 members. He said he advocated for the amendments, and was happy to see them pass.
“As with any big change there will be growing pains, but the benefits of an effective city government will bring droves of positives, from budget management to handling HR issues to allowing our current employees the ability to focus on their own roles and not pick up slack that’s developed from our existing structure,” Gates wrote on Facebook.
Michael Gilbert, a member of Gates’ Facebook group, wrote, “Full time problems require full time management. We will have that now.”
Paul Lowrey also wrote in the Facebook group that the city-manager position would be a positive change in the city of Crestview’s government.
“Supervision of day-to-day operations and oversight for all the departments is crucial for a City the size of Crestview,” Lowrey said. “Duties that go along with HR, such as hiring, dismissal, and discipline will be handled more effectively.”
Andrew Rencich filed to run for city council in March 2018. He said this was the outcome he wanted.
“We’ve been held back for years,” Rencich said. “…The city manager is going to be fairly expensive … but that person should be able to turn their salary into savings.”
The first amendment was a repeal and replacement of the city charter. The new charter states that it, “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.”
Next on the ballot was the addition of the city manager position, which voters approved 60 to 40 percent. The city has allocated $300,000 in the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget for the city manager's office. Council President J.B. Whitten said that number is higher than anticipated costs.
The third amendment was a tight vote, 51 to 49 percent. This amendment changed the city clerk’s position from elected to appointed by the city council.
According to the ordinance adopted by the city council in May 2018, the new charter will become effective on Oct. 1.
Whitten said this could mean the council members can begin developing the criteria for the city manager position at the October meeting.
"What we'll probably doing is having a workshop to work all that stuff out," Whitten said.
For information about upcoming city council meetings, visit www.cityofcrestview.org.