By ELIZABETH SINCLAIR
At its Oct. 24 regular meeting, the DeFuniak Springs City Council looked at four changes in ordinances and a future land use (FLUM) amendment and zoning amendment all of which require public hearings.
The first ordinance would amend and the process for hiring a city administrator. In a special meeting held Aug. 29, the council voted on the hiring of Interim Manager Tilman Mears as the permanent city manager. In a motion made by Councilman Kermit Wright and seconded by Councilman Ron Kelley, the council voted 4-1 to place Mears in the position. Councilman Mac Carpenter voted nay. City Attorney Clayton Adkinson explained that, by law, the vote had to be unanimous and the process would require re-advertising and where the advertising would be.
The new ordinance presented to the council Monday stated “The city council in consultation with the mayor shall be responsible for the city manager. The vote to hire the city manager shall be by majority vote. The term of employment shall be established by the mayor and city council at the time of hiring.”
After some discussion, council members were concerned about “the majority” aspect of the amendment. Kelley brought up the possibility of a manager being hired on a 3-2 vote. Janie Griffith made a motion to change the amendment to read requirement of a 3-1 vote to hire. In a roll call vote, the council approved setting a public hearing date after advertising. Kelley, Griffith and Wright voted aye, Carpenter voted nay.
An identical ordinance amendment regarding the position of finance director was approved for public hearing.
Ordinances regarding gas rates and back flow/cross connection rules and regulations would be repealed in their entirety through the proposed ordinance, so they could be dealt with through resolutions rather than ordinances. They were approved for public hearing and advertising.
Ordinances are authoritative laws documented in city codes. Resolutions are less formal and don’t require the extent of procedure required to change an ordinance.
The council also agreed to hold a public hearing regarding the FLUM from commercial, agricultural and conservation and rezoning the land on U.S. 331 south of Bay Avenue from commercial to medium density residential for a multi-family development. Planning Director Kelly Schultz told the council there was a tentative date of Nov. 14 for the public hearing.
Correction: In the Oct. 27, 2016 edition of the DeFuniak Herald – Beach Breeze, a story on the Oct. 24 regular meeting of the DeFuniak Springs City Council was headlined “DFS CIty Council to re-advertise for city manager position.” That headline was incorrect. No decision has been made for the city to re-advertise for that position.
A left column “teaser” in the Beach Breeze section of that same edition made a similar incorrect statement regarding re-advertising. We apologize for the erroneous headline and teaser and for any confusion that they might have caused.