Citizen Councils

Community and Government Cooperation

Public participation in government decision-making is a vital element of our democratic form of government. Boards and committees are important to Okaloosa County government because they ensure our Board of County Commissioners has qualified sources to turn to when critical decisions are needed. Most of the members of these boards and committees are volunteers who give their time and expertise to serving their fellow residents.

Except where noted, all boards and committees are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners.

This page has been prepared to describe Okaloosa County's boards and committees and to explain their roles in the County. For your reference, meeting information, liaison departments and telephone numbers have been included.

Aviation Advisory Committee

    Members: Seven (7) total; Representatives from the following:

            Airport Director;
            FBO, Destin Airport;
            Representative from Hurlburt AFB;
            Representative from Eglin AFB;
            Aircraft Association;
            Local Mobile Radio Company, and
            Local resident.

    Purpose: Advise the local Planning Department and contractors of tall structures requesting approval of their impact on air carriers, general aviation and the Air Force in this area.

    Meetings: As needed.

    Liaison Department: Okaloosa County Airports, Airport Director - (850) 651-7160.

Board of Adjustment

    Members: Five (5) total; Each elected official recommends an appointment. The appointment is decided by the Board of County Commissioners as a whole.

    Purpose: The Board of Adjustments makes decisions on whether or not to grant or refuse variances, special exceptions, or administrative appeals following a public hearing in accordance to the rules and procedures which guarantee due process.

    Meetings: 2nd Wednesday of each month; 1:30 p.m., 1804 Lewis Turner Boulevard, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

    Liaison Department: Department of Growth Management - (850) 651-7180.

Bob Sikes Airport Improvement Committee

    Members: Three (3) total;

            FBO Representative;
            EDC Representative;
            Local consultant.

    Purpose: The purpose of the Bob Sikes Airport Improvement Committee is to provide community input into the development of the Airport.

    Meetings: As called by the Chairman.

    Liaison Department: Okaloosa County Airports, Airports Director - (850) 651-7160.

Code Enforcement Board

    Members: Seven (7) total; Each appointed by the Board of County Commissioners.

    Purpose: To hear and decide alleged violations of all codes.

    Meetings: 3rd Thursday of each month; 4:00 p.m., 1804 Lewis Turner Boulevard, 3rdFloor Conference Room, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

    Liaison Department: Department of Growth Management, Code Enforcement Division - (850) 651-7180.

Construction Board

    Members: Nine (9) total; Appointed by the Board of County Commissioners.

    Purpose: To determine eligibility for, and approve, certificates of competency for qualified applicants in the general building and residential contracting trades. To hear complaints involving building code violations, contractor licensing.

    Meetings: last Wednesday of the month at 3 pm in the 3rd floor conference room, 1804 Lewis Turner Blvd.

    Liaison Department: Department of Growth Management - (850) 651-7180.

Destin Airport Advisory Committee

    Members: Seven (7) total; All appointed by the seven members of the City Council of Destin.

    They serve for the entire tenure of the city council member who has appointed him or her, i.e., four year term, unless terminated by other circumstances surrounding the tenure of office of the city council member. It is desirable for the members to have experience in general aviation and general knowledge in operation of city land use for airports and/or operation of aircraft under local, State and Federal government jurisdiction. These are not mandatory, but desirable qualifications.

    Purpose: To serve as an advisory body of volunteers to the Destin City Council on matters concerning the Land Use surrounding the airport, as well as operations on the airport itself, to act as an advisory body to and liaison with the City of Destin and Okaloosa County in matters concerning use of the airport by citizens of and visitors to Destin, Ft. Walton Beach and Okaloosa County. Committee is charged with upholding the Vision Statement in January, 1994.

    Meetings: Monthly or as needed.

    Liaison Department: Okaloosa County Airports, Airport Director - (850) 651-7160.

Fire Code Advisory Board

    Members: Seven (7) total; Appointed by Board of County Commissioners.

    Purpose: To adopt life safety and fire protection codes, and prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire, explosion or natural disaster within the boundaries of Okaloosa County.

    Meetings: As needed.

    Liaison Department: Department of Growth Management, Code Enforcement Division - (850) 651-7180.

Planning Commission

    Members: Five (5) total; Each being appointed by a County Commissioner who represents their District.

    Purpose: Duties and responsibilities and powers shall be to hear, decide, recommend and approve or disapprove rezonings, subdivisions, Planned Unit Developments.

    Meetings: 2nd Thursday of each month; 5:01 p.m., 1804 Lewis Turner Boulevard, 3rdFloor Conference Room, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

    Liaison Department: Department of Growth Management - (850) 651-7180.

Public Safety Coordinating Council

    Members: The council consists of the following members or their representatives:

            the state attorney,
            public defender,
            chief circuit judge,
            chief correctional officer,
            sheriff,
            state probation circuit administrator,
            chairman of the board of county commissioners,
            the director of any county probation or pretrial intervention program,
            the director of a local substance abuse treatment program,
            representatives from county and state jobs programs and other community groups who work with offenders and victims.

    Purpose: To assess population status of all detention or corrections facilities owned or contracted by the county, develop a 5-year safety plan for future construction needs and a comprehensive county public safety plan.

    Meetings: Every 60 days as set by Council.

    Liaison Department: Department of Corrections, Major Eric Esmond - (850) 689-5685

Minutes

Tourist Development Council

    Members: Nine (9) total;

        The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Liaison is appointed by the Chairman of the Board;
        two elected municipal officials;
        three owners or operators of hotels, motels or other tourist accommodations subject to the tax; and
        three individuals who have demonstrated an interest in the tourism industry, but who are not owners or operators of hotels, motels or other tourist accommodations.

    Purpose: The Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council (TDC) of Destin*Fort Walton Beach*Okaloosa Island is a volunteer board created by the Board of County Commissioners under its authority pursuant to Chapter 125.0104, Florida Law, to levy a tourist development tax and spearhead a unified marketing and servicing program to enhance economic growth, through tourism, on behalf of the South Okaloosa County area.
    Meetings: 4th Wednesday of each month at 1:00 p.m., Okaloosa County Visitors Welcome Center on Okaloosa Island, 1540 Miracle Strip Parkway, S.E., Fort Walton Beach.

    Liaison Department: Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council's Executive Office, P.O. Box 609, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549-0609, telephone: 850-651-7131, fax: 850-651-7149, toll-free: 800-322-3319. Visit their website at tdc_main.html.