Suwannee Democrat


January 10, 2014

Live Oak Charter Review: Third time, police chief position revisited

3-2 vote overturns previous vote to make position elected

Live Oak —

The Live Oak Charter Review Committee voted 3-2 Monday night in a special meeting to recommend keeping the chief of police position as an appointed position, overturning their 3-2 vote at a previous meeting to make it an elected position. Committee members Stephan Blue and Tommie Jefferson voted against. This was the third time in 15 days the police chief position has been visited.

The purpose of the committee was to review the current city charter and establish a recommendation to the Live Oak City Council on changes that need to be made, if any.

Monday began with several members confused over their final decision made at the last meeting to make the chief of police position an elected one. Committee member Jeanne d’Eauede called the meeting to clarify the board’s recommendation of the position.

“I thought we were putting it before the Live Oak City Council and letting them decide if they wanted an elected or appointed chief of police,” d’Eauede said. However, the minutes reflected they were recommending making it an elected official.” 

On Dec. 17, the committee voted 3-1 to place the police chief position on a ballot and allow the voters to decide if the position should be elected or appointed. d’Eauede was not present for that meeting. The committee then met again on Dec. 23 to revisit the police chief position. Blue made a motion at that meeting to put the chief of police position on the ballot and let the voters decide if it should be elected or appointed. The motion passed 3-2.

In a letter to the city council stating the committee’s recommendation, it stated their desire was to  see the position become an elected office. Confused, committee member Wendell Hill refused to sign the recommendation letter.

“It was my understanding the council would decide,” Hill said. 

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