The city of Lynn Haven is currently operating without an official city manager and Mayor Margo Anderson is wondering if it should stay that way.
On Friday, Mayor Anderson posted on her personal Facebook page asking the residents what they think about changing the city’s government
The possible change would eliminate the need for a city manager and allow the mayor to run the city. Commissioner Judy Tinder says she supports the possible change.
“I think having a mayor run the city would be a very smart move and mostly because the mayor’s elected and that way the residents really have a say on how the city is run. Whereas, when you hire a city manager, they have no input at all,” said Tinder
Two seats on the commission are up for election and will be decided in April.
Candidate Brandon Aldridge says Mayor Anderson is doing a great job as mayor but if elected, he’ll need more information on the change.
“Being a business man, when you have opportunities come up, there’s a lot of talking, a lot of meetings that go on before hand to look at the pros and cons of the situation and I feel the exact same way about this,” said Aldridge.
Commission candidate Pat Perno agrees Mayor Anderson is doing a good job but he would also need more background.
“I would definitely need more discussion and in depth study but ultimately it would be up to the citizens for this change,” said Perno.
Comission Candidate Pam Hiller released this statement to News13 about the Facebook post. Saying in part, “I’m in favor of a city manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of our city. I feel this position serves as a checks and balance of power and responsibility. I also mentioned how the hiring process needs to be overhauled to include more stringent standards. For instance, no applicant should be considered for the position if they’ve been arrested or have had legal proceedings (sexual harassment, embezzlement, etc.,) where they were found guilty or agreed to a settlement.
I would add that I have the utmost confidence in Mayor Anderson to run our city objectively and efficiently without any fear of wrongdoing. My concern is that there will be a day, hopefully several years from now, when Lynn Haven will have a different mayor and I may not have the same confidence in that individual.
This type of change would require a special referendum that the citizens would vote on. If they were to choose to have the mayor take on these responsibilities, then the commission must abide by those wishes. If elected to the commission, I would honor the desires of the citizens in regards to this issue.”
Candidate Dale Robitaille released this statement. He said, in part, “the reality is why even have a what we call a Mayor if it is to be like it has been for the last four years, a constant uphill battle. The person in charge of running the city by, what ever name, has to be a person chosen by popular vote. The whole idea of a non – elected hire being it charge is nothing but a dismal reflection of the quality of the city’s population.
We, here in Lynn Haven, are most fortunate with our Mayor. Her performance will set the criteria for the selecftion mof another for years to come to run our city. Think again about the “City Managers we have had. Only by death, being obviously unqualified and sent to jail have we been free of them.. We, the citizenry, had no involvement in there hiring or exits. An elected Mayor, totally in charge, and at a salary comparable to that we have paid City Managers, is the best route for citizen input.”
The only way the government can change is through a referendum vote by citizens.
News13 reached out to Mayor Anderson, Commissioner Dan Russell and the other Commission candidate, Bob Schultz, for comment but did make contact with them.
To see who’s all on the ballot for the commission and their profiles, click here.