A workshop to nowhere

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 14:30 PM.

Consolidation of departments saved a boatload of money by shedding jobs, but the process of physical consolidation was marred from the outset, a pipe dream at best and in the end, with the building that was once bound for Howard Creek several years ago finally going up in Port St. Joe, a debacle.

The county had to pay off the contractor for the Howard Creek site just to go away because the BOCC didn’t properly plan or vet the project.

This leads to the continued insistence by Commissioner Tan Smiley that the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office and Port St. Joe Police Department consolidate.

From the outset this has been a non-starter economically, the savings minimal at best. There was also a stated reluctance by Sheriff Joe Nugent to assume the responsibilities of the city.

This has sounded more and more as time goes on like a personal ax Smiley feels the need to grind.

Such a consolidation has nothing to do with water and sewer rates, as he attempted to repeatedly link last week, and nothing to do with real efficiency as far as utility of buildings or manpower savings given the existing offices and workforces for the two law enforcement agencies.

And the continued insistence that this is somehow an issue that needs to be worked out, when so many more important things are on the plates of both commissions, is unproductive and a wedge between the city and county.



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