DeFuniak Springs City Council Tackles City Manager Vacancy and Budget Priorities

The DeFuniak Springs City Council convened to address the crucial vacancy of the city manager position and to deliberate on budget priorities and fiscal management amidst discussions of infrastructure and community projects. Notably, the council decided to reopen the application process for the city manager role and set a two-week period for receiving resumes, with the anticipation of a special meeting to review candidates.

The need to appoint an interim city manager to oversee city operations was a focal point of the meeting. Council members weighed the benefits of choosing an internal candidate who is already familiar with DeFuniak Springs’ operations against the option of seeking an external interim hire. The importance of defining the duration of the interim position was also discussed, with the council agreeing to clarify that the role could be temporary.

While addressing the city manager vacancy, the council also considered the broader implications of the absent position, such as the authorization process for hiring new city staff. A decision was made to authorize the mayor to hire for various positions, excluding the city manager.

In addition to administrative matters, the council addressed funding commitments. Discussions included a $25,000 grant for fentanyl enforcement, which was approved, and a Mutual Aid agreement with the Air Force Base, which received unanimous consent. The Public Information Officer sought and gained approval to manage the city’s Facebook page after it was compromised, with consideration given to security concerns.


The council also reviewed a significant grant application for a new fire engine, with a request amount of over $800,000, which was met with enthusiasm. Further, the confirmation of $1.1 million for apron infrastructure improvements at the airport was discussed, with acknowledgments of support from Congressman Dunn.

A theme of infrastructure and community enhancement ran through the meeting. The council approved a small scale map amendment for the Old City Hall property, facilitating its rezoning from industrial to commercial, and greenlit the final detail plan for a 2400 square foot maintenance barn. Moreover, the council approved a legislative request for irrigation repairs on Baldwin, recognizing the importance of maintaining green spaces within the city.

Reflecting on the community’s historical heritage, the council supported the installation of a bronze marker at the library, as requested by the West Florida chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The council recognized the DAR’s role in preserving history and commended their civic contributions.


The meeting also tackled issues with Waste Management, with a focus on refining policies to streamline billing disputes and enhance the city’s involvement in the process. The discussion was initiated due to frustrations with non-responsiveness, but progress was made as the city began to see responses to their inquiries.

Looking ahead, the council commenced discussions on the upcoming year’s budget, stressing the need to update the Capital Improvement Plan and major funding list. The potential expansion of the wastewater treatment plant was debated, alongside a water rate study that recommended system improvements. The council agreed to continue these budgetary discussions at the next meeting.

Lastly, the council deliberated on the budget presentation process, advocating for a simplified format that would allow them to better understand and prioritize departmental budgets. They also discussed the need for clear cost estimates for infrastructure projects and received an update on the airport terminal construction.


Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Bob Campbell
City Council Officials:
Todd Bierbaum, Josh Sconiers, Amy Heavilin, Henry Ennis, Sr., Anthony Vallee

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