Third-term commissioner Trey Goodwin will serve as the chair of the Okaloosa County Commission for the second time after a unanimous vote by his fellow commissioners at December’s county commission meeting. 


Commissioner Goodwin represents the western portion of Fort Walton Beach on the commission. 


”I’m honored and appreciate the confidence my fellow commissioners placed in me,” Goodwin said. He chuckled and then added, “Thank you for not blaming me for 2020,” referencing the last time he was chairman, and the COVID-19 pandemic broke out worldwide. 


Goodwin, a local attorney, has long been known for his commitment to infrastructure construction, especially stormwater. Earlier in the day, he fought to ensure funding for stormwater projects was retained on the county’s list of requests from the state legislature in 2023. 


Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel Nominated Commissioner Paul Mixon for the Vice Chairmanship. He was elected unanimously as well.

Okaloosa Commissioner Trey Goodwin
Okaloosa County Commissioner Trey Goodwin has served on the County Commission since 2014. He is the current Chairman of the County Commission.

Boyles says no to the top job

Initially, Commissioner Goodwin nominated current board vice-chairman Nathan Boyles to take the County’s top spot for the year, but Boyles turned down the nomination. 


“Serving on this board has been one of the great privileges of my life,” Boyles told the board, “Yet as I have aged and gained wisdom, I think I’ve learned [not] to bite off more than I can chew and to find where I am best able to serve.” Boyles added, “I’d love to lead you, but I also think we’ve got plenty of good leadership up here.”

Boyles announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election to the County Commission when his term expires in 2024. Boyles represents what he calls a ‘gerrymandered district’ which includes a small portion of Fort Walton Beach, Valparaiso, western Niceville, western Crestview and the northwestern portion of Okaloosa County. Boyles is currently both the youngest commissioner at 39 years old and the county’s longest-serving commissioner with 10 years under his belt.

What does a chairman do, anyway?

The Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners Chairman serves as the master of ceremonies at various events, leads (and keeps order in) board meetings, sets agendas for meetings (which means they can move certain policies forward or stall them), signs legal documents on behalf of all of the commissioners,  and assigns fellow commissioners to various committees. 

Chairpersons are elected yearly by their peers on the county commission. 

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