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Scott May Let Voters Incorporate Panacea


The sleepy fishing village of Panacea could become a full-fledged city if Governor Rick Scott approves one of the few bills to survive the raucous 2015 legislative session.  Backers want to focus on economic development.

Some 300 registered voters, a majority, would have to approve incorporation in a June 30 election. Panacea is 28 miles southwest of Tallahassee and known mostly for its annual blue crab festival.

Lawmakers signed off on the process even though the would-be city would only have 843 residents, far short of the 1,500 required. Local bills are fast-tracked after delegation members meet with their constituents.

Rep.Halsey Beshears, R- Monticello,  says he filed the bill for his constituents. He’s no fan of creating more government.

“But, it is for the people of Panacea to decide if they want to be masters of their own destiny and incorporate," he said.

Panacea traces its roots to the 1895. Visitors were drawn to the supposed healing powers of its natural springs.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.