The Mexico Beach City Council has found a new city clerk in Lynn Haven resident Sharon McGhee.
McGhee will replace Debbie McLeod who resigned her position in April.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting, Councilman Jack Mullen noted that there were 10 additional candidates that he believed should be considered for the position.
“We’ve been crippled for months now,” said Councilwoman Tanya Castro. “We need to make a decision and move forward.”
Since her resignation, McLeod has been working part-time for the city but had recently located full-time employment elsewhere and a more permanent solution was needed to keep the clerk’s responsibilities on track.
Councilmember Lanny Howell supported Castro’s opinion to move forward and made a formal motion to offer the position to McGhee.
Howell and Castro voted yes, while Mayor Al Cathey voted no.
Councilman Bobby Pollock, who had voted with Cathey last week, voted yes, breaking the tie. He said McGhee was well-liked by the community and he had faith in the residents of Mexico Beach.
McGhee will be offered a salary of $50,000 annually with a mandatory performance review after six months of employment.
The mayor will reach out to McGhee this week with a formal offer.
The council also addressed the issue of fish carcasses building up in the canal.
Snapper season kicked off over the weekend and it was clear that not all fishermen were disposing of the fish parts in the dumpsters provided at the local fish-cleaning stations. The buildup caused an eyesore and the summer heat on the waste created a foul stench within the community.
There is no ordinance against dumping fish remains into the canal, though the city sought to find a solution that would avoid buildup, fearing that it may have long-term effects on local tourism.
Citizens voiced complaints about the sights and smells and everyone proposed their own ideas on how to deal with the problem.
Some called for additional trash cans and dumpsters while others suggested burying the fish remains or hiring a contractor who would take the carcasses to nearby reefs.
Other citizens suggested that additional signage be posted along the canal detailing local policies or for the installation of a grinder that would turn the waste into chum.
Mullen suggested looking to contractors Preble-Rish for a more permanent solution.
After much discussion, no permanent solution was approved. The city plans to purchase additional signs to raise awareness on where the carcasses can be dumped, and the appropriate ways to clean the fish.