MY VIEW: The importance of this year's election

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 06:53 PM.

A check of my calendar has shown there will be an election soon.  This will not be a routine, boring election, for it will be one in which a president, one-third of all senators, and all 435 members of the United States House of Representatives are elected. 

On the state level, the state’s electors will decide some changes to the state’s constitution; locally, Crestview residents will determine whether a new city charter will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

Aside from the state issues, each voter within the state can cast his or her ballot for the presidential candidate of his or her choice: one candidate for senator, and one candidate for representative. Locally, those of us within the city of Crestview can decide the form of government that will rule the municipality, along with some other less significant but noteworthy changes.

I trust that each concerned resident has secured a draft copy of the proposed charter and has taken the time to read it and digest its contents.  I have read it several times, and each time I have had different thoughts about the wording.

Let’s look at some of the major, standout provisions. In Section 4.01(a), it is stated that the mayor shall have the following powers and duties:  “to be recognized as the official head of the city for all ceremonial purposes…,” and “to preside at all meetings of the city council with authority to participate in discussions, but without power to vote.”

In other words, the city’s elected chief would be relegated to greeting visitors at the front door of City Hall, riding in parades and kissing babies.

To make the incumbent feel important, the council will let the mayor rap the gavel to bring a meeting to order or adjourn it, and possibly enter into a conversation without the power to determine a considered item’s outcome. The current day responsibility to oversee public safety, like police and fire departments, would be removed. That should make the mayor feel important!

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