MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — For the last few months, a committee of Mexico Beach citizens has been reviewing the city charter.
Tuesday night, they hosted a public workshop to explain to the rest of the community the proposed changes they want to bring to the council.
“We worked really hard, we’ve had some really good valuable conversation among ourselves, and I think we’ve all done our due diligence and homework,” Charter Review Committee Chair Jennifer Ward said.
The committee is proposing several changes. Starting with section 2.01, they want the city to be governed by a Council-Administrator form of government.
“With the City-Administrator, they will be able to come in and pull together all of the different pieces that are throughout the city and make it more cohesive and working between the city employees, the community, and the elected officials,” Ward said.
In the section about the mayor, the line that says “The mayor shall be the chief elected administrative and fiscal official for the city,” has stirred some controversy. Committee members are recommending that the line be deleted.
“The Chief Executive Officer is kind of like the person over your operations so your city administrator would actually be doing those duties so there’s really no need for that overlap,” Ward said.
Members also believe the city administrator and clerk positions need to be added.
“Your City Charter is like your Constitution, it is what we go by and what everything else is bounced off of and so it’s where we do things starts so those positions can’t be eliminated, so to speak, at all, unless you go back through and do another revision to your charter and those are your key players that run your cities,” Ward said.
The last change is about elections. They are proposing a change that says a candidate must receive 50% plus one vote to win
“This last election we had one position seat for council, we had three people running and basically, I don’t remember the numbers exactly, but they were so close, all three of them, and then the person with the most votes won, it was still not even 50%,” Ward said.
The committee will have one final meeting to finalize their proposals. Later this month the changes will be presented to the council and they will vote.