County Government

Due to popular demand: Rob Williamson articles and editorials

Due to popular demand: Rob Williamson articles and editorials

  Candidates for County Commissioner District 4 – 2/13/2014 Commission candidates file financial reports – 2/20/2014 Candidate’s visits prompt questions – 8/7/2014 Long-awaited RESTORE guidelines expected this week – 8/14/2014 ‘No Comment‘ – 10/30/2014 Candidates for County Commissioner District 4 – 10/30/2014 Election 2014: Analyzing Navarre’s votes – 11/13/2014 New county board members sworn in – 11/20/2014 Commissioner Rob Williamson to open Navarre office – 12/11/2014 Williamson suggests more […]

Santa Rosa ranks high in tax value survey

Santa Rosa ranks high in tax value survey

  Your property tax dollars are well spent in Santa Rosa County, according to a new survey that compares the ad valorem rates with the quality of public schools and crime numbers. Santa Rosa ranks seventh among Florida’s 67 counties in the index compiled by Smart Asset, a New York-based financial technology company. Small counties […]

Tiger Point Golf investment group takes shape

Tiger Point Golf investment group takes shape

Show us the money. That’s what City of Gulf Breeze leaders are waiting to see as their light at the end of the Tiger Point Golf Club tunnel. Now a Tiger Point business leader and resident, Paul Stagner, has emerged as the organizer of investors he is contacting from Miami to Jacksonville to acquire the […]

Committee hopes to extend candidate search

Committee hopes to extend candidate search

Hoping to find a more qualified talent pool, the committee tasked with creating a short list of candidates for the county’s new administrator suggested extending the search by 30 days. “I feel the pool is not as strong as we’d hoped for, especially if the county has a desire for Florida experience,” Chris Holley, a member of […]

County will schedule hearing on gas tax

County will schedule hearing on gas tax

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners agreed at Monday’s budget workshop to approve scheduling a public hearing for a possible gas tax increase. The county is facing a $2.8 million shortage for its upcoming budget and is projecting major road resurfacing projects will cost about $9.8 million over the next five years. The […]

Economic development group makes hard sell

Economic development group makes hard sell

It’s not easy selling a community to outside businesses and investors. Despite incentives, such as tax breaks and free land, recruiting industry is a challenge, especially when other states are wooing the same companies. Competition can be fierce. Cliff Krut, a certified economic development representative for Gulf Power, explained how Northwest Florida, specifically Santa Rosa […]

Country on the Sound moves to marine park

Country on the Sound moves to marine park

Following concerns about traffic and parking, Navarre Family Watersports has scrapped its plan to host Country on the Sound at its U.S. 98 location and instead has requested the use of Navarre Beach Marine Park. The concert, scheduled for Sept. 25 and 26, will feature local acts and two headliners: Trace Adkins and Big & […]

‘Welcome to Navarre’ sign looks for new home

‘Welcome to Navarre’ sign looks for new home

The “Welcome to Navarre” sign posted last fall at the site of an abandoned gas station on Highway 87 has received a rude reception. “Someone didn’t like that location. I’m not sure who,” said Mike Schmidt, Santa Rosa County assistant engineer. Moving the $3,700 sign means navigating a bit of bureaucracy. For one thing, a […]

38 apply for SRC administrator job

38 apply for SRC administrator job

The initial list of applicants to succeed retiring Santa Rosa County Administrator Hunter Walker stands at 38 people from across the country. One high-profile local applicant is Larry Newsom, former Escambia County interim administrator who was bypassed for the permanent job in 2014 when commissioners hired Jack Brown. Newsom is currently retired and living in Milton. […]

Santa Rosa still on economic recovery trail

Santa Rosa still on economic recovery trail

Santa Rosa County’s bounce back from the Great Recession of 2009 and 2010 isn’t complete, according to its jobless rate. But the way we were as a labor market may not come again. The county’s unemployment rate as of June, 4.9 percent, reflects great improvement over the peak of 10 percent in January 2010. Santa […]

Special tax suggested for Tiger Point Golf Club

Special tax suggested for Tiger Point Golf Club

The idea of creating a special taxing district in Santa Rosa County to pay for improvements at the struggling Tiger Point Golf Club is gaining support among officials at the City of Gulf Breeze, which owns the facility. Under various plans that will likely be discussed publicly on or before the scheduled Aug. 13 meeting between the […]

Gulf Breeze leaders bristle over Tiger Point Golf

Gulf Breeze leaders bristle over Tiger Point Golf

Leaders of the City of Gulf Breeze never really wanted to own the Tiger Point Golf Club, located 7 miles east of their border, and the last thing they want now is to pay for building more of it. They’re digging in and sending the Santa Rosa County Commission and residents near the financially beleaguered […]

Portion of Tiger Point could go for $500K

Portion of Tiger Point could go for $500K

The City of Gulf Breeze has floated a possible price for which Santa Rosa County could buy the disputed west course of Tiger Point Golf Club: $500,000. That figure, roughly 18 percent of the amount the city paid for the entire financially struggling club in 2012, has surfaced during a Navarre Press interview with Gulf […]

County contracted with dissolved company

County contracted with dissolved company

The recent award of a Santa Rosa County contract for military affairs consulting to a company that had been administratively dissolved by the Florida Division of Corporations is being questioned by another bidder for that work. Greystone Consulting in Pace, which had the part-time $33,500-a-year military liaison job, was awarded a new contract on April […]

County may purchase part of Tiger Point Golf

County may purchase part of Tiger Point Golf

Up to 70 acres of the beleaguered Tiger Point Golf Club would become a Santa Rosa County park under a tentative agreement reached Tuesday morning by officials of the county and City of Gulf Breeze. In a closed door meeting at Gulf Breeze City Hall, the leaders focused on a proposal under which the city […]

Questions over county hire

Questions over county hire

The Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office recently named county student worker Al Wilson as the replacement for former full-time employee Susan Poggione. Wilson’s hire raised eyebrows after it was disclosed he is married to Santa Rosa County Libraries Director Gwen Wilson – and one of five student workers related to county employees. According to […]

$5K slated for new administrator search

$5K slated for new administrator search

Santa Rosa County Commissioners today are expected to approve a $5,000 proposal from the Florida Association of County Managers (FACM) to help recruit a replacement for long-time County Administrator Hunter Walker. Walker announced in April that after serving in the position for two decades, he would retire at the end of the year. His salary […]

Turtle center funding expected to resume in July

Turtle center funding expected to resume in July

Following Commissioner Rob Williamson’s surprise move to suspend county funding for the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, its representatives had their say at Monday morning’s commission meeting. During the public forum Navarre resident Yvonne Harper suggested Williamson’s actions may have led some to wrongly infer there had been a misappropriation of funds. Harper questioned […]

Renourishment tops local RESTORE proposals

Renourishment tops local RESTORE proposals

  Despite Navarre Beach renourishment’s top ranking in several local RESTORE funding categories, it’s not likely that Santa Rosa County will fund the proposal’s full $1 million request from that pot of money. The reasoning, according to County Commissioner Lane Lynchard, is because beach renourishment, which will total roughly $18 million, will happen “regardless” of […]

Property tax revenues continue uptick

Property tax revenues continue uptick

For the third consecutive year, Santa Rosa County property tax revenues are expected to increase. During Tuesday’s pre-budget workshop, Budget Director Jayne Bell projected a 2.1 percent increase of just over $1 million – but don’t expect commissioners to lower ad valorem assessments. In fact, commissioners have discussed ways to increase some county revenue streams […]

Commissioners to discuss upcoming budget

Commissioners to discuss upcoming budget

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners will host a pre-budget workshop Tuesday, June 9, at 1:30 p.m. in the commission meeting room, 6495 Caroline St. in Milton. The meeting offers the board and other constitutional officers an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues that may impact the upcoming 2015-16 budget, which runs […]

Kiosk accepts traffic tickets, child support payments

Kiosk accepts traffic tickets, child support payments

A new kiosk at the county administration building now accepts traffic ticket payments and child support payments. The kiosk, which accepts cash and credit card payments, is located across the hall from the Tax Collector’s Office at 6495 Caroline St. in Milton. “With the addition of the new kiosk, customers will no longer have to […]

Byrom looks back on a life of public service

Byrom looks back on a life of public service

Many people hope to live a long, healthy life, have a loving family and build a successful career. William Henry “Cotton” Byrom has done that and more in his 87 years. The former longtime mayor of Milton, who also served two years in the state legislature and a dozen years as chairman of the Santa Rosa […]

Standing room only at ‘City of Navarre’ meeting

Standing room only at ‘City of Navarre’ meeting

The Navarre incorporation feasibility study cost $27,500, property taxes could go up $100 per year and the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office will remain the presiding law enforcement agency if Navarre incorporates. Those were some of the answers Navarre residents received at a town hall meeting Monday, Sept. 15. More than 240 residents crowded the Navarre Conference Center Monday night the meeting. Read more in […]

Four finalists for TDC director

Four finalists for TDC director

A committee formed to select a new executive director for the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council has narrowed a list of about 40 candidates down to four finalists. Former Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council Chairman Vernon Compton, Santa Rosa County Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree and County Administrator Hunter Walker picked the finalists. Read more in the Aug. 28 issue of Navarre Press or […]

Board may buy ads for courthouse referendum

Board may buy ads for courthouse referendum

The county is considering ways to get the word out on issues related to the Nov. 4 courthouse referendum. One method being discussed is paid advertising. That’s upsetting some citizens who Monday warned commissioners to stick to fact-based information. “You can’t advocate to be in favor of the sales tax,” said Milton resident Jerry Couey, pointing out related restrictions in Florida State Statute 106.113. That statute makes it clear […]