INCORPORATING NAVARRE TOWN HALL MEETING ~ 9-15 & 9-16

This is the place to post your information and opinions about Incorporating Navarre Beach and the Navarre Mainland as a City.
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Kenny Wilder
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:37 am

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Kenny Wilder
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:59 am

I'm going to tonight's meeting about incorporating Navarre. My position at this time is YES. However, I still want to hear about more information. What say you?
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:34 am

What exactly would change Kenny, if it were incorporated?
Kimberly Navarre
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Kenny Wilder
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:23 pm

Viewpoint: If Navarre becomes a city, we’ll get more services

Pensacola News Journal
Nancy Forester


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Over the years I’ve seen many changes in Navarre, some that would not have been my choice. As it is, only one person is charged with representing the 42,000 residents of Navarre. One commissioner out of five speaks for us. It is time to incorporate – to be our own voice.

Joseph Mazurkiewicz, Jr., President of BJM Consulting, Inc. and one of only three people qualified to complete an independent, unbiased incorporation feasibility study in the state of Florida was hired. The completed study was presented to the Board of Commissioners in Milton on August 4, 2014. A copy is available at http://www.incnavarrenow.org . Please note that the first 25 pages consist of comments (pro and con) by Navarre residents PRIOR to the study’s completion. The facts were not available yet. The actual feasibility study begins on page 26.

The city of Navarre’s borders would be the Santa Rosa-Okaloosa county line on the east, East Bay and East River on the north, Edgewood Road on the west and Santa Rosa Island and Navarre Beach on the south. Santa Rosa County estimates the present permanent population for the area proposed for incorporation is 42,300.

The potential increase in taxes has been a concern for many. The feasibility study five year projection has shown that, “using the same property tax rate currently being paid by Navarre property owners, will develop a reserve over the first five years”.[1] The study also provides a second option for consideration. Decision for these options would be determined by our City Council.

Other concerns are current services such as law enforcement, water service, fire protection, trash, sewer and our schools. All would continue the same as they are now through the county. In fact this would provide options for additional law enforcement officers and firefighters. Many towns are now using this practice as it eliminates the expense of purchasing land, buildings, patrol cars, fire trucks etc.

Flooding is a major concern in Navarre because we don’t have a storm water management plan. This must be corrected prior to allowing more building. Our needs have not been met by the county. Many local roads are still dirt. Currently the Navarre area sends two million dollars more to the county than value received back. That money could be used towards correcting flooding issues or used to build a community center that offers activities for residents (families, children, teens, veterans and senior citizens).

Incorporation would give us a greater local/regional influence on transportation and road issues, provide a solid representation in Tallahassee and make us eligible for state and federal grants only afforded cities. We have too often missed out on large sums of money. If incorporated, we too would have been eligible for this funding. Incorporation would make us the largest city between Pensacola and Tallahassee.

Some are concerned this would be another layer of government. I find that to be an asset! Our government would be made up of local citizens who would be able to approve building and development plans, control zoning and community planning. We can be in charge of our destiny. It is time to gain control of the millions we pay in taxes and fees. Our money needs to work for Navarre’s benefit. Local government can influence how our city grows and develops.

Mazurkiewicz will present the feasibility study twice – September 15th and 16th at the Navarre Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. I URGE all Navarre residents to attend one of the town hall meetings to ask questions and learn the facts. Then vote at the non-binding straw vote on November 4.

Nancy Forester is a retired manager from Blue Cross Blue Shield, a community volunteer and a Navarre resident.
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:34 pm

Navarre Incorporation Feasibility Study
http://www.navarrechamber.com/files/477.pdf
Kenny Wilder
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:43 pm

"Currently the Navarre area sends two million dollars more to the county than value received back."

I for one, even though a part-timer, would love to see 2 million dollars pumped back into the local area.

I was in an unincorporated part of Dekalb County in the Atlanta area and we had a vote to incorporate into the now City of Brookhaven.

Sandstomper, being a bit of a Libertarian, was against additional government, taxes, etc., so I voted NO! Well I've been eating crow, because the new city has addressed my storm water issues, installed a cross walk and traffic calming island on the busy road where the dog and I walk. They've increased police patrols which quickly squelched the car break-ins we were experiencing, and as mentioned in the previous article, our government is made up of local citizens who are addressing infill development and other pertinent issues to the community.

It is certainly worth keeping an open mind (unlike me with Brookhaven) and hearing all of the facts about incorporation.
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:25 pm

That's good advice, 'Stomper!! Thankfully, you have a teachable spirit and learned from this experience.

8)
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bjrichus
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:16 pm

It certainly "feels" that the way things are today, Navarre gets a bad deal from Santa Rosa County.

I see the view put forward by much of the current "no" viewpoint in some public forums is focused on the concept of "no more taxes" and ignores the question of value for money.

Would an extra layer of Government be better? It's a mixed thing; I live in an unincorporated area and my in-laws live in a city. On balance, being either in or out of a city area is BOTH a good and bad thing. Your payment profile for things is different inside a city (pay to a city but less to the county), but you get more back from the city that you have to pay for yourself otherwise, is the experience. Good and bad... It all depends on what a new city would do for Navarre that SRC isn't and if those things match your personal wish list.

Of course there is also the idea that being in control of city things means that it's more local and that local people have a say in them, which considering the distance to Milton and the current level of voice given to Navarre, being local has to carry a lot of positive to it.

I don't know all the facts for Navarre incorporating and I don't think any of us will, but if SRC tax goes down by more than most of the taxes imposed by a new city and the level of services goes up and local people have more meaningful representation that they appreciate, then it will be a win for Navarre. I can't see then that it would be a bad thing...
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bjrichus
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Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:20 pm

In the list of weaknesses of one of the SWOT analysis lists (for anyone not so enlightened this stands for "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats" which is a standard management analysis technique), cites a certain Facebook group as a weakness.

I was reading the posts on there this evening... I'd say that most of them appear to be under educated or simply ignorant.

One post on the subject does lament the low level of involvement in Navarre ... Which is a valid concern. Just a shame it's mixed in among a 100 or so mostly junk comments, but there you are. I hope the meeting went well tonight and that some of the rumor and myth about the subject was dispelled.

I did look on Fcebook where a couple of "blurry-cam" selfies of the crowd were posted to see if Kenny was visible, but couldn't make you out in the crowd!
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