Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Chairman’s Message: New Teammates…..Same Game

The residents of Destin recently voted for a new mayor and four seats on the City Council, and I congratulate the winners.   In the spirit of teamwork, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage our new council from the Chamber’s perspective.
The council recently approved a Comprehensive Plan that sets a strategic vision for the way Destin will be developed, redeveloped, and adapted into a cohesive community over the next five, 10, even 50 years.   The Chamber strongly supported this plan because it represents prudent, quality development, height and density restrictions, and a walkable harbor district, and it begins to address the issue of traffic and how to negotiate that concern.    We acknowledge that the plan may need some tweaking over time, but we believe this is a great start to get the city on track. 
Destin is naturally a beautiful, unique place.   That said, there are other beautiful and unique places that do not enjoy the quality of life, tourist draw, and strong economic conditions that we have become accustomed to here.  For example, Bay County is currently feeling the effects of some poor planning and development decisions over time, and the entire community is suffering (at least for a time) because of it.  There is an inherent risk that lies in a lack of order; poor planning leads to poor execution and poor results.  
I believe that we in Destin have an incredible product, a wonderful foundation, and a golden opportunity to plan a vibrant city for our children’s futures.  Let’s continue on a path of planning and order, use the recently approved comprehensive plan to our benefit, and work with the existing personnel to see what results can be achieved.  If the results are not forthcoming, make changes as necessary, but not until we give the appropriate amount of effort and time.
I welcome the new mayor and council to the team. Let’s win the game together!
Upcoming EventsThe Chamber is committed to providing and partnering in events that create environments for strong business networking, such as the following:· Tax Relief Golf Tournament (4/21/2016, Emerald Bay Golf Club)· 50th Anniversary Gala (9/15/2016, The Henderson)
Be well and enjoy the spring!
Jonathan Ochs
Trustmark Bank
2016 Destin Chamber Chairman

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