Guest Viewpoint: Gaetz beach bill flub hurts homeowners, local beachgoers and military

By Cris Dosev

While current District 1 congressman Matt Gaetz is busy maximizing his Washington DC TV camera time, Pensacola Beach homeowners are scrambling to put financial documents in order before tax season.

They might have less to worry about, if Mr. Gaetz had properly handled the process to convert beach lease properties to title.

Instead, Gaetz managed to alienate Senate support for the measure by peddling a Navarre Pass provision the military has, for years, made clear would interfere with operations in the Gulf.

Gaetz further eroded local support for the bill by sneakily omitting public access protection for Santa Rosa beaches, then insinuating that the bill would preserve those areas.

Unfortunately for beach homeowners, Florida’s U.S. Senate representatives AND local residents know how to read, and managed to identify Mr. Gaetz’s subterfuge despite little to no mention in the local press.

Now, beach homeowners continue to face confusing tax requirements and a wasteful lawsuit process for the foreseeable future. And local residents still lack assurances that public access to our beloved, irreplaceable beach will remain permanently open. Instead, we still face the possibility that future title measures will allow the beach to be roped off.

Resolving this longstanding issue was the most pressing local problem Mr. Gaetz was responsible for.

Instead, he flubbed it by grandstanding about pie in the sky add ons that run counter to our key area military mission; and by turning local residents against beach owner rights by threatening longstanding public access.

If Mr. Gaetz had spent a fraction of his Washington political TV appearance time asking local voters what we want for our beaches, the lease question might finally been settled this year.

Instead, it remains in limbo; while a seemingly unconcerned Mr. Gaetz is busy adjusting his lighting and perfecting his Washington DC pandering skills.

West Florida deserves better. Our citizens deserve better, our beaches deserve better, and our military neighbors deserve better.

Cris Dosev, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is a Republican candidate for the District 1 U.S. House seat.  Dosev served as an Intruder bombardier/navigator during Desert Storm.  He owns and operates a small business, and describes himself as a family-man, Gator, grateful resident of Pensacola and the Northwest Florida Panhandle, and humble Christian devoted to God, country, and family.


  • Ken Garner says:

    Don’t often agree with Mr. Dosev, but I believe he’s absolutely correct in this case.

  • James Calkins says:

    This is complete BS! I was involved in this whole process and Matt Gaetz did the best he could to give us fee simple title to our land.The person Mr Dosev should be attacking for lieing and causeing all these issues is Demacrat Bill Nelson who was the person responsable for this bills failure and your sticking up for him???

  • Lawrence F McKenna says:

    Having levitated far above his highest level of marginal competence, Gaetz now exemplifies the Peter Principle as an establishment politician captured by special interests. In his first year as District 1 “Ruler” (vs Representative), Gaetz has consistently embarrassed himself and his constituency with his Lone Ranger “no vote” on the otherwise (except for Gaetz) universally-supported bipartisan anti-sex slave/human trafficking bill that passed both houses of Congress last month; his myopic, ill-conceived scheme to totally abolish the federal EPA; and demonstrated his ignorance of the underlying policy and public safety considerations that differentiate Florida’s compassionate medical marijuana law from broader legislation “legalizing” marijuana use in D.C. and several states. Catering to special interest “farmers” who (directly or indirectly) have reportedly made substantial monetary contributions or pledges to Gaetz’ campaign war chest, Marijuana Matt has sponsored a bill in congress that ostensibly opens the door for legalization of marijuana use for all Americans – characterizing his Trump Administration opponents and behavioral science expert as functioning at “the height of stupidity.” On further reflection, I must say that Gaetz’ anti-rule of law sentiment IS consistent with the “ruling class” pass ostensibly given to Matt several years ago in Florida when he was preferentially allowed to retain his driving license after he refused to take a breathalyzer or similar test in connection with his detention by law enforcement authorities on suspicion of driving under the influence. I respectfully bring the attention of registered republicans in the First District of Florida because Gaetz refused to answer questions pertaining to this matter prior to the September 2016 District 1 Republican Primary. It may be that Matt can explain away this anomaly by pointing to a loophole in the law that was bent or shaped to fit his case. But more likely than not, Matt would arrogantly maintain his public figure aloofness – similar to Hillary’s position: “Silly people simply fail to recognize that laws are for the common people.”

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