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"Raising The Dead" Fundraiser for A Better South Walton at Bud & Alleys Oct 30

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Teresa, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    “Raising the dead” fundraiser for A Better South Walton
    Bud & Alleys Restaurant in Seaside, FL
    5-8pm | $20 donation


    “Sometimes raising funds can be harder than raising the dead but when it comes to SouthWalton’s future, it’s worth the effort,” said Dave Rauschkolb, speaking on behalf of A Better South Walton (ABSW). “Join us because there is no denying, Walton County is getting a little spooky these days.”

    Raising the Dead fundraiser is planned Friday, October 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Bud and Alley’s in Seaside, 2236 East County Road 30-A. A $20 donation is requested at the door. Light hors d-oeuvres, beer/wine, music and a raffle including a Bote stand up paddle board and a beautiful necklace from La Vie Est Belle Fine Pearls + Leather Jewelry by Wendy Mignot will be on offer. Wear your costume if you dare!


    ABSW is exploring solutions to pressing issues in SouthWalton County that include proper allocation of tax dollars, governance and local representation. Coalescing around the issue of building a Hampton Inn in the Seagrove neighborhood, community members quickly realized that without a greater degree of input into a vision for the future, issues like the chain hotels will continue to threaten our SouthWalton neighborhoods.

    Incorporating SouthWalton is just one potential solution the group is exploring. That option was discussed in a series of three community meetings held in May of this year where residents, business owners and property owners were encouraged to voice their vision for the future of our area. ABSW commissioned a feasibility study that will answer many of the questions raised at the community meetings regarding our tax base, demographics and the viability of a municipality south of Choctawhatchee Bay.

    “We are actively seeking donations to fund the feasibility study through our website www.abettersouthwalton.com,” said Rauschkolb. “The data collected in the study will benefit all of Walton County regardless of whether incorporation goes forward or not,” according to Rauschkolb. ABSW has partnered with SouthWalton Community Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to accept tax-deductible donations for this cause.

    The second draft of the feasibility study has been completed and continues to be reviewed. “We want to be sure that the study meets all the needs of our community and moves our efforts for local solutions forward,” said Rauschkolb.

    ABSW invites a robust discussion of the results of the study. A series of meetings will be advertised and posted on our website with dates, times and locations soon. Please see www.abettersouthwalton.com for more information regarding the study, our mission and our core group as well as an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation. A BetterSouthWaltoncan be contacted at info@abettersouthwalton.com for more information.

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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  2. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Comber

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    Frankly, I find some of the people who are always protesting something a little spooky. Ban this and ban that gets a little old.
     
  3. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Guess I won't get to meet u Liz...
     
  4. South Walton Community Council

    South Walton Community Council Community Organization

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    A Better South Walton reboots feasibility study

    Earlier this year a group of diverse, dedicated and concerned citizens began a journey to explore solutions to some of South Walton County’s challenges. The prospect of a standard issue Hampton Inn in Seagrove on 30A shook us all. The community that we’ve all come to love is quickly entering its next stage of growth and we question where it will take us. Will we be bystanders or become engaged in the solutions?

    A Better South Walton (ABSW), as a committee of the South Walton Community Council, commissioned a feasibility study in May. This is one step in a three to five year process and is required by state law if a community chooses to pursue a vote of the people on incorporation. The study will help our community determine if incorporating South Walton as its own municipality is a viable option.

    ABSW contracted with our chosen consultant for a September completion date for the feasibility study. That consultant was unable to meet that date and we were therefore unable to get the information to the public by the end of September as originally promised. After sending both the first and second drafts to the Florida League of Cities for an independent review, the assessments were that the study was deficient. It became clear we needed to move on, and ABSW terminated our contract with the consultant.

    “Our number one goal is to access and present information to our community that is accurate, thorough and errs on the side of conservative financial projections,” said David Pleat, ABSW committee member. “The initial expert analysis did not meet the standards we have set and we are moving forward in a positive direction exploring other professionals in the area of municipal finance.”

    Although we are disappointed that the draft study was not of the quality we were led to expect, we remain committed to providing our community with the best possible information. We are interviewing several new consultants and anticipate a smooth transition for our team. This is an unfortunate bump in the long and complex road ahead as we explore our options to improve our much-loved community of South Walton. We appreciate your continued support and will keep you informed as we continue our search for the best solutions.

    ABSW invites a robust discussion of the results of the study once completed. A series of meetings will be advertised and posted on our website with dates, times and locations soon. Please see www.abettersouthwalton.com for more information regarding the study, our mission and our core group as well as an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation. A Better South Walton can be contacted at info@abettersouthwalton.com for more information.
     
  5. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    this isn't a protest. It is about doing hard work for our community's future. You don't have to participate. We are posting for those who may have an interest in finding out more or getting involved. Some are satisfied with how things are and some are definitely not.
     
  6. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    So they are raising money to revise an already completed study because they didn't like the results of the initial study?

    Oh and that study can't be released...
     
  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Raising money for all the work needed including a new study it appears. The initial study draft was deficient according to The Florida League of Cities. This is the information I was given via email by Meg N.

    A Better South Walton reboots feasibility study

    Earlier this year a group of diverse, dedicated and concerned citizens began a journey to explore solutions to some of South Walton County’s challenges. The prospect of a standard issue Hampton Inn in Seagrove on 30A shook us all. The community that we’ve all come to love is quickly entering its next stage of growth and we question where it will take us. Will we be bystanders or become engaged in the solutions?

    A Better South Walton (ABSW), as a committee of the South Walton Community Council, commissioned a feasibility study in May. This is one step in a three to five year process and is required by state law if a community chooses to pursue a vote of the people on incorporation. The study will help our community determine if incorporating South Walton as its own municipality is a viable option.

    ABSW contracted with our chosen consultant for a September completion date for the feasibility study. That consultant was unable to meet that date and we were therefore unable to get the information to the public by the end of September as originally promised. After sending both the first and second drafts to the Florida League of Cities for an independent review, the assessments were that the study was deficient. It became clear we needed to move on, and ABSW terminated our contract with the consultant.

    “Our number one goal is to access and present information to our community that is accurate, thorough and errs on the side of conservative financial projections,” said David Pleat, ABSW committee member. “The initial expert analysis did not meet the standards we have set and we are moving forward in a positive direction exploring other professionals in the area of municipal finance.”

    Although we are disappointed that the draft study was not of the quality we were led to expect, we remain committed to providing our community with the best possible information. We are interviewing several new consultants and anticipate a smooth transition for our team. This is an unfortunate bump in the long and complex road ahead as we explore our options to improve our much-loved community of South Walton. We appreciate your continued support and will keep you informed as we continue our search for the best solutions.

    ABSW invites a robust discussion of the results of the study once completed. A series of meetings will be advertised and posted on our website with dates, times and locations soon. Please seewww.abettersouthwalton.com for more information regarding the study, our mission and our core group as well as an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation. A Better South Walton can be contacted atinfo@abettersouthwalton.com for more information.
     
  8. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Thankfully the Florida League of Cities pointed out parts of the study that needed updated, current numbers and more info. Why release a study that is not complete? I don't want to see anything but the finished product. It will be complete when they tell us it is complete. You and others are welcome to contribute your time and efforts to come up with solutions to the problems we all complain about-
     
  9. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    To be honest I've seen a solution and that's community involvement.

    Proposed Topsail cut through - defeated due to public outcry
    Hampton Inn - defeated due to public outcry and spawned the change in the number of hotel rooms allowed by code
    D.R. Horton Development on old Boy and Girls Club property - abandoned by developer due to community involvement in limiting the density and holding the planning department accountable
    Gulf Place Hotel - currently on hold and being fully investigated by the planning department for eligibility.

    None of these things were done by creating another level of government, it was simply the citizenry speaking out. 3-5 years to form another level of government that may or may not actually have the ability to influence these things? Exactly what will be left to develop at that point?

    Keeping the community informed and united seems to be the best idea as it's been the most effective force in recent years.

    To borrow some Sunshine from Florida, if the committee is so open why not publish what they have?
     
  10. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Because it is incomplete?!?

    Your implication that this group is anything but above board is really insulting.
     
  11. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I think the unwillingness to release information (complete or not) is creating it's own implication. Don't try to throw it on me.

    If this is in fact all about information and community involvement I'm sure people would like to get an idea of what's involved, or would it be better for them to have no information until the last minute and then forced to make a hasty decision?
     
  12. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    What are you talking about- last minute? There is no "hasty decision" in this process. The only thing I can figure is that you don't know that the study is just the start of a long process that goes to Tallahassee and ends up back here for a vote, and because of deadlines and election cycles, it could take several years. Having the study completed and ready sometime this year is hardly hasty for something that wouldn't and couldn't come up for a vote here until at least 2017. Releasing an incorrect, incomplete study- who does that?
     
  13. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    image.jpeg

    This is another option

    Note: Beauty is the County must fund everything once the required signatures are certified

    The process required to develop a county charter is laid out in Florida Statutes, Chapter 125, Part II, Sections 125.60-125.64:

    Any county not having a chartered form of consolidated government may, pursuant to the provisions of ss. 60–125.64, locally initiate and adopt by a majority vote of the qualified electors of the county a county home rule charter. The county commission may form a charter commission by resolution. Alternatively, if citizens submit a petition to the county commission signed by at least 15 percent of the county’s registered voters, a charter commission must be appointed. [Today Walton County has 42,558 registered voters, meaning that any petition would need to bear 6,348 signatures.] In either case, the charter commission must be formed within 30 days of the passage of the resolution or filing of said petition.


    The charter commission is composed of an odd number of members, not less than 11 or more than 15. If the commission is established by resolution, members are appointed by the county commission. If the petition method is used, the legislative delegation may make the appointments. In any event, no member of the legislature or county commission may serve on the charter commission.


    Within 30 days following appointments, the commission must hold an organizational meeting to elect a chair and vice chair and decide any procedural matters. All meetings are open to the public. Expenses of the commission must be paid from the general fund of the county, upon verification of a majority vote of the charter commission.


    The charter commission shall conduct a comprehensive study of the operation of county government and of the ways in which the conduct of county government might be improved or reorganized. Within 18 months of its initial meeting, unless such time is extended by appropriate resolution of the board of county commissioners, the charter commission shall present to the board of county commissioners a proposed charter, upon which it shall have held three public hearings at intervals of not less than 10 nor more than 20 days. At the final hearing the charter commission shall incorporate any amendments it deems desirable, vote upon a proposed charter, and forward said charter to the board of county commissioners for the holding of a referendum election as provided in s. 64.

    125.64 Adoption of charter; dissolution of commission.—

    (1) Upon submission to the board of county commissioners of a charter by the charter commission, the board of county commissioners shall call a special election to be held not more than 90 nor less than 45 days subsequent to its receipt of the proposed charter, at which special election a referendum of the qualified electors within the county shall be held to determine whether the proposed charter shall be adopted. Notice of the election on the proposed charter shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county not less than 30 nor more than 45 days before the election.

    (2) If a majority of those voting on the question favor the adoption of the new charter, it shall become effective January 1 of the succeeding year or at such other time as the charter shall provide. Such charter, once adopted by the electors, may be amended only by the electors of the county. The charter shall provide a method for submitting future charter revisions and amendments to the electors of the county.

    (3) If a majority of the voters disapprove the proposed charter, no new referendum may be held during the next 2 years following the date of such disapproval.

    (4) Upon acceptance or rejection of the proposed charter by the qualified electors, the charter commission will be dissolved, and all property of the charter commission will thereupon become the property of the county.

    image.jpeg

    Charters are unique

    There is no “one size fits all” formula for counties in Florida. There seems to be only one commonality among the 20 county charters: a 4-year length of term for county commissioners. But charter counties vary widely, based upon the wishes of their citizens, in most other respects. Some examples:

    • How commissioners are elected. Some counties elect commissioners by district, in others commissioners serve at large, while in some there is a combination.
    • Some counties require partisan elections, others do not. In some counties the charter is silent on this point.
    • Term limits may or may not be specified.
    • Some counties elect to follow the state statute in setting salaries for commissions, others set salaries by ordinance.
    • All except two counties, which remain silent on the item, have a provision for recall of commissioners.
    • All provide for a county executive, but that person may be elected or appointed.
    Constitutional Officers

    Most Charter counties have changed the existing status of constitutional officers (Clerk of Courts, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, Superintendent of Schools, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector), while some have opted to leave these positions largely unchanged. Some counties have chosen to convert constitutional officers to charter officers or otherwise amalgamate them into county government. Where they remain elected officials, some counties have made their elections all or in part nonpartisan.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  14. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Thanks Bob- I'm hoping the information in the feasibility study will point to the best option! Sadly and unless i am missing something, I don't think we can charter South Walton, and this would never make it through a county wide vote. That is the beauty of the incorporation option- we are the only ones that get to vote (as it should be).
     
  15. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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  16. FoX

    FoX Beach Fanatic

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  17. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    I am not concerned about the feasibility study. The community of South Walton should take as much time as needed to study this issue, examine problems and solutions, and find the right answers to our unique town. We have many excellent, talented and energetic people who want the best outcome for shaping the future.
     
  18. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I have no idea whether SWOTS are an issue or not. Haven't seen the study.
     
  19. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    It is SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and if you read through many of them from the Navarre report you'll see why I have serious misgivings about incorporation.

    Especially something that seems to need an awful lot of "polishing" when it's based on facts and existing figures.
     
  20. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    The City of South Walton sounds right to me. But, it could be just a dream...
     

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