Be heard at Destin City Council meetings

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

In my Dec. 16, 2017, op-ed, we discussed the difference between a news article and an opinion column. Correction policies are commonplace in news articles, but not in opinion columns. My opinion columns are different. My writings are of opinion based on facts. Few if any opinion writers even have a corrections policy. But I do. This is to correct two mistakes that appeared in last week’s column about the proposed buyout of the Gulf Power utility.

Both errors appeared in the fifth paragraph. The first one read: “The two most vocal proponents of the proposed buyout are Destin Mayor Scott Fischer and Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell.” I stand corrected. It should have read: ”The single most vocal proponent of the proposed buyout is Destin Mayor Scott Fischer.” I have no record that the councilwoman was ever a proponent of the proposed buyout.

The other was a transcription error that read in part: “…the mayor received emails approving his proposal and 14 disapproving.” It should have read: “…the mayor received three emails approving of his proposal and 14 disapproving.” I apologize for the errors.

Having put that behind us, we can now get to this week’s column: The next Destin Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 (Monday, the day the board usually meets, is the the MLK Jr. holiday). We won’t know what is on the agenda until Friday, Jan. 12, after my deadline. That’s when it will be posted on the city website. Current city issues and possible agenda items include, but are not limited to:

Sightseeing helicopters. The city has already heard our complaints about these loud and dangerously low-flying “Hell Choppers.” That issue is still unresolved. Mayor Scott Fischer has made many efforts to help us in this regard. However, his hands are mostly tied because the city lacks authority over the airspace above us.

Crab Island commercial activity. Many unregulated floating businesses are operating in a possibly unsafe manner on Crab Island. Like the sightseeing helicopter issue, the city lacks authority in Crab Island waters. They can only lobby for someone with authority to take responsibility. This may be the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Look for more on this in future columns.

Taxpayer takeover of the Destin’s Gulf Power utility. Mayor Scott Fischer wrote a lengthy opinion column for publication in the Wednesday edition of The Log. I recommend you read it. We need to hear from both sides of this issue before spending $71 million on the proposed buyout. Again, you can look for more on this issue in future columns.

The important thing is to be there and be heard at City Hall. Several attendees from one of the helicopter issue meetings pulled me over and thanked me for making them aware of the meeting in my Destin Log column. They wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. Now that you know about this meeting, you too can be there and be heard.

Jack Simpson has owned and managed rental properties in Destin since 1974 and has lived in the city since 1983. His column is designed to start conversations in the community. To respond to Jack’s column in The Log, email your letter to the editor or guest column to To contact Jack directly, email