CRESTVIEW — With the city manager likely being chosen by January 2019, time is of the essence in the development of an office space.

At the Nov. 26 city council meeting, the council discussed plans for the city manager's office.

The meeting agenda included a drawing of the potential office layout, which replaces existing city council members' offices.

Cost was a key reason Council President J. B. Whitten said the council decided to look at using existing space rather than adding on to city hall.

Building additional space onto city hall could potentially cost over $20,000. But using existing space would be around $5,000, Public Works Director Wayne Steele said.

The plan eliminates the offices of Councilman Shannon Hayes, Councilman Joe Blocker, and Councilman Bill Cox. These offices would be used as the city manager's suite, a storage room, and the secretary's space.

This renovation would take about one to two week to complete, Steele said.

"I think it will be classy and plenty of room," Whitten said.

In this plan, Whitten's office would remain, and the council members would be able to reserve an additional office in city hall for meetings.

Council Vice President Bill Cox said he was "flustered" about the idea.

"I almost thought it was a joke," Cox said. "...But I'm not at all prepared to move forward with this, this evening."

Cox said his office is smaller than depicted and requested dimensions be added to the design.

"Mr. Steele is quite aware of what the dimensions are, Mr. Cox," Whitten said. "...But I would ask you, Mr. Cox, this here is a concept for discussion, so I would ask you what your alternative would be."

"I don't have an alternative, but I'm telling you assuredly that my little space is a square cubical not as it's depicted on this sketch," Cox said.

Steele said he will work to come up with alternative ideas within city hall and present them to the council with associated costs.

The city council is expected to discuss the plan further at the Dec. 11 meeting, which will be their last meeting until after Christmas.

"In my opinion, and I might be wrong, I think we're looking at time restraint," Hayes said. "...It would be embarrassing to me whoever we select and they come here and don't have an office."