LETTER: Poltical agendas have taken over in Walton County

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 02:36 PM.


The current state of affairs in Walton County is simply a disgrace.

We've allowed political agendas to get in the way of smart business. I read the recent news that the Jail Director, Stan Sunday, was appointed interim director of the TDC. What? There are plenty of qualified directors within the TDC who can address the needs of the tourism industry and keep the ship on course until a replacement is found.

We can't forget that tourism is big business in Walton County , and we are entering our peak season. We are finally returning to 2007 numbers, and we have learned we cannot rest on our laurels or know when the next disaster or crisis may strike. (It's ironic that we had the same situation in April 2010 weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion).

Walton County would not be able to clean 26 miles of beaches, maintain more than 50 beach accesses, advocate for beach restoration, support Turtle Watch or pay for lifeguards without the tourism tax revenue. Walton County also receives millions of dollars in general tax revenue by visitors and tourism creates thousands of jobs.

In 2007, the TDC commissioned an economic impact study, which revealed:

· Total visitor spending in Walton County was $1 billion

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