OPINION: Dannheisser and New Adminstrator Will Bring Trust, Sensibility and Civility to Santa Rosa County

Posted on August 19, 2021 by EDITORIAL BOARD

Pictured are the Honorable Judge Thomas V. Dannheisser, left, and DeVann Cook, right

Rest easy, Santa Rosa County taxpayers! A new day is dawning for county government.

Santa Rosa County Commissioners during Thursday’s work session all voiced support to ask Honorable Thomas V. Dannheisser to return as the County Attorney.

It was the third and final step needed to set a new course forward for Santa Rosa County government, following a disastrous 2020, which was plagued not only by the COVID-19 pandemic but also by self-inflicted wounds.

Those unnecessary wounds included, but were not limited to, the December 2020 firing of County Attorney Roy Andrews and a reorganization of county staff – which was anything but organized.

Last year’s restructuring of the county’s organizational chart seemingly went undetected by major media outlets who cover the county.

However, those changes resulted in the departure of multiple long-time department directors and their right-hand men, creating a vast void. Decades of institutional knowledge were suddenly cleaved away from the county, crippling operations and destroying morale.

Some people without a good working knowledge of how the county actually operates have been lamenting the loss of two military leaders who had been brought aboard in recent years to oversee county administration and recently decided to leave of their own volition.

But those of us who do know what’s happening behind the curtain realize it was a pivotal and much-needed change which brought about the first two steps in the right direction – the naming of longtime employees Brad Baker and DeVann Cook to the two top administration positions.

Some descriptors used for this new admin duo include honest, capable and respectful.

That makes them a fitting match to work alongside Dannheisser, an avid Constitutionalist, who will also be a father figure for wayward staff and commissioners, ending the circus acts we’ve been witnessing for far too long now.

With the culmination of bringing Dannheisser back as County Attorney, there is hope on the horizon.  

Well done, Commissioners. May peace reign – at least to the extent such is possible in local government.