I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Coffee with the Commissioner 4-27-2017

Citizens and Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh discuss issues
of concern at April's "Coffee With the Commissioner" Event, 4-27-17

This morning, 4-27-2017, we held our third "coffee with the commissioner" event in District 1. 

We appreciated the opportunity to meet with a small group of about a half-dozen citizens, informally, to discuss issues related to their individual concerns in District 1--to include:

--drainage problems on Pond Farm Road

--Traffic Light signalization issues at Dog Track Road and Hwy 98

--traffic congestion on Hwy 98

--Misspelled words on the entrance to the Navy Hospital Marquee at Hwy 98  (Naval, misspelled as "Navel")

--trash on the roadways

--growth management

We also spent some time just talking current events and national political issues. 

I appreciate McDonalds on Blue Angel and Hwy 98 for allowing us to host our meeting at their establishment.

I also want to thank Debby Kenney, my aide, for arranging the site.

And last but not least I want to express my appreciation to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office for sending Deputy Chief Eric Haines to this morning's coffee and also to this past Monday's Town Hall meeting at Bellview Middle School.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

District 1 Town Hall Meeting 4-24-2017

Thoughts from the Economic Development Summit

The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners held an economic development summit meeting Tuesday.  After we had brief presentations from Neighborhood services and a discussion about the Brownsville Community Center, we discussed Escambia County and our economic development efforts.

Those who are interested in doing so can watch the video of the meeting here--there was lots of very interesting conversation.

The presentation began with an overview of the demographics of the two-county (Escambia-Santa Rosa) area.  Zach Jenkins, Director of UWF's Haas Center, gave a  presentation that described the median family income, median age, race/ethnicity, and other characteristics of our area as compared to the state and also to the nation.  It was interesting.  of note were the following take-aways:

--employment wise, we have just recently recovered and stabilized our unemployment levels to pre-Great Recession levels

--2,500 new jobs yearly will need to be created in order to keep our unemployment levels at today's rate

--nearly 42,000 persons (out of 500,000 total population in our MSA) are currently not working.

-- a net of roughly 20,000 commuters come to Escambia County to work but live out of Escambia County

--tourist related occupations, while important locally, do not generate much in the way of additional ancillary jobs created when compared to just about every other category of jobs--especially manufacturing and cyber security jobs

--The highest paying segment of jobs, on average, are from the Military and Civilian DoD jobs, followed by the Financial Services Sectors

After Zach gave his presentation, Scott Luth from Florida West gave a presentation on efforts his group is making to increase the jobs base locally.  His focus areas of industry revolve around cultivation of employers who export products, thereby importing new money into the community. 

Areas of focus include the following:

-financial and professional services
-information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing
-Offshore Vessel Service and Support
-Aviation Manufacturing and Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO)
-Defense, Homeland, and Cyber Security

A stirring discussion about employee readiness/preparedness begins at minute 57:05 and continues through minute 71:00 of Items 3 & 6.  In this segment, Luth states that about "90 percent of the issue revolves around employers' concerns about the readiness of the graduates of the schools."  Luth continues "I'm not trying to throw a negative on our schools but I'm told we have to increase that, that level  [ of preparedness] of the students coming out [of the schools locally]."

I spoke about this as well--the emphasis of my comments (67:22) was that we have tremendous social dysfunction, combined with generational dysfunction, mixed with poverty, that is hindering our

Monday, April 24, 2017

Town Hall Meeting Toinght, Coffee With the Commissioner Thursday

---District 1 Town Hall
  • Date: Monday, April 24, 2017 - Monday, April 24, 2017
  • Time: All Day6:00 PM
  • Location:
  • Location: Pensacola
  • Address: 6201 Mobile Hwy.
  • Additional Location Info: Bellview Middle School Cafeteria
  • Contact: Debbie Kenney
  • Email:
  • Phone: 850-595-4910
Residents are invited to discuss issues with Commissioner Bergosh at the second of six town hall style meetings planned for the year at various locations throughout District 1. More than one commissioner may attend this event. 
---April Coffee with the Commissioner – Jeff Bergosh, District 1
  • Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017 - Thursday, April 27, 2017
  • Time: All Day6:30 AM
  • Location:
  • Location: Pensacola, Florida
  • Address: 5 S Blue Angel Pkwy.
  • Additional Location Info: McDonald's Restaurant
  • Contact: Debbie Kenney
  • Email:
  • Phone: 850-595-4910
Join District 1 Commissioner Bergosh in this informal setting with no agenda or appointment needed, anytime between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. Residents are encouraged to stop by with any comments or concerns they would like to discuss with their District 1 Commissioner in this informal setting with no agenda or appointments needed. More than one commissioner may attend this event. 

On WCOA's Good Morning Pensacola

Topics to include:

-OLF 8/OLF X  Land Swap with the U.S. Navy

-Open Container Ordinance at the Beach

-Pensacola Beach Traffic

Listen live later this morning at 7:35, or listen to the Podcast (s) here (part I) and here (part II)

Friday, April 21, 2017

OLF 8 Project: Encouraging News Presented to BCC

At yesterday's BCC public forum, Congressman Matt Gaetz updated the commissioners on a number of important issues facing the panhandle.

One of significant interest to me was the OLF8/OLFX land swap project with the U.S. Navy.

This project has run over budget, and the whole initiative was teetering on implosion due to a number of factors I've discussed in depth on multiple entries on this blog.

But, just when many were about to throw in the towel on this project, Congressman Gaetz reported that a high-level Admiral from the Navy will be coming to Pensacola to meet with the congressman, the county, retired Admiral Robert Kelly, developer Jim Cronley, and other interested persons regarding this land swap.

"The Navy is willing to offer some concessions in order to make this project happen" Congressman Gaetz told the commission yesterday.

This was very welcome news and we are thankful that the congressman has set this up, and we are thankful that the Navy is willing to come to the table and work with us to get this project done---a project that will benefit both the county and the Navy!

This is encouraging!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Nobody is Going to Like This.......

Nobody is going to like the ordinance the BCC passed tonight regarding open containers of alcohol on the Quietwater Beach Boardwalk.

I didn't like the initial motion which was to continue an ordinance banning open containers of alcohol on the boardwalk for an additional (2) two years time.  I voiced my opposition and so did two of my colleagues.

I've given my reasons for opposing this ban at two previous meetings and here on this blog as well;  in a nutshell, the premise for making the restriction was purportedly to give a year under the ordinance to collect data showing this would be beneficial.  The data shows this ban increased crime--but nobody wanted to seriously dig into that.....

The motion was then restated and modified to a (1) one year continuance of the ban at Quietwater beach.

With that motion hanging out there and no clear consensus, the discussion turned to a further modification of the proposed ordinance which stated the ban would be in place for one year and only in force from 6:00AM to 10:00PM at the boardwalk--in an effort to keep the ban in place in order to keep the atmosphere on the boardwalk "family friendly" during the daytime and early evening hours.

 From 10:00 PM-6:00AM 7 days a week, the ordinance will not apply and open containers of alcohol