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Ramswell Reflects on First Month in Office

It’s been more than a month since Prebble Ramswell was elected to the Destin City Council as the top voter-getter, but she says sometimes it’s still hard to believe she’s sitting on the dais. “Being a councilor still feels a bit surreal,” she told The Log. “Truly, I am the same person I was before March 11, only now I am able to mark a vote on behalf of our community.”

Ramswell collected a total of 836 votes (19.63 percent) in her election bid, and she was joined on the dais by Councilmen Jim Foreman, who was re-elected, and Rodney Braden, who ultimately won by a game of high card to take the third seat. Looking back at the past month, Ramswell said her biggest challenge has been the procedural actions associated with life as a councilwoman, such as “can I” and “are we permitted to” questions. “Because of my desire to increase communication between the community and the city, I am constantly concerned with ways I can share information and reduce the perception of secrecy,” she said.

“It’s difficult when Sunshine (open meetings laws) prevents my simply picking up the phone and calling a fellow councilor to ask a question.” As a new councilor, there is plenty of information to digest, beyond the procedural mechanisms, whether it’s digesting the city’s codes and ordinances or purely becoming familiar with the vast number of topics that are on an upcoming agenda. During her campaign, Ramswell said she took pride in hitting the books, so the learning curve wouldn’t be as steep.

“I’ve had multiple briefings since being sworn in and each served to answer many questions I had and provide insight into directions taken and potential courses of action,” she said. “It is an ongoing process for all of us.”

With a handful of meetings under her belt, whether City Council or Community Redevelopment Agency, Ramswell said she is still getting used to the word councilwoman preceding her name. But, it’s something she can get used to. “No matter where I have worked or the position I held, I have always been ‘Prebble,’ so being greeted as ‘councilwoman’ takes a moment to register,” Ramswell told The Log. “It’s a tremendous honor to have this title and it is strange, but it also serves as a regular reminder of the promise I made to serve Destin and the duty that comes with it.”

by Matt Algarin, Destin Log

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