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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Aug 07

School Crossing Guards Get Certified

Posted to AROUND ABOUT TOWN by Brian Hughes

As they waited on the street next to Bob Sikes Elementary School for certification testing Monday morning, the city’s newest batch of school crossing guards, most of whom are school zone veterans, shared stories with the newbies about their experiences.

Universally, the biggest irritants are clueless drivers who speed through their school zones.

“Speeders really bother me,” Crestview Police chaplain the Rev. Harry Tomlin said. 

“Oh yeah,” agreed Eric Marshall, one of Florida’s Crossing Guards of the Year a couple years ago. “Don’t get me started on those idiots!”

Crestview’s six crossing guards (there’s an opening for a seventh) now receive pay to protect students in four school zones. Until March of this year, guards were volunteers and were all members of the Crestview Citizens Police Academy Alumni group.

 Guards protect the East Redstone Avenue residential crossing near Shoal River Middle and Riverside Elementary Schools, the Antioch Road crossing near Antioch Elementary School, the State Road 85 crossing at Crestview High School (which also accommodates students walking to Davidson Middle School), and the S.R. 85 Northwood Arts and Science Academy crossing near Ace Hardware.

“This is a real nice job for someone like me who’s retired,” crossing guard Bruce Dwyer said.

Community Services Officer Sam Kimmons, who, with his partner Officer Wanda Hulion, rotates among crossings and helps direct traffic, particularly on heavily-travelled Antioch Road, shared his guards’ frustration with inattentive and reckless drivers.

“When that crossing guard holds up that red ‘stop’ sign, drivers are required to stop,” he said. “I would encourage drivers to pay attention, slow down in school zones and stop for the crossing guard.”

As each of the six guards went through their certification testing, their fellow guards played the roles of often unruly students, smart-mouthing, pushing each other and running when they should be walking. 

But come Monday morning, what was fun and games during testing — all six guards were certified — becomes the serious business of protecting Crestview’s students when they cross the street to school. 

 

SPEEDING THROUGH SCHOOL ZONES

The 2019-20 school year begins Monday morning and school zones will be active. Speeding through a school zone carries severe punishments. Current penalties are:

0-9 mph over speed limit: $153

10-14 mph over limit: $303

15-19 mph over limit: $403

20-29 mph over limit: $453

30 mph or more over limit: $603 plus court appearance

Citations for school zone infractions also impact a driver’s insurance rates and garner points against speeders’ licenses.

(Source: Crestview Police Department)

 Crestview Police school zone crossing guard Bruce Dwyer earns his certification during Monday mornin

WANT TO BE A CROSSING GUARD?

Paid Crestview Police crossing guards protect students during school openings in the morning and afternoon dismissals. To apply, visit the city of Crestview’s website, www.cityofcrestview.org, click on the “Employment” button, download and complete the employment application. For information, contact Major Andrew Schneider at the Crestview Police Department, 850.682.3544.

 

Oct 22

Sunshine Law

Posted to City Clerk by Elizabeth Roy

The Facts about Sunshine Law Violation

Recently, The Crestview News Bulletin published an article about possible “Sunshine Law Violation” regarding a Workshop on October 15th about Itinerant Vendors.  Here are the Facts:

The Sunshine law requires “reasonable notice” regarding any public meetings or workshops to be held by a local governmental entity.

     From the Sunshine Law Manual:

   The sunshine law does not define the term “reasonable notice.”  Therefore, the type of notice is variable and depends upon the facts of the situation and the board involved.  in each case, an agency must give notice at such time and in such a manner as to enable the media and the public to attend the meeting

The subject of the October 15 Workshop was discussed as an agenda item at the September 24 City council workshop.  At that time, the date/Time of October 15 at 5:00 pm was discussed and agreed upon by the members of the City Council present. 

The Agenda for the Meeting was posted online and in City Hall on Thursday, October 11.  As a reminder, City hall was closed for Hurricane Michael at noon on October 9 and remained closed on October 10.  Those citizens who have opted for text notifications should have received this text on October 11.

The Sunshine law also does not require that an agenda be published, although it is recommended, and we strive to get that information out as quickly as it is available.

From the Sunshine Manual:

The sunshine law does not mandate that an agency provide notice of each item to be discussed via a published agenda although the attorney general’s office has recommended the publication of an agenda, if available.  The courts have rejected such a requirement because it could effectively preclude access to meetings by members of the public who wish to bring specific issues before a governmental body

In the recent article, there was a “quote” regarding the publication of agendas and supporting documents 7 days in advance.  This comes from the Florida Administrative Procedure Act, and does not apply to Municipalities, or agencies appointed by a municipality.

Florida Statute 120, which establishes the Administrative Procedure Act. In section

120.52 establishes the definition of an agency.

120.52 Definitions. —As used in this act:

(1) “Agency” means the following officers or governmental entities if acting pursuant to powers other than those derived from the constitution:

(a) The Governor; each state officer and state department, and each departmental unit described in s. 20.04; the Board of Governors of the State University System; the Commission on Ethics; the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; a regional water supply authority; a regional planning agency; a multicounty special district, but only if a majority of its governing board is comprised of nonelected persons; educational units; and each entity described in chapters 163, 373, 380, and 582 and s. 186.504.

(b) Each officer and governmental entity in the state having statewide jurisdiction or jurisdiction in more than one county.

(c) Each officer and governmental entity in the state having jurisdiction in one county or less than one county, to the extent they are expressly made subject to this chapter by general or special law or existing judicial decisions.

This definition does not include a municipality or legal entity created solely by a municipality; a legal entity or agency created in whole or in part pursuant to part II of chapter 361; a metropolitan planning organization created pursuant to s. 339.175; a separate legal or administrative entity created pursuant to s. 339.175 of which a metropolitan planning organization is a member; an expressway authority pursuant to chapter 348 or any transportation authority or commission under chapter 343 or chapter 349; or a legal or administrative entity created by an interlocal agreement pursuant to s. 163.01(7), unless any party to such agreement is otherwise an agency as defined in this subsection.”

The term agency applies to the definition above.   The exact excerpt from the Administrative Procedure Act is as follows:

120.525 Meetings, hearings, and workshops.

(1) Except in the case of emergency meetings, each agency shall give notice of public meetings, hearings, and workshops by publication in the Florida Administrative Register and on the agency’s website not less than 7 days before the event. The notice shall include a statement of the general subject matter to be considered.”

The workshop that was held on October 15 was solely intended for the City Council to hear the facts and to determine what if any changes needed to be made to the “proposed ordinance” and if in fact they wanted to proceed with an ordinance.  The agenda clearly stated that the subject of itinerant vendors would be the topic, and the documentation itself was over 110 pages long.  If and when the ordinance is complete, it will be presented in the prescribed fashion in a regular or special meeting and the final reading and public hearing will be advertised a minimum of 10 days prior, as required by Statute. 

The only sunshine requirement for the documentation was that it be available as a public record request.   That request was made at the end of the meeting, and while an immediate providing of those documents is not required, they were handed to the requesting party before they left the meeting room.   No other requests for the documents have been received.

If you have any questions. Feel free to contact my office at 850-682-1560 or cityclerk@cityofcrestview.org


Jul 29

Support Crestview Police and First Responders

Posted to Council Member, Group 1 by Thomas Sutton

On Saturday, communities across America are showing their support for their police and first responders. Locally, people are gathering at the FWB Police Station and the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office to show support by being there, bringing signs, saying prayers, waving hands, honking horns, etc. from 11 AM until noon. We need to do the same here in Crestview. Join me tomorrow [Saturday] in the parking lot of the Crestview Police Station to show our support. Spread the word, bring friends, but most of all bring prayers for those who protect us on a daily basis.