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.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Memo to City Hall....How about letting us in on Your Grand Vision for OUR PROPERTY!

So at the Thursday discussion meeting of the Escambia County School Board, a frenzied last minute shuffle took place as various School District Operations Personnel left and entered the room, answered phones, then made calls, in and out of the meeting, up and down, back and forth.
Eventually, Mrs. Hightower told us all that she had received late word from an ECUA board member about a significant zoning change that was about to be discussed by the Pensacola City Council, that very night at 5PM, which would affect a large swath of downtown, the former site of the ECUA sewage plant, and also our significant property at 215 W. Garden Street.
“Were we noticed?”  Was the question from the assembled staff and School Board members?  The answer thus far appears to be no. 

Nobody was noticed officially, unofficially, in writing, or via a courtesy call—until the night of the meeting by a third party.    Wow!  Really?        
As a governmental entity that levies ad-valorem taxes, and also as a substantial property owner within this proposed district—The School Board and Superintendent Thomas and his staff should have been noticed about this meeting.  We should be

 afforded the opportunity to give input into the zoning changes of this proposed special district as any changes enacted with this overlay could potentially adversely affect the salability of our property---- and ultimately the value of our (TAXPAYERS) property. 
So our attorney hurriedly left our meeting to attend the city council meeting to let them know that.. “Hey, nobody in the School District was noticed about this and some communication of this proposed change should have been given us in advance.” 
Our attorney, Mrs. Waters, is looking into what the statutory legal notice requirements are for this sort of change and also what input/say we will have in what is finally approved as an overlay for this district.  We’re all engaged in this now, thanks to a last minute call in to us from an ECUA board member.
Meanwhile, the lack of proper notice to us by the city was, at a minimum, off-putting and in poor form.

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