DeFuniak Springs City Council discusses search for new city manager

With Councilman Mac Carpenter’s name noticeable by omission, DeFuniak Springs Interim City Manager Tilman Mears wrote a letter of appreciation to the mayor and other four council members dated Feb.13. His formal letter of resignation was presented on Feb. 1. At the city council meeting on Feb.13, Mayor Bob Campbell asked the council for direction in replacing Mears. He also presented Michael Flynt, chair of the Institute of Senior Professionals. The organization offers outside independent viewpoints “assisting with challenging problems” to government entities in Okaloosa and Walton County. Flynt recommended a professional search for a city manager including the Florida City and Counties Association, which offers a website for staff openings. Realtor Bruce Naylor asked the council to approve outside advertising and resident Diane Pickett suggested the city establish a definition of what interim means.
The first reading was made of a small scale amendment to multi-residential for 3.68 acres of Chautauqua Offices of Psychotherapy and Evaluation (COPE) property of U.S. 90 east of Davis Lane. The change would allow for housing to be created for rehabilitation treatment for women with children. The DeFuniak Springs Planning Board recommended the change at its Feb 6 meeting. A second public hearing will be held March 27.
Christmas Reflections’ Caroline Mora requested a withdrawal from the organization’s budget of $1,500 as a bonus for Ben Nelson, the production overseer. Council member Janie Griffith asked that all the lights be removed prior to the bonus. Mora told the council that the Reflections lasted for 37 days in 2016 with only three rainout days. It was also noted that the group always could use more volunteers.
Jon Kinsey, on behalf of the Downtown Arts Night, requested permission to close Baldwin Avenue from the east side of 8th Street to 6th in the evening of April 7 and Nov. 3. Gabrielle Woods, representing the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce asked the city for permission to block Circle Drive from Gulf Power to the caboose for a Feb. 28 North County After Hours business event that will incorporate a Mardi Gras block party and and open house to the Chamber’s new offices in the Railroad Depot. Admission to the event is free to Chamber members and $10 to potential members.