Commissioners discuss sheriff's office move

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 10:25 AM.

Commissioner Joanna Bryan on Tuesday asked her fellow board members to take a step back and consider all options for moving the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office.

Commissioners agreed to table action taken during last week’s special meeting and allow a committee of Sheriff Mike Harrison, county administrator Don Butler and staff to come back to the board with a full plate of options.

At that time, Commissioner Warren Yeager suggested and Bryan agreed, commissioners should hold a workshop to solicit public input.

The conversation began with Bryan detailing concerns from constituents regarding the SO moving to downtown Port St. Joe and into the building housing the Supervisor of Elections.

The public, Bryan said, had raised issues concerning available parking along Long Avenue, the message sent about safety by the presence of the SO and Port St. Joe Police Department within a block of each other and the impact on downtown of an emergency response from the SO.

In addition, Bryan noted, as this was an election year the Supervisor of Elections office could not feasibly move until 2015 and the renovations and repairs that would be taken on by moving two separate offices would burden taxpayers.

Bryan added that taking space in downtown for the Supervisor of Elections office would mean that an additional property that could be a retail shop or restaurant would be taken off the market.

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