Setting Goals

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They want to do better than those who sat in the same seats before, but they also realize the issues that plague the Bay County Commission are the same issues that have continually plagued this board.

Chairman George Gainer has two more years on his term and is ready to move forward with the new members.

"The county has really lost faith in this commission's ability to handle some of the problems that face the county. They've been handled very poorly in the past."

During the goal session, each commissioner outlined which issue he would take on during the next couple of years. Commissioner Mike Nelson says he knows the incinerator use and debt is the cause of concern for many people.

"But we're not going to put anything in there that's going to pollute. I've never said we're going to put anything in there that's going to pollute. Besides that, burning anything that's going to create dioxin is against the law anyway."

Gainer agreed that if they plan to ever dedicate a half-cent sales tax to pay off the incinerator, the board has to prove it will actually be paid off. He also wants to bury the pipeline for good. Gainer agreed to continue his work to ensure this is the last commission working on this project.

"You've got to put accountability back in county government and we've got to focus on these issues and we've got to keep everybody informed."

The others took on projects of their own, each promising to attend each commission meeting prepared to answer others’ questions about the issues and ready to put aside a reputation forged before they arrived.