As I listened to so many business owners and citizens at the meeting speak to the council, the same issue was continuously raised (aside from the fact that they didn’t want the increase): No one knows about the fee.
It was even mentioned that “only the people who pay attention know what’s going on.”
Over the last few days I’ve received multiple calls from people asking where they could find more information about the fee and if Get The Coast was covering it. In full transparency, Get The Coast did sit down
with Fire Chief Perkins on July 18th where both he and City Manager Michael Beedie talked about the Fire Fee. You can watch that here.
But what I didn’t have was more discussion from the other side. Not for the sake of argument, but for a different perspective. What would it mean for certain residents who may see this as a hardship or the very large commercial business owners who would see a size-able increase in fees? (At last night’s meeting, a gentleman was there representing the 10 hotels along Highway 98).
As a media outlet, that’s a growing pain that I’m committing to getting past.
It was also mentioned at last night’s council meeting that the same business owners and residents continually show up to these meetings and speak up on behalf of the rest of the City. That is very true. Council meetings can be very long and very boring and aren’t on everyone’s list of things they want to do on a Tuesday night.
So what you have is a relative empty chamber with the same people.
What to do about it: Get The Coast will continue to make efforts to keep you as informed as we can on matters like these. Whether that’s through this newsletter or our videos. We publish a lot of light-hearted entertainment/fun articles like upcoming events, new shops, new restaurants, etc. But that’s not all that’s happening within our cities of Okaloosa County.
Over to you: I’ve been rambling about Fort Walton Beach but this applies to any city within Okaloosa County. Do you feel like you are informed on what’s happening? Or is it not that big of a priority?
I want to hear! Email me back!