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Learn More About Local Offices In The Niceville Area!

The ability to vote in local elections is based on where you live. These areas are mutually exclusive, so if you live in one area, you cannot vote in another area – with the exception of the Bluewater Bay MSBU and North Bay Fire Control District. Those two are co-located and residents there vote in both elections.

A Brief Look at How Niceville's Government Works

The City of Niceville elects a mayor and city council. Most of the day-to-day operations are overseen by an appointed official, called the City Manager. The City Manager is hired and fired by a majority vote of the city council. The Niceville City Council is also in charge of passing local rules, called ordinances, and determining the budget for the city moving forward. These council people are responsible for millions of dollars in public money.ย 

The Mayor of Niceville does not have a vote on the council, but runs the meetings and represents the council on matters as a unified voice. They also carry lots of soft power – they typically are listened to closely by the council members and the public at large.ย 

You can learn more about what Niceville’s City Council does by clicking the button titled ‘Niceville Council.’

five people in front of a flag.
The newly reconstituted Niceville City Council.

A Brief Look at How Valparaiso's Government Works

Valparaiso operates on what is known as a “Galveston Plan” Commission – so named, because it was first used in Galveston, Texas in the early 20th century. The City Commission (not a council) splits the responsibilities for oversight by city department. So, you’ll have a ‘water and sewer commissioner’ or a ‘police commissioner’.

Valparaiso does elect a mayor – and that mayor has a vote on their commission – meaning they have more direct control over the outcome of the city than the mayor of Niceivlle does. Like the other commissioners, they are assigned a portfolio of services that become their responsibility. They also get to assign those portfolios to other commissioners.ย 

You can learn more about what Valparaiso’s City Commission does by clicking the button titled ‘Valparaiso Commission.’

two men sitting at a dais
Valparaiso City Attorney Hayward Dykes (Left) speaks while Mayor Brent Smith looks on during a conversation at Valparaiso City Commission's March Meeting.

A Brief Look at How Bluewater Bay's Government Works

The other types of governance – the fire control districts and MSBU were created either by the Florida State Legislature (Fire Control Districts) or the Okaloosa County Commission (MSBU) as a way to provide essential services without creating a new city. Initially, it’s cheaper to do it this way -but as the areas build density, the costs savings flip the other way. The cost to run just a fire department in East Niceville is almost as much per household to run the entire City of Niceville!

You can learn more about the Bluewater Bay MSBU by clicking the button ‘Bluewater Bay MSBU’ above.ย 

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