government

Concerns raised over bills to limit public records access

Concerns raised over bills to limit public records access

Several bills put forward in the Florida House and Senate have caught the attention of public records advocates. The biggest bill of concern at the start of session was SB 186 (with companion HB 7017 in the House) which exempts photographs, video and audio recordings of mass killings from public records law. Read the full […]

Keep public notices in media

Keep public notices in media

As fellow, red-blooded Americans who cherish the freedoms this nation provides, we at Florida Tax Watch hold dear the independent and unfiltered manner of governmental entities placing public notices in local newspapers of record. Such notices further a citizen’s right to know about their elected official’s decisions affecting their daily lives–a bedrock principle of our […]

DeSantis makes waves going into legislative session

DeSantis makes waves going into legislative session

Agree or disagree with his actions, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been making decisions–and lots of them–since taking office Jan. 8. Government is often accused of moving slowly, but the governor has made a point of taking some type of action on a variety of fronts discussed during his heated campaign for the office. Read […]

The guardians…of truth and freedom

The guardians…of truth and freedom

Today Time Magazine named four journalists and a newspaper as its 2018 Person of the Year for what the magazine said was standing up for the truth in the face of persecution and violence. Time calls the group “the guardians” and certainly the words “…of truth and freedom” should be added. The group is made […]

Brown reflects on insights gained at Girls State

Brown reflects on insights gained at Girls State

On the evening of Sept. 20, Navarre High School senior Sarah Brown prepared for an evening to honor her at the American Legion Auxiliary in Navarre for making her mark as Governor alongside hundreds of Florida girls. It was one of many ceremonies that celebrated her work at the Girls State Conference this past June. […]

Mock legislature gives girls a taste of real-life power

Mock legislature gives girls a taste of real-life power

Few 17-year-olds understand the sometimes complicated innerworkings of Florida’s legislative process. Even fewer have lived it. But from June 9-14, four teen representatives from Navarre and Gulf Breeze made their way to Tallahassee to perform their own miniature version of a legislative session as part of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State conference. Read the […]

Ballot Breakdown: Florida voters to decide 12 amendments

Ballot Breakdown: Florida voters to decide 12 amendments

When Florida voters go to the polls Nov. 6 they will be greeted by a dozen potential amendments to the state’s constitution. From dog racing to taxes to vaping at work, the amendments hit a variety of issues. Read the full article in the Sept. 13 issue of Navarre Press for brief guide on what […]

Q&A Meet the candidates for District 1 U.S. House of Representatives

Q&A Meet the candidates for District 1 U.S. House of Representatives

What motivated you to run, and what will your top priority be? “I love my country but have been disappointed with leadership that led us into wars without commitment to fight and win.  I have been dismayed in a government that colluded with big banks and credit rating agencies that crushed our citizens and small business […]

Constitution Revision Commission: Proposals to watch

Constitution Revision Commission: Proposals to watch

Proposals currently under consideration by the Constitution Revision Commission have been whittled down from hundreds to 37. If approved by the CRC, the proposed changes will go before Florida voters in November. Here are some of the key proposals: Read the full article in the Feb. 22 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

Department of Education oversight more like overreach

Department of Education oversight more like overreach

On the front page of Community we shared images of Holley Navarre Primary School students excitedly playing on newly purchased playground equipment for the first time. At a school where the student population has blown past projected growth and threatens to overflow capacity, providing enough space for children to play required a big investment. That […]

10 Things to Know for Friday

10 Things to Know for Friday

1. BUDGET BATTLE ROLLS ON A divided Congress barrels toward a possible election-year government shutdown, with disagreements over immigration and other issues still unresolved. 2. PONTIFF’S REMARKS PROVOKE SHOCK Pope Francis accuses victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile of slander, in an astonishing end to a visit that was meant to help heal the wounds […]

Gaetz pays a visit to Santa Rosa County schools

Gaetz pays a visit to Santa Rosa County schools

With Congress on its summer break, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz made a stop in Santa Rosa County last week to talk politics with local students. Since taking office in January as the representative for Florida’s 1st Congressional District, Gaetz has made a habit of visiting locations such as schools and town halls throughout his district […]

In Honor of Courage

In Honor of Courage

“IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776. THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WHEN, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which […]

If governor signs, 2.7 million criminal records vanish from public view

If governor signs, 2.7 million criminal records vanish from public view

More than 2.7 million criminal records will be sealed and the arrest records of hundreds of thousands of people will be concealed under a bill heading to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk. An open records advocacy group is sounding the alarm and calling for Scott to veto the bill, warning it could hide the backgrounds of […]

Arguments over fee simple, Navarre Pass boil down to history

Arguments over fee simple, Navarre Pass boil down to history

While U.S. congressman Matt Gaetz weighs pursuing fee simple title for residents of Navarre Beach, a fourth attempt at such legislation, the discussion continues to be mired in arguments over reopening Navarre Pass. That’s because every previous rendition of the bill has been amended to include a restriction to never open Navarre Pass again. Editor’s […]

We must continue fight to protect public’s right to maintain a vigilant eye on their elected officials

We must continue fight to protect public’s right to maintain a vigilant eye on their elected officials

By Florida TaxWatch Chairman-Elect Pat Neal and President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro The cornerstone of our constitutional democratic republic is protecting citizens’ right to full and public notice when their elected officials are discussing or making decisions that could affect taxpayers’ daily lives. As a nonpartisan government watchdog and taxpayer-research institute that focuses on […]

Walking on Sunshine

Walking on Sunshine

Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law gives the public the right of access to government meetings and public records. It ensures that government works out in the open for all to see – no backroom conversations between elected officials before a vote. However, as we recently found out, in Santa Rosa County those officials can send texts or […]

Breaking the spirit of democracy*

Breaking the spirit of democracy*

All over the country we see demonstrations, walks, protests and childish political maneuvering because Donald Trump was elected president. Social media posts are even worse with name calling and other juvenile tactics. We see college students crying and in some cases rioting over the election. Celebrities refused to perform at his inauguration, some even promised […]

Stronger IRS security to delay millions of tax returns

Stronger IRS security to delay millions of tax returns

New Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations could delay tax returns to millions of middle- and low-income tax payers until at least mid-February regardless of early filing. Last year, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. The law which went into effect Jan. 1 requires any tax return filed claiming Earned Income Tax Credit […]

Few elections in The Satisfied City

Few elections in The Satisfied City

Even the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger probably can’t get satisfaction so complete as that long expressed by the City of Gulf Breeze electorate. In a year of national political movements from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump, the civic stillness in Gulf Breeze has produced a city council of five members who have never had to […]

When, where, how to vote

When, where, how to vote

Roughly 25 percent of Santa Rosa County’s nearly 131,000 voters have already cast their ballot for the presidential election after early voting opened in the county Monday, Oct. 24. Santa Rosa’s voters, the majority of which have been Republican, have cast 19,755 early votes and 13,224 votes by mail. Of the early votes the majority, […]

Should I vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’?

Should I vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’?

At a recent presentation to the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development and Government Affairs audience, Mary Blackwell president of The League of Women Voters (LWV) in Okaloosa County explained the four amendments voters should expect to see on the Nov. 8 ballot. Each of the amendments will need at least 60 percent […]

High school gets students registered to vote

High school gets students registered to vote

Navarre High School students “exercised their rights” Friday, Oct. 7, during the school’s voter registration drive. Classes filed into the cafeteria for a presentation on the basics of Florida elections. Presenter Erin Begley explained Florida’s importance as a swing state, how closed primaries work and what new voters will experience when walking into the polling […]

Proposed worker’s comp rate hike: Floridians deserve transparency

Proposed worker’s comp rate hike: Floridians deserve transparency

Guest Opinion Florida’s extraordinary tradition of open government is founded on the simple but essential concept that the people have a right to know how and why the government makes decisions on their behalf. After all, it’s our government. So when a government action stems from a process shrouded in secrecy, we have a right not […]

Adults get refresher in U.S. politics

Adults get refresher in U.S. politics

Navarre residents got a crash course in citizenship and the Constitution Tuesday, Sept. 6, during Adult Civics Class at Holley-Navarre Middle School. Civics teachers Ashley Hall, Pam Rose and Brandon Czubinski are collaborating to instruct the free five-week course. The class is designed to give adults a refresher on the topics Navarre’s middle-schoolers learn about […]

Cole makes zoning board selection

Cole makes zoning board selection

The Board of County Commissioners appointed a new member to the county zoning board Sept. 8 during their regular meeting. Greg Scoville, an experienced building planner, was selected to fill the vacant Zoning Board District 2 seat by Commissioner Bob Cole after the seat sat vacant for six months. “I’m a native of Santa Rosa […]

Move afoot to get Parker seated now

Move afoot to get Parker seated now

Republican nominee Sam Parker is the only candidate left standing for the District 1 County Commissioner’s seat after write-in candidate Caleb Boudreaux dropped out Sept. 1. If he had defeated Boudreaux in the general election he would have taken office Nov. 15 at the end of previous commissioner Jayer Williamson’s term, but the seat is […]

Broxson and Hill eye the future

Broxson and Hill eye the future

The estranged friends who battled for Northwest Florida’s state senate seat are both making plans in the wake of Doug Broxson’s decisive win over fellow Republican Mike Hill. Broxson said he is already focused on ensuring that legislators in other parts of the state don’t muscle away some of the $1.5 billion in BP settlement […]

Broxson wins mud fight for state Senate

Broxson wins mud fight for state Senate

Emerging from a campaign that brought out the worst in both candidates and some supporters, Doug Broxson defeated Republican Mike Hill for the northwest Florida state Senate seat by about 3,600 votes, winning 57.59 percent of those cast. Although neither Broxson nor his campaign returned a reporter’s phone calls Tuesday night, Hill said, “I’m disappointed […]

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 […]