Santa Rosa County

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. Read the full article in the July 13 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

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 […]

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 […]

Property appraiser’s innovative approach returns thousands to county

Property appraiser’s innovative approach returns thousands to county

The Property Appraiser’s Office handed back a check for more than $231,000 to Santa Rosa County Tuesday, Nov. 7, after it came in under its allotted budget for 2015-16. The amount of taxpayer dollars that were not spent by the appraiser’s office accounts for roughly 12 percent of the office’s overall budget Chief Deputy Bubba […]

Near-record numbers in election

Near-record numbers in election

Voters of Santa Rosa county turned out to vote in numbers not seen since the 2008 General Election, and before that you have to go all the way back to 1984 when the voter turnout was 70.28 percent of all registered voters.  In this 2016 election the percentage was 68.04.  In a heated presidential race […]

Commissioner Sam Parker sets sights on infrastructure, industrial parks

Commissioner Sam Parker sets sights on infrastructure, industrial parks

Newly sworn-in District 1 County Commissioner Sam Parker said he would work to improve infrastructure and promote business in county industrial parks Tuesday, Nov. 15, during the swearing-in ceremony for the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners. Parker said he was humbled to be given the opportunity to serve and he takes that weight […]

Santa Rosa takes steps to prevent voter fraud

Santa Rosa takes steps to prevent voter fraud

As Election Day looms ever closer and early voting winds to a close, suspicions of voter fraud are on the forefront of many minds. The issue has received massive amounts of national media attention in the wake of statements by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump saying that millions of fraudulent votes would be cast against […]

Tax Collector returns money back to county

Tax Collector returns money back to county

Since 2009 when Stan Colie Nichols first took office as Tax Collector of Santa Rosa County, he has been giving unspent revenues back to various county agencies and taxing authorities representing the citizens of the county. Read the full article in the Oct. 27 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for as little […]

New tax starts in January

New tax starts in January

Collection of a half-penny sales tax in Santa Rosa County will begin in January of next year, but appointment of the oversight committee for the LOST has been delayed until weeks before that collection. The Infrastructure Surtax Citizen Committee (ISCC) will look at spending of the estimated $35 million of revenue generated by the half-penny […]

Cole makes zoning board selection

Cole makes zoning board selection

The Board of County Commissioners appointed a new member to the county zoning board Sept. 8 during their regular meeting. Greg Scoville, an experienced building planner, was selected to fill the vacant Zoning Board District 2 seat by Commissioner Bob Cole after the seat sat vacant for six months. “I’m a native of Santa Rosa […]

Move afoot to get Parker seated now

Move afoot to get Parker seated now

Republican nominee Sam Parker is the only candidate left standing for the District 1 County Commissioner’s seat after write-in candidate Caleb Boudreaux dropped out Sept. 1. If he had defeated Boudreaux in the general election he would have taken office Nov. 15 at the end of previous commissioner Jayer Williamson’s term, but the seat is […]

Tourism board favors current marketing agency

Tourism board favors current marketing agency

After hearing three 30-plus minutes of presentations Sept. 1, the Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Board ranked advertising and marketing company Davis, South, Barnett and Patrick Public Relations and Advertising (DSBP) as their top pick for managing marketing of the county’s tourism for the next three years. DSBP has been working with the county for […]

New sales tax boosts 2017 county budget

New sales tax boosts 2017 county budget

Santa Rosa County will be $5.1 million richer in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, but not at the expense of property owners. That’s because of the half-penny sales tax to pay for various infrastructure improvements that was approved by county voters on Aug. 30. Although the new tax is expected to bring in about […]

Santa Rosa County pursues unpaid lease fees

Santa Rosa County pursues unpaid lease fees

Santa Rosa County is trying to give about 400 Navarre Beach leaseholders some incentive to pay their delinquent lease fees by imposing a deadline. But the measure recommended to commissioners by County Attorney Roy Andrews lacks teeth. Instead, meeting the county’s new Nov. 1 deadline to catch up on overdue lease fees – which in […]

Get to know the Zoning Board

Get to know the Zoning Board

Created in 2011, the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board governs how land is used in Santa Rosa County. Whether building a grocery store in a neighborhood or digging a pit in the backyard, you will likely have to fill out a request with the Zoning Board. The board consists of two members for each district […]

Tough Mudder waffling on promotion promise

Tough Mudder waffling on promotion promise

Despite being given $80,000 in Santa Rosa taxpayer money as an incentive to stage its military-style obstacle course near Milton, Tough Mudder Inc. is apparently reneging on its contractual agreement to host a pre-event party. County tourism officials and commissioners thought they had negotiated the for-profit, New York-based company’s financial support for a party on […]

County not tracking officials’ social media use

County not tracking officials’ social media use

Santa Rosa County’s guidelines and record-keeping practices for its officials’ use of social media fall short of the standards recommended by the Florida Bar that have been adopted by some other counties, including Escambia. Read the full article in the Feb. 18 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 […]

Commissioners seek to accelerate gas-tax projects

Commissioners seek to accelerate gas-tax projects

Commissioners want residents of Santa Rosa County to see tangible results from the gas tax that was implemented Jan. 1. Read the full article in the Feb. 11 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 per year.

Additional drug-enforcement funding for county

Additional drug-enforcement funding for county

The I-10 corridor flows through Santa Rosa County, and unfortunately, that means illegal drugs may as well. The proximity of the corridor and other criteria led to Santa Rosa County being added to the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. There are 32 such programs across the United States, including Hawaii, and in […]

County hires new Public Information Officer

County hires new Public Information Officer

Brandi Whitehurst was approved to be the new public information officer for the county at the Jan. 14 Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners’ meeting. The PIO is responsible for promoting awareness of the county’s mission, programs, policies and initiatives to residents of the county and the media. Whitehurst’s employment began Jan. 19. According to […]

Tough Mudder’s grant money reduced

Tough Mudder’s grant money reduced

The state grant funding sought by Santa Rosa County to promote Tough Mudder Inc.’s military-style endurance event in April will be limited to about one-third of the requested $30,000. “It’s based on the state funds we have available this year through Enterprise Florida and the other grant requests that we have,” said Lisa Osteen, director […]

Tourism leaders spar with Rob Williamson

Tourism leaders spar with Rob Williamson

The discord between District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson and some hospitality industry veterans has surfaced for the fourth time since November and made him a sometimes churlish minority of one on the Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Council. Williamson, appointed to the council last year by his fellow commissioners, has broken with most the […]

Tough Mudder eases lodging demands

Tough Mudder eases lodging demands

Tough Mudder Inc. blinked. Under questioning from a prospective lodging “partner” about the company’s recent financial demands in return for promoting Santa Rosa County overnight stays at its event scheduled here next April, a company executive now says its fees are negotiable. A month after sending out controversial contracts to area hotels and condominium managers […]

Commissioner raises concerns with Tough Mudder

Commissioner raises concerns with Tough Mudder

Following doubts expressed by area tourism leaders on the value of the Tough Mudder Inc. military-style endurance event scheduled for next April, District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson is stepping in before Santa Rosa County signs a contract with the New York company. In a Dec. 3 email to Kate Fitzpatrick, a Tough Mudder senior director, […]

Fond farewells to Hunter Walker

Fond farewells to Hunter Walker

After attending more than 400 meetings of the Santa Rosa County Commission and working as its chief executive officer since 1995, Hunter Walker was honored at his retirement ceremony last week. The commissioners gave him a plaque, gathered for a group photo, patted him on the back and said fond farewells. Commissioner Bob Cole, who […]

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