There has been some confusion surrounding my absence at the Walton County BCC meetings, though I mentioned my future absence in our county’s newsletter in June. I would like to share with you the following facts and hopefully this will clear up any misunderstandings.

I have been overseas on a military contract where I am paid by the military through a military contract company. The “customer” that I fly for is military; the aircraft that I fly is military; my ID card is a military ID; the base that I live on can only be entered with military approval. And in order to fly for this contract, a person must pass all military requirements which includes having a top secret clearance. Due to having this security clearance, I am not at liberty to explain more about what I do. During my campaign, I explained I would be deploying.

By Florida statutes, a county commissioner’s job is part time and is an elected office for four years. It was my decision to travel overseas as a contract personnel for the sake of having a job opportunity in the future and maintaining my flight currency and certifications (which are annual requirements). This is my seventh year as a part time contractor and my ninth year doing the identical mission in/out of uniform.

I am proud to and enjoy serving my country — in uniform and in civilian clothes. I am equally proud to be a public servant for the citizens of Walton County.

Melanie Nipper

District 3

County Commissioner