MY VIEW: The importance of this year's election

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

So that the city is kept in good order and with discipline, the City Council’s five elected members would select a city administrator (presumably from the outside) to run all the city’s day-to-day operations. Based on what I have read in several publications’ Help Wanted columns, the going annual salary for such an individual is around $100,000 plus benefits, a city automobile and a private office, with an assistant and benefits. Added together, the cost of having such an individual employed could very easily amount to an annual outlay of $200,000, though that’s not to say Crestview’s expenditures would be the same.

Here’s how it would work: the City Council would hire the administrator, who would run the city with the council’s direction. However, the council members could do nothing unilaterally. All the council’s actions must be taken during open sessions, so a majority of council members present at a regularly scheduled meeting must first approve any direction they give. An appointed administrator has virtually no direct supervision.

To streamline City Hall’s operations, the proposed charter eliminates the elected city clerk position and provides an appointee who answers to the city administrator.

It is reasonable for one to ask “why.” 

Some three years ago, it was suggested that a charter review committee analyze the existing document and recommend changes. Numerous paragraphs are no longer applicable, namely positions for a city physician and a city tax collector. 

Some paragraphs are needed, namely the procedure to take if an elected official decides to resign from office. Several members in the past few years have “resigned,” but there is no “paper trail” to that effect.  One can say that he or she resigns, but there is no document to prove it.  Further, to whom is a letter of resignation given?

When asked why these changes to the charter were recommended, one member of the charter review committee replied, “Every town has a manager.”  When the subject of an elected city clerk versus an appointed city clerk arose, it was stated that “almost all cities in Florida have one.” 

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