Eastern or Central Time? Voters in Gulf County Will Decide

Gulf County is the only county in the state with two time zones. The north half, the Wewahitchka area, is in central time.

The southern half, which includes Port St. Joe, is on Eastern Time.

Now the county's voters will get a chance in November to decide if they want to stay with the split times zones of be totally in the central time zone.

The Gulf County Commission has voted to put the question on the November General election ballot. Public sentiment appears to be split on the issue.

Legend has it that Gulf County was originally on Central time totally, but Edward Ball, who headed the giant Dupont Trust, which owned the paper mill and railroad in Port St. Joe, wanted his businesses there on the same time as his headquarters in Jacksonville.

So the change was made for Ball for the southern half of Gulf County.

There are strong sentiments on both sides of the issue with some saying they have never to keep the two time zones straight. Others say they are used to it and why fix something that isn't broken.

The vote is only a straw ballot. If the voters decided to change to an all central time zone county, it would still be up to federal agencies in Washington to make the change.


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