Commissioner Bob Cole

BREAKING: Sales tax increase has Commission support

BREAKING: Sales tax increase has Commission support

Voters may go to the polls on a request for another half cent sales tax as early as August as County Commissioners unanimously supported the idea Thursday during a Budget Workshop. Commission Chairman Sam Parker brought forward the suggestion of a special ballot initiative for the new tax. “I have really searched about how we […]

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Forest Bay Estates under wetlands scrutiny

Roughly 100 acres of discrepancy was more than neighbors and county commissioners could swallow, at least not without a closer look. So, development of the 284-lot subdivision Forest Bay Estates has been put on hold, at least temporarily. Read the full article in the Feb. 7 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Beachside Church signs disappear off island

Beachside Church signs disappear off island

County officials are searching policy stretching back more than a decade after church signs along Navarre Beach went missing last month amid potential enforcement action. For 25 years, Beachside Church has been holding informal church services in the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier parking lot. As part of advertising these services, church pastor John Kerns and […]

StRIVE to improve business looks across county

StRIVE to improve business looks across county

Days may be numbered for shabby signs and cracked facades across Santa Rosa County as the commissioners approved a grant last week to spruce up the look of local business. Commissioners dedicated $50,000 to the StRIVE (Santa Rosa Improvement Vitalization Enterprise) Grant program in 2019 to help businesses improve their look through signage and facade […]

District 4 plan draws mixed reviews

District 4  plan draws mixed reviews

Outright adoption or even acceptance of the District 4 Master Plan was more than the Santa Rosa County commissioners could swallow Jan. 24. Of the five commissioners, three failed to throw support behind the document that took 19 months, hundreds of public comments, multiple public hearings and $150,000 of taxpayer funds to create. Read the […]

Three things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Three things to know: Board of County Commissioners

284 lot subdivision riling neighbors County Commissioners got an earful from concerned residents Tuesday morning as yet another subdivision development drew ire from neighbors. Forest Bay Estates is a new subdivision proposed for 210-acres of vacant land located west of Edgewood Drive and east of River Birch Road. Read the full article in the Jan. […]

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

After balking at a request for nearly half a million dollars, the county’s Tourist Development Council did agree Jan. 3 to fund $117,000 for animal habitats at the new Holley location of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR). While ECWR has steadily been securing donations since December 2016, the timeline for completion of the new […]

Phase I price tag $3 million

Phase I price tag $3 million

Based on Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) is no longer part of Navarre Park’s Phase I makeover, but it is not being relocated to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge either. That issue aside, County Administrator Dan Schebler told the commissioners that they need an answer to move forward on […]

Escambia referendum may roadblock beach fee simple title

Escambia referendum may roadblock beach fee simple title

Voters in Escambia County may have barred Navarre Beach residents from receiving fee simple title following a referendum in the November election. More than 80 percent of the roughly 119,000 voters that cast a ballot on the issue called for a federal deed controlling the island’s ownership to remain in place. Read the full article […]

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. […]

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 […]

Details revealed about potential Panhandle Butterfly House move

Details revealed about potential Panhandle Butterfly House move

As progress moves forward on the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge’s (ECWR) new location in Holley, the nonprofit awaits a decision by the Panhandle Butterfly House (PBH) about where their future location will be. The future of the PBH is currently in limbo as their building is set for demolition at the start of 2019. Read […]

Long makes history in County Commission bid

Long makes history in County Commission bid

For the first time in Santa Rosa County history, an African-American will be on the general election ballot for a county post. Kris Long of Milton is running for the District 2 County Commission seat under no party affiliation. Long, a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan and who works in information technology, officially met […]

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 […]

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 […]

Piech, Cole receive Fraternal Order of Police endorsements

Piech, Cole receive Fraternal Order of Police endorsements

Candidate for District 4 County Commissioner Dave Piech and District 2 County Commissioner incumbent Bob Cole received official endorsement Monday from the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police (FFOP). FFOP represents more than 22,000 law enforcement officers said President Robert Jenkins. “The office of County Commission is extremely important to the men and women […]

Retribution Rob strikes again

Retribution Rob strikes again

At Thursday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, things got a little tense during a presentation by Whispering Pines resident Heidi Allgood. During her presentation she talked about how the residents there felt they could not reach out to their District 4 Commissioner, so instead they chose to go to the Chairman of the Board, Commissioner […]

Williamson to Cole: Stay out of my district

Williamson to Cole: Stay out of my district

A procedural approval for Creet’s Landing subdivision turned to tension among county commissioners and residents of Whispering Pines Boulevard. During the board’s regular meeting on July 26, District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson accused Commission Chairman Bob Cole of inserting himself into issues in Williamson’s district during discussion of the Creet’s Landing project. The highly contentious […]

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 […]

Leading with the truth

Leading with the truth

We commend District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson on his latest video. It is powerful, emotional and he speaks publicly on a very private issue – addiction. He has never made a secret of his alcohol addiction. And now he has disclosed he was “using” as well. We applaud his recovery and his claim of 10 […]

PSC vocational campus planned for I-10 industrial park

PSC vocational campus planned for I-10 industrial park

Santa Rosa County’s Northwest Florida Industrial Park @ I-10 may soon be home to a Pensacola State College (PSC) satellite campus. Currently, the plan consists of creation of a 5 acre truck driver training facility for PSC students to gain vocational credits. The campus could later be expanded to include lineman vocational training as well […]

Wildlife refuge officially breaks ground

Wildlife refuge officially breaks ground

In a celebration honoring community support, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge ceremonially broke ground Saturday at its new facility in Holley. After brief speeches and thank-yous under an old-growth oak tree, the refuge’s board and a group of dignitaries “turned dirt” on the property, launching the building phase of a project that has been in […]

Calkins’ legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

Calkins’  legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

James Calkins is moving on with an eye on moving up. The 32-year-old real estate investor resigned as president of the Holley Navarre Water System board last Thursday. He capped off the day by being named to the county-wide Santa Rosa Zoning Board. Read the full article in the June 21 issue of Navarre Press. Click […]

The penalties for not supporting Williamson

The penalties for not supporting Williamson

The penalties are stiff for not supporting our current commissioner Williamson – just ask Jack Sanborn. He found out the hard way. The maestro of manipulation orchestrated a move during the board of county commission meeting Monday to remove longtime Tourist Development Council member Jack Sanborn from the TDC. It wasn’t even on the agenda. […]

Navarre Beach land preservation deal falls through

Navarre Beach land preservation deal falls through

The future of a vacant, privately owned parcel in the heart of the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary is up in the air again after a buyer interested in preserving the land’s natural state bowed out. County Commission Chairman Bob Cole announced the change of plans to the public May 21 during a board meeting, reading […]

Pier progress praised

Pier progress praised

It has been roughly six months since the previous operators of “the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico” walked out early on their contract with Santa Rosa County, leaving the 2017 bid winner, Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises (GSRE), to jump in early. In those first few weeks, the operators faced quite a few challenges […]

Commissioners on loose leash for travel spending

Commissioners on loose leash for travel spending

Rarely are questions raised about Santa Rosa County commissioners’ use of the panel’s $50,000 annual travel budget. Instead, there’s a large degree of trust accorded in the commissioners’ judgment about the necessity of their occasional trips to such destinations as government policy meetings in Washington, D.C., and other gatherings in cities such as Orlando and […]

Missing millions accounted for, medical examiner affirmed

Missing millions accounted for, medical examiner affirmed

First Judicial District Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrea Minyard secured support April 26 to continue in her position from the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) despite getting an unfavorable review by Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson. Okaloosa Sheriff Larry Ashley has also complained about response times for autopsies. Read the full article […]

Discovery Center concept revealed

Discovery Center concept revealed

Extensive outdoor learning spaces, examples of pristine habitats, interactive marine exhibits and a two-story learning center were among the details outlined in preliminary ideas for Navarre Beach’s future Discovery Center. The visualization, along with a detailed history of similar projects, secured Caldwell Associates Architects the contract for designing the future of the Navarre Beach Marine […]

Support my campaign or else

Support my campaign or else

Yes, it’s campaign season – and all the ugly that comes with it. What you may not know is if you contribute money to Rob Williamson’s opponent he will shut you out. And apparently he has a long memory. One voter contributed to his campaign and the opponent’s campaign. Even though the voter gave him […]

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