Coastlines - September 2018
Traffic, Public Safety and Storm water—the three most commented influencers of the quality of life in Okaloosa County. If you have lived in this county for more than a year, then you already understand each of them – and you understand that WE need to do something about them. Over my past 20+ years of involvement with this chamber, I have been regularly asked, “ What can we do about traffic?” or “What can we do about our roads after it rains?” And prior to this year, the answer would have been (sadly), “We really can’t do anything about those monumental issues.” Unless you were elected to public office. And even then, your hands would have been tied due to lack of funds to really do anything.
But—FINALLY—our County Commissioners had the political will to allow the citizens of Okaloosa County to choose for ourselves whether we want to create a local optional sales tax to reinvest in fixing our traffic, public safety and storm water concerns. And on November 6, 2018 each individual voting citizen of Okaloosa County can truly have a real effect on transforming the infrastructure of Okaloosa County. WE can fix the problems with a simple vote YES! for the half-cent sales tax.
Besides what you have been reading in Chair Nick Chubb’s excellent overviews of the initiative, you will begin to see more articles, emails, websites, brochures, etc. about the advantages of this generational project.
When I say transform Okaloosa County—I truly mean it. When our residents choose to make the decision to revitalize our Community— from my perspective, these projects WILL happen:
Sheriff Larry Ashley will have almost everything he and staff need to make us feel safe at all times. We will hear from him at the September FFC—and also throughout the campaign. But I know I want my family to be safe.
Every year on numerous occasions, the Okaloosa County Health Department must post health advisories at multiple beach and waterfront locations indicating that bacteria are present in unsafe numbers. The presence of bacteria is an indication that human and non-human pollutants may be present in the storm water runoff. Storm water treatment structures can help reduce this condition while reducing the health risk to our citizens and visitors.
And last—but certainly not least this summer—traffic! PJ Adams (the Crestview bypass) ---the number one project in Okaloosa County -- will be completed in 5 years when the half penny tax passes. 5 YEARS!! If it does not pass—it will take 25+ years for the county to attempt to save enough monies to fund it.
PJ Adams funding means that the Destin bypass is funded, which means the FWB Around the Mound is funded—3 MAJOR City bypasses—two of which are alternatives to the current Hwy 98 craziness—that could be COMPLETED IN 5 years—with the passing of the half penny sales tax.
Please, Vote Yes for the one- half cent sales tax on November 6, 2018.