Coley, Gaetz visit Chipley

Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 at 08:17 PM.

CHIPLEY — State officials were in Chipley on Monday to hear local concerns and answer questions during a public hearing.

The Walton, Holmes and Washington County legislative delegation, which included Speaker Pro Tempore Marti Coley (R-Marianna) and Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville), were in Washington and Holmes Counties on Monday holding hearings. Besides these two counties, each of these officials also represents other portions of counties in Northwest Florida.

“I believe this is an integral part of the process,” said Coley, who is term-limited and will serve her final year in the House of Representatives in 2014. “These meetings are a very important part of the process, where we get to hear your views and what is important to you.”

“We talk so much in the halls of Tallahassee that all we hear are our voices,” Gaetz said, “and sometimes we think we’re hearing God. It is really good to get out and hear from you.”

Two of the speakers who addressed the delegation were seeking help with state funding for their local organizations — the Washington County Public Library and Healthy Families North Florida, which has its office in Marianna.

Library Director Renae Rountree was the first speaker, and she reminded Coley and Gaetz of how important state funding is to rural libraries, including the Washington County Public Library.

“State aid benefits the public library in a variety of ways because it can be used for a variety of services, including personnel, library materials, equipment, furniture, and automation and technology,” Rountree said.

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