A Truth Finder in Paradise – June 2023

Posted on June 21, 2023 by Staff reports

For this month’s column we’re taking a deep dive into Santa Rosa County’s allocations for District 4 (Navarre) Parks & Recreation over the past four years, focusing on youth sports.

A review of requested county data showed Capacity Improvements and Park Improvements for 2020-2023 in District 4 totaled $6,121,800, surpassing the other five districts by more than $2 million. But most of that allocation goes toward improvements at Navarre Beach, our beautiful treasure which is enjoyed by locals and visitors.

Meanwhile, Navarre’s mainland parks are getting the short end of the stick, leaving our youth with substandard sports facilities, which are managed by Navarre Youth Sports Association (NYSA), a non-profit organization serving at least 2,500 youth.

According to NYSA President Chrissy Flanigan, the association has been struggling to address a lengthy list of necessary repairs. A list so long, I personally found it almost unfathomable that so many needs are being left unmet by our county. Although outdoor basketball courts were recently resurfaced, she says other requests to the county and District 4 Commissioner Ray Eddington have so far been ignored.

Additionally, because of capacity-related issues and the condition of the existing facilities, NYSA is having to turn families away.

Therefore, Protect Navarre would like to offer a potential first step in the right direction. Each year District 4 receives $50,000 in discretionary funds, and so far during the 2022-2023 fiscal year the following has been expended:

  • $2,000.00 Children of Milton
  • $2,000.00 My Father’s Arrows, Inc. (Jay)
  • $1,000.00 Milton Future Farmers of America
  • $1,000.00 Jay Future Farmer of America
  • $1,000.00 Central Future Farmers of America (Allentown community)
  • $2,000.00 Navarre High Softball

Nearly 78% of Eddington’s discretionary spending to date this fiscal year has been spent to support programs in others other districts.

He’s planning to give $8,000 to the Holley-Navarre Senior Center, leaving a balance of $33,000 to spend by September 30 or carry forward into the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Therefore, we implore Commissioner Eddington to allocate this $33,000 remaining balance toward repairs/improvements at county parks which are NYSA-managed facilities. This is not a want but a NEED to make the Navarre’s youth and its future, a priority.

If you agree, please email Commissioner Eddington at District4@santarosa.fl.gov and ask him to allocate the remaining balance of his discretionary funds to NYSA for repairs/improvements.

When Protect Navarre finds a disparity, we will work hard within our community and with our county officials and county employees to make things right. We will never believe that the only way to address our problems is to incorporate, which only creates a new layer of city government with more taxes, fees and bureaucracy.


Chelle Concha, Lead Researcher

Protect Navarre