FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The decision was made in Tuesday's election to keep the job of police chief an appointed position. About 40 percent of voters were hoping to make it an elected position.
"The job of police chief for the city of Fort Myers will remain an appointed position. About 40 percent of voters were hoping to make it an elected position.
Chief Doug Baker has held the spot of top cop for three years for the city of Fort Myers. He plans to stay after voters decided Tuesday to keep the position an appointed one.
"If you're going to be the police chief, you're going to make tough decisions and you're going to do to things in accordance of statutes and city ordinance and not everyone is going to agree with you," said Chief Baker.
Cecil Pendergrass was hoping voters would support making the chief an elected position, saying tax payers and voters needed to have more of a say.
"Right now you have a form of government that they don't care if they make a mistake because its your tax dollars. They don't care if they're using your money for it," said Pendergrass.
Baker lives outside city limits and said he would not run if it became a public office. He competed against 150 other men and women with law enforcement backgrounds from around the country to become chief of the City of Palms. He believes the position is more than just holding residency for six months.
"The chief is responsible for the entire city, not only those who want to contribute money to the campaign," said Baker.
Locals are on the fence about the issue.
"I think the residents should have the right to choose the chief of police departments," said Bonita Wilson.
"If he goes through the proper ranks than I think he should not be elected, he should be appointed,"aid Mimi Tinscher.
Pendergrass says even though it didn't pass this time, he plans to get the option of electing a police chief to voters again.
"Another petition drive starting tomorrow to get it back on the ballot for next year and we'll be back here doing the same thing," said Pendergrass.
Only a handful of small towns in Florida still elect their police chief, all others are appointed.