I believe development should enhance our Community, not destroy it. We live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and that is what makes Walton County a five billion dollar a year tourism destination. But if we continue to allow growth that is completely unchecked, growth that defies our Land Use Designations and growth that outstrips our infrastructure, we will cease to be that tourism destination and property values will decline. We can enforce our land use codes, end unreasonable variances, and encourage healthy development that benefits all of Walton. Follow this link to read more.
We have water quality issues all across our County. We have dozens of Beach closures each summer for fecal contamination that our neighbors in Okaloosa and Bay do not experience. Our Coastal Dune lakes get overgrown with invasive species that are fueled by runoff from chemicals used for landscaping. Our Bay has suffered from years of direct runoff of untreated water. We need a Commissioner who will prioritize the health of our water to protect our resources and all of us. Click here to read more.
Many Candidates run on a platform of bringing jobs, but we already have a very successful office tasked with bringing jobs and employers to Walton County, the Economic Development Alliance. I've met with the Director and understand that their focus is to continue to bring a variety of employers that will balance the tourism industry growth here. Understanding their role, allows me to focus on priorities that I can influence, and help people move from low wage, entry level jobs to higher paying jobs and career tracks. Please read more here
We will not be buying and driving cars in the next 2 decades the same way that we have for my life. It's so important to be forward thinking here. Especially with our traffic issues along 30a. These are intermittent events clustered at times of high tourism. There is a better way, more efficient, less costly, and environmentally friendly, to handle this than new roads. And that includes finally introducing public transit options. You can read more in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
After School Activities
In a survey of registered Walton County voters I found that seventy-five percent were concerned about the lack of after school programs. As I have traveled the County speaking with parents and grandparents, I've heard a lot of concern about how uneven the opportunities are for children, and I've also heard some wonderful ideas to provide safe and fun spaces for our children. I promise this will be a priority for me as Commissioner. You can read more here
I am an advocate for Customary Use. In fact, I was part of the team that worked hard to collect petitions for Walton's Customary Use Court Case. But I also know that none of us condone the stories of vandalism and theft that we have heard from Beachfront owners. The final solution will take years thru the Courts, thru Legislation, and perhaps even with a change to our State Constitution. In the mean time, I believe this is an opportunity for healing and for us to come together. Our future as a tourism destination, our property values and even our quality of life all depend on our ability to utilize our Beaches. I will work to find solutions that will allow us to do that.