PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The battle between civic club members and the Panama City commission continues.
The city plans to take back the building, but members of the club said they aren’t giving up without a fight.
“Government has taken the people out of making decisions continually for the last 50 years and it’s no clearer than here in Panama City,” said Civic Club President, Capt. James Pic.
James Pic, the president of the civic club said the building is theirs, and they will do everything in their power to keep it. At Tuesday morning’s commission meeting, members of the club took to the podium to make their case. Members said they need to be a part of the process.
“They took the citizens out of making this decision even though we have a great case and great foundation to stand on with the Civic Club, they still don’t want to hear anything that we have to say,” said Pic.
The main issue is the debate over who actually owns the building but members say that shouldn’t matter. “There’s some who-shot-john about who owns what and who build that and that’s really not worthwhile. It’s the fact that you’ve got something that is so community oriented and doing so well, why mess with it?,” said Civic Club Vice President, Wayne Garrett.
Unable to make it to the meeting, Commissioner Jenna Haligas had a statement read in her absence. It stated they should consider giving the club more time to figure everything out, then revisit the issue.
“To give us the time and let us continue what we’re doing until the end of the year would be a very good thing because it would also give us an opportunity to work something out with the city,” said Pic.
However, the commission said they are still moving forward as planned. The civic club is now moving on to legal action and is filing a lawsuit in an effort to keep what they say is theirs.