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March 7, 2014

Police chief position on agenda Tuesday night

History behind the disbanding, reestablishing of the LOPD

Live Oak —

The Live Oak City Council will hold the final reading of Ordinance 1353 at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night to determine if the chief of police position should go on the May ballot to let the voters decide if it should be elected or appointed, as it currently is. The ordinance passed 3-2 during a special called meeting in February.

If the ordinance passes the second reading Tuesday night, the item could then be placed on the May 6 ballot. However, Mayor Sonny Nobles has the option to veto or sign it, making it official. If Nobles vetoes the ordinance, he has to state his reasons to the council and has 30 days from the passing of the second reading to respond. The council then, if they so choose, have to override him with a 4-1 vote. If they fail to override a veto, the measure would die. If the council secures a 4-1 vote to override the mayor and the 30 days have been exhausted, the timeline to make it on the May ballot would have passed, requiring a special election.

The history

Editor’s note: According to information received from Live Oak City Hall, the Live Oak Police Department was disbanded in 1986. However, according to records obtained by the Democrat, the LOPD was disbanded and merged with the sheriff’s office in 1990.

According to public records, Resolution 86-4 was passed and adopted on July 8, 1986, to authorize the city of Live Oak, the sheriff at the time and the Suwannee County Commission to establish a committee to study the feasibility of merging the Live Oak Police Department. That Resolution was signed by all councilors, the mayor at that time and the city clerk. Three of those councilors that signed it are current elected officials, Garth R. “Sonny” Nobles, current mayor of Live Oak; Keith Mixon, current city councilor and Bennie Thomas, current city councilor. 

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