Food pantry donation divides commissioners

Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 09:40 AM.

Port St. Joe city commissioners agreed unanimously Tuesday on a waiver policy on utility bills but the good feelings led to indigestion over a donation to a local food pantry.

Commissioner William Thursbay motioned to follow the lead of the Board of County Commissioners – which donated $1,000 – and donate $500 to the food pantry operating out of the North Port St. Joe Resource Center.

The money would come from scrap metal sold by Public Works staff with the intent of funding an appreciation dinner for employees.

Commissioners Phil McCroan and Bo Patterson both expressed support, but that was the only support on the podium.

Mayor Mel Magidson said regardless of the source of the money, government’s role did not include actions citizens should be taking.

“The county gave and that is fine, but I don’t think it is good use of taxpayer money,” Magidson said. “I don’t think the purpose of government is to give taxpayer money for this.”

Magidson noted that he had been part of a local food drive by the county Republican Party which had resulted in cash donations of $315 and three truckloads of bags of groceries going to the food pantry.

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