CRESTVIEW — Lifelong resident Doug Faircloth was selected Tuesday night to fill the City Council seat vacated in August by Mickey Rytman.
Faircloth was unanimously voted to the dais following a three-hour special session of the council to interview the nine applicants for the seat. Two of the applicants, Wendell Beattie and Brandon Frost, did not attend the interviews.
During his interview Faircloth, who has served on several city boards and is a retired Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office deputy, spoke against raising taxes and expanding business opportunities in the city.
"We going to have to compete with Fort Walton and Destin," he said. "We need to increase the tax base, not increase taxes."
On another hot-button topic, Faircloth said he could only support changing the charter to a city manager form of government if the manager was chosen by the electorate.
"I don't think it should be selected by the council," Faircloth said. "There's too much room to give the brother-in-law a job or the next-door neighbor. Why would the council want to pick someone to do such an important job that the citizens wouldn't be able to get rid of?"
Other applicants interviewed were former City Council members Bob Allen, Robyn Helt and Bill Kilpatrick; Rodney Salisbury, Joseph Earnhardt and Zachary Beasley.
A motion by Councilman JB Whitten to select Helt failed for lack of a second. Councilman Joe Blocker then moved to select Faircloth.
Faircloth could take his seat as early as Monday's regularly scheduled City Council meeting.