Hanging Chads

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In a unanimous vote the Bay County commissioners decided a straw ballot vote isn't the place to discuss annexing the entire island of Panama City Beach, despite questions about another straw ballot.

Commissioner Cornell Brock said they might be setting a double standard.

"I'm having a little trouble with the straw polls. We can vote on some things, like airports, because they're important, but this one, I don't know, I'm having a little trouble deciding when we should and when we shouldn't," says Brock.

Chairman George Gainer reminded everyone he never approved of the airport straw ballot, and he doesn't approve of this one either.

"If they're not binding, if they're serious votes, I think they mock our voting system," Gainer says.

But Panama City Beach is not ready to give up without a fight. The council already discussed alternatives such as holding a private vote or hiring a polling company to determine if there is any support to annex the island.

Chairman Gainer is ready to make sure these topics come to an end.

"I think the county should do everything they can to stop this and any like it."

Commissioner John Newberry agrees.

"I just don't think it's justified, at this point, for us to place on a ballot."

Whether it's the time or place to let voters weigh in for a straw ballot, it's certain time is not up to continue the talk about annexation.