CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County Commissioner Graham Fountain was a guest speaker March 12 at the Shoal River Republican Club’s monthly meeting.
Fountain, who represents most of the city of Crestview, spoke mainly on the issues of school safety and traffic.
He talked about multiple ideas that he thinks could help the traffic problem but said one of the biggest obstacles was a lack of funding. One potential solution he talked about was extending the bed tax to the north end of Okaloosa County in order to justify using more county funds for building roads around Crestview.
Fountain said that with more people carpooling and buying smaller cars, the revenue from gas taxes has fallen in recent years, reducing the amount of funding available for some road projects.
“We’ve been working as well together on that as anything I’ve seen,” Fountain said, referring to cooperation between the city and county to resolve the traffic problem. He also talked about a potential upcoming workshop with representatives from the city, county, state and Eglin Air Force Base.
He also brought up the topic of school safety, discussing the recent shooting in Parkland and the school safety bill the Florida legislature passed.
In addition to Fountain, three candidates for Okaloosa County School Board attended. Bran McAllister and Diane Kelley are running for the district five seat, and Joe Slusser is running in district three.
Each school board candidate offered their take on how best to address school safety. McAllister cited his military experience as a qualification for securing schools. Kelley talked about the need to make schools more secure without making them feel confined and unwelcoming. Slusser said more fencing was needed to allow for a single point of entry, citing schools in more densely-populated areas.
The Shoal River Republican Club meets on the second Tuesday of every month at Hideaway Pizza in Crestview.