Okaloosa County Commissioner's Public Letter Shares Frustration

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Commissioner Nathan Boyles travelled to Tallahassee twice in the past two weeks, hoping to present a plan to restore public confidence in the Tourist Development Council and county government but he says no one seems to be willing to listen.

"I’ve seen no interest from that committee and actually hearing what plan Okaloosa County has to date. In fact I went to that first meeting specifically to present that plan. The seven point plan that came out of our commission meeting” said Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles.

The Legislative Committee is trying to find out how former Tourist Development Council Director Mark Bellinger was able to embezzle millions of dollars, and if any other Okaloosa County officials played a role in the scheme. After his second appearance in Tallahassee, Boyles wrote a public letter, accusing lawmakers, including the local legislative delegation, of using the scandal for his own political gain.

"I’m looking to make Okaloosa County better and that's going to include institutional change in the way the county does business. But I need an environment of cooperation in order to make that happen. I don't need political grandstanding" said Boyles.

After the letter went public, Boyles says one of those local legislators, State Representative Matt Gaetz contacted him.

"I’ve suggested that we get together and meet. Sit down and discuss how we can do that more cooperatively. I continue to await a response and i hope that he'll take me up on that offer" said Boyles.

Boyles was elected in November, after last year's scandal. He says the Legislative Committee hasn't given him and his fellow county commissioners the full opportunity to establish a plan of action.


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