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drinkin & lazy

Beach Comber
Nov 3, 2015
14
0
I understand about progrowth and attracting business, I personally would have thought with his accomplishments with the Mossy Head Industrial Park, Mr Fletcher would have been a winner. That said, my concern with the attraction of business, I pray we resist the urge to provide welfare to businesses to move here. Infrastructure isn't free and giving tax breaks hampers those improvements.
Bob- who says Mr. Fletcher had anything to do with the MH Ind Park? That push to create an economic engine on I-10 was done years ago by several others.
 

aprilj994

Beach Comber
Aug 5, 2016
15
5
43
Santa Rosa Beach
I really don't. Is it because Meadows always defended the people and businesses who live in SoWal and people north of the bay don't like that or is it because he bought votes up there? She has always been the outsider who stood against the good ole boy system.
I understand you being upset that someone you believe in didn't win, but don't accuse her opponent of shady shenaigans. Tony Anderson is an ethical man and a likable one too. Obviously.
 

Bob Wells

Beach Fanatic
Jul 25, 2008
3,195
1,180
Bob- who says Mr. Fletcher had anything to do with the MH Ind Park? That push to create an economic engine on I-10 was done years ago by several others.
Believe him and Art Miller had a lot to do with starting the attraction to that facility. I realize they may have not built it but that truck stop going in there attracted a other businesses. The economic engine you speak of was a large tract of vacant land until someone moved on it. Not questioning that County Administrator Larry Jones had a lot to do with the idea, but until the first business was in there what was it. VACANT, NON TAX PRODUCING.
 
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Sherm

Beach Comber
Jul 31, 2016
12
4
Walton County
I understand they made some phone calls originally. Please do tell how they put the plan together and worked with the fed ex developers and county staff.
 

fletch7245

Beach Lover
Jun 19, 2012
67
51
Bob- who says Mr. Fletcher had anything to do with the MH Ind Park? That push to create an economic engine on I-10 was done years ago by several others.
D & L, Sounds like you are very knowledgeable about Mossy Head. Please expand on "That push to create an economic engine on I-10 was done years ago by several others", particularly prior to March 6, 2013.
 

Dawn

Beach Fanatic
Oct 16, 2008
934
371
I understand you being upset that someone you believe in didn't win, but don't accuse her opponent of shady shenaigans. Tony Anderson is an ethical man and a likable one too. Obviously.
There are large questions hanging about him based on the inside people associated with his campaign and the giant sum that was paid for his victory. And the fact that an unknown amount of that funding is secret. He will have to prove how ethical he is through actions. Likability has nothing to do with competence.

I am not judging yet just very skeptical. And saying "show me". I fear a lot of locals were duped by the same ol' same ol' - the same people who have had limited success buying elections in Walton County in the past. The insider have learned and gotten craftier and this time created a campaign strategy that used ordinary people as a front (and happily used their money also). In the past a small group of people were used and hung out to dry. This time hundreds were used and I expect will all be hung out to dry. Are you one of them?
 

fletch7245

Beach Lover
Jun 19, 2012
67
51
I understand they made some phone calls originally. Please do tell how they put the plan together and worked with the fed ex developers and county staff.

Sherm, I can promise you, had Art and I had put the plan together the County would have been millions of dollars better off than they are. The following emails I sent will give you some factual information on Mossy Head. As soon as D & L gives me more information on what the "several others" did to "create an economic engine on I-10" we should all be better informed.

Senator Gaetz,

The following email I sent to Walton County Commissioner Bill Imfeld on 12/10/14 will give you background information on this issue. Following that email is one I sent to many citizens after the exemption failed at the 1/27/15 BCC meeting. Because you were instrumental in bringing millions in state funds to build the infrastructure at Mossy Head, I'm hopeful you will be as concerned as many of us are at this totally unwarranted waste of taxpayer money. The County is now short almost $900,000.00 to complete the infrastructure in MHIP and insists on starting a process that will probably deprive us of millions in ad valorem taxes in the coming years. I ask for your good name and office to contact Commissioners Imfeld, Comander and Chapman and urge them to not push through this needless and perilous exemption.

Thank you for all that you have done for Walton County and Northwest Florida. Respectfully,

Bill Fletcher
Freeport, FL

imfbill@co.walton.fl.us, chabill@co.walton.fl.us, comsara@co.walton.fl.us

Chairman Imfeld,

I want you to know that I respect the duties and responsibilities the WCBCC has in serving the citizens of Walton County. However, I must tell you how disappointed I am in your actions at the BCC meeting last night. As you may recall, when you and I ran for the office of Walton County Commissioner in 2012, we could have given each others speech as it relates to our pledge for open governance and listening to the people. I believe you blatantly and somewhat arrogantly abrogated that pledge at last night's meeting. When Art Miller asked to use some slides to present his opposition to granting a tax exemption to Empire, you denied him that right and refused to allow him to speak in opposition. You subsequently kept me from presenting my opposition even though you gave Mr. Ward time to express his support.

As you are well aware, Art and I have given numerous arguments against granting this exemption. Realizing that you are determined to push thru this exemption in spite of the facts and any rationale to do so, I am compelled to reiterate our objections and observations.

1. After Art and I interviewed you, as a part of our ISP study of the Walton County EDA, you implored us to bring some business to Mossy Head. We left your office and drove directly to the Mossy Head site. We looked at each other and said, "what a perfect location for a truck stop"! Art asked me to start contacting some of the major truck stop operations and make them aware of Mossy Head. As you know from the email I sent you on 3/6/13, in spite of an initial negative reaction, I was able to convince Love's that Mossy Head was a prime location and they agreed to visit the site. Subsequently, Larry Jones pulled me aside at a BCC meeting to thank me for bringing Love's to the table and let me know that an official announcement would be made the next day that they were buying 15 acres for $500,000. I recall telling Larry that Love's would really jump start Mossy Head.

2. In 2010 Love's paid $47,619 per acre for land at the intersection of I-10 and Hwy. 231 in Cottondale, Florida and built a facility there in 2011. If you are not familiar with that intersection, it would be worthwhile for you to visit it. You would easily see that the Mossy Head site is a far more desirable location. Conclusion-Love's was delighted to pay $33,300 per acre for a prime site in Mossy Head.

3. I don't know the exact dates, but several months ago, Larry Jones sought and got approval from the BCC to sell land at Mossy Head to Empire Truck Sales for $20,000 per acre. This is the first time I have ever witnessed a situation where a major company spends millions of dollars to purchase undeveloped land, build a very substantial business and have real estate values plummet. Of course Love's, seeing an even better land deal, came back and bought additional acreage for $20,000 per acre. Conclusion-The market value that Love's established for Mossy Head property has been dramatically reduced for the foreseeable future.

4. Fairly recently, Empire has come back and requested a tax exemption if they complete their purchase of the Mossy Head site. I would appreciate knowing when Empire agreed to the land purchase and when they submitted their request for an exemption. If they needed this exemption to make this a viable business decision, why did they not request it when they initially negotiated what can only be described as as an excellent price for this land? I have heard that Empire has threatened to walk from this deal if they are not granted this exemption. ( I've since learned that Empire has actually purchased this land several months ago) If that is true, I question the viability of a multi-million dollar business that can't survive unless they get a $16,000 tax exemption. This is an affront to Walton County taxpayers. I encourage the BCC to encourage Empire to walk from this deal and invite Empire's major competitors to visit this site. Accept sealed bids from their competitors with a minimum bid of $20,000 per acre and I feel confident you will get more than $20,000 per acre.

5. Lastly, if you grant this exemption to Empire, why would you not give it to Love's, other landowners and future buyers? ( I posed this question to County Administrator Larry Jones and he acknowledged that others "probably will" ask for the exemption and he "doesn't care") Love's has put Mossy Head on the map in a big way and established a very successful business here. They have established a value for this land that has been discounted substantially. Don't further create a negative impact on Walton County taxpayers. Give the free market a chance to work and watch this site develop and reduce the tax burden on Walton County citizens.

Thank you for your consideration.

Bill Fletcher


At the 1/27/15 BCC meeting Commissioner Chapman was not present. Commissioners Imfeld and Comander voted for the Exemption while Jones and Meadows voted against it, resulting in a failure to pass. The word is out that it will brought up again at the 2/10/15 BCC meeting when Commissioner Chapman is present and it will then pass. At the 1/27 meeting I reminded the Board of my previous written arguments against this Exemption and suggested they now ask a few basic questions. 1. Do we need to grant this exemption to entice Empire to build in Mossy Head? Absolutely not, they have already been able to buy a a prime piece of property directly across from Love's Travel Center at a very attractive price, way below what Love's paid for theirs. 2. If you don't grant this Exemption to Empire will they walk away? Absolutely not, see answer to question 1 and they ALREADY OWN THE LAND! 3. if Empire is granted this Exemption will not every other business in Mossy Head make the same request? ABSOLUTELY YES and can result in millions of dollars of lost revenue to Walton County over the next five to ten years. The County is spending millions on the Mossy Head Industrial Park infrastructure and they want to start giving away tax money needlessly. This makes absolutely no sense.

Fortunately, Commissioners Jones and Meadows brought up some of these same questions before my comments were made. They both stressed their support for tax exemptions when they are justified, NOT when the company has already decided to locate here. For example, there is a company considering locating in Freeport that could bring 300 jobs to the area. That is the type of business the Tax Exemption was designed for and contrary to accusations being made, is fully supported by Commissioners Jones and Meadows. In other words, they are using common sense to apply the Exemption properly. We can only hope Commissioner Chapman will do the right thing and vote against giving away our tax money for no good reason. Thanks!

Bill Fletcher
 

graytonbeachguy

Beach Fanatic
Jun 14, 2008
265
79
There are large questions hanging about him based on the inside people associated with his campaign and the giant sum that was paid for his victory. And the fact that an unknown amount of that funding is secret. He will have to prove how ethical he is through actions. Likability has nothing to do with competence.

I am not judging yet just very skeptical. And saying "show me". I fear a lot of locals were duped by the same ol' same ol' - the same people who have had limited success buying elections in Walton County in the past. The insider have learned and gotten craftier and this time created a campaign strategy that used ordinary people as a front (and happily used their money also). In the past a small group of people were used and hung out to dry. This time hundreds were used and I expect will all be hung out to dry. Are you one of them?

So fully two thirds of the electorate were "duped?" You give the people too little credit. OVERWHELMINGLY, the people rejected the incumbent and chose an
opposing candidate. It wasn't even close. You're just another person who thinks "the people" were stupid because they didn't agree with you. Welcome to democracy! Sorry the electorate is not as enlightened as you.
 
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