The race to fill the District 4 County Commission seat being vacated by Sara Comander just got a bit more crowded with the announcement by Bill Fletcher that he has pre-filed to run.
Fletcher lives in District 1, just north of the bay, but owns a home in District 4 on Sandestin property, which he said he will move into if he wins the election.
Fletcher has run twice before for the District 1 seat and lost both times to Bill Chapman. However, Chapman's margin of victory was less this last go around.
Trey Nick is currently the only other person to pre-file to run for the seat.
"I like Trey a lot but his business is a full-time job. I don't know how he could be effective as a County Commissioner," said Fletcher. "Over the years, I have gone to hundreds, if not thousands, of county meetings. I have only seen Try at one meeting."
Fletcher moved to Walton County in 1998 from Marietta, where he was chief executive officer of JTM Industries, an $18 million a year company. After moving to Sandestin, he sold construction supplies until 2008.
In addition to attending county meetings, Fletcher does volunteer work. He is board president of Children's Advocacy Center, he is on the Zoning Board, he serves on the Tourist Development Council's events committee, he serves on the Triumph funds committee, he is a citizen volunteer for the Sheriff's Beach Ambassador group, a member of Biophilia, and volunteers at Alaqua Animal Refuge.
"I think I'm a long shot," he said. "People here tend to want to vote for someone who they know and has lived here for 30 years. But things are beginning to change as more people move in. I have managed businesses and budgets and I am a nut about saving money."
Fletcher said he doesn't believe we can keep building when we are not taking care of what is already here.
"I'm as pro business as anyone can be and there is tremendous opportunity up north," Fletcher said. "We need to look at what's coming. We just keep building and building and compounding problems with drainage, parking and traffic. We need to get the Planning Department people together and look at impact before we issue orders. I want to solve issues we have before moving forward and compound problems."
Fletcher would also like to see compatibility on the Board of County Commissioners.
"People who know me know that I do everything I say I will do," he said. "I can promise transparency and honesty."
He is running as a Republican.