As Walton County Board of County Commissioners consider hiring a special magistrate to hear all quasi-judicial issues, one South Walton resident feels it might not be a bad idea.
Doug Liles filed a lawsuit against the county in December 2015 after becoming frustrated with what he said are roadblocks in solving a situation he feels the county caused.
In 2011, Chat Holley Road underwent improvements that included resurfacing and adding a bike/walking path.
"When they did that, they increased impermeable and decreased stormwater detention when they filled it in," said Liles. "I have a lot on Osprey and a mosquito control ditch. My fence has caved in and soil from my lot started washing out into the bay. Erosion began getting severe."
Liles said he went to different county departments and talked to various people to tell them what was going on, but to no avail.
After trying for several years to deal with the county about the situation Liles filed a lawsuit in December 2015. The Sun reached out to Assistant County Attorney Sidney Noyes for comment, who said the county does not comment on issues related to pending litigation.
"I am trained as a microbiologist. I know what to look for," he said. "I test Draper Lake and I'm a builder. I am uniquely qualified from an environmental standpoint to know what is going on and causing the damage."
Since filing the lawsuit, Liles said he has spent up to eight hours giving depositions and has driven to Panama City for mediation, which was also attended by some county employees.
"I talked to so many people," he said. "One of my employees lives on Chat Holley and also gets flooding. She got information from the county until they found out she works for me. County employees have hung up on me."
Liles said mosquito control wanted a culvert on Chat Holley Road and the county agreed until they realized they would have to give their calculations that show the improvements were not engineered properly to get the culvert.
"That's the way it is done here," he said. "The county has stated they maintained the ditches on Chat Holley, but they have not. The water goes into mosquito control ditches and now into the Choctawhatchee Bay. Google Earth maps clearly show the water goes into the Bay."