Pilcher Recall Petition

Veteran city commissioner John Pilcher is battling a growing movement to push him out of office.

After serving on the Panama City Commission for more than 14 years, the Ward Four representative is accused of everything from abuse of power to violating the spirit of public participation.

Businessman Henry Lawrence has started a petition to recall Pilcher from office. Lawrence says Pilcher consistently appoints people to the Airport Authority board who are in favor of moving the airport.

And he points out that Pilcher initiated a move to strip the mayor of her powers to appoint people to the Downtown Improvement Board.

Pilcher says he's fine with the recall petition, at least for now.

"If that's what they believe and in their hearts believe than that's what this country is founded on. You've got the rights within the legal limits of the law to do what you believe in. I don't have any problem with anybody that disagrees with me; and shouts it out at the top of their lungs, but let's do it on a level playing field, and let's do it for the right reasons."

Lawrence and his group must get 501 registered voters signatures, 10 percent from Ward Four, in order to move to the next step. They have 30 days from this past Sunday to accomplish that task.

Then it goes to Bay County Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen for verification. If Andersen signs off on the petition, then there are a number of additional steps. It's a long process that could take months.