The Florida Association of Counties holds conference to discuss Hurricane Michael relief efforts

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Association of Counties serves and helps all 67 counties in the state of Florida, and this week they are representing Bay County. The organization is holding their four-day quarterly conference at The Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort.

“We’re glad to have them here in Bay County,” said Bay County chairman Philip ‘Griff’ Griffitts. “It is a lot of elected officials from around the state as well as the staff from around the respective counties in the state of Florida.” 

On Tuesday morning, Bay County officials spoke on a panel about the storm. 

“Having them here at this meeting and telling us what they went through gives us an idea of what to do if we are presented with that same situation,” said Florida Association of Counties president Nick Maddox. 

They spoke of the struggles they faced during the storm, and most importantly, the lessons that they learned. 

“Communication was our biggest issue after the storm,” said Griffitts. “The redundancy of communication, we know that we have to correct that.” 

They also thanked outlying counties for their support and backup. 

“I know specifically, 40 sheriff’s offices came to Bay County to help us secure the county after the storm,” said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford. 

After the conference is over members of the Florida Association of Counties will take ideas back to Florida legislators on how to specifically help Bay County. 

“I think we will be looking at funding reimbursements from the state and federal level,” said Maddox. 

The final conference meetings will take place Friday morning. 

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