Will Goulet

New golf course restaurant to open May 1

New golf course restaurant to open May 1

The Black Skimmer Grille is slated to open its doors by May 1 inside the Hidden Creek Golf Course’s now-vacant restaurant space. Owned by Holley Navarre Water System (HNWS), the golf course has been without a restaurant tenant since May 2018 after The Creekside Grill was shut down to protect against losses. Read the full […]

New water utility directors take control

New water utility directors take control

Move over. The four new board members at Holley Navarre Water System wasted no time asserting themselves Tuesday in their first public meeting. They voted to replace board President Will Goulet with one of their own, Mike Kennedy. Read the full article in the Jan. 24 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Holley Navarre Water System: Past, present, future

Holley Navarre Water System: Past, present, future

As the election of four new members to the Holley Navarre Water System’s board of directors draws near, discussions of the utility have flared on social media, in conversations and even in the Board of County Commissioners’ chambers. The candidates chosen Jan. 15 will act as the leadership entity for a water system that serves […]

Accusations cloud water utility election

Accusations cloud water utility election

Hopes are being shaken that cronyism at Holley Navarre Water System would be challenged by the Jan. 15 election in which four seats on the volunteer board of directors are up for grabs. Five Navarre residents who are customers of the water utility recently wrote to its attorney that board member Doug Larson had improperly […]

Water System approves proposed budget

Water System approves proposed budget

Holley Navarre Water System’s (HNWS) Board of Directors may have been skating on thin legal ice Dec. 18 as they voted to approve a budget for 2019, possibly in violation of the utility’s bylaws. While historically the budget has been approved in December for the past decade, board member Daryl Lynchard questioned whether that practice […]

Williamson’s hands are tied at the water utility

Williamson’s hands are tied at the water utility

The list of duties that are legally off-limits to the newly minted $100,000-a-year Chief Executive Officer at Holley Navarre Water System keeps growing. Already being held at arm’s length by Santa Rosa County officials, ousted District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson also won’t likely be allowed to handle applications for federal and state grants or loans […]

Utility gives Williamson free rein on travel

Utility gives Williamson free rein on travel

With a new travel budget equal to the $50,000 a year authorized for the entire Santa Rosa County Commission, new Holley Navarre Water System CEO Rob Williamson doesn’t need pre-approval for out-of-town trips to lobby or for other purposes. Although volunteer utility board President Will Goulet told the Navarre Press that the $50,000 isn’t a […]

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

Wary of violating a Florida statute about consorting with former colleagues, Santa Rosa officials are carefully avoiding work-related contact with Rob Williamson, the new CEO of Holley Navarre Water System. Keeping Williamson at arm’s length has already required dodging an overture last week to tour Holley Navarre Water’s facilities on Turkey Bluff Road along with […]

Remember when…

Remember when…

The date was Nov. 21, 2017, and it was a standing room only board meeting of the Holley Navarre Water System. Tempers were raging – some were trying to remove Brian Kelly from the board and others were trying to save him from being ousted. It all swirled around Kelly’s eligibility to serve on the […]

Williamson hire riles water system members

Williamson hire riles water system members

The Holley Navarre Water System Board of Directors met criticism from a packed boardroom over its closed-door hiring of former District 4 County Commissioner Rob Williamson. Water system members voiced their concerns at a meeting Nov. 20. held in advance of a January election in which four seats on the board are up for grabs. […]

Williamson’s $100,000 a year consolation prize

Williamson’s $100,000 a year consolation prize

  Navarre voters overwhelmingly said “no” to Rob Williamson as District 4 County Commissioner in the August election. They used their votes to voice their displeasure with his representation, his decisions and his financial management of Navarre. Holley Navarre Water System has decided Williamson deserves a high-paying consolation prize with an offer to be their […]

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 […]

What you condone, you own

What you condone, you own

And, silence is permission Navarre Press is certain the outcome of the primary election, including the win by District 4 commissioner-elect Dave Piech is what is best for Navarre and Santa Rosa County. Piech used a saying in his campaign, “No vote, no voice,” and residents responded in big numbers (well, bigger than years past). The […]

Water experts lose bids for utility board

Water experts lose bids for utility board

Based on their many years of professional experience in water operations, Charles “Buddy” Ingram and Elisa Bailey appeared to be the most qualified of 11 candidates who recently ran for election to the Holley Navarre Water System board. Yet they came in 9th and 10th respectively—far behind the straw poll’s top four vote getters, all […]

Infrastructure grants off the table

Infrastructure grants off the table

Despite taking a hardline approach in May, the Tourist Development Council (TDC) flip-flopped Tuesday, voting to fund several out of cycle Local Event Marketing Grants just weeks before the TDC’s final budget proposal is due to the county. In doing so they gutted a plan to offer two $10,000 grants for the encouragement of budding […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hidden Creek restaurant closes

Hidden Creek restaurant closes

The Creekside Grill at Hidden Creek closed its doors Thursday. The restaurant, located on the property of Hidden Creek Golf Club, was closed by owning entity Holley Navarre Water System out of concern over potential money losses. Read the full article in the May 31 issue of Navarre Press. Click here to subscribe for as little […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ghost of planning past

Ghost of planning past

While there has been talk of trying to create a downtown for Navarre, technically a Town Center already exists. Back in 2004, Navarre’s heart was designated as the area east of State Road 87, west of Granada Street, north of U.S. Highway 98 and south of Laredo Street. A panel of citizens volunteered their summer […]

Board election for water system nears

Board election for water system nears

In the midst of the controversy swirling around Holley-Navarre Water System, an annual meeting and election of board of directors is scheduled for Jan. 19. Four seats are open on the board; three from expiring terms and one from the resignation of Will Goulet. The meeting will commence at 7 a.m. at the Board of […]

Holley-Navarre Water to vote on new proxy for 2017

Holley-Navarre Water to vote on new proxy for 2017

The Holley-Navarre Water System is set to change the proxy system by which board members are elected at next Tuesday’s board meeting. Outgoing board member Will Goulet presented a new proxy option to add validity to the current proxy system used amid complaints and allegations of questionable proxies submitted by candidates for the board. Read […]