On Nov. 6, 212 I have lived in Gulf County for six years. I wanted to feel that I could make Port St. Joe my home and be proud to say I lived in Port St. Joe. It was a hard decision to leave my friends of 50 years. To make this adjustment as easy as possible, I went out and participated in different activities in the community. I had arranged to have a pretty full life by trying to contribute to the betterment of Port St. Joe by volunteering, etc.
I wanted to know what was going on in the government of both the City and County, as I live in the city limits. Any decisions made by both commission boards affect my life. Therefore, I have tried to schedule my time so that I would be able to attend most all the commission meetings.
Approximately two months ago the decision was made to change the county meetings to the morning. The reason given was to save on overtime due to paid employees and electricity. This could be solved by adjusting any employee’s day by coming in at a later time; either that day or the following day. By this change in the county commission meeting, I am not able to attend all meetings because of prior commitments. It has also eliminated working people from being able to attend unless they take time off from work. I have heard the statement made when there was a special meeting and there would be a good crowd; ‘I wish all meetings were attended like this.’ Has that concept changed? Or is the reasoning now that the fewer that attends the better we (the commissioners) prefer it?
In the city elections any citizen can vote for any candidate running for a seat. In the county any citizen can only vote for one candidate out of five districts. However, all five commissioners pass ordinances for every citizen of the county, if they choose to vote. When a commissioner abstains from voting, that district has not representation in that decision.
I would like that those that take the oath to represent me in this county would act as adults. In the county commission meeting of Oct. 25 anyone that had move to Port St. Joe recently was referred to as blow-ins. I take that as an insult. It is alright if we move in, pay our taxes that pay salaries; but let us keep our mouth shut. Also, the chairman of the board is addressed as the honorable commissioner. The chairman made the statement that he hoped the candidate running for the seat he is vacating didn’t win, which she did win. This is an abomination. Now the county is considering hiring this prior commissioner. He is barred by state law from receiving any compensation as an advocacy or lobbyist for the county for the next two years. Also, he isn’t a resident of Port St. Joe anymore. What about keeping jobs in Gulf County?
I have to look back at the statement I made in the beginning of this letter. Can I be proud to say Port St. Joe is my home?
Port St. Joe