Politics

Area lawmakers say recreational pot coming

Area lawmakers say recreational pot coming

Recreational marijuana’s legalization in Florida is inevitable and could come within three years, according to Santa Rosa County’s two members of the state House of Representatives. “The whole movement about medical marijuana has really been about recreational use and it’s going in that direction,” said Rep. Alex Andrade, R-Gulf Breeze. Addressing the Gulf Breeze Area […]

Rep. Williamson talks session wrap-up

Rep. Williamson talks session wrap-up

In a wrap-up the 2019 legislative session, State Rep. Jayer Williamson addressed constituents of the Santa Rosa County Republican Club June 4 at Bistro 98. He said he was very proud to have chaired the Appropriations Committee in his third year as a member of the Florida House of Representatives.   Read the full article […]

Navarre gives Gaetz warm welcome

Navarre gives Gaetz warm welcome

U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz was received positively by the packed porch of Dewey Destin’s in Navarre Saturday during his “Won’t Back Down Tour” through northwest Florida. The staunch conservative addressed a variety of topics during his Q and A with the public including increasing benefits to partially disabled veterans and limiting aid to foreign nations. […]

Gaetz hosts military night at Navarre

Gaetz hosts military night at Navarre

When U.S Rep. Matt Gaetz is having a tough day at the nation’s capital, he turns to the folder containing the stories of candidates for the military academies. One of his jobs as a member of Congress is nominating students from Northwest Florida for the honor of attending West Point, the Air Force Academy or […]

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 […]

Educators wary of Scouts’ classroom pitches

Educators wary of Scouts’ classroom pitches

At first glance the “Patriotic Societies” bill that’s working its way through the Florida Legislature may seem wrapped in the American flag and no more contentious than Mom or apple pie. But House Bill 95, also known as the “Scouts Access” proposal, would mandate the right of paid Scout leaders—for both boys and girls—to make […]

Electing a President: Understanding the Electoral College

Electing a President: Understanding the Electoral College

This election cycle commands the attention of a greater number of Americans than many in the recent past. Whether the increased number of people turning their attention to politics and the electoral process is because of frustration and anger or hope and foreseen opportunity remains in the eye of the individual. As citizen voters we […]

Crunch time for Florida voters

Crunch time for Florida voters

With the Presidential Preference Primary election coming up March 15, those not registered as Republicans or Democrats will be unable to vote in that type election which occurs every four years. This is because Florida is considered a closed-primary state said Tappie Villane, Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections. There are 26,981 registered voters in […]

Cole appointed to NACo leadership role

Cole appointed to NACo leadership role

National Association of Counties (NACo) President Sallie Clark appointed Santa Rosa County District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole to serve a one-year term as the chairman of the Land Use and Solid Waste Subcommittee, one of the subcommittees within the NACo’s Energy, Environment and Land Use Steering Committee. Clark, commissioner, El Paso County, Colo., made her […]

Tab to protect visiting governors, officials rising

Tab to protect visiting governors, officials rising

The cost to Florida taxpayers to provide around-the-clock security for visiting governors and other officials jumped in the past year, partly because of high-profile Republicans who were in the state to campaign for Gov. Rick Scott. An annual report released Friday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement showed that the state spent nearly $2.9 […]

State launches 3rd attempt to redraw congressional map

State launches 3rd attempt to redraw congressional map

The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, still angry at being forced into action by the state’s highest court, launched yet another bid on Monday to reshape the state’s congressional districts. Legislators returned to the Capitol to kick off a 12-day special session to draw a new map that could make it difficult for several incumbent members of […]

Scott at odds again with fellow Republicans

Scott at odds again with fellow Republicans

Just six months ago, Gov. Rick Scott stood onstage outside the state Capitol basking in his hard-fought victory as he began his second term. Scott boldly proclaimed in his inaugural address that the campaign was over, and while there would be “robust debates on the best direction for Florida” that “we should not let partisan […]

School district earns historic increase

School district earns historic increase

After decades of being at or near the bottom in per pupil funding from the state, the Santa Rosa County School District will receive historic funding increases in 2016, according to Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). The district will receive $8,239,180 in additional revenues next year for a total of $181,014,246 to support the 26,000 students […]

Gulf Breeze agrees to public meeting

Gulf Breeze agrees to public meeting

Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser agreed Monday night to meet in public with Santa Rosa County officials about the future of Tiger Point Golf Club. “I hope that representatives of the city and county can have public discussion very soon,” Dannheisser told Navarre Press. Santa Rosa County commissioners agreed earlier in the day to seek […]

Mayor questions Broxson on public meeting policy

Mayor questions Broxson on public meeting policy

Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser asserted to State Rep. Doug Broxson on Monday that the city complied with the Florida Sunshine Law last Tuesday in declining to meet in public with Santa Rosa County officials about Tiger Point Golf Club’s future. Dannheisser wrote to Broxson in an email: “I am told that last Tuesday, you […]

Special session to redraw districts

Special session to redraw districts

The Florida Legislature will hold a nearly two-week special session in August to draw up new congressional districts. House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner announced Monday that the special session will last from Aug. 10 until Aug. 21. The state Supreme Court earlier this month threw out the state’s existing districts. The […]

Rob Williamson hosts listening tour

Rob Williamson hosts listening tour

District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson is hosting a county-wide listening tour now through early August. Residents are encouraged to attend one of five meetings scheduled in each voting district to discuss issues that impact their community and the county as a whole: Tuesday, July 21, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Pace Chamber of Commerce […]

Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera enters US Senate race

Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera enters US Senate race

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said Wednesday he is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by his close friend Marco Rubio, who is running for president. The 41-year-old Republican announced his entry in a YouTube video — in English and Spanish — that featured his wife and two daughters, along with photos of […]

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 […]

Florida’s congressional districts rejected

Florida’s congressional districts rejected

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state’s congressional maps don’t meet the requirements of a voter-approved constitutional amendment that prohibits political lines from being drawn to favor incumbents or a political party. The court ordered the Legislature to try drawing the maps again. The ruling means there could be an upheaval as incumbents […]

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 […]

Gov. Scott signs budget, vetoes nearly $500M

Gov. Scott signs budget, vetoes nearly $500M

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a new budget into law Tuesday, but not before vetoing nearly $500 million stuffed into the spending plan by legislators. Scott signed the budget just days after the Florida Legislature approved it during an unusual June special session. State government would have been partially shut down if a new budget […]

Jayer Williamson to lead transportation board

Jayer Williamson to lead transportation board

Santa Rosa County District 1 Commissioner Jayer Williamson June 10 was named chairman of the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization (TPO). “It is an honor to have the support of other elected officials from Northwest Florida and South Alabama,” Williamson said, adding, “The decisions we make now about our roads will impact future generations.” Read the […]

Legislature passes $79B budget in overtime

Legislature passes $79B budget in overtime

After a sprawling and messy budget fight that spawned lawsuits and finger-pointing, the fractured Republican-controlled Florida Legislature approved a nearly $79 billion budget and ended its special session Friday. Legislators were racing against the clock to pass the budget after they failed to pass one during their regular two-month session that ended in late April. […]

Spencer pre-files for re-election

Spencer pre-files for re-election

Donald C. Spencer, Santa Rosa County clerk of the circuit court and comptroller, has pre-filed for re-election. Highlighting his office’s many accomplishments since being elected in 2012, Clerk Spencer said he looks forward to another term as clerk and comptroller. “We have streamlined office procedures by having foreclosure sales and tax deed sales online,” he […]

Lawmakers reach late-night deal on budget

Lawmakers reach late-night deal on budget

  Aided by a last-minute infusion of cash that went to projects backed by the state’s Republican leaders, Florida legislators late Monday night reached a deal on a nearly $80 billion budget for the state. The agreement, much of which was pounded out in private meetings and out of the view of the public, means […]

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 […]

Dabney denied appointment to zoning board

Dabney denied appointment to zoning board

District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole Jan. 20 made a last-minute addition to the county commission meeting agenda – the appointment of one of his campaign contributors to the zoning board. But Cole’s motion to appoint Navarre businessman James Dabney was rejected in a 3-2 vote. Cole’s motion also angered residents, who accused him of intentionally […]

Milton City Councilman accuses Cole of violating Sunshine Law

Milton City Councilman accuses Cole of violating Sunshine Law

Santa Rosa County Commissioner Bob Cole is once again facing a Sunshine Law violation accusation after Milton City Councilman Jimmy Messick Jan. 15 publicly questioned the actions of Cole and fellow Downtown Redevelopment Advisory Board (DRAB) member Elba Robertson. Messick said prior to the meeting he observed the two DRAB members discussing the nomination of Milton resident Kim Macarthy to the […]