Charter proposal could contain appointed city manager, elected clerk

Published: Friday, December 27, 2013 at 04:11 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Revising the city charter may again come before voters in 2014.

Council President Robyn Helt said she will bring a draft city charter, including a city administrator position, before the council early next year. A city administrator, or manager, is a council-appointed professional who would oversee the day-to-day operation of the city.

A professional administrator who oversees all departments could address redundancy and potential liabilities, and identify cost-saving, revenue generating measures, Helt said.

Helt raised the matter during a Dec. 16 meeting while city leaders mulled a proposed water rate increase. The council sometimes debates matters it has minimal expertise with, but ignores hired experts' advice, she said.

One example, Helt said, is consultant Tetratech's evaluation of Crestview's water utility billing. The company's final report recommended raising water rates, but in September, the council instead raised property taxes.

"We spent more than $100,000 for a qualified expert to tell us whether or not we should raise water rates, and now we're debating ... whether the city should raise water rates," Helt said. "That doesn't make sense to me."

"The point is, because department heads are so focused on doing day-to-day work, how much of our fiscal house is being overlooked?" she said.

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