Thirty-three people stood before Santa Rosa County Commissioners to express their opinion on making Santa Rosa a Sanctuary for Life county at today’s Commissioner’s meeting at the Tiger Point Community Center.
Some residents called it a “moral duty” to vote in favor of the resolution, others were adamantly opposed. Navarre resident Elton Killam said he believed the resolution was an effort to create a political issue to be used against District 3 commissioner Don Salter. He said there was no issue before this was brought by Salter’s political opponent James Calkins.
Bruce Yates, a county resident, told the commissioners, “I do not believe this is your business to be involved in abortions or making statements like this or making resolutions like this one. I believe this is a far right effort by a minority of people in this county…”
In the end, after debate and open forum, commissioners decided to take no action on the resolution as presented. Commissioner Lane Lynchard agreed that it began as a political move but realized it soon took on a life of its own.
“This is a divisive issue. We should stick with governing the county,” he said.
District 4 county commissioner Dave Piech was clear on his stand. “I am pro-life. This started as a political motive and drove a huge wedge in this county.” Piech said, “I am proud to sit with Don Salter. To call him a coward is shameful.”
Piech made a motion to put the non-binding resolution on the ballot and let voters decide the stance of the county. The language will be worked out at the first Board of Commissioner’s meeting in March.