By BEN GRAFTON
On July 14, the votes for the open council seat were counted and Elizabeth Brannon was elected to Freeport’s Council Seat 2. For those who don’t already know her, here is a bit more background.
Brannon is a Freeport native whose family has lived and farmed here since about the beginning of the 20th century. Her brother, Steven, and sister, Karen, live and work in the Freeport area for the school system, the brother in maintenance and the sister a teacher. There are cousins in both the Brannon and King families. Brannon has two children, Shane Boone, 17, who will go into the U.S. Navy when he completes high school in 2010, and Page, 14, who is into basketball and hopes to play on the high school team.
Brannon graduated from Freeport High School in 1988 where she became active in the diversified cooperative training program as a junior and then served as its president as a senior. She says being a member of the group was a great opportunity and she credits Mabel Casswell, her mentor, for the guidance she provided.
At 18, Brannon started as a part-time employee at Grayton Beach State Park doing secretarial work. At 19 she became the first full time-female Grayton Beach Park employee. She worked there for nine years and at the end of that time Grayton Beach was furnishing the management team for seven state parks in northwest Florida.
Following her stint at Grayton Beach, Brannon went to work for another state agency, the Department of Revenue, where she worked as a revenue specialist for child support and enforcement.
Along the way, Brannon found the time to enroll in the business program at Pensacola Junior College. She says that while she was in high school she took an aptitude test which said she was best suited for work in real estate. She has since turned to real estate and has become a licensed real estate agent with Naylor Realty & Associates. She says she loves this work. She primarily handles residential housing in the Freeport service area, but also works with some large acreage parcels in north Walton and with some industrial properties.
Before her election to the Freeport City Council, Brannon was serving as vice-chairwoman of the Freeport Planning Board. She surrendered this position upon her election to the City Council. More recently she serves as a Freeport member of the board of directors for the Walton County Economic Development Alliance. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Walton County Habitat for Humanity.
Brannon says she believes in government service and would like to see the Freeport community grow and provide good jobs for its residents: jobs that would draw her own children back home after they have completed their college educations. She wants the growth to be planned and well thought out. She believes the Freeport infrastructure is good; that a good job has been done with zoning and that improvements should be made to SR-20 and to U.S. 331. She would like to see a wide range of businesses locate there, from a Waffle House to manufacturing plants and she will work to reach these goals.
Contact Ben Grafton at email@example.com.