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, 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

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Bergosh Bulletin" for April

The County has produced my first message for the constituents video for April.  In it we will be discussing the various ways I plan on being an accessible, approachable County Commissioner.

District 1 Roundtable 4-3-2017

The first of two yearly one-stop meetings in District 1 was held last night in the cafeteria of West Florida High School.  We were fortunate to have representation from the BCC, ECUA, ECSD, ECSD, Property Appraiser's Office, Tax Collector's Office, and Supervisor of Elections office.

The folks that attended were able to hear a brief presentation from officers of each entity, and then speak one-on-one with each entity's representative.

The half-dozen or so members of the public that sought out the BCC table had significant issues to discuss:

--One individual wanted the county to assume formal control of a roadway that abuts his property
--One individual wanted code enforcement to look into multiple issues in his neighborhood
--One couple wanted us to look into flooding, noise complaints, and arsenic contamination in their neighborhood
--A World War II veteran who attended wanted to share some thoughts on the trash on the roadways of Escambia County--and he wanted to know what we would do about it
--One person wanted to discuss her continuing concerns about lowering the lot-width requirement in the LDR zoned properties out in Beulah.

When we do our next District 1 Round-table event in October, we will schedule it on a Tuesday night and we will hold the event in the southern part of District 1. 
Many thanks to all the citizens, elected officials, and staff members that participated in this meeting!  Also, a big shout out goes to the WFHS Student Government Association for their assistance with setting up and breaking down the tables and chairs for the meeting.  Much Appreciated!