Friday, July 03, 2009

Gaetz Takes Senate Office to Shalimar Neighborhood


For Immediate Release: July 2, 2009


Gaetz takes Senate office

to Shalimar neighborhood



Over 150 new or revised state laws went into effect July 1.  The changes affect everything from how your child is disciplined in school to who can receive payment for your visits to the doctor to protecting jobs on the state's 21 military bases.  Not to mention property insurance, fee increases and limits on property taxes.


Residents of Poquito Bayou and Shalimar can have a cup of coffee with their senator and share their views about these and other state issues next Wednesday, July 8.


            From early morning until well into the evening, Senator Don Gaetz will meet with citizens one-on-one, listen to the concerns of business and civic groups, and walk door-to-door during his "Shalimar-Poquito Neighborhood Day."


Since his election to the Senate in 2006, Gaetz regularly takes his Senate office to neighborhoods throughout Northwest Florida to hear citizens' ideas and suggestions and discuss their problems face-to-face. 


"Very few people have the time or opportunity to travel to Tallahassee to express themselves about state issues," Gaetz (R-Niceville) said.  "Neighborhood Day is a chance for me to spend a whole day in a neighborhood and listen to small business owners, moms and dads, veterans, teachers, and taxpayers who live and work there.  There's no government office, no need to make an appointment, it's all very informal."


Gaetz said he will offer coffee, iced tea and an invitation to meet individually with anyone who lives or works in the neighborhood.


            "Neighborhood Day" kicks-off at 7:00 a.m. with Senator Gaetz live on News Talk 1260 AM WFTW with host Ken Walsh.  Citizens can call 664-1260 and speak with the senator on the air.


            At 8:00 a.m., Senator Gaetz will discuss the results of the 2009 legislative session with members of the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, located at 34 Miracle Strip Parkway. 


Beginning at 9:00 a.m., at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gaetz will meet one-on-one with anyone who would like to talk with him about problems with state agencies or offer opinions about energy, education, insurance, taxes or other concerns. If individuals want to meet with the senator at a specific time that day, call toll free  1-866-450-4DON.  No appointment is necessary, however.  People can simply stop by the church, located at 1 Meigs Drive in Shalimar, until 11:00 a.m. and, in the afternoon, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Everyone who comes by will have an opportunity to visit with Gaetz. 


At lunch, Gaetz will speak to the Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated, at Two Trees Restaurant located at 1955 Lewis Turner Blvd., Fort Walton Beach. 


Following his afternoon office hours, Senator Gaetz will visit with residents of the Air Force Enlisted Village located at 92 Sunset Lane in Shalimar. 


Late in the afternoon and evening, Gaetz will walk door-to-door in the neighborhood to meet with residents on their turf.  "I enjoy talking with folks on their own doorsteps," Gaetz said.   The senator has knocked on over 25,000 doors in Northwest Florida.


          Elected in 2006, Gaetz is in his first four year term representing Bay, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties.  He is chairman of three Senate committees:  the Select Committee on Florida's Economy, Health Care Committee, and the Policy and Steering Committee on Business and Industry with jurisdiction over commerce, transportation, regulated industries and banking and insurance.  Aside from his chairmanships, Gaetz is also a member of the rules, health appropriations, and education committees.


            Prior to his service in the Senate, Gaetz was the elected Superintendent of Schools in Okaloosa County, served on the Okaloosa School Board and was the first town chairman of Seaside, Florida. 


            Don and his wife, Vicky, live in Niceville.  They have two adult children – Matthew, an attorney in Fort Walton Beach, and Erin, a sports and entertainment editor in New York City.


For more information on "Neighborhood Day" or to make an appointment to meet with Senator Gaetz at a particular time, contact Meghan Rice, Legislative Aide to Senator Gaetz toll-free at 1-866-450-4DON or .  To read about legislation Senator Gaetz has sponsored and supported, please go to and click on his member page.


For more information about this or any other issue, please contact Senator Don Gaetz, by e-mail at, by letter, 217 Miracle Strip Parkway, SE, Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32548 or call 1-866-450-4DON toll free from anywhere in Florida.


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