BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Panama City Beach no longer has a city clerk. A two year employee resigned Tuesday, citing problems within the system. Diane Floyd was city clerk of Panama City Beach for almost two years but decided that enough was enough.
In her letter of resignation released, Floyd made multiple comments about departments being "undermanned and overwhelmed". Mayor Mike Thomas says the position of city clerk does mean quite a bit of work that is quote, "a lot of work but achievable". However, on top of existing duties, a recent influx of public records requests became more than one person could handle.
"All these emails were rolling in and requests for public information requests and that just doubled her workload. She couldn't do her job and answer all these questions" said Panama City Beach Mayor, Mike Thomas.
There was a total of 120 records requests from February to present day, more requests than they had seen in total in the past 13 years. Public records requests have to be done by hand, and a mistake was made on one regarding Councilman Hector Solis' information.
"Out of all those emails, one got through and everybody seems to be making a big deal out of it. It just happened. It doesn't mean she did a bad job, it means she messed up one time" said Thomas.
She apologizes in the letter for the mistake regarding Solis, but isn't apologetic about her statement regarding assistance in the position. Multiple times she mentions that the city needs help but officials don't believe that's the case for every department.
"Is every department understaffed? I don't think so. I've got 80 employees and each one of them would like to have an assistant, there's nothing I can do about that, everyone wants help" said Thomas.
Thursday morning at the City Council meeting, Mayor Thomas plans to bring up the issue of adding assistance to the city clerk position with the council to possibly fix this problem for future clerks. Adding assistance to the city clerk position was brought up to the previous council but did not have a passing vote. Mayor Thomas hopes the meeting with the current council might bring a different result.
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