Voters may get to choose Crestview charter provisions (document)

Robyn Helt

Crestview City Councilwoman Robyn Helt served on the Charter Review Committee prior to her election. After discussion at the Nov. 26 council meeting, she agreed offering the charter in several ballot measures might better serve voters.

FILE PHOTO | News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM.

CRESTVIEW — When the proposed city charter comes back before voters in the March 2013 elections, they may get to pick and choose which parts of it they wish to have implemented. Concerned that voters may reject the entire document because they disagree with only one or two of its provisions, the Crestview City Council agreed to consider breaking the charter into several ballot measures.

Click here to see the proposed charter.

The idea of offering a “menu” of charter provisions was broached by Councilman Tom Gordon at the council’s Monday night meeting. Gordon said he has spoken with several residents after the Nov. 6 elections and assessed their feelings about the proposed charter.

“If they had something they didn’t like, people voted against the whole thing,” Gordon said.

Though the vote was non-binding because of a clerical error, nearly 72 percent of the city’s registered voters voted on the measure anyway, defeating the proposed charter 4,319 to 3,795.

Several council members said they recognize the most contentious components of the proposed charter are the provision for a fulltime, council-appointed city administrator and a council-appointed city clerk. Currently the city’s voters elect the clerk. After consulting with Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux, Council President Ben Iannucci III suggested offering the charter on the ballot in three parts: the city administrator, the city clerk, “and all the rest.”

“My only concern would be, if you take out one piece, it has a domino effect of affecting other parts of the charter,” Councilwoman Robyn Helt said. “It would be very difficult to do that.”

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