Libertarian Voters Guide Board Of County Commissioners

The Libertarian Voters Guide

Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners

4 August 2010

This guide contains questions for candidates for the Board of County Commissioners of Okaloosa County, Florida. The candidates for County Commissioner as of 4 August 2010 are, Don Amunds, Danny Bennett, John Bergschneider, Dave Parisot, Dick Reinlie, Tom Tona, and Elaine Tucker.

The questions proposed in this guide were created by the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Okaloosa County. The answers are exactly as they were presented to the LPOC. They are presented as a public service to the voters.

Candidates were asked to limit their answers to 650 characters including spaces. If they submitted an answer greater than 650 characters, only the first 650 were published (indicated by *). LPOC comments on any one question are also limited to 650 characters.

In pursuit of individual rights, free markets, and limited government,

The Executive Committee of the LPOC

Pete Blome, Chairman
Steve Copus, Vice Chairman
Mike Maier, Treasurer
Lee Jackson, Former Chair

Help us in our fight for a better Okaloosa. Send donations to:

The Libertarian Party of Okaloosa County, P.O. Box 483, Shalimar, Florida 32579-0483, http://www.libertarianpoc.org/,

1) What is the role of county government?

Don Amunds

County government is required to support the needs and services that the citizens request. Counties are the administrative arm of state government. Counties are constitutionally mandated to provide law enforcement, jail administration, tax collection, property appraisal, judicial facilities, and supervisor of elections. They are also charged with road maintenance, public health, solid waste disposal and emergency management.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

Is to provide service to the Citizens of Okaloosa County! One central idea from Abraham Lincoln, government is created and receives its powers from the governed. These services started with a sheriff and county judge in the 1800’s. With advent of the automobile, the existing dirt horse trail roads, proved inadequate creating a road department. In a similar manner, our modern life has created E911 and call for other services. These services have grown as the county has grown.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

“What is the role?” or “What do I think the role of county government should be?” The State defines the role of County Government, it is easily found in the state statutes.

I believe, in providing services required by the state we should take into consideration the value proposition. In all services, does the tax payer believe he/she is getting value for money spent? As your county commissioner I will focus on the true needs of the taxpayer, the safety of our citizens, the economy and the financial future of the county.

Tom Tona

The role of County Government is defined in our Florida Statutes Chapter 125. While the Statute provides us with a legal definition I would suspect that many people today would define it something like this; County Governments role is that of finding endlessly creative ways in which to tax the people and endlessly creative ways in which to dispense of those revenues.

Elaine Tucker

The role of COUNTY government is to provide its citizens Public Safety (Jails, Emergency Management, Sheriff, Inspectors), Essential Services (Airports, Facility Maintenance, Growth Management, Public Works, Judicial Costs, Health Department) and assist in developing Quality of Life (Libraries & Museums, Parks, Tourism) programs at the lowest possible tax rate. Work to stop unfunded State and Federal mandates – protecting “home rule”. Encourage growth of private sector business by expediting governmental processes and providing the infrastructure needs required for positive growth today and in the future.

LPOC Comments

The role of county government, as with all government, is to protect your individual rights, maintain free markets, and to stay limited in its powers. Public safety, public health, emergencies, hard times, quality of life, full employment, natural and man-made disasters have all been used as excuses by government to take away your rights, control the free market for the advantage of a few, and to grow the power of the state. It always ends in taking away opportunities from you. When there are no more opportunities, there will be no more freedom.

2) What is the single greatest problem you will face if elected?

Don Amunds

The economic recovery of our community.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

We will have to address the budget shortfall and how to address it with the minimal loss of services.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

Providing true accountability to the taxpayers. The current structure of our county government is reliant on the Constitutional Officers to spend our money wisely. There has been limited oversight of this process by our County Commissioners. In fact, I don’t believe the current commission is truly concerned with accountability. I hear too many excuses instead of solutions. The State of Florida Laws limits some of the teeth that County Commissioners have in regulating Constitutional Officers but none of the monitoring. We need to institute more monitoring of spending especially in light of the recent bonus scandal and escalating spending.

Tom Tona

The single greatest problem I will face if elected will be adapting to less time spent with my wife and children. It goes without saying that the personal responsibility inherent in stepping forward to serve the public demands a major commitment of time and energy. And although you didn’t ask, the second greatest problem I will face will be convincing two other commissioners that it is in all of our best long term interests to downsize our local government, rapidly and responsibly.

Elaine Tucker

The single greatest problem I will face is to going to be how to recover from the long-term recession facing Florida and this nation. Unfortunately, the financial disaster created by the Gulf oil crisis has made the situation even worse. It will take my leadership, positive and proactive community partnerships, smarter government, and a commitment to Okaloosa County residents and their future to begin to solve these problems.

LPOC Comments

For a libertarian candidate it would be fighting the idea that government provides the solution to any problem or inconvenience that vocal citizens bring to it. The great myth is that government can provide anything at no cost and without unintended consequences. It cannot, and people should not be limited in finding their own opportunities. Over the decades political leaders have bribed the populace with its own money, and fostered the idea that government can do it all in order to make dependent those who otherwise would not be.

3) What is your first priority upon entering office?

Don Amunds

Continue to find ways to reduce the budget, stimulate economy and continue to provide the best public safety for the community.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

Have a thorough review of Public Works policies and projects. When the in house staff can widen and pave over seven miles of C-180 for a little more than a million dollars, However, CR 393 from US 90 to Poverty Creek Road, a 4.1 mile section is shown as $3.25 million for Contracted construction, then something is wrong! The EJ Brenemen Company a company that has provided asphalt recycling projects for the county provided an estimate of approximately $1.5 million a $1.77 million difference. PW could use these savings to pave 19.4 miles. They have their priorities confused. With so few dollars available for construction we cannot affo*

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

I will work to set up an independent audit team consisting of Constitutional Officers, County Officials and Citizens of Okaloosa County to look into abuses of taxpayer’s money and also to develop teamwork amongst all County Government. Also, this team will have a hotline to review reported abuses of taxpayer money.

Tom Tona

Reductions. I bring to the commission a private sector business perspective that defines my approach to the problems, the same way I have done in my own business for 30 years, starting with a thorough review of each department. There are three keys to success here; first and certainly the easiest, is to identify potential areas of reduction. Second, we identify creative and viable solutions, essentially a consolidation of services and elimination of non essential services. Third, and most difficult will be to convince the other Commissioners to support my initiatives.

Elaine Tucker

My first priority will be to meet with each department head and discuss current issues/concerns – then research each identified issue with community resources and experts and set achievable goals. An example of what I have done in the past as a County Commissioner is the Performance Based Budgeting format which was begun at my request. Now fully incorporated, this provides for each department – program descriptions, costs, accomplishments, goals and key objectives creating a more transparent budget and saving tax dollars.

LPOC Comments

It should be relieving people of the burden of government. Taxes, regulations, and laws have grown to the point they are a threat to our natural rights enumerated by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence. Among these are personal security (life) personal wealth (liberty) and personal success (pursuit of happiness). A good first step would be a return to federalism, and enforcing the limits to state and federal powers as enumerated in their respective Constitutions.

4) Are you in favor of property taxes and seizing such property for back taxes?

Don Amunds

Property taxes seem to be a necessary evil. I would rather see a sales tax or other options enacted that might drastically reduce our property taxes. I believe we, as a society, should be able to work with property owners and only seize property if all other means of collection have been exhausted.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

We need a revision of our property tax system. Floridians are assessed for the best and high use of property which is a future possible value; rather our properties should be assessed as the actual current use! In addition, properties are then assessed at an incremental rate that is either the current rate of inflation or three percent whichever is lesser. This is inflation pure and simple. We need an amendment to assess our property at the current use without an inflation factor. The fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires due process for any seizure of life, liberty, or property. There are established procedures for the failu*

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

I support all current laws because they are laws. However, I don’t believe that our property tax laws and procedures are fair. If I were “king of the forest” I would try to eliminate property taxes altogether. Currently it is so entwined with all of our other taxes it takes a sweeping change in our country’s taxing system to totally eliminate property taxes.

Seizing property because of back taxes is a necessary evil because we need teeth in our tax laws. I don’t like it…but changes need to be made in our tax system to be simply and “Fair”.

Tom Tona

No. Aside from health and safety issues there are few things I find more upsetting than the taking of a persons property for failure to pay taxes.

Elaine Tucker

Property taxes are necessary to pay for necessary community services, but how and to what degree they are assessed has to be revisited for fairness and equity on a regular basis. Seizure is an absolute last resort, after due process. This will take good communication and a working relationship with our elected officials in Tallahassee since that is where the legislation is created and controlled. Additionally, a partnership with the County Property Appraiser to work in the best interests of all Okaloosa County property owners.

LPOC Comments

Property taxes have reduced property owners to renters of property from the government. A prudent person who pays off his home can still have it taken from him by a government that taxes what he has. This onerous type of tax must be eliminated in favor of less coercive, and more voluntary forms of tax collection.

5) Are you in favor of the bypass expansion of the Mid Bay Bridge Authority?

Don Amunds

I’m in favor of any service that the user is willing to pay for and does not use tax dollars. The expansion could help evacuation efforts from Destin and South Walton during emergencies providing the community with no tax expense and paid by user fees only. Although feelings are mixed concerning this expansion, this forward thinking could be very beneficial to the area in the future.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

The Mid Bay Bridge is a toll bridge. It has been paying its bills. Projections show that the tolls can support this expansion. The bonding agency providing funding for this improvement has scrutinized this proposal carefully and agrees with the proposal.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

Yes, although we have other needs that need to be addressed….even before this expansion. I would categorize our traffic issues into the following items

o Commuter Traffic

§ Traffic to a from our Military Installations

· Hurlburt Drive Over on Highway 98

· Open up one extra land during rush hour

§ Traffic from where you live to where you work

· 85

o Local Traffic based on Commerce

§ Traffic based on where you work to where you shop

o Visitor Traffic

§ How do we get our visitors through our cities and neighborhood

We have many local concerns with traffic for our everyday commuter. This expansion addresses the tourist traffic and local traffic to De*

Tom Tona

No. There are far more critical and immediate needs in which to spend 200 million dollars. Is there a traffic problem on the Mid Bay Bridge that I am unaware of?

Elaine Tucker

Though the budget for the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority is approved by the County Commissioners, the Mid Bay Bridge Authority was created by and works for the state legislature. The new toll booths are completed and the bypass has been planned and is being phased in. This project is being funded through a partnership with the Mid Bay Bridge Authority along with the Florida Department of Transportation.

LPOC Comments

The Mid Bay Bridge is a classic example of run-away government. The Bridge authorities and the BCC have not run it like a business, nor focused on paying off its debt and passing on the savings to those who use it. That would be a real spur to the local economy. Instead, a bridge built in 1994 for $67 million dollars, will have more than $350 million dollars of debt laid on it by 2014, and cost $4.50 round-trip toll to get from hwy 85 to Destin ($1170 per commuter per year, and bridge use is declining). In the matter of managing the bridge, the MBBA and the BCC have utterly failed to represent well the people of Okaloosa.

6) Are you in favor of special economic zones in the county?

Don Amunds

I’m in favor of HUD Zones and Brownfield Designations if the creation of those zones does not cost the taxpayers any money or services. These zones can be beneficial in producing jobs and economic relief in blighted areas.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

I have been involved with several industrial parks. They are a special zone purchased for industrial development. Yes, we should support industrial park development. Brown fields are a new classification for former industrial areas that have lain dormant for years. My support is reserved on a case by case basis. Community Redevelopment Areas are popular with Cities as a method to improve what is perceived as blighted. The problem I have with them is that some improvements are cosmetic when traffic and infrastructure needs are ignored.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

Yes, if used properly and for a set period of time they can be a useful tool for redevelopment. When we over use special economic zones they become not so special and just serve to increase taxes on the rest of the taxpayers.

Tom Tona

No. Special economic zones are typically established to promote and foster economic development within that given zone. For 25 years I have worked as both a volunteer and professionally with special economic zones. It has been my collective experience that the success stories within these zones are few and far between, and rarely if ever cost effective. Clearly the most successful way to foster economic development is to reduce bureaucratic red tape and get out of the way of the private free markets.

Elaine Tucker

Yes but much depends on the need and the implementation. We have 5 CRA’s in Okaloosa County created by and under the control of our local municipalities that are bringing infrastructure improvements, tax breaks and new businesses to the area. Additionally, while I was a Commissioner, we created an “Enterprise” zone around the Crestview Airport that has made the Bob Sikes airport the “jewel” of our future business opportunities in Okaloosa County while increasing property values to the surrounding area. This is an example where county government creates an environment for private enterprise to flourish.

LPOC Comments

Special economic zones create advantages for some businesses, while others have to conduct their business under these disadvantages imposed by the government. The business of government is not to own business or grant special favors, but to protect individual rights by maintaining a level playing field. If special economic zones are so good, why not grant the tax breaks to everyone in the county, or even omit the taxes altogether?

7) Does the government create jobs?

Don Amunds

Yes, in an attempt to provide for services. Also legislative requirements that are passed down that mandate creation of certain jobs or services.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

No, and government can chase jobs away. One point that I have learned from industrial park development is that far more jobs are created at existing plants than new plants moving into a park. Consequently it is important we assist the existing industrial plants as much as recruit new plants.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

Only when they tax you more to hire people. Government is supposed to create opportunity for free enterprise to grow. The great experiment

Tom Tona

It appears to me that this is one area in which our government has performed exceedingly well. Unfortunately the jobs they are creating are government jobs. The results of this irresponsible behavior is not only readily apparent but actually threatens the long term stability of both our County and our Country.

Elaine Tucker

The government can create circumstance for economic growth and private enterprise to flourish. I believe that only the private sector can create jobs for real, long term sustainable growth.

LPOC Comments

Of course not. The government looks like it creates jobs, but every dollar it takes by legal coercion from a taxpayer to fund a government job is a dollar that cannot be used somewhere else in the free market. Libertarians also believe money spent in the free market is inherently more wealth producing than any centrally controlled, government edict. The idea that government creates jobs is one of the ways government fosters dependence on it, usually to the advantage of politicians and bureaucrats for their own job security.

8) Are you in favor of county issued permits, licenses and zoning regulations?

Don Amunds

Yes, depending on a case by case situation. Permits can assure homeowners of safety when getting work done on their homes, however, these fees should be used to pay for themselves and not used as a way to generate income. I’m in favor of zoning for compatibility, but there’s a fine line between that and preserving individual property rights.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

Zoning: the control of our land by the government. Zoning: the control of adjacent property that preserves the agreed use of our property. The last thing that a homeowner wants is a hog rendering plant to move next door. A Sun-Set review of these rules should occur on a regular basis to see if they are serving their purpose. One regulation that needs review is the parking requirements for businesses. A parking place is expensive to construct, it takes away land for development, it requires expensive stormwater management, and requires constant maintenance. Empty parking places that beg for a review of our parking requirements.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

Yes. It regulates (bad word) and monitors the use of property and can help protect your rights as a property owner. Do I think that we can do this fairly? No, but we sure can try. I believe that permits and licenses are important to help with standards. We need smart politicians

Tom Tona

In a general sense, no. Unfortunately not every citizen can seem to manage themselves in a manner that contributes to a safe and free society. I certainly would not like for a toxic chemical lab or a maximum security detention facility to be constructed and operated next door to my house! To that end I would say that I support a reasonable and responsible approach to permits, licenses and zoning regulations. The less the better.

Elaine Tucker

As a general rule some permitting, licensing and zoning has become necessary for public health and safety reasons, but I do believe that excessive encroachment on private property rights can go to far. As a personal policy, I believe that we should insist on more “personal responsibility” as a community. Houston TX has one of the highest growth rates in the US, has increasing property values, and has limited zoning restrictions. I believe that is the model we could follow.

LPOC Comments

No. The vast majority of permits, fees, and licenses are merely means to get extra government revenue. Zoning regulations force people to use their own property in ways they would not otherwise do, frequently to their own disadvantage. Setback and non-zero lot line rules are everywhere in Okaloosa county, as in America as a whole, but imagine how much better a person’s property could be used if they did not exist. If you want a uniform community appearance, why not voluntarily contract with them to do so to their advantage instead of force them by use of the law?

9) Are you in favor of reducing or eliminating any county services or organizations?

Don Amunds

I am in favor of consolidation to save money. Consolidating services equals less government.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

We should examine the various departments to consolidate duplicative services.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

As a business person, I’m in favor of inspecting all services and organizations as to their viability and value to the taxpayer. I’m also in favor of looking for new organizations that provide true value to the county

Tom Tona

Yes. I support County management and funding of only essential government services. Non essential services and organizations are most productive and efficient when they are operated and funded by the private sector.

Elaine Tucker

Cutbacks have been made to the bone in county services and organizations. If the public would accept no museums, no park maintenance, no traffic control, etc., more could be done. Quality of life would then suffer for all and this would certainly adversely affect attracting new businesses and residents to our area.

LPOC Comments

Okaloosa is nowhere near cutting government down to size, and every service and organization needs to be made smaller, reorganized or eliminated in favor of the free market. The great happy surprise facing Okaloosa is when everyone realizes, once the crutches of government paralysis are gone, they can walk better than before.

 

 

10) What would you do if faced with a state or federal unfunded mandate?

 

Don Amunds

Mandates are usually unfair, passing the financial responsibility off to the county. Our Department of Juvenile Justice facility here locally is a prime example. The legislature mandated that Okaloosa and Walton Counties pay $980,000 per year to fund personnel and maintenance costs and general operations of that facility. I would try to challenge any mandate hopefully before it comes down by using lobbyists and citizen initiatives.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

Unfunded mandates are like being told to “make bricks without straw, as the Pharaoh told enslaved Israel” I would say we will make bricks, but no more than the quota. We are constantly faced with unfunded mandates. Some come as a part of grant. Others like the Federal Non Point Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) emerged after 20 years of lawsuits and public hearings. Created inside this program is a permit process that required city, county and state governments to meet thirty milestones over a series of six five year renewal periods. Or staff signed us up for all thirty rather than the minimum required of six for the first peri*

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

This is a subject that would take more than 650 words to really answer.It matters what the mandate mandated. Unfunded mandates are the thorn in the side of all local governments. It is the easiest way for Federal or State Officials to raise your taxes and make someone else do the dirty work. I would ask all voters to make their voices heard in the State and Federal elections…no more unfunded mandates. Stop spreading federal and state money to local governments, reduce your spending and let local government fund local projects.

Tom Tona

The question is a bit vague, but as a general rule I would be highly unobliging to any such request. I have little problem saying no to unreasonable requests and fortunately have been blessed with the verbal skills necessary to confront such a situation.

Elaine Tucker

Challenging unfunded mandates can be done and as a FULL TIME County Commissioner I will work hard to fight for Okaloosa County residents. Unfortunately, all too often our local media seems uninterested in covering these stories and highlighting the offending state or federal official.

LPOC Comments

Fight it. Fight it on the basis of law, on the basis of the enumerated powers in state and federal constitutions, and if necessary on the basis of nullifying the mandate by refusing to comply.

11) What do you think of the Charter County concept?

Don Amunds

There are pros and cons. It would provide better open transparency of our Constitutional officers. However, it will be difficult to pass without citizen initiative. The citizen’s initiative would make it a priority.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

Seeing the vehicle purchasing abuse of the former sheriff shows there needs to be a re-organization. Let all departments have meet Okaloosa County’s Purchasing and Financial policies. They are tough and complete. I have been audited by the Finance Department Grants Coordinator down to the penny. One time we had a two cent difference due to round-off problems on a four million dollar project. It was not accepted until the problem was cleared. We need to examine the various departments to eliminate duplicative services.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

In general I’m in favor of a Charter Government. If presented in the correct manner It allows for local control of your government. If applied incorrectly it just moves the problem from one area to another.

Tom Tona

In light of the recent shenanigans from some of our constitutional officers the idea of a charter government seems to make good sense. Having said that, I look at the existing counties in Florida with charters and do not see where they are performing any better than we are. That indicates to me that many of our problems are not the result of our form of government but rather a lack of responsible leadership. In short, I would support exploring a Charter government but I remain unconvinced, at this time, that our local problems would be abated by the change.

Elaine Tucker

Charter government is only different from Constitutional government in its limitations or restrictions, and in its implementation. I have studied this issue during my certification process as a County Commissioner. As we have just seen in Bell, CA, a Charter Government is not a cure all for fraud. I believe that public demand for Charter government has not been widespread in Okaloosa County and that it is and should be a citizen initiative. If the citizens created a Charter Commission and brought the issue to the voters I would support the effort and the decision 100%.

LPOC Comments

The ability to make changes to our form of government is an important aspect of freedom. Florida is lucky in that there is a statutory means for counties to reorganize themselves if the citizens see a need to do so. Freedom implies responsibility, and if there was a movement to change the county, the crafters of a new county government would need to take into account the American concept of a republic, and the maintenance of individual rights, free markets and limited government.

12) Should the county compel people, by force of law, to provide for others?

Don Amunds

I know of no circumstance where any citizen should be compelled to provide for others by force of law. Any “giving” should be done from the heart and no other reason.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

No.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

No, but it is the law to pay taxes. Please vote for those that believe that our tax money is your money. The government can and does disperse it as it pleases. The voters have the power to direct your government officials to stop. It’s called the vote. Use it wisely.

Tom Tona

No. Perhaps with the exception of inmates.

Elaine Tucker

No. Unfortunately when the economy goes down the need for assistance to nonprofits and charities increases. I believe that if everyone were to give a little time or money every week to a church, school, organization or charity the world would be a different place and the community would thrive.

LPOC Comments

No. Eliminate restrictions on individual action and enterprise and they will prosper. Compelling someone to pay for another’s welfare, especially when both get to vote on it, leads to a greater and greater number who will vote themselves entitlements from the labors of others. When government is out of the business of providing for individuals, the bonds of charity and community will grow again. Government should not let the poor wretch who has no connection to friends, family or community to perish, but it cannot be the unlimited partner of everyone. It is a myth of government that everyone can live at everyone else’s expense

13) Do you think the county economy will be stronger or weaker five years from now?

Don Amunds

I believe it will be in the beginning stages of recovery.

Danny Bennett

Did not respond

John Bergschneider

The current federal deficit, the oil disaster, Elgin’s loss of 48 F-35’s makes for a gloomy forecast. I see a stronger economy as we have weathered worse storms than this.

Dave Parisot

Did not respond

Dick Reinlie

The county is in a position to grow during the next five years. It is imperative during this growth period that we elect officials that will not let spending get out of control again.

It is also imperative during these next few years to shore up our economy, to find new industries and enterprises to relocate to our area., provide more jobs so that our children can come back to Okaloosa County to work and raise their children.

Tom Tona

Stronger. The opportunities that lie before us have never been greater in my lifetime. We the public are sick and tired of career politicians who are more concerned with protecting their political empires than serving the publics best interests. From the top to the bottom our leadership, or lack of, has failed us. Sadly enough, things had to get really bad before we could start the correction. On Nov. 2nd, we the people will once again plant the seeds of our future, and if we choose those seeds wisely, this spectacular garden we call Okaloosa County, will quickly bloom into recovery with a beauty and prosperity that is second to none.

Elaine Tucker

I believe in the power of positive thinking…people waste too much time and energy on negativity. Strong and proactive County Commissioners, like me, will act to ensure the strength of this community in the future. I believe that, barring any huge unknown disaster, our real estate market will begin to turn up. With the arrival of the 7th Special Forces and the JSF, along with the end to the environmental and media damage from the oil leak, our economy will grow stronger.

LPOC Comments

The economic growth engine of Okaloosa is dominated by two industries, the military and tourism. Military spending will have to be cut in the future as the federal government takes measures to handle the mountain of debt accumulated over the last 100 years. Tourism is dependent on spendable income, which will grow less as taxation nationwide explodes. Okaloosa needs to come to grips with the reality that less government is not only a good idea, it is necessary to spur growth in an age when growth will be hard to come by. If it does, the county will still be the best place to live in the country.