Florida Sunshine Law

Local officials tighten cell phone oversight

Local officials tighten cell phone oversight

Big Brother is watching and listening–to itself–more intently. Spurred by a landmark public records law settlement in Tallahassee, governments in our area are among those scrutinizing and upgrading their methods of tracking text messages on the cell phones they furnish to employees and elected officials. Read the full article in the Mar. 1 issue of […]

Fairpoint’s finances raise questions

Fairpoint’s finances raise questions

The concerns that prompted Gulf Breeze-based officials of Fairpoint Regional Utility System to press for a controversial debt restructuring last year have largely drowned in black ink. Also gone—at least for now—are fears that an increase in the price of water that Fairpoint sells to the collective’s members, such as Holley Navarre Water System, could […]

Hope for the hopeless water board

Hope for the hopeless water board

Tuesday’s Holley Navarre Water System board election has reaffirmed something – there may be hope for a drowning system. No – they are not drowning financially, in fact, they are rich by any nonprofit’s standards. But they have been drowning themselves in the proverbial testosterone war that dogs usually lift their leg for. While entertaining […]

Sanborn not guilty of Sunshine Law charge

Sanborn not guilty of Sunshine Law charge

Tourist Development Council member Jack Sanborn was found not guilty Friday on charges that he violated Florida’s Sunshine Law by phoning two other panel volunteers to discuss matters that had previously come before the board. Santa Rosa County Judge Jose Giraud ruled after nearly an hour-long hearing that while Sanborn’s calls on his personal cellphone […]

Scope of Gulf Breeze probe could widen

Scope of Gulf Breeze probe could widen

The planned inquiry by the Florida Auditor General’s Office into the City of Gulf Breeze’s finances will take several months and may extend to questions about controversial legal expenditures. Requested recently by State Sen. Doug Broxson, the audit will bring a Tallahassee-based team of accountants and other specialists to set up shop at Gulf Breeze […]

Sunshine Law cloudy for Fairpoint Regional

Sunshine Law cloudy for Fairpoint Regional

While a recent unannounced gathering of some Fairpoint Regional Utility Service directors may appear to have violated Florida’s Sunshine Law, some are questioning their obligation to meet in public. In fact, Holley Navarre Water’s president, Bien May—who is also a Fairpoint director–when asked by a reporter recently whether the Sunshine Law applies to the boards […]

Water board under Sunshine Law scrutiny

Water board under Sunshine Law scrutiny

Allegations that three of Fairpoint Regional Utility’s seven board members violated Florida’s Sunshine Law by meeting in private last month are under review by the State Attorney’s Office in Pensacola. “The only thing I can say at this time is I can confirm that we have received a copy of the complaint regarding the Sunshine […]

Sunshine Law complaint may go to trial

Sunshine Law complaint may go to trial

Jack Sanborn wants some light shed on allegations that he violated Florida’s Sunshine Law last June by speaking to another volunteer member of the Tourist Development Council. “I’d like to face my accuser and hear exactly what I said that supposedly violated the law,” Sanborn told the Navarre Press this week after State Attorney Bill […]

Tourism council answers rebuke with an invitation

Tourism council answers rebuke with an invitation

Santa Rosa officials bristled at the recent scolding they received from House Speaker Richard Corcoran about the financial practices of the county’s Tourist Development Office. But they rejected a first impulse to fire off a terse letter to Corcoran—deciding instead to invite him here to prove the transparency with which the county handles its annual […]

Tourist watchdog group wins compromise

Tourist watchdog group wins compromise

Fighting off a move by Santa Rosa officialdom to reduce its autonomy, the volunteer Tourist Development Council struck a compromise to keep open communication lines among members and avoid being shrunk. By a 6-1 vote the watchdog panel, which is authorized by the Florida Legislature to keep an eye on the county’s $2 million in […]

County not tracking officials’ social media use

County not tracking officials’ social media use

Santa Rosa County’s guidelines and record-keeping practices for its officials’ use of social media fall short of the standards recommended by the Florida Bar that have been adopted by some other counties, including Escambia. Read the full article in the Feb. 18 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 […]

Commissioner Cole fined $500 for Sunshine violation

Commissioner Cole fined $500 for Sunshine violation

  Santa Rosa County Commissioner Robert A. “Bob” Cole has been ordered to pay a $500 fine after he entered a plea of no contest to one count of a non-criminal violation of the Florida Sunshine Law. According to a release issued by State Attorney Bill Eddins’ office, Walton County Judge David Green imposed the […]

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 […]