By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - With the primary elections completed, St. Lucie County residents will see a new face in the tax collector's office, as well as some southern boundaries move.
The residents of the Beau Rivage community, who have been lobbying for more than a year to be part of Martin County, got their day at the polls on Aug. 14. Of the 300 residents who voted, 283 or 94.33 percent, voted in favor of becoming part of Martin County.
The 129-acre community is currently part of St. Lucie County, but is surrounded by Martin County properties.
In 2011, State Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, held a town hall meeting and later supported the residents' request to place the annexation matter before voters on the primary ballot.
There was high turnout in the community on this issue, since only 550 residents who live in the area were allowed to vote.
The boundary change will take place by July 1, 2013. Currently, both Martin County and St. Lucie County officials are beginning the complex process of working out all the details that will go into making the change, which will result in a loss of $1.2 million in property tax revenue for St. Lucie County over a 10-year time period.
Another race that was decided in the county is the newest St. Lucie County tax collector. Chris Craft was elected as current tax collector Bob Davis is retiring.
Mr. Craft, who is currently a St. Lucie County Commissioner for District 5, won the election with 14,772 votes out of the 34,643 cast, or 42.64 percent. His opponents Johnathan Ferguson received 12,206 votes and Tom Kindred received 7,665.
"I want to thank my two opponents, Johnathan Ferguson and Tom Kindred," Mr. Craft said. "My two opponents were professional and qualified, and St. Lucie County would have been well served by the election of any of the three of us."
Looking ahead to the position he will be assuming on Jan. 9, Mr. Craft said he has "large shoes to fill."
"Bob Davis is the standard by which all of should be measured," he said. "He's an outstanding guy, and I wish him all the best in life."