Anderson takes the helm in South Walton

Deborah Wheeler | 315-4432 | @WaltonSunDeb | dwheeler@waltonsun.com
District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson after being sworn in. SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When the Walton County Board of County Commissioners took their seats to preside over the regularly scheduled board meeting Nov. 22, a different face was representing South Walton's District 5.

Tony Anderson was sworn in prior to the meeting and was pretty quiet during the short meeting except to second District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman's nomination of District 2 Commissioner Cecilia Jones to be the chair of the commission for the coming year.

Jones accepted, and Anderson then nominated Chapman to be the vice chair.

The Sun talked with Anderson following the meeting about the election, his feelings taking his seat on the board and his goals moving forward.

"I felt very excited about (taking the seat)," he said. "It's been a long, hard journey and now it's time to get to work," he said.

Moving forward, Anderson said his main immediate goals involve infrastructure improvements, and he has already talked with Public Works to set up meetings with them to see what roads and bridges in the county need the most attention.

"I want to try to get some better jobs here, too," he said. "Jobs with clean industries for our young people."

He said he will be working with the new Economic Development Alliance head toward that goal and he will be keeping a close eye on that.

In addition, Anderson said he continues to be a big proponent of customary use and he will be watching that issue.

"Transparency in government is important," he continued. "The more transparent you are the better off you are."

The new commissioner said he welcomes input form the public on how to better accomplish these goals to make a stronger Walton County.

"It's gonna take hard work between all the agencies and the public," he said.

Today, though, he is busy getting everything in place and his staff organized and ready to go so that he can fill the public's needs.

Anderson took over the same office formerly occupied by Cindy Meadows, which is on Logan Lane in Grayton.

"The transition went smoothly," he said. "We do things a little different -- not necessarily better, just different. The campaign is behind us and it's time to go to work. I'm a public servant. We're open to ideas and I'm talking to everybody. We might not always agree, but we can disagree without being disagreeable."

To contact Anderson, email him at andtony@co.walton.fl.us or call 231-2978. His aide is Laura Ekstrom. Email her at ekslaura@co.walton.fl.us. His administrative assistant is Lisa Johnson. Her email is johlisa@co.walton.fl.us.

Anderson's hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.