Lynn Haven Commission Grapples with Police Chief Investigation

The Lynn Haven City Commission recently convened to address several issues, the most contentious of which surrounded the ongoing investigation into the actions of Police Chief Ricky Ry. Residents expressed strong opinions during the public commentary segment, criticizing the conduct of the police department and the mayor’s alleged involvement in the matter. The commission also discussed the process for adding items to the agenda, specifically the future employment of Chief Ry, and the cancellation of pre-commission meetings.

During the public commentary, residents did not hold back their concerns about the local police force. The critique ranged from incidents dating back two decades to recent actions attributed to the current police chief. One particular point of contention was the request by a commissioner to discuss Chief Ry’s future employment, which had been denied placement on the agenda. This issue led to a broader debate about the powers vested in the city manager and the chairman of the board regarding agenda items, and the lack of clarity in the city’s Charter and codes on this topic.

The debate over agenda items and the police chief’s investigation overshadowed other aspects of the meeting. However, these other items did reflect the commission’s engagement with community enrichment and needs. The commission acknowledged the efforts of the American Red Cross by declaring March as Red Cross month and stressed the importance of flood preparedness by designating a Flood Awareness Week. Furthermore, the commission celebrated the supermarket chain Publix by proclaiming a “Publix Appreciation Day,” in recognition of its contributions to the community.

In the wake of canceling pre-commission meetings, Commissioner Nelson cited the light agenda and a lack of necessity as reasons for the decision. He also brought up the idea of a sign-in sheet for public commentary to streamline participation. Providing a contrast to the meeting’s more contentious moments, Commissioner Pees highlighted the free tax services offered by The Arc of the Bay and mentioned exploring potential partnerships with the Toys for Kids Foundation. Additionally, the commission considered a partnership with private legal counsel concerning the police chief’s situation.


Commissioner Perno supported the idea of allowing the city manager to address the police chief’s situation.

Regarding procedural matters, the meeting included the approval of minutes and the decision to auction surplus trucks. The commission discussed awarding a generator project and a request for proposal for construction services intended for a park rebuild. The park project was examined thoroughly, considering the incorporation of a retention pond and the local community’s preference for minimal parking to preserve the park’s neighborhood atmosphere.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Jesse Nelson
City Council Officials:
Sam Peebles, Jamie Warrick, Judy Vandergrift, Pat Perno

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