WUFT News

City Of Live Oak Plans To Create City Manager Position

By on February 27th, 2014
Councilmen begin a town hall meeting in The City of Live Oak on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Shannon Kaestle / WUFT News

Councilmen host a town hall meeting in the city of Live Oak on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

As the city of Live Oak looks to the future, it is referring back to its past. Live Oak has a city council and a city administrator, but it wants to change the city administrator’s title to a city manager.

Live Oak has not had a city manager since 1878, said council president Adam Prins.

City managers, unlike city administrators, have the power to hire and fire city employees and administrative officers, according to Live Oak’s council ordinance. They are also responsible for directing all the city’s departments and agencies, as well as enforcing charters, laws and acts by the city council.

In Florida, about 270 out of 400 cities have a manager position, according to the 2013 Florida Municipal Officials’ Manual.

Keith Mixon, the Live Oak District 5 councilman, said he supports the managerial position because city administrators face a lot of micromanaging from the city council. That’s why managers are so important, he said.

“It has nothing to do with power,” Mixon said. “The only power in the city belongs to the voters.”

The city of Cedar Key has also looked into creating a city manager position, said Cedar Key Commissioner Sue Colson. Commissioners discuss this change at the beginning of every budget cycle.

“It’s a great idea and a great position,” she said. “Unfortunately, we have budgetary issues, and we have to figure out how to pay for such a position.”

John Gill, the Live Oak city clerk, said the position will cost about $80,000.

Kerry Waldron, a Live Oak city administrator, said the city would not need to budget the city manager’s salary. Unlike in Cedar Key, the salary for the manager position already exists.

“Progressive communities tend to prosper and fair better through this type of managerial government,” Waldron said.

Councilman John Yulee, Sr. disagrees with the move. Of the five councilmen, Yulee was one of the two who voted no to the managerial position because he thinks the position would take away too much power from the council. Councilman Bennie Thomas also voted no.

“We’ve been doing a good job so far – why should we make the change?” Yulee said.

Garth “Sonny” Nobles, Jr., mayor of Live Oak, said he supports the change, but only if the city manager is not referred to as the chief executive officer of the city. This is how the position is referred to in the ordinance.

“In most cities, the mayor is considered to be the chief executive officer,” Nobles said.

Nobles argued that such language would cause confusion as to whom the duties of the executive chief would fall on.

Waldron said the ordinance concerning the change has to be passed twice before it can be put on the ballot for the residents of Live Oak to vote on. The mayor has 30 days from the date the ordinance is passed to veto it.

Live Oak held its first meeting on Feb. 25 and will hold its second meeting on March 11 at 6:30 p.m.


This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Politics

Steve McGriff, 63, from Hog Valley, Fla., waves a sign showing support for Medical Marijuana outside of John Morgan's "Yes On 2" bus on Sept. 10, 2014.

Language on Medical Marijuana Amendment Fuels Debate

The wording of Amendment 2 for the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida has sparked debate as the November vote approaches. John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan spoke at The Swamp Restaurant in support of the amendment.


IMG_8364

Student Demonstration Draws Attention to Police Brutality in U.S., Israel

A demonstration was held Wednesday in Turlington Plaza on University of Florida’s campus by Students for a Democratic Society and Students for Justice in Palestine. The purpose was to draw attention to those killed by Israeli Defense Forces as well as police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri.


Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter explains to supporters why voting results were delayed Tuesday night. Despite minor technical difficulties, the results were reported and gave some candidates the news they had been waiting for.

Yoho Takes GOP Primary Over Rush; Alachua Voting Results

Congressman Ted Yoho claimed his seat in the August primary on Tuesday amid delay in voting results. Alachua County tallied up the votes in its primary elections, naming Lee Pinkoson, Ken Cornell and Gunnar Paulson among the winners.


Florida Inches Closer to Other States in Tuition Charged Undocumented Students

Florida may soon offer undocumented students in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, joining the ranks of 20 other states with similar tuition equity laws and policies.


Sheila Bryant, left, and Billie Jean Curtis, right, stand on the grounds of Curtis Recycling in Hampton in November. Curtis found a letter signed by someone claiming to be Mayor Barry Moore in the yard of her recycling company.

Update: City of Hampton Under Criminal Investigation

Elise Giordano / WUFT News Sheila Bryant, left, and Billie Jean Curtis, right, stand on the grounds of Curtis Recycling in Hampton in November. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Jacksonville office is conducting a criminal investigation on the city [...]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments