District 3 - W.D. "Don" Salter


Commissioner Salter was first elected to office in November 2000 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008. Salter is presently the most senior Commissioner of the Board of County Commissioners. He also served as Chairman during 2004 and 2009 and is currently the Chairman of the Florida-Alabama Transportation Planning Organization.

First 8 Years Service

During Salter’s first eight years of office, he has been very instrumental in economic development, agriculture, military issues, and Veteran affairs. He has served as Chairman of the Board’s economic development committee for seven years. He has worked for many years protecting and enhancing military installations, especially NAS Whiting Field. 

During this time, he has provided the vision and leadership to help purchase several thousand acres of land to prevent development encroachment around our military bases. The NAS Whiting Field encroachment prevention program is considered “The Navy Model.” He served as chairman of the Santa Rosa County and Escambia County Base Realignment and Closure "BRAC" Committee for numerous years and continues to serve on numerous military committees throughout the region.

Gulf Power Company

Prior to becoming a Commissioner, Salter worked for Gulf Power Company and retired in 2000 after finishing a 32 year career. His last ten years, he was the Santa Rosa County District Manager where he was responsible for all company operations.

Military Service

Salter also proudly served his country as a United States Army Paratrooper from 1965 to 1968. He served his last fifteen months in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade as a combat platoon Sergeant where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

Community Involvement

During the last twenty years Salter has been involved in many community organizations and served as chairman numerous times. He has received several leadership awards: 

  • Community Leader of the Year Award
  • Santa Rosa County Hall of Fame Award
  • Santa Rosa County Man of the Year Award
  • Spirit of Santa Rosa Award, Business Leader of the Year Award

Salter is the founder of the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Plaza and continues to serve as Chairman of this organization. He is also Chairman of the Emerald Coast Honor Flight, Santa Rosa Initiative Committee and Chairman of the Santa Rosa Military Advisory Council.


Salter graduated from Troy State University with a Master’s of Science in Management degree.

Personal Life

Salter is a native of Santa Rosa County. He is married to the former Kaye Matlock. They have a son Donnie, a daughter-in-law Mandy, and two grandchildren Ethan and Evelyn.