Partington was recognized for his work during the past legislative session.
The Home Rule Hero Award, given this month to Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington as well as other local officials, recognizes noteworthy work with the Florida League of Cities for the 2019 legislative session.
Partington, who has been Ormond Beach’s mayor since 2016, described Home Rule to the Ormond Beach Observer during a phone interview as municipalities’ ability to self-govern.
“The people who live here get to decide what’s best for our city, kind of like Key West doesn’t look anything like Orlando,” Partington said. “Home Rule is kind of a notion of self-governance and local control of things.” He added: “Rather than accepting a one-size-fits-all solution out of Tallahassee, we can control what our rules are, how our city looks and operates and feels."
Florida is among 44 states that allow Home Rule in some capacity, according a 2016 American City County Exchange report.
Partington is on the Board of Directors for the Florida League of Cities and on the Executive Board of the Volusia League, which he described as our local branch of the FLC.
“It’s almost like a test lab for ideas where you can find out how other cities are doing it and doing it well, and bring that back to your city,” he said. “With all the sharing of ideas, hopefully we learn the best practices.”
In Ormond Beach specifically, the community gardens and the Environmental Discovery Center are products of the collaborative FLC efforts. Partington also said that workshops offered at the annual FLC conference have brought back better government transparency measures.
Partington said he's thankful to receive the award as recognition for his dedication to Ormond Beach.
“It’s an honor to be elected and represent the citizens, and I’m proud to serve as mayor, and it’s nice to get that little bit of recognition that we’re working hard to stay on track,” Partington said, also mentioning the help he receives from his staff and the rest of the commission.
As the legislative session continues, Partington said Ormond Beach is waiting for a $472,000 appropriation to be approved by the governor as funding for the airport business sector.
"It’s that kind of stuff, I mean, not only protecting Home Rule, but also looking for funding for important projects through different legislative areas," Partington said.