PC Mayor Clamors for Support

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Like most city website's, Panama City posts their agenda and meeting minutes, but Mayor Lauren DeGeorge says that's not enough for the average working-class resident.

DeGeorge proposes other city bodies, specifically the downtown improvement board, post their agenda and attachment information on the city's website.

"I'm trying to put as much information on city's website as possible. They can access it by going on to one website. The DIB doesn't want to place their agenda or attachment item on the website. Trying to make easy for citizens," says Lauren DeGeorge, Panama City Mayor.

DeGeorge's colleagues resisted the move, arguing commissioners can't force a self-governing board to post specific agenda items. Some residents say the city commission should set the example when it comes to public access.

"I don't think the city commission should tell other autonomous boards what to do, but by taking the initiative themselves to put theirselves more out there on the internet we'll be better off," says Dale Griffin, concerned resident.

DeGeorge's impact fee proposal also met resistance from the board.

"I want to make sure development will pay for development. the impact fees will not cover coastal developments. We need to hire a consultant to set fees for fire, police, schools, etc." says DeGeorge.

Commissioner John Pilcher says the city's property tax is enough to pay for the new development. The city just raised water and sewer impact fees.

DeGeorge also wants to hold off on new development until the city can do their homework, she says. Her colleagues disagreed by voting in favor of plans for a new 200-unit condominium project where the old marifarm shrimp facilities used to be located off of Frankford Avenue.