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Mexico Beach Wants To Cut Emergency Services By Aboloshing Police and Fire - No Mention About Cutting Salaries of Elected Officials

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 2532

Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
Date: Aug 18 2019 8:59 PM

RSN COMMENTS:   I will not debate the fact the police department is a large expense. And I will not debate that it would be wiser financially and service wise for Bay County Sheriff Department to take over as law enforcement and abolish Mexico Beach Police.

What I find laughter in is, there was absolutely zero mention of the $ 33,707.00 for elected officials or the $ 95,581.00 for Mexico Beach Administrator. No reduction in pay or the elected officials being a "true public servant" and doing away with their pay.

They quickly jump to abolish police and fire.

If they were serious in the real reason, financially strapped, begin with the elected officials and they stop receiving their pay checks. Then at least cut the Administrator in half. Then go to police and fire.

Then the Mayor and Administrator refuse the media being able to speak with the media. They have blocked the media from reports. And the "elected Sheriff" refuses to comment. Does the Sheriff not realize that he is "ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE". And refusal to speak to the issue and anyone who advises him of such stupid moves he does not need to be the Bay County Sheriff. 

Nor does the Mayor of Mexico Beach need to be the Mayor.

And I do not know anyone of them - Mayor, Administrator, Mexico Beach Police Chief, Fire Chief or Bay County Sheriff.

Guarantee you the retired Sheriff, Frank McKeithen would never be that stupid or listen to anyone in his department which gave him such stupid advise. And Frank McKeithen was the definition of a "REAL SHERIFF".

$805,000 the police department does make up the largest single item in the Mexico Beach budget. Other items include $33,707 for elected officials, $95,581 for the city administrator, $444,005 for general government and $700,000 for general maintenance, streets, and canals.  The city is also paying $120,000 in debt service. 


Working on a razor thin budget of $3 million and trying to rebound after Hurricane Michael destroyed the town, Mexico Beach city leaders sought to eliminate both its police and fire departments. 

The plan was to have Bay County take over the fire department and the Sheriff’s Office take over the police. The fire department was spared when the county declined the offer.  But the Sheriff’s Office is still drawing up their proposal. 

Over the past two weeks, Chief Anthony Kelly referred questions on the situation to Interim City Administrator Tanya Castro, saying he couldn’t grant an interview without her consent.  However, Castro and Mayor Al Cathey have prevented the police department from speaking to the media on the matter. 

When News 13 asked Castro for permission to interview members of the police department she declined saying that she would make herself or the mayor available for interviews. During an in-person interview with Castro, we asked again and were, again, denied. 

“I think it would be fine if we reached that point. I think it’s premature right now to interview them about that,” Castro said. 


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