This morning we held our monthly coffee with a commissioner event, and we had a nice turnout for the session.
For this morning's event-we tried something new. We live-streamed the beginning of the meeting on Facebook, so that other District 1 constituents who were not able to make the meeting could watch live if they so chose.
We had about a dozen folks show up, and I gave a brief introduction of the staff that were present, I introduced myself to the participants individually, and then we went around the room allowing everyone present to ask questions and generate discussion.
We had several folks that were interested in talking about the sheriff's budget and subsequent appeal, so we discussed that topic in depth. We also had four individuals from the same neighborhood that wanted to talk about chronic storm-water issues in their community. We will be turning this issue over to the public works department this morning.
Another attendee discussed the issues with security at the Pensacola Interstate Fair--and an "anonymous" complaint that led to the dismissal of a private security firm comprised of former police and military members due to a paperwork glitch. We had a very interesting discussion on this topic--apparently there will be more information coming soon on how that whole evolution took place.
Then we got to the Pensacola Beach issue and the matter of the leases and taxes. Most of those in attendance preferred to keep the situation the way it is rather than going with the bill that is currently in the U.S. Senate--however the main issue that most of the attendees wanted to keep in the forefront is the issue of accessibility to the beach by residents; the fear is that if this bill passes, much of the areas set-aside for public use might be developed, leading to less access by the citizens.
One attendee that is/was very familiar with government contracts and contracting had significant reservations about the proposed project to replace the Bay Center with a new development...He and I had a thorough discussion on this topic.
Other topics discussed included the following:
---Triumph Gulf Coast Projects
---Restore Act Projects
---Beulah Beltway Project
---OLF8/OLFX Land Swap
We also had several folks come by that simply wanted to observe and listen to the meeting, without asking any questions in particular.
As is becoming the usual, this meeting produced good information for me and a great discussion for all in attendance--and I can't wait for next month's coffee--which we will live-stream in it's entirety (now that we know how to do it :) ).