Two and a half years ago, a majority of Cedar Grove leaders were arrested for various charges including bribery, grand theft, perjury and violation of the Sunshine Law. The city went through three mayors in three years, but officials now say things are changing for the best.
The current Mayor Nathan Lisenby says they're just trying to pay the bills and get a better city. Chris Hubbard, the city clerk, says financially they're in a much better position. The previous administration had a $1.26 million loan that banks refused to refinance until lately.
"Just the fact [that] other banks are considering it now and put offers on the table shows that we have increased our financial strength a great deal."
Financial struggles have led to some talk about annexing into the city of Panama City, but Hubbard says that talk is not coming from City Hall.
"You have a lot of people that have lived in Cedar Grove their whole lives and want to see Cedar Grove remain Cedar Grove."
Gayle Marshall is one of those people raised here and then raised her own family here. The thought of losing the town is not appreciated.
"You say that and people just, mmmm, you know, you don't want to give up what you have and I think that's the way people who live here and have lived here for a long time want to keep our own identity."
Marshall says that identity will stay clean with the help of people working together at each city meeting.