PC Commissioners Voted on a Number of Hot Issues

One of those was choosing a new member for the Downtown Improvement Board, the other voting on new restrictions for sexual predators living in the city.

It took weeks, but Mayor Lauren DeGeorge and Panama City commissioners were finally able to agree on an appointment to the Downtown Improvement Board.

The new member is 26-year-old Justin Anderson. He replaces Dwight Hicks, who re-applied for the position but was not selected by Mayor DeGeorge to be one of the finalist.

Anderson, who runs Frank Henderson Realty in downtown Panama City, says he wants to work on mending the Downtown Improvement Board’s relationship with city commissioners.

"I look forward to working with the city commissioners and the DIB to make our city move forward. I look forward to helping with the planning and the progress of the future of our city."

Commissioners then turned their attention to sexual predators. The commission voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that will ban sex offenders and sexual predators from living within 2,500 feet of any place where children congregate.

The new law would not affect offenders and predators currently living within that 2,500 foot radius, but it would affect them if they decided to move.

The new ordinance essentially bans any new sexual predators or sex offenders from moving into the city.

John Van Etten, the city’s police chief, likes the idea.

"When you're looking at crime in the city you want to take preventive measures. You want to say what can we do to be proactive versus reactive. This is one of those proactive measures."

The new sex offender and sexual predator living restrictions went into effect immediately.