Voters say ‘no’ to incorporation study

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In a debate that divided Navarre for months, voters Tuesday night showed their lack of support for the possible incorporation of Navarre, with nearly 6,000 people voting no in the straw poll. The unofficial vote was 5,993-4,765 against continuing the study of incorporation.

The straw poll asked voters whether or not they wanted to continue the study of incorporation. The poll was not a referendum to incorporate; it was a way to gauge the community’s interest.

One of the main reasons for incorporation, according to the Citizens to Incorporate Political Action Committee, is to keep taxpayer money in town, giving the community the right to make decisions affecting Navarre.

But opponents of incorporation believed it would bring higher taxes and more government.

PAC member Nancy Gaskins said despite the results of the straw poll, the IncNavarre PAC should be“commended.”

“Today is a historical milestone for the community of Navarre, Florida,”she said. “Many now realize that the power to persuade and advocate for Navarre as an individual has many limitations, but as a united community, we have a silver bullet, at 42,300 people strong, 27 percent of Santa Rosa County, Navarre would be the third largest city in the panhandle.”

Gaskins said the efforts of PAC and its supporters“were not in vain.”

“I don’t think it is a matter of if, but when Navarre becomes incorporated,”she said.“The ground work has been laid – now it’s time to rally the troops, unite our community and get to work on the next steps towards moving our community forward. Every citizen deserves to have their voice heard. Now is the time to get involved.”

Vickie Helton, chairman of Citizens to Incorporate Navarre, thanked the volunteers and donors for their contributions.

“On behalf of IncNavarre Pac, we’d like to thank all the volunteers who donated their time and expertise, our donors who helped us fund our efforts, and most importantly all of those who exercised their right to have their voice heard in this election.”

By Ashley Varese

Published Thursday, November 6, 2014 in Navarre Press.