BONIFAY, Fla. (WMBB) – At Monday’s Bonifay City Council meeting, residents filled the room to express more dismay at its new interim mayor, Larry Cook.
The council’s official agenda had time slated for former Bonifay Police Chief Jimmy Macon to respond to his termination. In his termination letter, it states, “[Macon] may request a public hearing at the next regularly scheduled meeting to the City Council, September 11th, 2023, at 6:00 pm. where you may request a response to the Council regarding your termination. [Macon] should contact Sabrina Porter at City Hall to request to be placed on the agenda.”
Both a Bonifay resident and Macon claim that he never contacted the city to request a hearing on Monday’s meeting.
“He had not been notified that he was on today’s agenda, regardless of what the Council said today,” resident Richard Willsey, who spoke to Macon earlier Monday said.
Macon told News 13 he’s “a little upset about it because [he] knows it’s another one of Mr. Cook’s ploys to defame [him] and the public.”
During the meeting, multiple residents took the podium to voice their concerns; many residents carried signs calling the Mayor a “crook.”
Some even accused Cook of illegally burning tires and selling police car parts.
Another major point of concern for residents? Property taxes.
Last week the City decided to impose a three mil property tax on Bonifay residents. The City said the increase would add $300,000 to its budget. $180,000 of which would go to the Florida Retirement System, a savings program for city employees.
Prior to the meeting, photos of a Larry Cook campaign yard sign saying “No New Tax” were passed around to attendees.
Many told the mayor the move would harshly affect older residents and those with a fixed income. One resident even took Monday afternoon to balance the budget himself and present it to the Council.
Larry Cook did not respond or comment to any of the resident’s complaints or accusations.
Before the meeting’s adjournment, City Clerk Rickey Callahan read a letter from City Attorney Michelle Blankenship-Jordan. She resigned from her position Monday evening.
The resignation letter did not provide a reason for her resignation, but she wrote she planned to continue serving for 60 days.
News 13 asked Interim-Mayor Cook for a comment. He declined to speak with us.