CRESTVIEW — City Government Week may be over but Mayor JB Whitten, who coordinated its events, and city leaders hope residents and city employees alike have a renewed understanding and appreciation for what the city does and the services it provides.
The Oct. 21-26 week, held by communities throughout the state under the Florida League of Cities, began with an open house, during which more than 75 attendees learned about services and programs offered by Crestview’s departments and committees.
The Crestview Community Chorus made its debut at the event, performing the first and fourth verses of “The Star Spangled Banner,” opening a meeting of the City Council. Afterward, representatives of multiple community clubs and organizations introduced their programs.
Oct. 22 was Library Day, beginning with a pancake breakfast during which a tricked-out printer — which one young patron declared is “cool!” — “printed” pancakes in various intricate designs using a reservoir of pancake batter in lieu of ink, plotting the designs on a griddle instead of paper.
During the week, city leaders including Whitten, City Manager Tim Bolduc, City Clerk Betsy Roy and City Council members popped up in interesting venues around town. For example, after pancakes were served, several officials staffed the library’s circulation desk throughout the afternoon.
On Oct. 23, residents got to ask questions of city officials during a successful Facebook Live broadcast from City Hall, with several residents attending in person and joining in the conversation.
On Oct. 25, the mayor, Mayor Pro Tem Shannon Hayes, Councilman Andrew Rencich and Bolduc circulated around Desi’s Restaurant during the lunchtime rush, meeting residents, answering questions and occasionally bussing a table.
The week wrapped up the evening of Oct. 26 with the monthly Family Movie Night in Spanish Trail Park, a program of the Mayor’s Cultural Series. The screening of the Disney horror/comedy “Hocus Pocus” drew a crowd of more than 300 people, which was the largest yet, Whitten said.
“It was a successful week. We got our message out about what the city can do for our citizens, and we had a chance to listen to a lot of good ideas and legitimate concerns,” Whitten said. “Government can’t do everything, but we have a better feel for where we can do things better.
“Plus, we were pleased to hear from so many people who like the direction we’re moving in,” he said.