Census Likely to Shift Holley into District Two

Posted on October 14, 2021 by Romi White

A map of current district boundaries shows District 2 in pink and District 4 in green. The black arrow points to the Holley community, located just north of Navarre.

The 2020 Census data revealed Navarre’s population has grown to more than 40,000 residents, triggering redistricting in order for each of the county’s five districts to represent a more equal portion of its 188,000 residents.

Overall, Santa Rosa County during the past decade has grown by more 36,000, a 24.2% hike.

The growth will result in redistricting, which may result in the community of Holley being shifted into District 2, which currently represents mostly East Milton and parts of Milton and has not grown like District 4, which currently encompasses most of Holley and Navarre.

Santa Rosa County Commissioner Bob Cole presently represents District 2 and spoke about the matter during Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

“If it’s approved by the state legislature, Holley will become part of District 2,” Cole said, adding, “and that’s not any part of our doing, that’s because of the census.”

Shawn Wildman, a member of the Barlow family, which has lived in the Holley area for more than 100 years, says she is hopeful the shift into District 2 will finally put an end to plans to include their tight-knit community in the future incorporation of Navarre.

“Cause we are tired of continually fighting to say no. Clearly they don’t understand no,” Wildman said.

Cole during the September 23 county commission work session, told Preserve Navarre, the group working on the third attempt to incorporate Navarre, to exclude Holley from their plans.

“It’s a unique place. We have our own proud heritage,” Barlow said. “We don’t want to lose that by being absorbed into a future City of Navarre.”