New District 5 Commissioner Cindy Meadows was anything but quiet at Tuesday’s BCC meeting.

She seemed to focus in on operations at the Walton County TDC, especially concerning applications for TDC advisory council members.

“I think what she was looking for was more time for a thorough review of the applications,” said TDC Executive Director Dawn Moliterno. “I can appreciate that.”

There are four open seat appointments, and the BCC has the final say on which of the 11 applicants would fill each.

The commission, which includes three new elected officials who were sworn in Nov. 20, were scheduled to vote on TDC applicants at the Nov. 27 meeting. But that didn’t happen. Moliterno said the applications were submitted to the county Nov. 20 to give each commissioner plenty of time to look each application over. 

Apparently, Meadows did not receive hers until Nov. 26, and in the time she had to review it, some of the applicants raised a red flag, as far as their meeting all of the qualifying criteria.

“Somebody in your shop needs to pay much better attention to detail,” Meadows told Moliterno.

One main qualifier is that the applicant must be a registered voter in Walton County, a criterion Meadows said the TDC overlooked.

“They’re all qualified,” Moliterno later told The Sun. But, “there is an individual who is currently not a ... Walton County registered voter. The commission will be asked to just not include that applicant in their voting.”

The applicants must also be “in good standing,” and Moliterno had written a note on one application for attorney Clay Adkinson to define the term. Adkinson said the phrase may point to a business owner who might be delinquent in bed tax remittances. He said it has nothing to do with an individual being in litigation with the county.

While she had the ear of Moliterno, Meadows moved the conversation to general TDC operations, especially concerning an incident when a bed tax collector approached the TDC for reservations help.

“The bed tax collector was told to never contact the TDC again for reservations,” said Meadows.

Moliterno immediately wrote that off as misinformation, replying, “We've never said that. I have no idea who stated that.”

District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander piped in, “May I suggest you two get together?”

The two women agreed to speak about these issues at a later date.

“Communications lines will be open, I assure you of that,” said Meadows.

“I welcome that,” replied Moliterno.

Meadows, who served on the commission previously from 2004 to 2008, apologized for so openly airing her problems with the TDC, but added, “I feel that people should know what is going on at the TDC.”

The commission granted itself an extension for the TDC Advisory Council applications, and will vote on the four seat appointments Dec. 11.


County tries to preserve business signage

The county commission is hoping for compromise when it comes to the large black and white directional signs that direct patrons to off-98 businesses.

Though FDOT said they would be removing the signs by Nov. 13, the county received an extension, though a date for further action has not been set. Directional signs are allowed, according to county and state statutes, but they are not to be advertisements and they are not to be on a state-maintained right of way.

Commissioner Sara Comander said the extension may be an opportunity to create a compromise with the state about the signage, and bring all of them up to code as well as make sure they are legally permitted through the county.

“This may be an opportunity for something that is nicer looking,” agreed Commissioner Cindy Meadows.

The next BCC meeting will be held at the South Walton Courthouse Annex Dec. 11 at 4 p.m.