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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sixteen Months Part 3

"Shark-fin" Billboard on the campaign mobile

Running for office is an unusual experience—that’s probably why more people don’t do it.  It has its ups and downs, and it takes a lot of effort to be successful.  It takes a lot of effort even for those who are not successful.  It is a huge sacrifice for a candidate and his/her family.  Suddenly everything revolves around the race once one is an announced candidate.  It is stressful, it is lonely at times, and it is all-consuming.

But there are a lot of things to like as well.

One of the things I like about campaigning for office is the fact that it takes creative thinking.  It takes intelligent strategy combined with experience, a message, and hopefully a good bit of money.  And creativity is important.  Designing a mailer, designing a palm card, deciding what to put on a 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Nine Mile Road Multilane Projects Begin This Month

The project was discussed at a recent DOT meeting held at Plainview Baptist Church.  The project to 4-lane Nine Mile Road from Beulah road to Pine Forest Road will commence this month and will run through 2019.  The project will include bike path and sidewalk, with sound barriers and improved signalization.  For more information you can check DOT's social sites here

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sixteen Months Part 2

District 1 School Board Candidate Kevin Adams and I in the fall of 2015, Campaigning in the southern part of District 1, door to door
Beginning a campaign more than a year away from the election date takes a lot of planning, stamina, and energy.  On July 7th, 2015, I pre-filed to run for the county commission seat that would be decided 16 months later, on November 8th, 2016.  16 months.  To run an election like this with multiple worthy opponents required discipline and determination.  Here is how we have run the campaign thus far...


I knew Jesse Casey was running, and I suspected that Karen Sindel would run.  I also heard about a deputy sheriff and a local architect that had considered running.  I knew the players and the potential candidates so  felt I had a good shot at winning, and the more participants the better--as I had a little name recognition that would play to my advantage going forward.  So, after putting in for the position, I started going door to door, every weekend and after work in the afternoons.  Door to Door is powerful.


I teamed up with two friends that were running along side me in District 1 for two different offices; Kevin Adams decided to run for my school board seat, and our good friend Jim Faxlanger decided to run for the ECUA board seat.  So, although it was unconventional, we decided to team up for the campaign, to leverage our resources and create a force multiplier.  So after we all met our petition requirements, we began to move through the neighborhoods and streets in District 1-together.  Our initial strategy we coined as "Carpet-Bombing."  We would go to every house in a neighborhood,

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sixteen Months Part I

August 2015, Fish House Campaign Kickoff Fundraiser
On July 7, 2015 I pre-filed to run for the position of County Commissioner, District 1.  I did this knowing it would be a long and grueling campaign, a race that would last no less than 16 months...

August 2016, The Southpaw Grill, Primary election night victory celebration.
So now that I'm a good fourteen months into this evolution, and now that the primary election is behind me and the General Election is just 60 short days away, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on what it is like to run for office, to run a 16 month long campaign to win a seat on the Escambia County Commission.  I've walked to 8,627 houses personally, written more than 900 personal letters, raised over $50,000.00 in campaign contributions, and experienced some of the most memorable situations in my life thus far--all in pursuit of a victory on November 8th,  So over the next 60 days leading up to the General Election I

The Nature Trail Paradigm: Self Sequestration

Nature Trail is a giant subdivision that sits in Beulah right across the street from Navy Federal Credit Union and the Navy property known as OLF8.  I love this subdivision and my family owned property in Nature Trail until very recently.  I live right next door to this development and I have many friends and acquaintances that live in Nature Trail.

Lots of things are happening in Beulah, from the expansion of Navy Federal Credit Union, to the expansion of  9 Mile road to become a 4-lane road, to the new freeway interchange off of Beulah road, to a new Middle School being constructed right down the road, to model airplane flyers operating their RC planes overhead, to sound barrier walls being constructed right outside of Nature Trail, to a large open field being prepared for development right across the street,  to a myriad of other issues that will affect the residents of this massive, exclusive subdivision.

These are taxpayers that live in Nature Trail, some of whom have invested more than $500K in their homes!

 So during last year's primary election campaign  (that I won last Tuesday)--- I sent 6 different mail pieces to the residents of Nature Trail----more than to any other group of constituents anywhere else in District 1.  Why?---because I could not come and meet these residents face to face.

I tried at one point in the campaign and was turned away at the gate.  "No Soliciting of any kind!"

Meanwhile, I walked to 8,627 other residences throughout Beulah and the rest of District 1 because candidates are welcomed in other neighborhoods throughout Beulah and  District 1--yet they are precluded from canvassing in Nature Trail.

Now--I get it, nobody likes having people come to the door to try to sell them vacuum sweepers or pressure washing services--I get that.  But I'm just trying to meet voters, I'm not selling magazine subscriptions, frozen steaks,  Tupperware sets, or wooden ships like a scene out of Napoleon Dynamite!

I'm just trying to meet voters, because I feel like if I'm going to ask someone to vote for me, I ought to make an effort to try and come meet them in their neighborhoods.

What perplexes me  most about all of this is that this very large group of property owners----apparently by choice--- is missing out on meeting the very candidates that will eventually be representing their interests on the Board of County Commissioners!

At Tuesday's BCC special meeting on OLF8--multiple Nature Trail Homeowners showed up and none of them appeared to have a complete understanding about all the happenings around them in Beulah----several almost seemed "frustrated" about not having a complete understanding of what is going on around them.  One resident got up and stated that he wanted a "Master Planned Community" for the entire County!

Whaaaaaatttt?  I thought to myself.....

So on a lark I decided to personally call Nature Trail yesterday to see about getting a "candidate forum" set up--- so that Nature Trail residents could, if they so choose,  hear from the last two remaining candidates for County Commission in this election. I assumed these residents might want to know our stances on all of the issues coming to a head in Beulah---right outside the front entrance of their subdivision----before the election happens on November 8th!

There are now only  two candidates left in the race to represent them, the Nature Trail residents and the rest of Beulah and District 1, on the County Commission.  One might think the residents would want to hear from Jeff Bergosh and Audra Carter----one of us will be their next commissioner!

So I attempted to reach the Homeowner's Association representative at a downtown phone number I got from the Nature Trail sales office, and I could not get him on the phone.  I could not get him to return my call, either.  His secretary took a message, and then called back herself 10 minutes later to tell me that politicians are "not permitted in the (common area) Lodge."  When I asked her why, she was somewhat short with me and said "What you are not hearing and understanding is that the covenants do not

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Comments on the OLF8 Beulah Project at BCC Meeting 9-6-2016

Here were my comments during the public forum section of last night's special BCC meeting on the subject of the OLF8/OLFX land swap with the Navy, and the impacts on Beulah of the contemplated development of OLF8 into a commerce park.