Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser

Changes promised by Gulf Breeze candidates

Changes promised by Gulf Breeze candidates

More government transparency, less litigation and increased civility toward residents who speak out at City Council meetings are being promised by both candidates for mayor in Gulf Breeze. David Landfair, who has been on the council for eight years, is making himself sound like an outsider bent on reform at times. Read the full article […]

Fairpoint’s finances get big boost

Fairpoint’s finances get big boost

The collective of utilities that supplies Holley Navarre Water System has discovered a line of low-interest credit that can apparently be used to cover much of its infrastructure costs for years to come. John Grant, the volunteer president of Fairpoint Regional Utility System, told the Navarre Press: “We found a million dollars that we didn’t […]

Calkins’ legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

Calkins’  legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

James Calkins is moving on with an eye on moving up. The 32-year-old real estate investor resigned as president of the Holley Navarre Water System board last Thursday. He capped off the day by being named to the county-wide Santa Rosa Zoning Board. Read the full article in the June 21 issue of Navarre Press. Click […]

First official mayoral candidate emerges in Gulf Breeze

First official mayoral candidate emerges in Gulf Breeze

Patty Burke, an outspoken critic of how the City of Gulf Breeze is run, has become the first official candidate for mayor in the election scheduled for November. “I would just like to bring more fiscal responsibility to City Hall,” said Burke, a 56-year-old former investment counselor at the Dean Witter brokerage firm. Read the […]

Gulf Breeze leadership shake-up in the works

Gulf Breeze leadership shake-up in the works

Amid growing acrimony on the Gulf Breeze City Council, Mayor Matt Dannheisser has decided not to run for re-election in November. Dannheisser’s probable successor is David Landfair, the mayor pro tem and a JROTC instructor at Gulf Breeze High School, who told the Navarre Press on Wednesday that he plans to run. “I’m announcing my […]

Fairpoint foresees big cash surplus

Fairpoint foresees big cash surplus

In an apparent reversal of fortune from a year ago, Fairpoint Regional Utility now expects a financial surplus that could rise to about $12 million during the next decade. Further, recent changes to Fairpoint’s board are already signaling its increased independence of influence from City of Gulf Breeze officials who campaigned last year for a […]

Gulf Breeze mayor’s race in the making

Gulf Breeze mayor’s race in the making

Challenges by some Gulf Breeze City Council members over delays in their requests for specifics about the municipality’s mounting legal fees are putting Mayor Matt Dannheisser on the political hot seat. In fact, in a city where unopposed candidates are the norm, three of Dannheisser’s colleagues on the council are thinking of running against him […]

School board offers $1.9 million for Tiger Point parcel

School board offers $1.9 million for Tiger Point parcel

Tiger Point Golf Club’s defunct west course will be the site of a middle or elementary school—or both—if the City of Gulf Breeze accepts Tim Wyrosdick’s $1.9 million offer for a 45-acre parcel. While only about half the amount forecast last fall by Matt Dannheisser, mayor of Gulf Breeze, which owns the club, the prospective […]

Gulf Breeze amenities get top priority

Gulf Breeze amenities get top priority

As state auditors prepare to examine the books at the City of Gulf Breeze, officials there are outlining spending plans to showcase the municipality: from a new police station to a children’s park splashpad. Although funding isn’t yet available for all the myriad projects detailed in a new city report, officials say the money can […]

Follow the trail of money

Follow the trail of money

This week’s story by Rob Johnson on the Fairpoint refinancing sheds a lot of light on the entire deal that is now for all purposes – dead. Fairpoint’s board president, Buz Eddy is looking a little contrite after causing quite the stir over the supposed urgent need for refinancing Fairpoint’s debt. He and fellow board […]

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 […]

Fairpoint debt deal appears dead

Fairpoint debt deal appears dead

The controversial loan restructuring that would have raised the debt total of Fairpoint Regional Utility System by about 40 percent took a big hit last week when Holley Navarre Water System voted in a new board. Fairpoint needs the support of all three of the collective’s member utilities, and the likelihood of getting that from […]

Gulf Breeze questions audit petitions

Gulf Breeze questions audit petitions

Unable to fend off a state audit of his city’s operations, Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser is casting doubt on the number of petitioners who requested the review. In a letter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee dated Dec. 7—obtained by a public records request—Dannheisser questioned a previous assertion by State Sen. Doug Broxson that […]

School district not yet sold on Tiger Point site

School district not yet sold on Tiger Point site

Contrary to public comments by Gulf Breeze Mayor Matt Dannheisser last week, the Santa Rosa School District isn’t in negotiations with the City of Gulf Breeze to buy a portion of its Tiger Point Golf Club. Assistant School Superintendent Joey Harrell told this newspaper last week that the district, while interested in a 47-acre parcel […]

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 […]

Suspicions rile water board

Suspicions rile water board

The rebellion among Holley Navarre Water System board members against proposed debt restructuring by the collective that supplies their water focuses on concerns that the motive behind the deal is actually to enrich the City of Gulf Breeze. “It’s a money grab,” said Brian Kelly, an HNWS director and finance committee chairman in an email […]

Gulf Breeze makeover needs investors

Gulf Breeze makeover needs investors

The City of Gulf Breeze’s recent $30 million request for BP oil spill funds is part of a push to solve its identity crisis. The beachy hamlet of about 6,000 souls “currently lacks a ‘Town Center,’” according to the makeover proposal submitted by City Manager Samantha Abell. Creating a new civic and commercial core would […]

Water board faces outside political pressure

Water board faces outside political pressure

Do it our way. That’s the message from City of Gulf Breeze officials to the Holley Navarre Water System board about a controversial proposal to refinance $9.8 million in debt held by the collective from which the utility buys most of its water. A majority of HNWS directors recently rebuffed the inperson pitch by Fairpoint […]

Gulf Breeze land fight isolates mayor

Gulf Breeze land fight isolates mayor

  Amid the usual proclamations that honor Eagle Scouts and recognize the good deeds of other youth, the mood at Gulf Breeze City Council meetings has lately turned testy at times. Earlier this month Mayor Matt Dannheisser even asked for police to be summoned when a resident overstayed his welcome during a period designated as […]

Water utilities to gamble on more debt

Water utilities to gamble on more debt

Failing to set aside funds for emergencies has previously meant a financing scramble for the utility collective that provides water to south Santa Rosa, and now officials think they see a solution: take on about $4 million in long-term debt. Though perhaps unlikely at first glance, the strategy of Holley Navarre Water System and the […]

Legal-fee squabble roils Gulf Breeze

Legal-fee squabble roils Gulf Breeze

If William Shakespeare wrote today about the City of Gulf Breeze’s long-running legal fight in the so-called Catawba Street “Land Grab” case, he might well tweak his famous line in Henry VI thusly: “Let’s pay all the lawyers.” In fact, before anything else gets decided in a 30-year-old case that won’t die, opposing attorneys are […]

Lawyer questions Gulf Breeze legal fees

Lawyer questions Gulf Breeze legal fees

When an attorney starts worrying publicly about the looming legal fees of a case, you know it’s getting expensive. Renee Bookout, a City of Gulf Breeze council member and a lawyer, is pressing for better tracking of the expenses that are piling up in her municipality’s 20-year court fight to gain control of a 50-foot-wide […]

Utility seeks fix to Hidden Creek Golf flooding

Utility seeks fix to Hidden Creek Golf flooding

The plight of Holley-Navarre Water System and the Hidden Creek Golf Club it owns have been similar in recent weeks: too much water and nowhere to put much of it. Heavy rains from June through August have forced the club to close on some days, making water hazards out of some of its sand traps, […]

Law of motion causes Gulf Breeze traffic standstills

Law of motion causes Gulf Breeze traffic standstills

Sir Isaac Newton could have told you so: There would be consequences to tinkering with the timing of traffic lights in the City of Gulf Breeze in an effort to smooth vehicular flow on Highway 98. The 17th Century physicist unintentionally forecast the city’s newest challenge for motorists when he wrote his celebrated Third Law […]

Gulf Breeze’s golf course legal fees top $1 million

Gulf Breeze’s golf course legal fees top $1 million

The money-pit image of Tiger Point Golf Club is well known among taxpayers and officials in the City of Gulf Breeze, which owns the 375-acre property. But new details about the true depth of the financial hole dug at Tiger Point Golf have emerged in a Santa Rosa Circuit Court document filed earlier this month. […]

Gulf Breeze enacts medical marijuana sales ban

Gulf Breeze enacts medical marijuana sales ban

Any potential controversy about the new City of Gulf Breeze ordinance that prohibits medical marijuana sales outlets within the municipality’s borders ended with no one speaking up in a public hearing on the matter Monday night. Without opposition from residents, the City Council voted 5-0 for the ban to start immediately. “The City Council finds […]

Gulf Breeze nears medical marijuana sales ban

Gulf Breeze nears medical marijuana sales ban

The impending City of Gulf Breeze ordinance that prohibits medical marijuana sales outlets within the municipality’s borders leaves no room for misinterpretation—starting with its first words: “Ban imposed.” Written by the city’s paid staff at the direction of the elected City Council, the new law is tentatively slated to go into effect in mid-to-late August […]

Medical marijuana in Gulf Breeze squeeze

Medical marijuana in Gulf Breeze squeeze

The message from Gulf Breeze City Council to medical marijuana dispensaries: This town isn’t big enough for both of us. Despite the 70 percent statewide voter approval of the expanded sale of a non-euphoric form of the drug in November, the five-member Gulf Breeze panel is balking at allowing sales in this beachy community of […]