Consolidation Issue Left Off November Ballot

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It doesn't look like voters will see a countywide consolidation issue on the November ballot.

County Commissioner John Newberry proposed the non-binding referendum on the November ballot. Newberry says some of the county's eight incorporated cities continue to argue over annexation, government services and taxation.

He believes voters ought to have the chance to voice their opinion on consolidating all the cities into one "county" government, but three other commissioners say there's no reason for a straw vote unless the public is complaining.

"We could operate more efficiently under one government, but I also realize if we make this proposal we got a big dog fight. I think it would be more appropriate coming from the Chamber of Commerce, EDA or some group like that, that doesn't have conflicting interests," says Bay County Commissioner Jerry Girvin.

Newberry says he'll withdrawal the issue unless the public brings it back to the commission.