Greg Evers

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Greg Evers
HousePhotoOriginal1467.jpg
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
2010
Preceded by Durell Peaden
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 1st district
In office
2002–2010
Preceded by Jeff Miller
Succeeded by Clay Ingram
Personal details
Born Robert Gregory Evers
(1955-06-16) June 16, 1955 (age 59)
Milton, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Charlene Baker Evers (divorced)
Marsha Evers (divorced)
Tami Sue Evers (divorced)
Lori K. Weems
Children three: Stephanie Evers Barlow, Jennifer Evers Wallace, Rob
Residence Baker, Florida
Profession Politician, farmer & small businessman
Religion Southern Baptist
Website http://www.gregevers.com/

Robert Gregory (Greg) Evers is a Republican member of the Florida Senate, representing District 2, which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, and the northern half of Okaloosa counties in the westernmost Florida panhandle. He previously served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives.

Family farm[edit]

Evers is the eldest child of John Robert and Jequita Evers. He grew up in the farming community of Munson, Florida, where he worked on the family farm alongside his father and brother Eric and sister Kay. Greg graduated from Jay High School in 1973 and then attended Pensacola Junior College. In early 1975, his family opened Baker Farm Center, a farm supply, fertilize and feed store in Baker, Florida. By 1985, Evers purchased Baker Farm Center from his parents and he continues to operate it today.

In addition to the Baker Farm Center, Evers has continuously operated Greg Evers Farms in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties, growing primarily peanuts, cotton, wheat and soybeans. He also grows strawberries and sells them at his U-Pick strawberry farm, Akers of Strawberries, located in Baker.

Evers has three children from an early marriage: Stephanie Barlow of Milton, Jennifer Wallace of Orlando and Rob Evers of Baker. He has two grandchildren, Alli Barlow and Rex Evers Wallace. As of March 2013, he was married to Lori K. Weems, a Tallahassee lawyer and lobbyist.[1]

Politics[edit]

In mid-2001, Evers won a special election to fill the seat being vacated by Congressman Jeff Miller as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, District 1. He won re-election in 2002 and 2006, but was term-limited in 2010. Evers sought the Florida Senate seat held by Durell Peaden, who was also term-limited.

Billboards[edit]

In early 2009, Bill Salter Advertising obtained 105 permits to remove trees blocking the view of their billboards. State law gives the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) some descretion over the applicant's submission of a mitigation plan, and the amount of fees paid to the state, which can be as much as $30,000 per billboard.[2] The Salter permits were exempted from both requirements, potentially saving the company millions of dollars. Salter's general manager Dave McCurdy, who was not only a high school classmate, but "close friends"[3] with Greg Evers, stated: "On January 8th, 2009, I spoke with State Representative Mr. Greg Evers and Secretary of Transportation Ms. Stephanie Kopelousos about this and they agreed and we were granted these permits."[2] At the time, the House transportation committee was chaired by Evers, who claimed, "I have helped constituents that I have never met personally and constituents that I know from my community. That is my job."[3] Kopelousos insisted, "The decision in question was made at the District Office level, and I was not involved with the apparent issuance of any permit related to this matter."[3]

That same year, Evers decided to run for State Senate district 2. As a life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and because of his prior support on legislation, the NRA considered him a "top priority".[4] In July of 2009, the NRA paid Bill Salter Advertising $18,000 to have Ever's face on 32 billboards in north Florida where Senate district 2 is located. The deal was made by Marion Hammer, a registered lobbyist for the NRA who commented that it was part of a membership drive. The NRA was not charged a monthly fee for any of the billboards, which stayed up at least six months. The minimum monthly rental fee is $650, saving the organization around $125,000.[4] McCurdy and Salter sales manager Mike Crawley claimed that it was common to give price breaks on monthly fees, but two Salter salesmen were unaware of any price breaks. McCurdy said that the NRA ad was put on blank billboards, which would have otherwise cost Salter to install "filler" ads. Crawley was surprised that the NRA chose Salter because Lamar Advertising is the NRA's preferred vendor.[4]

A grand jury of Florida's Second Judicial district-Leon County investigated the FDOT in the Spring term of 2011. Evers declined the Grand Jury's invitation to testify and a subpoena was issued to compel his attendance. The Grand Jury concluded that "Senator Evers was used by Salter Advertising to secure permits by circumventing the law. Evidence reflects that Salter knew the law, chose not to comply, and misrepresented to Senator Evers the FDOT's response to their inquiries."[5]

Councils and committee memberships[edit]

  • Joint Legislative Auditing Committee - Chair
  • Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee
  • Economic Development Policy Committee
  • Natural Resources Appropriations Committee
  • Public Safety & Domestic Security Policy Committee
GregEversTractor.jpg

Affiliations[edit]

  • Okaloosa County Farm Service Agency 1996-2001
  • Okaloosa County Florida Farm Bureau, President 1998-2001
  • Okaloosa County Overall Advisory Committee 1995-1997, 1998–2000

Awards[edit]

  • Christian Coalition Faith and Family Award 2006, 2004, 2003
  • Florida Forestry Association, Legislator of the Year 2006
  • Florida Association of Ag Educators, Legislator of the Year 2005
  • Florida Farm Bureau, Outstanding Legislator Award 2004
  • Northwest Florida Independent Pharmacist, Award of Recognition 2003
  • Agriculturist of the Year 2002
  • Okaloosa Walton College, Recognition of Contributions and Dedication to Higher Education 2002
  • Small County Coalition, Recognition of Leadership 2002
  • Okaloosa County Farm Family of the Year 1998

[edit]

Sponsored & Co-Sponsored Bills Passed Into Law
Legislative Session Bill Number Bill Title
2004 HB 1457 Land Surveying and Mapping
2005 HB 1677 Avalon Beach-Mulat Fire Protection District, Santa Rosa County
2005 HB 291 Condominiums
2005 HB 213 Construction Professionals
2005 HB 1347 Controlled Substances
2006 HB 1155 Contaminated Drycleaning Facilities
2006 HB 1367 Contracting Exemptions
2006 HB 1145 Official State Designations
2006 HB 1369 Public Records and Public Meetings
2006 HB 125 Voter Registration
2007 HB 1099 Blackman Fire District, Inc., Okaloosa County
2007 CS/HB 517 Financial Responsibility for Motor Vehicles
2007 CS/CS/HB 995 Holt Fire District, Okaloosa County
2007 HB 515 University of West Florida
2008 CS/HB 503 Preservation & Protection of the Right to Keep & Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act of 2008
2009 CS/HB 515 Oil & Gas Production Taxes
2009 CS/HB 1431 City of Pensacola, Town of Century & Escambia County
2009 CS/CS HB 1479 Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (passed into law as CS/CS/SB 1100)
Cosponsored Bills Passed Into Law
Legislative Session Bill Number Bill Title
2004 HB 21A Agency for Workforce Innovation
2004 HB 5A Discount Medical Plan Organizations
2004 HB 1A Early Learning
2004 HB 155 Firearm Records
2004 HB 19A Hurricane-Relief Funding
2004 HB 11A Restoration of Educational Facilities Damaged by Hurricanes in 2004
2005 HB 1697 Highway Safety
2005 HCB 6001 Hurricane Preparedness
2005 HB 691 Military Personnel on Duty
2005 HB 279 Student and Parent Rights
2005 HB 1681 Transportation
2005 HB 955 Waterfront Property
2006 HB 1325 Controlled Substances
2006 HB 7079 Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2006 HB 1567 Eminent Domain
2006 HJR 1569 Eminent Domain
2006 HB 1123 Government Accountability
2006 HB 47 Hurricane Preparedness
2007 CS/HB 1603 City of Pensacola
2007 CS/CS/HB 529 Communications
2007 HB 143 Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission
2007 HB 1601 General Pension and Retirement Fund of the City of Pensacola, Escambia County
2007 CS/HB 73 Labor Organizations
2007 CS/HB 1051 Property Tax Exemptions for Totally and Permanently Disabled Persons
2008 CS/HB 1027 Funding for State Veterans’ Homes
2008 HB 85 Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
2008 CS/HB 337 Management of Historic Pensacola Properties
2008 CS/HB 559 Material Harmful to Minors
2008 CS/HB 321 Murder of Law Enforcement Officers
2008 HB 61 Offenses Against Officers
2009 HB 73 Expedited Permitting Process for Economic Development Projects
2009 CS/HB 115 Sexual Offenders & Predators
2009 CS/CS/HB 179 Property Appraisers
2009 CS/HB 281 Prepaid College Programs
2009 CS/CS/HB 453 Tax Credits for Contributions to Nonprofit Scholarship-Funding Organizations
2009 CS/CS/HB 479 Retirement
2009 CS/CS/HB 485 Fast Track Economic Stimulus for Small Business
2009 CS/HB 7123 Military Base Closures

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Florida Senators: Greg Evers". January 16, 2011. Quizlet. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Dixon, Matt (April 12, 2011). "Florida gave away 2,094 state-owned trees to make room for billboards". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Dixon, Matt (November 17, 2011). "Grand Jury Investigates State Senator over tree giveaway". Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Dixon, Matt (February 12, 2012). "NRA got sweet deal on billboards from company at center of grand jury probe". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Ledford, Paul (January 24, 2012). "Salter Advertising Right-of-Way Tree Removal". Grand Jury Presentment. Spring 2011: page 5. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 

External links[edit]