Billy Fox acknowledges mission is breaking the law

Directors at the Panama City Rescue Mission say they feel “targeted” by a city ordinance passed in March. Last week Reverend Billy Fox sent a three-page letter to the Panama City Commission outlining their grievances with the nuisance ordinance.

Reverend Fox says the Mission is already breaking the law, but according to the Mayor, the city hasn’t determined how to enforce the new law. The nuisance ordinance was recently put in place to combat the transient problem downtown.

In a letter sent to the Panama City Commission, Fox says they’ll have no other option but to close the Day Center to outsiders. Outsiders are those who aren’t enrolled in any of the mission’s programs, but are able to enter and spend time at the center.

Fox says that 90 to 95 percent of the people there don’t cause problems. But it’s the other 5% that ruin it for the rest. The Rescue Mission calls the Panama City Police Department about 4 to 5 times a week and because of those calls, they could be labeled as a nuisance and be fined until the problem is fixed.

“They (commissioners) already know that we are breaking that law. We are guilty as charged right now. If they enforced it today, we would have to go into the abatement process, we would have to pay a $500 a day fee until we solve the issue.” Fox says.

As a result of the ordinance, Fox says they’ll also need to ask that Sheriff McKeithen return to the past practice of dropping off free inmates at another location.

On Thursday, Mayor Greg Brudnicki offered a suggestion; he says Fox should hire professional security officers to assist them in fulfilling their mission. “If you want to be in that business, you have to allocate a certain amount of your budget for that. That’s the cost of doing business when you’re in that business.”

Fox says the mission can’t survive if they have to hire security, and that they definitely couldn’t survive if they were fined by the city for breaking the law.

The mission says as a Christian organization they will not break the law. So Fox says if this ordinance is enforced, they’ll have no option but to close the Day Center to outsiders.

Story provided by WMBB

“Amazing” is the word that comes to mind. Mr. Billy Fox plays our community as though we are a pack of fools. When confronted with actual issues of our city that have been created by his facility, Fox conveniently hides behind the “doing God’s work” banner. In this interview (see above link to see video), he wants our community to believe that his organization is “not a business” and is nothing but facility providing our community a “service”. But depending on which Billy Fox you are talking to, one can get an inside peek into what is really going through this mans mind. In the following interview, he  turns around and gives the viewer great details about his “business”.  In an interview with WJHG he is quoted as saying “We evidently have a very valuable piece of property down here, it seems like it’s extremely valuable. Well a good businessman says ‘If i’ve got an extremely valuable piece of property, I’ll set a very high price on it.”….hmmm, that sounds a lot like a businessman discussing his business to me.

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