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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Closing Rawson Lane

Many constituents have emailed and called expressing support for the closure of Rawson Lane in Pensacola...

Rawson Lane is a small street that cuts through the campus of Pensacola Christian College in Central Pensacola.  It begins at Brent Lane and ends at Airport Boulevard.  It’s a small street but it’s also a hot potato.

I’ve toured the area, met with the PCC staff, looked at the traffic analyses, and heard from constituents and residents on this issue.

Many have expressed the opinion that this road should be vacated by the county, then subsequently signed over to PCC.  “After all, PCC owns the property on BOTH sides of Rawson Lane; PCC should get this road so that their campus could be safer and so the school could build another large dormitory facility that they desperately need to sustain their growth”—some have communicated to me.
On the other side of the equation-a few have told me they feel the county should keep Rawson Lane.
“Taxpayers paid for the road and I want to have the ability to use that road to get to the hospital quickly if I need to” one elderly resident wrote.
Another  nearby resident stated “I use that road when the train stops on the tracks—and I don’t want to lose that ability!”
Another  resident called my office to relate the following message to me: “I voted for you, I live in your district and I use Rawson Lane all the time.  If you vote to vacate Rawson Lane, I won’t vote for you again!”**
One call I received was especially troubling:   “Jeff, the school is pressuring faculty and students to

 advocate for the vacation of Rawson Lane—they are putting a lot of pressure on the staff to push their agenda” said this caller (who also reported that she is a former employee of PCC)
I’m certain many of these topics will be discussed tonight at the special meeting regarding Rawson Lane.
This meeting will take place at Brentwood Middle School on Palafox Street beginning at 5:30 PM.

**Whichever way I vote on this matter, if and when it comes to me for a vote, I will never countenance threats from constituents.  I vote for what I feel is right based upon the facts regardless of what threats I receive and I explain my vote after I make it so that even those that may disagree with my vote at least know where I am coming from…  If I failed to vote for what was unpopular, we never would have closed Carver Century Elementary , we would not have closed BBMS,  there would be no Marching Band at WFHS, we would have raised property tax rates in 2008 on Escambia County homeowners,  we would not have done what was right with coaches Benny Washington and Coach Willie Spears, we would not have done a lot of things that needed to be done if I did not make tough votes over the last 10 years.  This hasn’t changed, and it will never change as long as I am an elected constitutional officer; I do not vote out of fear for my job and I never will.


Anonymous said...

I am on staff at PCC, and we have not been "pressured" to do anything. How would someone who does not currently work at PCC know what is being said to faculty and staff? I also live in the community, pay taxes (as PCC does too!), and vote for commissioners. Because of the new "spur" on I10, Rawson Lane is not necessary.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Okay so it is like 100 to 1 the number of "For" versus "against" vacating Rawson Lane. My office has been inundated with requests that we allow PCC to take this road.

Anonymous said...

Commissioner Bergosh,

Thank you for your service to the community and your prayerful consideration of this topic. Innuendo, half-truths and misinformed opinions abound for such a public discussion. It's unfortunate that those "against" the vacation of Rawson Lane perpetuate these as "fact". But then again, that appears to be the nature of social media these days. I agree that the I-110 surface/frontage roads make Rawson lane superfluous. The fact that not a single access road into or out of the Norwood neighborhood is affected by this closure indicates the true impact to be minimal. And as a county taxpayer, I welcome the opportunity to be rid of a substandard road. I hope you and your colleagues on the commission agree.