PCB City Council Meeting Changes

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PANAMA CITY BEACH - The spring break controversy could have an effect on the way Panama City Beach City council members will hold future meetings.

They're considering a proposal to change the times and locations of meetings and the dissemination of city information.

National publicity of unruly behavior brought local spring break opponents out of the woodwork this year.

They packed Panama City Beach City Hall to argue the topic with their elected officials. City officials even bought a TV monitor for the lobby to handle the overflow crowds.

While they continue to work on new spring break proposals, city officials are considering plans to better handle future meetings.

Keith Curry, Panama City Beach city member said, "Basically just getting to where the government is serving the people a little better."

Curry is proposing three changes that the city a employ when controversial subjects arise.

The first would bring everyone up to speed on what's being discussed. Curry said, "The city clerk, the city manager, the city attorney just kind of give us kind of an update on the big items so that the public would have more information." Mario Gisbert. Panama City Beach city manager added, "This gives me an opportunity to just give everyone a quick update on some of the activities that are going on."

The second would allow council members to move meetings to larger spaces when necessary. "We have Frank Brown Hall over there; we've got Frank Brown Park, we've got churches that are very close to here that will just open up their doors. Just a little bit more active planning," Curry said. Gisbert explains, "And then if it's not going to be held at that location in the prior meeting we have to give proper notification."

Curry also wants council members to change meeting times. Instead of holding one of their bi-weekly meetings at 2:00 p.m. and the other at 6:00 p.m., he's suggesting both be held at 5:00 p.m..

Curry said, "Trying to get it more conducive to where everyone can participate in the government."

Council members will vote on the proposed changes in two weeks.

Council members also passed a method, making it easier to recover their costs for demolishing derelict buildings. It will allow city officials to levy an assessment on the property owners.