WC BCC Meeting
As reported by WZEP AM1460
In a special session so they would not have to meet atChristmas, the Walton Commissioners held their secondDecember meeting Tuesday morning. Commissionerswere asked to short list the seven they want to interviewfor county administrator. Clerk of Courts Martha Ingle
tallied the commissioner’s selection. The top seven were
extended to the top eight after a tie. The list includes:George Barwick, Lyndon Bonner, Gerry Demers, CoryGodwin, Robert Halfhill, Steve Howard, Larry Jones,Ted Lackey. The interviews will take place in both northWalton and at commissioner Meadows office. This after a request by Meadows where she said she wants the can-didates to also see south Walton.The Public Information Manager for the County gave a presentation on the County website. He said there arealready changes and the launch is to be February 4th.Commissioners were told there will be more video capa- bilities and they will be keeping some of the older fea-tures. Commissioners were told the hope is the publicwill find it more of a valuable resource.With the county lobbyist contract coming up, commis-sioners Meadows and Imfeld asked to have a review of the accomplishments before extending the contract. Thelobbyist firm, Heffley and Associates, said they willextend at the same rate. Cindy Meadows will chair theTDC Board.
Apparently several lots in Eagle’s Landing are in a situa-
tion through code enforcement. The original developer had legal issues. Commissioners agreed to a release of lien but anyone buying lot 6 will have to pay a $1500fine and bring the property into compliance. The lot isvalued at $21,000. The $1500 fine is much less than the
original fine which was more than the lot’s value. Com-
missioner Meadows said they want to stand behind theCode Enforcement Board, but by doing this they canhelp the property become productive. Commissioner Meadows said this is one of many such incidents wheremoney was lost in the economy fall. She said the finesshould never have been able to get as high as they didand moved to release the lien.Meadows renewed the call to secure the CourthouseAnnex in south Walton. Comander said it is not only thecommissioners, but the staff also has security needs.
Major Joe Preston with the sheriff’s office said there
will be a cost with a new metal detector and they areworking on total costs for securing the building.Sara Comander asked to put her name in as secretary/treasurer of the Gulf Consortium. She said the eight dis- portionate counties met recently and they have come upwith a formula for spending the 80% coming to them.Walton, Okaloosa and Bay agreed to take a little less tohelp some of the smaller counties. She used the oyster beds and giving up 1% for additional help as an exam- ple. Meadows said she feels this was a good compro-mise and showed the panhandle counties are willing towork together. Commissioners adopted a resolution.Commissioner Imfeld said they were in DC at an ArmyCorps of Engineers meeting on beach nourishing. Hesaid Dawn Moliterno and the TDC gave a good presen-tation. Comander agreed and gave recognition to beachscientist Brad Pickle. She also said they are very closeafter 13 years of trying for the nourishment approval.
The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Walton Talks School Security
As reported by WZEP AM1460
Walton Superintendent of Schools, a longtime educator and elemen-tary principal, Carlene Anderson said when she was told of the schoolshooting tragedy she cried and it affected her very personally. She saidthe children were expecting Santa Clause, not a bullet.At the end of the Walton County School Board meeting, Board mem-
ber Mark Davis asked to review other district’s policies about uniforms.
He said, in light of the recent tragedy, he feels uniforms might lend tosecurity, especially in open campus schools like Paxton. He also sug-gested the possibility of approaching the union about uniforms for teachers. He said if someone is on the campus, they would know theyare not staff. Davis also asked to have a private entity become a third setof eyes to look for safety holes they might miss.Anderson said they did convene advisors from the safety committeeMonday to come up with ideas of what they need to do different. Shesaid they work on school safety each year. Anderson asked the advisorsfor a timeline for the week, by the end of the year then for long rangeimprovements for school safety and security. She also wants a line itemfor security in the next budget.Anderson said schools are required to have monthly drills for fire,chemical spills, intruders and other emergencies. Anderson showed adraft document they have already put together and told the Board shewants to make sure it becomes a living document, not just somethingthat gets put into a drawer. Each School has a safety committee as well
as the district’s safety team. Anderson says they have been planning for
safe schools and will continue to plan.She will be meeting with the Sheriff Adkinson and City MarshalWeeks after the holidays. She also talked about School Resource Depu-ties in the elementary schools. She said it is time to re-address not hav-ing them.With tears, Board member Faye Leddon said she was watching theyoung students at Paxton and realized how easy it would be for someoneto come to them. Board member Sharon Roberts asked that Andersonask the Sheriff where he could help with additional costs for security.She said you can not put a cost on human life.
Anderson confirmed that after the shooting the sheriff put SRD’s in
the elementary schools and they will stay until the break. Anderson saidlaw enforcement has been good to work with. She also said the schoolwhere the shooting happened, had a secure system. Anderson said shecan not guarantee nothing will happen.
High School Grades
Much later than other grade lev-els, the state has released the highschool grades. The number of Florida high schools and combi-nation high schools getting an Agrade for 2012 rose to 231, upfrom 148 last year, in preliminaryresults released today by the Flor-ida Department of Education. TheDOE says that while the resultsare encouraging given the moveto more rigorous standards, theyinclude measures approved by theState Board of Education to easethe transition for the 2011-12school year.
In addition to higher achievementlevels this year, the state movedto a more rigorous graduation rateformula for high schools and ex- panded the basis for college readi-ness measures, focusing on all on-time graduates. Next year, highschool grades will include biol-ogy and geometry end-of-courseassessments.
An increase in the number of Ahigh schools and combinationhigh schools is good news for dis-tricts. High school grades deter-mine school recognition funds,which reward schools that havesustained high student perform-ance or have shown substantialstudent performance improve-ment. The Legislature approved$134,582,877 for that purpose for 2012-2013.
In Okaloosa, Crestview took itup a notch from a B to an A,Laurel Hill went down from a Bto a C, Ft. Walton Beach High,Niceville and the CollegiateHigh all stayed at an A.
In Walton County, PaxtonSchool stayed at an A, Freeportand Walton Senior Highs bothstayed at a B, South Waltonmoved it up from a B to a A andSeaside stayed an an A.