Government

Parker recognized as FAC Presidential Advocate

Parker recognized as FAC Presidential Advocate

The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) recognized Santa Rosa County Commissioner Sam Parker, District 1, as a presidential advocate for his work during the 2019 legislative session. Commissioner Parker received the designation during an awards ceremony held at the FAC Annual Conference in Orange County.   Read the full article in the June 20 issue […]

Paradise gets tourism council thumbs-up

Paradise gets tourism council thumbs-up

Paradise Advertising has likely secured yet another three years of representing Santa Rosa County’s tourism image and the more than $750,000 annually that comes with it. The St. Petersburg-based destination advertising and marketing firm was put forward unanimously as the top pick by a selection committee of local tourism professionals after a competitive request for […]

Reviving recycling hits snag in Santa Rosa

Reviving recycling hits snag in Santa Rosa

When recycling services were interrupted in Santa Rosa County, it appeared the county would have service restored quickly. But recyclable material is still headed to the dump after Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) failed to approve the processing agreement with the county May 28, leaving the service in limbo for yet another month.   Read […]

Santa Rosa not so small business friendly

Santa Rosa not so small business friendly

When Ken Walters prepared to open the Grey Tap Room in Navarre, he went through the proper county processes. He said he wanted to be sure to do things the right way. Walters got approved site plans after months of back and forth with county staff, and planted the trees as required from his plan […]

Milton untangling from Thompson

Milton untangling from Thompson

Complications from former Milton Mayor Guy Thompson’s admission to defrauding the United Way of Santa Rosa County still hang over the city and charity he ran for decades. Current Mayor Heather Lindsay is trying to work through lingering issues and suspicions that concern her and some City Council members.   Read the full article in […]

School district seeks power to limit development

School district seeks power to limit development

Amid the arguments for and against impact fees earlier this month, school district Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick leveled a choice for county commissioners. He said the county should either impose impact fees to help pay for new schools or give him the authority to deny increasing the density of developments. Read the full article in the […]

Overruling Zoning Board, county OKs RV exception

Overruling Zoning Board, county OKs RV exception

The Board of County Commissioners went against the recommendation of the Zoning Board and the complaints of neighbors May 23 to grant a resident’s request to allow RV parking in his front yard because of a medical hardship. Doug Walborn applied for a special exception to the county code to allow his ailing mother to […]

County hanging in with plywood pier patches

County hanging in with plywood pier patches

Despite lengthy discussion by county commissioners about replacing 121 patches along the length of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, the county has opted to stick with the plywood solution. County Engineer Roger Blaylock said the county expects to have new bids for replacing the entire pier deck by June 13.   Read the full article […]

Milton mayor cleared of Sunshine violation

Milton mayor cleared of Sunshine violation

The State Attorney’s Office in Pensacola said its investigation didn’t find any wrongdoing in Milton Mayor Heather Lindsay’s emailing her fellow city council members about changing the name of the Guy Thompson Community Center. Lindsay had asked Chief Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille last week to look into concerns being expressed on social media that […]

Impact fees not gaining traction with County Commission

Impact fees not gaining traction with County Commission

High schools could be pulling double duty with one set of students in the first half of the day and a second school’s worth in the afternoon said district Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick during a joint meeting of the school board and county commission May 15. He said schools could also see more situations where two […]

Cellular Nerd temp location receives county OK

Cellular Nerd temp location receives county OK

Driving down U.S. Highway 98 in the Heart of Navarre a new popular site has begun to spring up: mobile businesses. Though a few have come and gone through the area, donut shops, hot dogs, phone repair and more have been becoming a regular sight.   Read the full article in the May 16 issue […]

Pre-trial Release Program saves county $1.8 million

Pre-trial Release Program saves county $1.8 million

The Santa Rosa County Pre-trial Release Program resulted in an estimated net savings of $1,866,408 for the county in 2018, according to Santa Rosa County Clerk of Court and Comptroller Donald Spencer. The program allows those charged with a crime to continue to work outside jail while their case is being processed. This estimate raises […]

Thompson fraud fallout spreads

Thompson fraud fallout spreads

Concerns about former Milton Mayor Guy Thompson’s guilty plea on charges of looting the United Way of Santa Rosa County may prompt an in-depth audit aimed at uncovering whether financial fraud occurred within the city government he ran for 20 years. Although current Milton Mayor Heather Lindsay doubts that Thompson could have stolen municipal funds, […]

Commissioners reject purchase of landfill over water supply

Commissioners reject purchase of landfill over water supply

The land above the aquifer that provides water to all of south Santa Rosa County could become the home of a construction debris landfill after the County Commission indicated Monday it would reject the owners’ offer to sell the property for $12 million. Blue Water Holdings SRC Inc. owns the property itself. Read the full […]

Recycling service to be interrupted

Recycling service to be interrupted

Effective April 30, ECUA will terminate their contract with Santa Rosa County for the transportation and processing of recyclables. The county is working with ECUA on a new contract for processing and seeking to replace the transportation services within the next few weeks. Recyclable material degrades if not sorted and stored properly, therefore recycling will […]

County, citizens explore funding options in workshop

County, citizens explore funding options in workshop

County Administrator Dan Schebler fielded tough questions about spending of tax dollars Monday during the first of two citizen budget workshops. The first was hosted at Woodbine Church. Read the full article in the April 18 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – or sign up to receive a digital subscription […]

County Commissioners settle flooding lawsuit, Pier renovation bid uncertain

County Commissioners settle flooding lawsuit, Pier renovation bid uncertain

County Attorney Roy Andrews made it clear the county was not accepting guilt by paying out a $15,000 settlement for flood damage during the April 11 Board of County Commissioners meeting. In other action, the County Commission voted to reject all bids for redecking of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier after questions about the validity […]

Highway 87 widening nears completion

Highway 87 widening nears completion

The reconstruction and widening of State Road 87 will be wrapping up in the upcoming weeks as the road becomes a four-lane highway. Construction has been underway since October 2015 following years of calls for the highway to be widened. Read the full article in the April 18 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to […]

Five things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa County Commissioners spent their Monday meeting balancing potential projects against infrastructure needs. Discovery Center dream dashed? Concerns over water quality trumped conservation education efforts Monday as commissioners weighed how to spend millions of RESTORE dollars over the next 12 years. Read the full article in the April 11 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

Florida lawmakers aim to crackdown on texting while driving

Florida lawmakers aim to crackdown on texting while driving

The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill March 25 to make texting and driving a primary offense within the state of Florida, but it still must face the full Senate. SB 76 moved through the committee with 5 yeas and 1 nay. Read the full article in the April 4 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Navarre Park revised price tag: $4.9 million

Navarre Park revised price tag: $4.9 million

Renovation of Navarre Park is set to begin in June, and the cost of updated plans for the roughly 4.7 acres has dropped from more than $7 million to $4.9 million. Paring down the project was part of District 4 County Commissioner Dave Piech’s campaign for election. Read the full article in the April 4 […]

Concerns raised over bills to limit public records access

Concerns raised over bills to limit public records access

Several bills put forward in the Florida House and Senate have caught the attention of public records advocates. The biggest bill of concern at the start of session was SB 186 (with companion HB 7017 in the House) which exempts photographs, video and audio recordings of mass killings from public records law. Read the full […]

New council member seeks unity in Gulf Breeze

New council member seeks unity in Gulf Breeze

Despite the recent upheaval in City of Gulf Breeze political circles, new council member J.B. Schluter foresees a local government that can quickly focus on solving problemsand making improvements. “I think most people here believe the city is well run,” said Schluter. Read the full article in the Feb. 28 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Despite budget votes being more than 7 months away, Santa Rosa county commissioners are already wrangling with two major funding decisions in the wake of Thursday’s early Budget Workshop. One major point of concern is how to fund the $45 million price tag on a new courthouse and judicial complex. Read the full article in […]

Shalimar attorney takes up U.S. Attorney mantle

Shalimar attorney takes up U.S. Attorney mantle

Lawrence “Larry” Keefe, of Shalimar took the oath of office the morning of Jan. 9 from Chief District Judge Mark E. Walker to become the 41st U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. As U.S. Attorney, Keefe is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Northern District of Florida, which includes Florida’s 23 […]

New leadership takes reins in Gulf Breeze

New leadership takes reins in Gulf Breeze

Working the room with handshakes all around, newly elected Gulf Breeze Mayor David Landfair acted more like a candidate than a winner Monday night. Emblematic of Landfair’s promises of city meetings that are more “collegial” than some of the contentious sessions of recent years, he thanked the 40 or so friends, residents and reporters who […]

Piech sworn in as District 4 commissioner

Piech sworn in as District 4 commissioner

District 4’s new County Commissioner Dave Piech took the oath of office Nov. 20, officially beginning his four-year term on the heels of a contentious election. Judge Robert Hilliard did the swearing-in at the county administrative boardroom in Milton during the Board of County Commissioners’ annual reorganization meeting. Read the full article in the Nov. […]

New mayors look to future in Gulf Breeze and Milton

New mayors look to future in Gulf Breeze and Milton

David Landfair and Heather Lindsay face similar challenges about the future in the small cities to which they were elected mayor at either end of Santa Rosa County on Nov. 6. Both newly minted mayors vowed to quickly address questions that include how to improve and expand the business cores of both communities. Read the […]

After recount, Santa Rosa closes books on 2018 election

After recount, Santa Rosa closes books on 2018 election

As razor-thin margins between candidates for federal and state office prompted statewide recounts last week, volunteers pored over 2,426 questionable ballot selections Friday in the Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections office’s manual recount. The county’s mandatory manual recount covered the races for U.S. Senate and Florida commissioner of agriculture, prompted by margins of less […]

What’s up with the recount?

What’s up with the recount?

As Floridians watched election results update in real time late into the night Tuesday and even into Wednesday, it became clear that some of the state’s most contentious races would be decided by fractions of a percentage point. As unofficial results became final, the decisions in those races became anything but. Read the full article […]

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