Some city leaders unsure of ‘accountability’ support

Matt Algarin

When it comes to supporting the Accountability Okaloosa initiative put forth by Rep. Matt Gaetz, officials in Destin will discuss the topic further.

“I have asked the city manager to put this matter on the Jan. 5 agenda for us as a council to decide,” Councilman Cyron Marler wrote in an email to The Log.

Gaetz has asked elected officials throughout Okaloosa County to show their support on nine separate items that were put forth on the Accountability Okaloosa website (

In a letter to officials, Gaetz proposed three options, which included support, recommending changes to his proposed agenda and opposing the agenda. The Dec. 2 letter also says that opposition is “presumed if no response is received.”

In Destin, Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell is the only city official that had pledged support, based on a Dec. 17 story in the Northwest Florida Daily News.

Ramswell sent an open letter to The Log to address concerns raised in the community.

“I agreed with the concept and mission of Accountability Okaloosa, which is why I signed it,” she wrote. “However, the way it has evolved has led people to believe I was somehow aligned with Rep. Gaetz or bullied by him into supporting it. I am neither aligned with nor feel threatened or bullied by Rep. Gaetz.”

Ramswell goes on to say she chose to support the document because she concurred with the need to move forward with the issues on the agenda. To read her full letter, see

As for her colleagues, Marler said answering the question of whether or not he would sign the document as an individual councilor, posed by The Log to each council member, “would be to me a disrespect of the office I hold and the citizens that elected me.”

For his part, Councilman Jim Foreman told The Log he has great respect for the Gaetz family and he “generally” agrees with their view of government, the oath of office he swore to uphold when elected “seems to cover all aspects of my actions, and other elected officials as well.”

“It’s uncertain as to the consequences of violating a petition so I am declining,” he wrote in an email.

As of press time, city councilors Tuffy Dixon, Rodney Braden and Sandy Trammell had not responded to a Log request asking whether or not they would support the document. Councilman Jim Wood was out of town.