Don Salter

Holley Navarre Water System President James Calkins resigns

Holley Navarre Water System President James Calkins resigns

After his contentious appointment to the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board Thursday, James Calkins resigned as the President of the Holley Navarre Water System Board of Director in a letter emailed to fellow board members and water system staff Friday. In the letter Calkins wrote he would no longer be able to fulfill his duties […]

Update: Sanborn resigns from Tourist Development Council

Update: Sanborn resigns from Tourist Development Council

Update: Jack Sanborn submitted his letter of resignation from his position on the Tourist Development Council Thursday to the Board of County Commissioners. He resigned prior to a scheduled vote to by the BOCC to decide whether or not to remove Sanborn from the council following allegations of threats made on social media and an […]

County considering new tax for sheriff’s office

County considering new tax for sheriff’s office

While trying to reconcile the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office’s budget request to revenue realities, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed the possibility Thursday of implementing a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) for law enforcement services during the first of their annual budget workshops. Sheriff Bob Johnson told commissioners that he needs nearly every penny […]

No property tax increase seen for courthouse

No property tax increase seen for courthouse

Santa Rosa residents won’t have to pay higher ad valorem taxes because they rejected the referendum to fund a new county courthouse in downtown Milton with a temporary sales tax increase. Although some commissioners had indicated before the election that higher property taxes seemed the only alternative to building the $35 million courthouse, three of […]

Frazier: Do away with Social Security

Frazier: Do away with Social Security

If you are younger than 35, you should expect to retire much later in life. That was U.S. representative candidate Matt Gaetz’s stance on Social Security during the 2016 Candidate Forum Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Tiger Point Community Center. “We have observed the greatest generational theft that mankind has ever known through Social Security […]

Wild ride as more candidates enter races, others drop out

Wild ride as more candidates enter races, others drop out

Candidate signs have been going up like wildfire here, there and everywhere – something code enforcement won’t be happy about since so many enthusiastic campaign staffers forget to take them down after the elections are over. There were a number of late-minute surprises last week at the Santa Rosa County Elections office in what has […]

Fond farewells to Hunter Walker

Fond farewells to Hunter Walker

After attending more than 400 meetings of the Santa Rosa County Commission and working as its chief executive officer since 1995, Hunter Walker was honored at his retirement ceremony last week. The commissioners gave him a plaque, gathered for a group photo, patted him on the back and said fond farewells. Commissioner Bob Cole, who […]

Still no site picked for new courthouse

Still no site picked for new courthouse

Downtown Milton has emerged as the most likely site for the proposed new Santa Rosa County courthouse if the challenges of environmental permitting and stormwater control at the low-lying locale can be met. Although the county commissioners aren’t scheduled to vote on the location until early next year, three of the panel’s five members now […]

Lynchard gets gavel as chairman

Lynchard gets gavel as chairman

Santa Rosa County officials have discussed building a new courthouse for more than two decades. Last week, they agreed waiting another month to decide the fate of a proposed site wouldn’t hurt. Commissioners are divided on a recent proposal to build the judicial center, estimated to cost between $30 – $40 million, in a low-lying […]

Gomillion gets nod for county executive post

Gomillion gets nod for county executive post

Santa Rosa County officials are promoting from within for the next county administrator. Tony Gomillion, a veteran Santa Rosa bureaucrat who oversees the public services division, was the unanimous choice of county commissioners during a meeting Monday in Milton. Gomillion was one of three finalists and was selected over experienced top-level administrators with master’s degrees. […]

Commissioners debate Milton site for courthouse

Commissioners debate Milton site for courthouse

The site of Santa Rosa County’s long-discussed new courthouse was debated by commissioners again on Monday. After nearly two hours, commissioners inched toward selecting a location by next month. The debate was triggered by Commissioner Rob Williamson’s proposal to build the estimated $35 million facility off Pine Street in Milton, adjacent to CSX railroad tracks […]

Rains, drains and pains

Rains, drains and pains

In the past two weekends, Navarre has seen more than a foot of rain. When the remnants of Hurricane Patricia swept through Oct. 25 – 26, nearly 7 inches of rain fell. The rain totals of Halloween weekend were nearly that at 6.41 inches with some areas receiving 7 inches. Rewind to Sept. 28 and […]

Plan eyed to pump Navarre Beach effluent to mainland

Plan eyed to pump Navarre Beach effluent to mainland

The proposed sale of Navarre Beach Water and Sewer would probably involve building a new pipe across Santa Rosa Sound to transfer sewage for treatment at the mainland plant owned by Holley-Navarre Water System. “We would be hoping to run the sewage across and pump it inland,” said Billy Sublett, executive director of Holley-Navarre Water, […]

Commercial building activity steady in Santa Rosa

Commercial building activity steady in Santa Rosa

From a new Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Pace to Chaver’s Rock Yard in unincorporated Gulf Breeze, commercial building activity is on track to equal or exceed last year’s totals in Santa Rosa County. Through the first nine months, the county issued 42 commercial permits, compared with a full-year total of 56 in 2014, when […]

Commissioners block Salter’s move to hike local gas tax

Commissioners block Salter’s move to hike local gas tax

Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Don Salter on Monday said he was ready to raise local gas taxes to fund road improvements. But none of his fellow commissioners supported such an increase now. District 5 Commissioner Lane Lynchard pushed for county staff to develop a list of specific projects which would be funded by such a tax increase  and […]

Williamson suggests more staff

Williamson suggests more staff

Santa Rosa County Jan. 15 began accepting applications for the first allocation of local RESTORE Act funding – roughly $4.3 million. District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson suggested adding county staff to help manage up to $75 million anticipated for 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill recovery. In a Dec. 30 email, Williamson asked County Administrator […]

Listening to voters is crucial

Listening to voters is crucial

Increasing taxes seems to be the go-to response for many politicians, including Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Don Salter, who’s been discussing a hike in the local gas tax to fund transportation projects. That would be a copycat move. Last January, a similar increase went into effect in Escambia County. We suggest the Santa Rosa […]

Voters to decide courthouse location

Voters to decide courthouse location

For three weeks Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Jim Melvin heard citizens protesting county plans to spend $3.75 million on a site for the proposed courthouse. Opposition was so strong that Melvin felt it doomed the entire project, which depends on voters passing a temporary sales tax increase. Therefore, he added site selection back to […]