Government

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 […]

Cole seeks to extend 16 years of service

Cole seeks to extend 16 years of service

Bob Cole first entered the political sphere because he had a bone to pick with then-County Commissioner Debbie Dawsey. “The very first time I ran, it was out of disgust in our commissioner that ran our district. At the time, several times I called her and did not get a response,” he said. Read the […]

County moves quickly on Ashley Plantation solutions

County moves quickly on Ashley Plantation solutions

For residents of Ashley Plantation subdivision in Pace, drainage fixes could not come soon enough as water flooded their roads, at times up to their house doors, and some backyards became rushing streams. A handful of neighbors came before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Sept.  27 requesting help in fixing the mess a builder allegedly […]

Ballot Breakdown: Florida voters to decide 12 amendments

Ballot Breakdown: Florida voters to decide 12 amendments

When Florida voters go to the polls Nov. 6 they will be greeted by a dozen potential amendments to the state’s constitution. From dog racing to taxes to vaping at work, the amendments hit a variety of issues. Read the full article in the Sept. 13 issue of Navarre Press for brief guide on what […]

Williamson loss means state, national vacancies

Williamson loss means state, national vacancies

When current District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson finishes his term in mid-November, he will leave a few positions vacant. During his time as commissioner, Williamson became an active member of the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), a lobbying group composed of elected representatives from all the Florida counties. Williamson was voted into the position […]

Primary election spurs strong turnout

Primary election spurs strong turnout

The 2018 primary election drew more than one-fourth of the voting population to the polls, and many in Santa Rosa County are celebrating that turnout. Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections Tappie Villane said she was pleased to see the spike in participation. Read the full article in the Sept. 6 issue of Navarre Press […]

Commissioners hold firm on zonings

Commissioners hold firm on zonings

We support what you are doing, but not where you want to do it. That was the message county commissioners delivered to a business owner seeking to open her real estate office in Navarre. Rocio Cuevas went before the Board of County Commissioners Aug. 23 to request that a single-family residence at 7654 East Bay […]

New school board seeks harmony with teachers

New school board seeks harmony with teachers

With two teachers union-backed candidates winning seats on the Santa Rosa School Board, some members foresee more cooperation on the lingering pay dispute that could ease contention with District Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick. “We need to look at our priorities, which include instructional salaries,” said Wei Ueberschaer. She defeated District 5 board incumbent Scott Peden, winning […]

Candidate Dave Piech unseats incumbent in District 4 County Commission race

Candidate Dave Piech unseats incumbent in District 4 County Commission race

In a stunning 26.26 percent turnout of voters in the Primary Election, Navarre resident and retired Air Force Colonel Dave Piech was elected to the seat of District 4 County Commissioner, upsetting the incumbent Rob Williamson by a 25.36 percent margin. Of the 34,623 ballots cast, 20,236 voted for Piech. Piech’s campaign lagged behind in […]

Republicans Gaetz, Jordan, DeSantis rally in Navarre

Republicans Gaetz, Jordan, DeSantis rally in Navarre

Three Republican congressmen known for making national headlines delivered their stump speeches in Navarre Saturday during their Freedom Tour through Northwest Florida. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District, was joined by fellow House members Jim Jordan and Ron DeSantis for a political rally at the Hampton Inn and Suites. Read the […]

How to vote

How to vote

There are three ways for residents of Santa Rosa County to cast their ballot in the upcoming primary and general election. Vote-by-Mail Previously referred to as absentee balloting, Vote-by-Mail is open to any registered voter in Santa Rosa County regardless of where they will be on election day. Voters that place a request will receive […]

Deadline looms in school board, District 4 commissioner races

Deadline looms in school board, District 4 commissioner races

As primary election voting inches closer, the window is closing for school board candidates to win over voters. All three of the school board seats up for grabs will be decided on the primary ballot Aug. 28, and votes in the race can be cast as early as Aug. 13. For much of the race, […]

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) handled several requests for park funding NYSA playground to get fresh rubber In Navarre, that meant funding to replace the problematic rubber surface for the playground at the NYSA. District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson questioned why the surface needed to be replaced so shortly after it was installed. […]

Q&A Meet the candidates for Attorney General

Q&A Meet the candidates for Attorney General

What motivated you to run, and what will your top priority be? Please include any relevant experience in your response. “I was motivated to run because of the issues that I saw as a judge and prosecutor and how, as Attorney General, I could help solve them. Florida needs a “top cop” that will stand […]

Commissioners rein in developers’ housing plans

Commissioners rein in developers’ housing plans

In yet another unusually high turnout, the Board of County Commissioners meeting hall was packed July 26 with residents of Santa Rosa County seeking to have their voices heard at the monthly Special Rezoning meeting. Many were there in favor of allowing a motocross facility to be opened in the north end of the county. […]

Development and zoning tops debate questions

Development and zoning tops debate questions

Questions repeatedly returned to issues of development and allowing exceptions to the land development code during the Santa Rosa Republican Women’s county commissioners candidate forum Tuesday. The questions were submitted by the members in attendance, and candidates for both District 4 County Commission, representing Navarre, and District 2 representing Milton were invited to answer. District […]

Animal Services takes aim at pet homelessness

Animal Services takes aim at pet homelessness

Americans who wish to bring home a furry friend are faced with a multitude of choices. Fluffy the Norwegian forest cat might come from a close friend burdened by debt. Teddy the poodle may be found at a recommended breeder, and Fido the mutt just might jump into your arms from the pens at a […]

Williamson receives Advanced County Commissioner designation

Williamson receives Advanced County Commissioner designation

The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) presented Board of County Commissioners Chairman Rob Williamson with the Advanced County Commissioner designation following his completion of a study program developed by FAC. Williamson, District 4 commissioner, received the designation June 29 along with 17 other county commissioners during an awards ceremony held at the FAC Annual Conference […]

Absenteeism hampers work of tourism council

Absenteeism hampers work of tourism council

While bed tax collections are up for another month, the board responsible for making recommendations on how to spend that money is shrinking. Attendance at Tourist Development Council board and committee meetings has been spotty. Nearly half the board is absent at any given time, and Commissioner Rob Williamson, who serves on the board, has […]

Some oversight volunteers feel ignored

Some oversight volunteers feel ignored

Although a citizens group is supposed to oversee how the county’s new half-cent local option sales tax is spent, some members of that panel say the real decisions are being made without their input. Read the full article in the May 18 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 […]

Dispute spotlights gap in tracking officials’ messages

Dispute spotlights gap in tracking officials’ messages

The current national Sunshine Week initiative (March 12-18) to educate the public about the importance of transparency in government finds Santa Rosa lagging in how it watchdogs officials’ mobile phone text messaging. Unlike a growing number of Florida counties, Santa Rosa has neither formal guidelines on officials’ use of text messaging nor modern tracking technology […]

LOST committee lost in the weeds

LOST committee lost in the weeds

Debate over what projects will be funded and who decides on those projects left the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) without a clear path forward for the estimated $39.5 million to be collected on the half cent local option sales tax, or LOST, Tuesday following the board’s annual Planning Workshop. Read the full article in […]

Logistics of the Local Option Sales Tax

Logistics of the Local Option Sales Tax

While county commissioners and staff are still sorting out the half-cent local option sales tax (LOST) issues, there is clarity on when the county will have those dollars in hand. Read the full article in the Feb. 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

Nichols begins third term as tax collector

Nichols begins third term as tax collector

Santa Rosa Tax Collector Stan Colie Nichols officially began his third term Tuesday evening as he took his official oath of office. Sworn in by his father, Judge Colie Nichols, he was joined by friends, family and co-workers for the oath of office ceremony in the County Commissioners board room of the administrative complex in […]

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