Lynn Haven commissioners address public distrust at Tuesday’s commission meeting

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LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB)–A lengthy discussion regarding public trust took place Tuesday morning at Lynn Haven’s City Commission meeting. One commissioner alleges that a group of regular attendees and another commissioner are bombarding the city with countless records requests. Some city staff said they too recognize the number of requests and that it’s causing division among the commission.

“Enough with the Scooby-Doo mystery detective work, it’s childish,” said Brandon Aldridge, a Lynn Haven Commissioner.

Commissioner Aldridge spoke out on Tuesday regarding the city receiving dozens of records requests about their spending and contracts among other things.

“In a week, it can be anywhere from 5 to 20,” said Vickie Gainer, Lynn Haven’s City Manager when asked how many requests the city receives daily.

Commissioner Aldridge says he supports transparency but believes it’s being done with ill intent.

“The Federal Government of the United States of America is here in Bay County investigating, they are the professionals, let them do their job,” said Aldridge.

He says it’s not just residents.

“I’m being told that there’s a commissioner involved in all of these antics,” claimed Aldridge.

City staff says they’re trying to move forward. But the constant interrogation is hindering that progress.

“We have some dissension in the city and some people, that for whatever reason, are continuing to dwell on the past and cause problems when we’re trying to move forward,” said Dan Russell, the city’s Mayor Pro Tem.

They say these requests are not just costing time and money.

“There’s literally been employees, good solid employee seriously considering quitting and resigning,” said Aldridge.

One non-resident among the group submitting requests stood up for herself. She says she’s yet to receive all that she’s requested.

“I still want the text messages sent by my gentleman friend to Commissioner Aldrige defending my character,” said an attendee.

When asked about the text messages in question, City Manager Vickie Gainer said “I haven’t received any of those so I don’t have any of that in my possession.”

Gainer says she invites concerned citizens to meet with her directly to discuss all city business. She believes it can be hard to interpret all of the requested documents without some context.

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