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EDITORIAL – Liar, liar, pants on fire

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Romi White

The childish, unprofessional behavior which took place at this week’s Santa Rosa County Commission committee meeting was absolutely shocking — and a disgrace upon the entire Navarre community.

Judy Morehead, CEO of the Navarre Beach Chamber, repeatedly called seated Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Rob Williamson a “liar” during a heated exchange over whether or not the chamber was trying to avoid recommendations by safety officials to relocate a summer concert series.

When Morehead interrupted Williamson and hurled the insults, a collective gasp could be heard from the audience in the room.

That behavior is just not something one would expect to witness at a local government meeting — much less from a woman charged with representing her chamber, its board and their members.

Morehead already had her chamber in hot water over public comments she reportedly made about a local bank president, who currently has a defamation of character lawsuit against her and the chamber in the matter.

After being slapped with a slander suit and having its membership drop from about 540 in July 2015 to roughly 450 today, it’s surprising the board didn’t mute their CEO’s mouth before this latest spout off.

So it begs the question…who is truly leading that chamber, Morehead or its board officers?

Mike Sandler, Chairman – HURLBURT CHIEF’S GROUP

Mike Simpson, Chairman Elect – COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL NAVARRE

Gail Acosta, Vice Chair – SANDPAPER MARKETING

Kelley Fuller, Treasurer – 100+ WOMEN WHO CARE

Perhaps the officers and others associated with the chamber somehow believe biting the hand that feeds you is the way to get what you want.

Name calling and temper tantrums may work on school playgrounds, but when the county not only allows the chamber to rent space in a county building inside a county-owned park but also provides thousands of dollars in financial support for events such as the chamber foundation’s Navarre Beach Fishing Rodeo…well, it’s nothing short of a disrespectful, shameful display of ungratefulness.

Additionally, the chamber’s Military Affairs Council Chairwoman, Michele Tucker, attended Monday’s meeting and later posted on social media that she was sad the community was being divided.

Well, watch Monday’s meeting for yourself and you may come to understand why people like the late Shirley Brown started the new chamber. Brown didn’t want to be represented by a chamber whose leadership behaves this way. 

But don’t take it from me — or anyone else. Click on the link below to watch Monday’s meeting and decide for yourself which chamber you want to represent Navarre. The discussions begin after a short presentation by the county’s economic development director.

http://www.santarosa.fl.gov/web-calendar/index.cfm?dateObj={ts%20%272017-02-23%2013:51:29%27}&ViewType=CAL&Menu=43&MT=MTGINFO&Modal=hide

EDITOR’S NOTE: South Santa Rosa News Publisher Romi White was asked to join the board of the newly formed Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce and was subsequently elected to its board of directors. Sandi Kemp, owner of Navarre Press/Sandpaper Marketing, is Secretary of the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation board and her employee, Gail Acosta, serves as Vice Chairman of the Navarre Beach Area Chamber. Today Navarre Press and Kemp wrote an editorial content about this matter without disclosing her association with that chamber. So we want to not only disclose this paper’s charter membership in the newly formed chamber but also make the community aware of Kemp’s association with the old chamber.