Questions Sent to Grover Robinson

How could Escambia initially pledge Navarre Beach bed tax revenue for Escambia bonds? I thought you said it was as if Escambia deeded Navarre to Santa Rosa in 1956?

What is your position on the status of sub leases? If the master lease holder refuses to accept fee simple title can the sub lease holders demand it nevertheless?

If the master lease holder wants fee simple title, will that nullify his lease with the sub lease holder?

How can federal legislation interfere with the contractual relationship between the lessor and the sub leasing party? Isn’t that prohibited by the U.S. Constitution?

Do you agree that there will be many lawsuits filed because of this legislation?

Do you agree that there are literally hundreds and hundreds of leases that are different from one another? If so how will this legislation affect each lease?

Were minutes taken of your meeting with Matt Gaetz?

How is this proposed legislation different from what has been previously introduced in the U.S. Congress?

You have said all leases up for renewal are renewed. What then is the justification for the current legislation?

Now that it is well known that these lease fees are nominal and that the Fla Supreme Ct has rejected the double taxation argument in the Accardo case do you still maintain it is double taxation?

You have said that waiving lease fees will “raise taxes” but if the leases are eliminated won’t that produce the exact same result?

In addition when leases are converted to fee simple the 5% added charge for retail sales on the beach will be lost. You have said it was one million, how much was it last year? How will this be made up?

In your meetings with Matt Gaetz was the issue of the Air Force interests discussed? If so what was discussed? Shouldn’t we be concerned about anything that harms the military mission at Navarre?

You have said that Santa Rosa can do what they want with Navarre Beach now and Escambia can’t do anything about it? Where in the 1956 lease can authority for that position be found?

Will you support a binding referendum for all voters in Escambia County regarding supporting or opposing federal legislation changes on Santa Rosa Island?

The Escambia County Commission has been trying to tax structures and land on Pensacola beach since at least 1990. What have you done to oppose the imposition of these taxes in the past?

Why has no economic analysis been done of the effects of this legislation?

Do you see a conflict between Escambia County and Santa Rosa County if they elect to dig a pass at Navarre?

Shouldn’t Escambia exercise its control over Navarre Beach to prevent this from happening?

You have said that this legislation allows Santa Rosa County to do what it wants with Navarre Beach. Other than one guy from Santa Rosa County that met with you and Matt Gaetz when has there ever been a statement by elected officials in Santa Risa County that they favor doing away with protected conservation and public access land which this bill effectively does?

This is perhaps the shortest act ever enacted into law. Do you think you understand all consequences of this legislation? Why wasn’t this proposed language offered to the public at any time in the last year for public comment?

Do you agree that if fee simple title is granted to the owner of Flounders for example he can build a condo hotel on the property where now the SRIA has preserved designated uses through these leases?

Will you tell the county to produce all the leases that extend beyond the dune line?

You have said something about beach land filling changing the gulf side property line – what is the authority for this statement?

Do you foresee any issue with the incorporation of Pensacola beach as a city? Why was this specific authorization to do so included in the legislation?

You have repeatedly said that we need this legislation so we can then address all the many problems that exist. Will you state clearly each problem you envision that either will be created by this legislation or will need to be addressed that cannot be addressed without the legislation?

Do you agree that this legislation will financially enrich some lease holders on the beach? Have you identified who those are?


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Air Force says Reopening Navarre Pass would Interfere with Missions

United States Senate, WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has received written confirmation from the U.S. Air Force that reopening Navarre Pass in Santa Rosa County would directly interfere with the Air Force’s ability to conduct future testing and training missions at Eglin Air Force base.

“Reopening Navarre Pass … would interfere with current and future Air Force and DOD missions,” Gen. David Goldfein, the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, wrote in a letter to Nelson.

Nelson, who has always opposed reopening Navarre Pass, says legislation he sponsored earlier this year with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) doesn’t go far enough to prevent future cutting of the pass, which was opened only a few months before Hurricane Betsy closed it in 1965.

Nelson says he sponsored the bill with Rubio to give those holding a 99-year lease on Santa Rosa Island full ownership rights of the property, while also preserving the current land conservation areas and public access to the beach.

He says while Escambia County has agreed to keep the current conservation areas in place, the current legislation, as written, doesn’t go far enough to prevent Santa Rosa County from developing the conservation areas or reopening the pass.

“The Air Force has made it clear that reopening Navarre Pass would interfere with its testing and training missions,” Nelson said. “The legislation filed earlier this year doesn’t go far enough to prevent future cutting of the pass and needs to be changed in order to protect our national security interests.”

(A copy of the Air Force’s Sept. 27 letter to Nelson is available to read here.)


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Matt Gaetz: Worth A Listen

Listen carefully to this interview with Matt Gaetz and note the following: He claims the wording of the legislation came from Grover Robinson and the Santa Rosa representative meeting in Washington, D. C. with Gaetz. A United States Congressman allowing local elected officials to effectively write federal legislation directly interfering with local control over Santa Rosa Island.

He refers to the poor people on the beach suffering double taxation when he knows the Florida Supreme Court has rejected that baseless position. He has no answer why the Santa Rosa representative insisted on language in the bill not preserving current public access at Navarre Beach. He claims he wants to leave that to local officials of Santa Rosa County. So why pass federal legislation then? It is all double talk support for a very bad idea.

He also claims he will work on having the Air Force “replicate” their island installation defense mission so a pass can be dug through a barrier island at Navarre. That’s a very bold promise from a freshman congressman but it shows why this is being jammed through.

As the double taxation argument crumbles from its fictional foundation, Gaetz and Grover have switched to argue their real goal is to protect the island from actions of local elected officials in the future. A federal government fix to prohibit future actions of local elected officials. A “Big Brother” solution from purportedly conservative politicians. It is as we have previously written a solution in search of a problem to solve. And we have no idea who exactly is gaining financially nor how much this is going to cost the taxpayers.

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ACLU Dangerously Meandering Off Course

acluThe ACLU has brought its mighty financial sources against a person who apparently insulted someone. The ACLU long a champion of protecting the constitutional rights of all has lost their way and in doing so fosters disrespect for our judicial system. They have elected to sue an “event organizer” because she insulted a guest by asking the person to move to the back of the room to another table.

So what’s the legal claim? The person asked to move “identifies” female although apparently a male and wanted everyone to know it. Let me see if I have this right. If just before the event earlier in the day a man with a beard, a beer belly, and a pierced nose decides to wear a dress and spike heels waddles up to the front and makes a scene by his appearance, an event organizer cannot politely ask her (her for that evening) to please move to the back of the room?

According to the morning newspaper article the ACLU claims this is to be a really important case, another Brown v. Board of Education as a landmark case preventing discrimination against “transgenders.” So, the ACLU picks on an individual with inferior resources to establish their new cause celeb. In the meantime the public fumes over the allocation of the judicial resources that will be needed to litigate this ridiculous lawsuit which should have been handled (if at all) with an apology. And the erosion of public confidence in the judicial system has another straw added to the camel’s back. That’s the real victim here not the person who claims to be offended.


Posted in City of Pensacola, Democratic Party, Florida, Florida Circuit Court, Florida Supreme Court, Local Business, Pensacola News Journal, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Using Oil Spill Money to Restore Barrier Islands

Louisiana Is Restoring Its Barrier Islands to Defend Against Hurricanes and Rising Seas. Funds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are flowing into the state, financing unprecedented restoration work along its beleaguered coast — just in the nick of time. Louisiana is in a race against time, says Governor John Bel Edwards: “If we don’t restore these barrier islands, then our future is in peril. That land is the first line of defense. What we cannot have is a situation where the Gulf of Mexico is lapping at the levees of New Orleans.”

Read More Here…

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Escambia County Sheriff’s Yearly Expenditures

To check the Escambia County Sheriff’s Expenditures Detailed by Year click to open the following PDF file (400 KB)…

Escambia County Sheriff’s Expenditures Detailed by Year

The Escambia County Sheriff is permitted the following categories of expenditures from the Law Enforcement Trust (LET) Fund, Florida Statute 932.7055 Disposition of liens and forfeited property (special law enforcement trust fund – see paragraph 5, subsection C) —

“Such funds may be used only for school resource officer, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, drug abuse education, or drug prevention programs or such other law enforcement purposes as the board of county commissioners or governing body of the municipality deems appropriate.”


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The Gaetz/Grover Great Giveaway

The obvious answer to the purported double taxation (it isn’t double taxation, of course) is for the County Commissioners to waive the lease fees on the beach.

So why can’t they do it?

Why did Grover have to get Matt Gaetz to do it by passing United States Law to convert these leases to fee simple title? Because they all know this will cost the county revenues from lease fees and other fees generated on the beach. That’s why none of them have ever asked for a revenue impact study. They know what the answer will be. It will cost the county substantial revenues. But, if they could blame the big oppressive federal government for the revenue loss they would be saved a taxpayer backlash.

Nobody is fooled. This is all happening with the full endorsement of a majority of the County Commission. It isn’t just Grover. Otherwise, how could any County Commissioner who doesn’t represent the people on the island ever agree to give this land away and risk their constituents rights to use the island? How could they agree to do something that lowers fees for some at the expense of their constituents? How in the world could they ever justify giving away Navarre Beach to Santa Rosa County which would happen if all leases are converted to fee simple title? No, they are all in the soup together.

Their view is if they do nothing; never make a public comment, act like they have nothing to do with it, their problem that they helped to create will be solved by the federal government. When Grover met privately with Matt Gaetz in Washington, D.C. (without public notice) to hatch this plan, he was there on behalf of the Escambia County Commissioners. They may act like they have no involvement in this legislation, but they do.

This plan to give away the island solves a lot of elected officials’ political problems, but the majority of the people are being betrayed by their elected officials. The few that aren’t live or have businesses on the island and they are getting a windfall benefit at the expense of the rest of the taxpayers.

— Bob Kerrigan

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