PANAMA CITY BEACH Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas brought a suggestion from fellow commissioner Guy Tunnell to the Tourist Development Council to gauge its current opinion about adopting a policy similar to Okaloosa and Walton counties TDC’s funding lifeguards
Bay County TDC has shy'd away citing liabilities and hesitancy on putting lifeguards on a government payroll.
Thomas also mentioned the TDC has said the money it spends should be geared towards advertising the beaches and bringing events to Bay County. "I believe Commissioner Tunnell is correct; It's a public safety issue. But, the TDC is not in the public safety business. The fire department, the sheriff's department...is in charge of public safety."
Commissioner Thomas has suggested before that the county do what the City Pier is doing by contracting lifeguard duty out to vendors who run the pier.