Tourism business leaders have rebuffed a move by District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson to sidestep the rules of their Florida Legislature-authorized Development Council in overseeing $55,000 to fund the sixth annual Sand Sculpting Festival on Navarre Beach.
Members of the volunteer council voted unanimously on Nov. 5 against approving a proposal by Williamson and Tourist Development Office Director Julie Morgan to expand the festival by adding an upscale charity fundraising dinner to benefit the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, hosted by the Pirates on the Panhandle community group.
Williamson directed Morgan to approach the Pirates organization in October without consulting council members, whose rules require that proposals involving spending be vetted by each of their two committees composed of leisure industry leaders from the north and south ends of the county.
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