James Calkins

Zoning Board replacement moving forward

Zoning Board replacement moving forward

Santa Rosa County will have a new Zoning Board and new policies governing citizen committees. The Board of County Commissioners Tuesday set the issue for a final approval vote Thursday. The Zoning Board has become a source of controversy in the last two months after the commissioners voted to fire all sitting members of the […]

Harper to water board: don’t “neuter” your CEO

Harper to water board: don’t “neuter” your CEO

Employee hiring, firing and demoting practices dragged the Holley Navarre Water System board of directors into infighting once more at their Oct. 15 board meeting. At issue was what is CEO Rob Williamson’s line of authority on the matter following his demotion of a longtime employee. To clarify his role, board director Yvonne Harper recommended […]

Zoning members out; Parker accused of intimidation

Zoning members out; Parker accused of intimidation

The Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners voted  4-1 Monday morning to fire the entire Zoning Board, a citizen committee appointed by commissioners to hear cases for exceptions to the Land Development Code. Three of those appointees found themselves in hot water after, what Commission Chairman Sam Parker called, “disingenuous and disrespectful” comments during their […]

Gas station nixed near Navarre High School

Gas station nixed near Navarre High School

Plans to build a Cefco gas station at the northwest corner of Highway 87 and High School Boulevard were denied Oct. 10. The Zoning Board rejected several variances to the Land Development Code, including a request to cut the required buffer space between residential houses and underground gas tanks by nearly half.   Read the […]

Zoning Board rejects request from chronic violator

Zoning Board rejects request from chronic violator

Derelict vehicles, clearing land without permits, operating a business without a site plan and operating an industrial business in a residential area are just a few of the violations attributed to Juarez M&M Construction in Navarre. The company has been in and out of code enforcement cases since 2007. It operates at 1885, 1879, 1859 […]

Developer donates land for conservation, base buffering

Developer donates land for conservation, base buffering

Developer Edwin Henry, owner of Henry Company Homes, is seeking to donate a total of 900 acres as a conservation easement off Highway 87. He has already handed over more than 200 acres to the county to be held in conservation into perpetuity near the intersection of Highway 87 and Clear Creek Road bordering Naval […]

Three things to know: Santa Rosa County Zoning Board

Three things to know: Santa Rosa County Zoning Board

A standing-room-only crowd led to a long evening meeting July 11 for the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board. Board denies A HOPE’s new home A HOPE for Santa Rosa County faced opposition from neighbors during the meeting as the pet rescue organization sought to create a permanent home for its low-cost spay and neuter operation. […]

Zoning Board split on 726 home development in Pace

Zoning Board split on 726 home development in Pace

After more than 3 hours of emotional debate and a meeting that ran past midnight, Zoning Board members could not come to a consensus regarding development of 726 homes along Woodbine Road in Pace called Lakes of Woodbine. The Santa Rosa County board room in Milton was packed with members of the impact fee and […]

Condos proposed along Military Trail

Condos proposed along Military Trail

While Navarre Beach is no stranger to condominiums, a new condo complex could be built far from the Gulf dunes along Military Trail near the Navarre Youth Sports Association. The property in question is up for potential rezoning to R2, allowing for the construction of two condominium buildings with a total of 11 units. Read […]

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 […]

Water utility accident prompts state inquiry

Water utility accident prompts state inquiry

Holley Navarre Water System has lost at least a quarter of its wastewater treatment capacity due to an operator’s mistake at the utility’s main plant on Sept. 24 and state regulators are requesting details. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has written a letter to HNWS General Manager Paul Gardner seeking “a report of the […]

Special swine guest tries to sway Zoning Board

Special swine guest tries to sway Zoning Board

Supporters of miniature pigs in Santa Rosa County gained a victory last night after the Zoning Board voted 5 to 1 to recommend approval of allowing the pigs in subdivisions. They got a little help from a special guest. Currently, all pigs are considered livestock under county ordinance. While residents may have a pet pig […]

Water board lifts veil of secrecy on poll at 11th hour

Water board lifts veil of secrecy on poll at 11th hour

So many candidates, so little time. In most elections, the days right before the casting of ballots are the time when undecided voters can make up their minds or change them. Read the full article in the July 12 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to receive the online […]

Protesters call for Williamson to get the boot

Protesters call for Williamson to get the boot

While District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson held an invitation-only meet and greet with supporters at Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors’ Grill early Monday morning, residents of Navarre stood outside in the rain waving signs calling for the incumbent to be ousted from office. Williamson is seeking re-election to the commission seat representing the Navarre area against […]

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 […]

New chapter begins in water board tumult

New chapter begins in water board tumult

Going full circle in reorganizing for the second time since January, what’s left of the Holley Navarre Water System board seems to be right where it was early this year: promising transparency and better management. But the new era being touted by freshly minted President Will Goulet began with a purge this week. Goulet loyalists […]

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 […]

Williamson champions Calkins for Zoning Board

Williamson champions Calkins for Zoning Board

Candidate for Zoning Board James Calkins caught criticism Monday during the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting. Commission Chairman Bob Cole selected Calkins as his nominee for Zoning Board, but the county commission was not unanimous in support of that decision following comments from the public. The Zoning Board is a 10-person committee that makes […]

Eglin nears land lease offer to HNWS

Eglin nears land lease offer to HNWS

The wastewater disposal solution long sought for Holley Navarre Water System (HNWS) at Eglin Air Force Base is now taking shape. In negotiation for years, a lease for spraying on Eglin acreage is considered by HNWS management and Santa Rosa County officials as the best way to satisfy regulators’ requirements for effluent disposal capacity. Read […]

Water board seeks substance amid squabbling

Water board seeks substance amid squabbling

While grappling with issues that could affect how much Holley Navarre Water System ratepayers are charged in the future, the volunteer board that supposedly reached harmony in a January election shake-up has become a familiar war zone with new combatants. “It’s a mess,” said James Calkins, the president who succeeded Bien May this year. Read […]

Holley Navarre wary of effluent spraying deal

Holley Navarre wary of effluent spraying deal

Once closely allied, Holley Navarre Water System and the City of Gulf Breeze are now at arm’s length. Not only is the revamped board of HNWS backing away from a proposed contract under which it would have paid an estimated $8 million dollars over two decades to spray treated wastewater on land that the city’s […]

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 […]

Love leads Mariya to citizenship

Love leads Mariya to citizenship

For Mariya Yurevna Calkins of Navarre, the road to U.S. citizenship was paved by an unlikely romance. Though her husband was born and raised in the Navarre area, Mariya grew up in Russia during the unraveling of the Soviet Union. Read the full article in the Mar. 8 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

Water board takes on restructuring

Water board takes on restructuring

In an effort to streamline operations and operate more efficiently, Holley Navarre Water System board of directors is restructuring the organizational chart of the company, said board president James Calkins. In doing so, they have organized five departments: Administration, Customer Service, Water Operations, Water Treatment Plant Operations and Sewer Operations. Read the full article in […]

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 […]

Transparency first on water board’s list

Transparency first on water board’s list

The heated and contentious Holley-Navarre Water Board elections are over and the handful of members that voted sent a clear message: vote ‘no’ to the refinancing of Fairpoint Regional Utilities debt and operate more transparently. That is exactly what the board now intends to do, according to the president of the board, James Calkins. Read […]

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 […]

Water system members vote for change

Water system members vote for change

In one of the most contentious water board elections in recent history, 4,764 votes were cast to fill three seats on the board – one of the largest turnouts in the system’s election history. Overwhelmingly the members voted for change. Gaius Bruce, secretary for the board, announced the results of the Jan. 16 election as […]

Water works 101

Water works 101

Before 1970, residents of Holley used pitcher pumps for their water source. But a small group of Holley residents saw the need for potable water and stepped forward to form what is the Holley Navarre Water System. With funding from the Farmers’ Home Administration, they began laying the pipes to bring water into their homes. […]

‘A rigged election’ for Holley Navarre Water System

‘A rigged election’ for Holley Navarre Water System

“Our attorney sent us a letter saying that we properly removed Brian’s (Kelly) membership,” Bien May announced at the Dec. 19 pre-meeting of the Holley Navarre Water System Board. The removal has been the source fueling questions surrounding the legality of removing a board member. Board member eligibility was called into question in September after […]