Commissioner Bob Cole

Impact fees not gaining traction with County Commission

Impact fees not gaining traction with County Commission

High schools could be pulling double duty with one set of students in the first half of the day and a second school’s worth in the afternoon said district Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick during a joint meeting of the school board and county commission May 15. He said schools could also see more situations where two […]

Feather flags are safe for now

Feather flags are safe for now

Feather flags in Santa Rosa County may be legal, at least for the time being. After a County Code enforcement crackdown resulted in more than 100 warnings and 20 citations in three weeks, the Board of County Commissioners was seeking leniency in enforcement of sign ordinances Monday during its regular meeting.   Read the full […]

Symposium shines economic light on Northwest Florida

Symposium shines economic light on Northwest Florida

Movers and shakers of Northwest Florida convened in Miramar Beach April 17-18 with the intent of growing economic success in the region during the 22nd Gulf Power Economic Symposium, held at Baytowne Conference Center at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. This year’s theme was Our Time. Our Place. Our Now! Read the full article in the […]

County Commissioners settle flooding lawsuit, Pier renovation bid uncertain

County Commissioners settle flooding lawsuit, Pier renovation bid uncertain

County Attorney Roy Andrews made it clear the county was not accepting guilt by paying out a $15,000 settlement for flood damage during the April 11 Board of County Commissioners meeting. In other action, the County Commission voted to reject all bids for redecking of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier after questions about the validity […]

Five things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa County Commissioners spent their Monday meeting balancing potential projects against infrastructure needs. Discovery Center dream dashed? Concerns over water quality trumped conservation education efforts Monday as commissioners weighed how to spend millions of RESTORE dollars over the next 12 years. Read the full article in the April 11 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

LOST: Are we getting what we paid for?

LOST: Are we getting what we paid for?

County commissioners plan to ask voters to raise the local option sales tax (LOST) in an August special election. This would extend and expand an existing half-cent LOST approved by voters in 2016. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up […]

County to clean up abandoned truck stop

County to clean up abandoned truck stop

An abatement that could lead to bids for the cleanup and removal of trash, junk and debris at an abandoned truck stop at 9234 Highway 87 near Milton was moved to the consent agenda for the Santa Rosa County Commission meeting this Thursday. The truck stop , which is close to the Highway 87 exit […]

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Despite budget votes being more than 7 months away, Santa Rosa county commissioners are already wrangling with two major funding decisions in the wake of Thursday’s early Budget Workshop. One major point of concern is how to fund the $45 million price tag on a new courthouse and judicial complex. Read the full article in […]

Home Builders Association defends growth to Commissioners

Home Builders Association defends growth to Commissioners

More than 100 members of the Home Builders Association of West Florida, mostly clad in red shirts, packed into the County Commissioners board room Monday. The parking lot of the building was full of vehicles from building contractors. The gathered builders, electricians, engineers, construction workers and small business owners called for commissioners to refuse attempts […]

Beach church signs issue continues

Beach church signs issue continues

Navarre’s Beachside Church may have to keep its signs down as search for proof of an agreement between the county and church leadership has not turned up. For 25 years, Beachside Church has been holding informal church services in the Navarre Beach parking lot. Read the full article in the Feb. 21 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

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 […]