Commissioner Don Salter

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Animal Shelter policies get revamp

Animal Shelter policies get revamp

Last year in Santa Rosa County, 3,685 of the cats and dogs that found themselves in the county Animal Shelter were euthanized due to space constraints. Of those killed, 76 percent were cats and kittens. Read the full article in the Jan. 24 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or […]

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. […]

County looks at stronger tree protections

County looks at stronger tree protections

Following the issue of a development order, many parcels in Navarre and Santa Rosa County are leveled to the dirt for impending development. That includes trees that may have been growing there for decades, possibly 100 years or more. Read the full article in the Nov. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for […]

County rejects hotel; eyes District 4 Master Plan

County rejects hotel; eyes District 4 Master Plan

County commissioners squashed a plan to build a hotel and RV site inside the Navarre Beach Marine Park, unanimously voting against a lease amendment for the property during a special rezoning meeting Oct 25. Attorney Will Dunaway, of the Clark Partington law firm, represented the potential buyer and developer, NOBC LLC. That company is registered […]

County endorses pet pigs—with limits

County endorses pet pigs—with limits

In a unanimous decision by the commissioners present, miniature pigs were approved to live in the subdivisions of Santa Rosa County. Board of County Commission (BOCC) Chairman Bob Cole said he supported the change. Read the full article in the Oct. 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to […]

Bridge woes jeopardize subdivision’s access

Bridge woes jeopardize subdivision’s access

For the residents of Bernath Place, a single-lane bridge along Seneca Trail is their lifeline. The subdivision of a few dozen houses in Milton is somewhat of an island with marsh blocking access on one side and a railroad blocking access on the other. Read the full article in the Oct. 4 issue of Navarre […]

More than 400 jobs coming to Santa Rosa

More than 400 jobs coming to Santa Rosa

More than 400 jobs could be coming to Santa Rosa County as yet another tenant plans to open shop at the nearly vacant Northwest Florida Industrial Park @ I-10. Economic Development Director Shannon Ogletree announced Monday that Project Runner, a warehouse distribution company, is moving to finalize opening a facility on 50 acres of the […]

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 […]

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) handled several requests for park funding NYSA playground to get fresh rubber In Navarre, that meant funding to replace the problematic rubber surface for the playground at the NYSA. District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson questioned why the surface needed to be replaced so shortly after it was installed. […]

Commissioners rein in developers’ housing plans

Commissioners rein in developers’ housing plans

In yet another unusually high turnout, the Board of County Commissioners meeting hall was packed July 26 with residents of Santa Rosa County seeking to have their voices heard at the monthly Special Rezoning meeting. Many were there in favor of allowing a motocross facility to be opened in the north end of the county. […]

Whiting plays critical role in local economy

Whiting plays critical role in local economy

Federal, state and local government officials came together Monday for a comprehensive update of the impact NAS Whiting Field has on the area economy and a discussion of strategies to protect the base’s mission. The Congressional Field Hearing was hosted by U.S Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District. Read the full article […]

Pier likely to get temporary restroom

Pier likely to get temporary restroom

A restroom is likely to be placed on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier later this summer, but it will not meet with specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ken Fountain, a managing partner with pier operating firm Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises (GSE), said his company plans to put an ADA-compliant facility on the pier […]

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 […]

County seeks short-term fix for big jail problems

County seeks short-term fix for big jail problems

Santa Rosa County Jail has hit its limit. The 682-bed facility has been full or nearly full for years, and Sheriff Bob Johnson said it has affected how his deputies enforce the law. Read the full article in the May 10 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to receive the […]

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 […]

Missing millions, Santa Rosa moves to boot medical examiner

Missing millions, Santa Rosa moves to boot medical examiner

Santa Rosa County commissioners are not sure what they bought with roughly $2.5 million of taxpayer money. The funds, paid over a 15-year period to the office of the area’s chief medical examiner, all fall under the title “professional services.” Santa Rosa County Clerk of Courts Don Spencer said defining what is included in that […]

Heart of Navarre storage units approved

Heart of Navarre storage units approved

  With two county commissioners abstaining and one absent, only two “yes” votes were needed to win approval for a zoning variance to allow construction of a self-storage facility in the Heart of Navarre. The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners, following a recommendation by the Zoning Board, March 15 granted a conditional use permit […]

Vets to VA Clinic transit ends this month

Vets to VA Clinic transit ends this month

For the roughly 26,000 veterans in Santa Rosa County, medical care for everything from a sore throat to lifesaving dialysis may come from the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Pensacola. But getting there can be difficult, especially for people with disabilities, the elderly and those without a reliable vehicle. Read the full article in the Mar. […]

Board seeks way to revive fee simple bill

Board seeks way to revive fee simple bill

Federal fee simple legislation for Navarre Beach is dead in the water, but the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed possible alterations that could jump-start the bill’s chances in the Senate. Three of five commissioners indicated they would be willing to modify the language of Senate Bill 1073 if it meant securing fee […]

The game of endorsements

The game of endorsements

The announcement was made Monday morning. The Navarre Area Board of Realtors endorses current District 4 commissioner on his re-election bid. Period. Why the hurry? Potential candidates don’t have to file until June. We have a year left until the general election. Wouldn’t your endorsement mean more if you waited and  considered more than one […]

Sheriff looking for half-cent ‘justice’ sales tax

Sheriff looking for half-cent ‘justice’ sales tax

At the Oct. 9 Board of County Commissioner’s committee meeting, Sheriff Bob Johnson stood before the board with the message the jail is past capacity. “We have inmates sleeping on the floor on air mattresses,” Johnson told commissioners. “Every corner is taken.” In a presentation to the board, Johnson said he had already directed his […]

Panel creates funding plan for park upgrades

Panel creates funding plan for park upgrades

After seven hours of argument and compromise, members of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) were able to reach a funding agreement for millions of dollars in Navarre Park improvements. The initial phase of funding would cover roughly $3.6 million for playground equipment, a new splash pad, new east-end restrooms, stormwater improvements and removal of the […]

Haste makes $7 million waste

Haste makes $7 million waste

One thing we can all agree on is Navarre Park needs upgrades. The playground equipment needs repairs, and is not friendly to special needs children. The things we cannot agree on is why we would spend $7 million on one 7 acre park and the source of the $7 million. Pam Wingate, president of the […]

Commissioners express ‘sticker shock’ over park plan

Commissioners express ‘sticker shock’ over park plan

“When we embarked on the master plan for Navarre Park, I had no idea whatsoever that we would end up with a $6.5 million plan,” District 5 commissioner Lane Lynchard said during Monday’s Board of County Commissioner committee meeting in regards to the Navarre Park master plan. He and other commissioners described their reaction as […]

Navarre Master Site plan set to begin

Navarre Master Site plan set to begin

County Commissioners Monday selected the firm that will shape Navarre’s future or at least the plan for it. Matrix Design Group was selected by a three to two vote to create a District 4 Master Plan. District 4 includes Navarre, Holley and Navarre Beach. The firm will be paid approximately $80,000 to $150,000 for the […]

Courthouse site search advances fitfully

Courthouse site search advances fitfully

Yes. No. Maybe. Let’s look at somewhere else. That’s how Santa Rosa County commissioners reacted July 10 when they discussed five offers of land on which to build a new county courthouse. Not only was there no consensus on the five offers on choosing a parcel of land for sale or lease—and one for free—from […]

Lost L.O.S.T.

Lost L.O.S.T.

Guest Opinion: Lost: “no longer possessed; retained,” and “having gone astray or missed the way.” Based on recent comments regarding storm water projects related to the Local Option Sales Tax revenue tentative projects’ list, it seems District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson is lost on the L.O.S.T. Last November, the voters approved the L.O.S.T. because the […]