15 applicants so far for county administrator

15 applicants so far for county administrator

With less than 10 days left to apply, only 15 people have applied for the job to replace Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker, who plans to retire in December after a 20-year tenure. Walker told county commissioners Monday he was surprised more people had not applied for the position, which presently pays $132,412 a year. However, […]

Commissioners considering tax hikes

Commissioners considering tax hikes

For the first time in his nearly 20-year tenure, Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker has suggested raising property taxes. Commissioners are also exploring other possible tax hikes to offset a projected $2.8 million budget shortfall. The county hosted two July 21 budget workshops, leading up to approval of the 2015-16 budget, which is projected to increase to $110 million, a $5.7 million increase over last year’s total […]

Commissioners withhold support for overpass

Commissioners withhold support for overpass

  Santa Rosa County Commissioners Monday withheld support for a redesigned, less costly Navarre pedestrian overpass, citing issues such as a lack of public parking in the proposed project area of U.S. 98 at Presidio Street. “We’re condoning trespassing because where are people going to park other than private property,” said Commissioner Bob Cole, who […]

15 projects eyed for RESTORE funds

15 projects eyed for RESTORE funds

Santa Rosa County’s local RESTORE council has identified 15 projects which could be recommended for funding through county’s first direct allocation of RESTORE Act funds, and several Navarre area projects made the list. If the projects make the final cut later this year, including surviving a 45-day public comment period and receiving county commission approval, they could be implemented […]

Tempers flare during tourism meeting

Tempers flare during tourism meeting

Frustrations ignited over Commissioner Rob Williamson’s suspension of county funding for the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center at the July 8 south end tourist development committee (SETDC) meeting. At one point Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie Morgan stood up and threatened to walk out following comments made by attendee T.J. Goulet, a […]

Commissioners to discuss pedestrian overpass

Commissioners to discuss pedestrian overpass

Next week will be a busy one for Santa Rosa County Commissioners. In addition to Tuesday’s 2015-2016 budget workshops, the board has several hot topics on its agendas. Commissioners will be briefed Monday by recruiters hired to solicit a new county administrator. They’ll also discuss issues which could be moved forward for action Thursday, including whether […]

County admin proposes property tax hike

County admin proposes property tax hike

Santa Rosa County commissioners Tuesday will host workshops leading up to approval of the county’s 2015-16 budget, which is projected to increase to  $110 million, leaving a $2.8 million deficit. County Administrator Hunter Walker is proposing that the board of county commissioners raise property taxes from a millage rate of 6.0953 to 6.4911 to “offset” the $5.7 million increase over the […]

County awarded $50K for Navarre Park improvements

County awarded $50K for Navarre Park improvements

Santa Rosa County has been awarded a $50,000 grant for improvements at Navarre Park, and the Navarre Chamber Foundation is providing an additional $5,000 toward the effort. According to Santa Rosa County Grants Director Sheila Fitzgerald, plans include $18,000 for construction of an ADA accessible kayak launch with a pathway, $15,000 for special needs playground […]

Questions over county hire

Questions over county hire

The Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office recently named county student worker Al Wilson as the replacement for former full-time employee Susan Poggione. Wilson’s hire raised eyebrows after it was disclosed he is married to Santa Rosa County Libraries Director Gwen Wilson – and one of five student workers related to county employees. According to […]

Turtle Center funds set for reinstatement

Turtle Center funds set for reinstatement

Santa Rosa County Commissioners July 9 released the remainder of a $165,000 allocation toward the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, following Commissioner Rob Williamson’s June 11 suspension of the group’s county funding. The reinstatement followed a July 3 apology issued by County Administrator Hunter Walker for county staff errors which resulted in financial issues related to […]

$5K slated for new administrator search

$5K slated for new administrator search

Santa Rosa County Commissioners today are expected to approve a $5,000 proposal from the Florida Association of County Managers (FACM) to help recruit a replacement for long-time County Administrator Hunter Walker. Walker announced in April that after serving in the position for two decades, he would retire at the end of the year. His salary […]

Marina expected to open Labor Day weekend

Marina expected to open Labor Day weekend

Construction of a marina behind East River Smokehouse is moving forward, and owner James Dabney hopes to open 20 boat slips by Labor Day. “The first part will be complete around mid-August,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll have 20 slips open by Labor Day weekend.” Dabney said he plans to call the facility The Navarre Boardwalk […]

Second candidate enters Sheriff’s race

Second candidate enters Sheriff’s race

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) employee Sgt. Ted Roy pre-filed July 6 to run for Santa Rosa County Sheriff. Roy, a resident of Gulf Breeze, joins Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Major Bob Johnson in the race to replace long-time Sheriff Wendell Hall, who announced he will not seek another term.  Johnson, a 22-year veteran of the agency, pre-filed July 7, 2014. […]

Program seeks ‘little’ brothers and sisters

Program seeks ‘little’ brothers and sisters

For more than 26 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida (BBBS) has provided professionally supported mentoring services for children, and the organization is currently in need of more “littles” in the Navarre and Gulf Breeze area. Last year 604 at-risk youth from across the panhandle had the support of a caring, adult mentor – a “Big Brother” or […]

Commission could reinstate Turtle Center funding

Commission could reinstate Turtle Center funding

Santa Rosa County Commissioners on Monday will address the June 11 suspension of county funding toward the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center initiated by Commissioner Rob Williamson, who recently placed some blame for accounting issues on county staff. “It would seem the main issue keeping us from having a clear accounting on this project is the inability of our county staff to match up checks […]

County hires prompt questions

County hires prompt questions

Santa Rosa County’s hiring practices are being scrutinized after it was revealed paid student worker positions aren’t always advertised – and five out of eight its current student employees have relatives working for the county. The matter arose after Alvin Wilson, a part-time student employee in the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office, was named […]

DOT seeks input on $1.5 million pedestrian overpass

DOT seeks input on $1.5 million pedestrian overpass

If plans for a pedestrian overpass continue moving forward its $1.5 million construction could start in 2021. Dozens of Navarre residents attended a meeting hosted June 30 by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to provide details about and get public input on the proposed project, which is planned for U.S. 98 at Navarre Park in the […]

Four rescued from capsized sailboat in Gulf

Four rescued from capsized sailboat in Gulf

Four vacationers from Louisiana are praising the U.S. Coast Guard and Navarre Beach Fire Rescue personnel for their safe rescues after their sailboat capsized roughly one-half mile offshore in the Gulf of Mexico during rough weather. “They were super,” Dic k Briody, said, adding, “They did an awesome job.” Department Chief Mike Howard comforted Briody’s wife, Cindy, as […]

Turtle center funding expected to resume in July

Turtle center funding expected to resume in July

Following Commissioner Rob Williamson’s surprise move to suspend county funding for the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, its representatives had their say at Monday morning’s commission meeting. During the public forum Navarre resident Yvonne Harper suggested Williamson’s actions may have led some to wrongly infer there had been a misappropriation of funds. Harper questioned […]

Chair business not always a day at the beach

Chair business not always a day at the beach

Santa Rosa County deputies were summoned to Navarre Towers June 21 after conflict arose between two beach chair vendors. It wasn’t the first time police had been called to intervene – Seth Harrigan, one of the vendors involved in the dispute, said between June 7 through 21 he called police every day, except for one. […]

Face off over Tiger Point course

Face off over Tiger Point course

Gulf Breeze City Manager Buz Eddy June 25 asked Santa Rosa County Commissioners to delay formal declaration of an intergovernmental conflict over Tiger Point Golf Course — but the board still moved forward. At stake is the conditional use permit granted by the county to expand the city-owned South Santa Rosa Utility System wastewater treatment plant, which is adjacent to […]

County pursues conflict resolution over Tiger Point golf course

County pursues conflict resolution over Tiger Point golf course

Santa Rosa County Commissioners on Thursday are expected to pass a resolution formally acknowledging a “conflict” with the City of Gulf Breeze over failed promises the municipality made regarding improvements to Tiger Point Golf Course. Residents at the board’s June 22 meeting told commissioners about rodent infestation and other problems associated with what they describe as neglectful management of […]

Jayer Williamson to lead transportation board

Jayer Williamson to lead transportation board

Santa Rosa County District 1 Commissioner Jayer Williamson June 10 was named chairman of the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization (TPO). “It is an honor to have the support of other elected officials from Northwest Florida and South Alabama,” Williamson said, adding, “The decisions we make now about our roads will impact future generations.” Read the […]

Renourishment tops local RESTORE proposals

Renourishment tops local RESTORE proposals

  Despite Navarre Beach renourishment’s top ranking in several local RESTORE funding categories, it’s not likely that Santa Rosa County will fund the proposal’s full $1 million request from that pot of money. The reasoning, according to County Commissioner Lane Lynchard, is because beach renourishment, which will total roughly $18 million, will happen “regardless” of […]

Manhunt underway for accused child molester

Manhunt underway for accused child molester

Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office (SRSO) is searching for Derrick Christopher Smith, 22, of the 2200 block of Estates Circle in Navarre in relation to an active felony warrant for the molestation of a juvenile under 12 years of age. According to a press release issued by Sgt. Rich Aloy, SRSO spokesman, Smith is a white male […]

Staggering rise in water rescues

Staggering rise in water rescues

To say Navarre Beach first responders have been busy this tourist season is a gross understatement – the number of water rescues performed so far in 2015 is already more than triple all those which took place during the first half of 2014. Terry Wallace, who oversees county operations on Navarre Beach, said from January through […]

State budget vote includes $2.75 million for Navarre Beach renourishment

State budget vote includes $2.75 million for Navarre Beach renourishment

Legislators on Friday are expected to approve Florida’s budget, and Santa Rosa County is set to receive partial funding for some requests, including $2.75 million for Navarre Beach renourishment. District schools are also in line for an $8.2 million increase, according to a press release distributed Thursday evening by Senator Don Gaetz. Among other requests, Santa […]

Sea Turtle Center to make presentation for commissioners

Sea Turtle Center to make presentation for commissioners

Representatives from the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center on Monday will provide Santa Rosa County Commissioners with an update on the organization’s activities and finances. District 1 Commissioner Jayer Williamson requested the representatives be invited to make the presentation following the temporary suspension of its county funding initiated by District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson, who said he wanted […]

1 2 3 11