Santa Rosa says “no” to Syrian refugees

Posted on December 4, 2015 by Deborah Nelson

In the wake of recent Islamic terrorist atrocities, Santa Rosa County appears poised to reject any influx of refugees from Syria.

County Commissioners will consider an ordinance opposing the relocation of any Syrian refugees into Santa Rosa County at Monday’s committee meeting.

The proposed ordinance states in part “following the terrorist attacks by ISJS in Paris that killed over 120 people and wounded more than 350, and the news that at least one of the terror attack suspects gained access to France by posing as a Syrian refugee, the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners will not support any requests to bring Syrian refugees into our County.”

The ordinance also asks that State and Federal governments take “immediate and aggressive action to prevent the use of any public funds to relocate Syrian refugees to Florida, or anywhere in the United States, without an extensive evaluation of the risk that these individuals may pose to our security.”

The ordinance is addressed to President Obama, Florida District 1 Representative Jeff Miller, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Florida Senator Bill Nelson.

President Obama has announced that as many as 10,000 Syrian refuges are expected to be resettled into the U.S. in the coming year.

Governor Rick Scott, in a November 16 letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders, asked Congress to prevent President Obama from using Federal tax dollars to relocate an estimated 425 refugees to Florida.

Other topics of discussion on Monday’s commission meeting agenda include:

*A continuation of the debate over where to site a new courthouse.

*Paying advertising firm Davis, South, Barnette & Patrick $15,000 to coordinate/implement the 6th annual Navarre Beach Sand Sculpting event.  On November 12, the BOCC approved $55,000 to plan the event, scheduled for the 3d weekend in April.

*Proposed legislation related to the Tourist Development Tax.  Representative Matt Gaetz proposed that Counties be required to fork 20 percent of bed taxes over to the State.  The money would go to “Visit Florida,” a “public/private” tourism marketing agency.  Gaetz also proposed that 10 percent of bed taxes be allowed to go towards policing necessary as a “result of tourism.”

*Commissioner appointments to various committee chair spots for 2016.

*Incoming County Administrator Tony Gomillion’s employment contract.

*A boating restriction ordinance designating Polynesian Isles canals as “slow speed, minimum wake.”

*Coastal Concessions, LLC’s contract to operate and manage the Navarre Beach Gulf Pier and Concessions.

*A $117,000 project funded by BP NRDA money to retrofit or reduce visibility of lights near turtle nests on Navarre Beach.

*A $1.4 million Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission NRDA Early Restoration Artificial Reef Construction grant for an artificial reef off Navarre Beach.

*Applications for FY2016 Florida Legislature Water Projects Cycle.

*Discussion of resolution regarding relocation of Syrian refugees in Santa Rosa County.

*Cobia Run 5K/10K event on Navarre Beach, down Gulf Blvd., scheduled for Saturday April 26, 2016.

*Holley by the Sea’s master drainage study.

*Discussion of the County Tsunami Plan and requirements as it relates to sign placement on Navarre Beach.

*Discussion of resurfacing the following roads in District Five at an estimated cost of $222,122.50:  Princeton Drive, Harmony Lane, Hillside Avenue (from Bayview Lane to Shady Lane), Shady Lane, Chinquapin Drive, Sabine Drive, Sabine Court, Ceylon Drive, Flagler Drive, Abercrombie Road, America Avenue (from Supreme Street to Capital Drive), Magnolia Lane, Llani Lane, Luzon Lane, Soule Place

*Discussion of bids received for the Navarre Beach Restoration Project.  Low bidder meeting specifications is Weeks Marine, Inc., with a bid of $14,920,300.

*Discussion of Budget Amendment 2016 – 064 in the amount of $4,677 to carry forward unspent funds in the General Fund for the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center.