It happens almost daily.
Someone calls to check on a subscription. Or they call to start a subscription. Either way, when it gets to the address, they note “and that’s Pace, FL 32571.”
Technically, there is no Pace, Fla. It is not an incorporated city. Rather, the address is Milton, FL 32571.
That address sticks in the throats of people who are proud of Pace and who often take part in the inner-county rivalry between Milton and Pace. Still, the fact remains: Pace is not a city.
Should it be?
Well, that is a matter of public opinion — an opinion that in the past has been, “No, it should NOT be a city.”
Typically, the first-blush reaction to this question comes from the fact that nobody wants another level of taxation, and those in this “City of Pace” would certainly have some level of taxation.
Still, there are many more things that come with incorporation other than taxation. Cities typically have their own police department, so residents get better law enforcement: both city and county officers. City residents often enjoy amenities county residents do not. Streetlights and sidewalks are just two examples. Cities are often eligible for grants and public funding to help with special projects.
But perhaps the largest reason for incorporation is something that is accepted as a truism: the government is best that governs close to home. In short, would you rather that a law affecting you is passed by your city leaders or those in Washington, D.C.? You see those city leaders every week. You bump into them while shopping. You might even go to church with them. You have “access” to these people and they, as your neighbor, understand how any law will affect the local citizenry.
So, are these potential pluses worth another layer of taxation? Only the public can say.
And we believe the public should say.
The area most people consider to be “Pace” would be, if incorporated, the largest city in Santa Rosa. Such a move could wield a great deal of power.
In the end, only voters can decide if positives outweigh the negatives. We do believe Pace area voters should be asked this question at least once every two years. Still, such a vote requires a petition, and that requires someone getting behind the effort.
How does Pace feel? Is there anyone there who would like to see Pace become its own city?