COMMISSIONER'S COLUMN: I am Okaloosa County. I am not a thief (with VIDEO)

Nathan Boyles

I am not a thief. I did not buy a house or a car or furniture with taxpayer money. I am not a thief. I am an Okaloosa County Commissioner and I am proud of my job. I am proud of my County. I am proud of the guys digging ditches and cleaning out sewer lines in orange and yellow shirts. I am proud of our engineers and our planners and our equipment operators. I am proud of the lady who empties the trash cans at our parks on Saturdays and Sundays when I am enjoying time with my family. I am proud of my County and I need help to make her better.

I need the help of the business community, our cities and our average working-to-make-a-living citizens to make our County better. I need the support of my community and my fellow elected officials as we walk this path. I need my legislative delegation to support us as we make institutional change so that a thief can never again take advantage of my County and make her look foolish.

I need my south-end legislative delegation to pledge their support and cooperation as we work to heal Okaloosa County. I need my legislative delegation to tell Tallahassee that Okaloosa County is a good County and that the people of Okaloosa County are honest and trusting people. I need my legislative delegation to walk with me on this journey.

Today, I was disappointed. Today, I was made to understand that Tallahassee does not want to learn of the substantial changes underway in Okaloosa County. Today, I watched a member of my legislative delegation - your legislative delegation - assault my County - your County - in Tallahassee for political benefit. Today, I watched legislators from other parts of the State beholden to the current political leadership in Tallahassee participate in a scripted performance designed to bolster the statewide standing of a junior legislator at the expense of our County. Today, Okaloosa County came no closer to healing or being a better County. Today, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee accomplished nothing. Today, I wasted a second day in Tallahassee for the political benefit of a legislator.




I do not work for the legislature. I work for you. I work for my County. I was elected by the same people, who elected our legislators. Today, I spent my last day in Tallahassee as an observer at the beckoning of a legislator. Tomorrow, I bend myself to the task of making Okaloosa County better. I hope you will help me.     

Footnote: This letter was written on February 11th, the day I attended a meeting of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee meeting in Tallahassee. It was my third meeting where legislators have spent time talking about Okaloosa County in as many weeks. For the third time those same legislators signaled that they have little interest in learning about the evolving plan to make Okaloosa County better or to contribute positively to those efforts.

Nathan Boyles was elected in 2012 and represents the Crestview area on the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners. Boyles notes that "any views or opinions expressed in this Newsletter are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the official position of the County Commission or the views or opinions of any other Commissioner."