BREAKING: PAC seeking incorporation ballot measure

A political action committee (PAC) is seeking to revive an effort to incorporate Navarre into its own city. Navarre Area United PAC is scheduled to make an appearance at the Monday Board of County Commissioners meeting.

Agenda documentation provided ahead of the meeting did not provide any information regarding the purpose of the meeting, only that the PAC would be speaking. In amended registrations filed with the county, the PAC lists their purpose as “initiatives for a better Navarre, including incorporation of Navarre.”

Formed in December 2018, the PAC’s current registration says they also oppose the fee simple bill as written, an initiative to give Navarre Beach residents fee simple title to their property.

The Navarre Press reached out to County Administrator Dan Schebler for details on the meeting, and he said incorporation is the topic set for discussion.

“The purpose is to request the Supervisor of Elections place a precinct specific non-binding referendum on the August 25, 2020 primary election ballot, a vote to judge interest in the incorporation of Navarre by residents who would be impacted,” Schebler wrote in an email.

Calls to the PAC were not immediately returned. PAC chairman is Jonathan Cole, previous partner in the now-defunct Navarre Beach pier management company Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises, Inc. Regents with the PAC include:

  • Andrew DeMartin, owner of Cajun Specialty meats which is an arm of Broussard’s on Navarre Beach
  • Larry Rolison, previous partner in Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises, Inc. and owner of Ye Olde Brothers Brewery
  • Lonnie Hawkins, Zoning Board member appointed by District 5 County Commissioner Lane Lynchard and administrative assistant for Lynchard’s law firm

Prior to an amended registration filing Feb. 4, the PAC also included Frank Salvato as Assistant Chairman, Bart Pullum as a regent and Robert Reyes as a regent. The PAC dropped opposition of the Navarre Pass from their registration.

The PAC has raised $2,000 in contributions, given by DeMartin through his New York-based PAC Friends of Andrew DeMartin, according to Elections Office records. No expenditures have been filed at this time.

Previous attempts by PAC Citizens to Incorporate Navarre were unsuccessful. A ballot initiative was put forward in 2014 after the group gathered signatures. At that time, Citizens to Incorporate Navarre had secured a feasibility study for more than $38,000 that outlined what forming a city would look like and how the new entity would support itself.

The commission meeting will be held March 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the county commission board room in Milton, 6495 Caroline Street. Updates will be made as more information becomes available.

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