Referendum to change hiring process in Panama City Beach fails

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Panama City Beach residents voted on a referendum Tuesday to change the way certain city employees are hired.

According to city councilman Phil Chester, currently all permanent city employees are hired and promoted through the civil service board and department heads.

A yes vote on the referendum would allow employees to be hired and promoted completely by their respective department heads.

"It saves a lot of time for our department heads," said Chester. "You get 30, 35, 40 applications in there. Does our department heads really have time to sit down and look at 45 applications? No they don't."

The referendum failed. Seventy percent of voters said no to the measure Tuesday.