PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City’s new mayor and two new commissioners are promising to complete projects begun by the previous commission but be fiscally responsible in the process.
“We have recovery and rebuilding efforts that need our continued commitment,” Panama City Commission for Ward 3 Brian Grainger said. “As your commissioner, I ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, encouraging small business growth and protecting our children.”
Since Hurricane Michael, the city had been working to rebuild.
However, many residents feel there hasn’t been enough progress.
“There were some bad business decisions made, particularly regarding the Civic Center,” Panama City Mayor Michael Rohan Sr. said. “We could have had that thing rebuilt up and going by now, but instead they went after FEMA tried to get more money. So now we end up having nothing.”
Panama City Commission for Ward 2 Janice Lucas believes the city should be doing more to help residents rebuild their homes.
“Even though we’re five years out, there’s still a lot of folks who are still wrestling with rebuilding their homes may look good from the outside, but you step inside and you see that many of us are still trying to get back,” Lucas said.
A key priority will be hiring a new city manager to replace Mark McQueen.
McQueen turned in his resignation Tuesday.
“He has pledged to stay on until September 30th,” Rohan said. “So several more months obvious, and he’s going to help us find he’s going to help us find his replacement which I’m very encouraged and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t get a nationwide search of headhunters, so to speak, to look for some qualified candidates.”
The new commission’s first meeting will be on June 6th.