2 big meetings are happening at the County and City level today

The Fort Walton Beach City Council meetings have been pretty popular lately. Here’s what will be discussed.

👀 FWB Watch Group members officially sued the City of Fort Walton Beach on November 8. I expect members to be in attendance.

🎗 Students recognized: At the last council meeting, students were supposed to be recognized for Civic Excellence. That got pushed due to the Fire Fee discussion being moved up on the agenda. The city promised the students would be at the next meeting, and they are. The students include:

  • Choctaw – Kiahra Read
  • FWBHS – Lyndsey LaBorde
  • Choctaw – Kavin Balasubramaniam
  • FWBHS – Olivia Betancourt

🙏 The Chapel: When word spread on social media that the little Chapel in Downtown FWB was going to be torn down, people reacted. They reacted so much that now it will be brought before the council to decide its fate. The chapel, which was actually the Methodist Church’s original office built in the late 1940’s, has fallen into disrepair over the years with termite damage and rotting wood. 

🔥 Firefighters Agreement: Staff will recommend that City Council agree to the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City of Fort Walton Beach and the Fort Walton Beach Firefighters’ Association for the period October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2022. A Collective Bargaining Agreement includes topics such as wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.Council will be presented with the info at a 5pm Special Meeting. Collective Bargaining is exempt from public meeting laws, as are the negotiations.

🇺🇸New election date: Following the City of Destin’s decision to move their election date to November for municipal elections from March, the City of Fort Walton Beach will hold their first discussion on the matter for FWB. This item was brought forth by Councilman David Schmidt.The public can speak during the public comment section at the beginning of the meeting if you wish to address anything about the council’s discussion on moving election day.  If the consensus is to get staff to bring back a draft ordinance to the council for the December meeting, there will be an agenda item where public can address it.

💵 Pay Classification: City Staff will recommend Council adopt the Pay and Classification Study that increases pay and benefits for city employees. The cost of the Pay & Classification Study was $35K. The total cost of all the recommended pay and classification and benefit changes will be $601K.

County Commissioner’s meeting

There are several things that are taking place at the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioner’s meeting this morning at the county building in Shalimar. 

🇺🇸County will (most likely) approve a proclamation honoring the 100th birthday of a World War Two hero – Bernard Regan. Col. Regan was bomber and fighter pilot who also served in the Vietnam conflict. He earned his law degree and served as a mediator for courts in the Okaloosa county area. 

☀️Crab Island: The county will vote on whether or not to have a public hearing on the floating structures ordinance aka…Crab Island. 

🛥Restricted Boating Areas: County will also determine whether or not to have a public hearing for the adoption of an ordinance to amend the restricted boating areas ordinance. ‍

👨‍🌾 County will request the confirmation of the new County Agricultural Extension Director.

➡️ Split Departments: They will also put in front of the board the decision to split the public safety department into the Public Safety Department and the Corrections Department. This is how it used to be and was changed to a consolidated department after the departure of Alvin Henderson in 2018. This measure would put Patrick Maddox (current EM chief) as head of public safety and Chief Eric Esmond as the director of the corrections department. 

➡️ Public Works wishes to add another position in the mosquito control department. They would like to add a Mosquito Control Surveillance Specialist. 

💵 Finally, the $64M grant from Triumph Gulf Coast (BP Oil Spill money) would be approved – along with its terms (which are requirements and benchmarks they have to meet in order to use the money and not have to pay it back)

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