Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope Santa was good to you and yours. As we enjoy the food, family and fun, someone is standing the wall to keep us safe. Say a quite thanks and take time today to remember those serving our country away from home.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Sipping from the Firehose!

Police, Fire, Finance, Gas, Port, Engineering, Sanitation, CRA, Neighborhoods, Airport, Parks, Maritime Park, Homeless, New Business, Old Buisiness, Issues that Never Go Away, Whew!!! They might want to install seatbelts on our council chairs this term because we are going on an "E" ticket ride to change this city...

We were briefed for 10 hours on Saturday by the leaders in each area. Thank you to all! I came away with one overriding feeling. We live in a diverse & unique community, with a committed staff working very hard to make the best use of our City funds. Some will continue to stay. Some will DROP. All love Pensacola.

Our briefing was open to the public and will be posted on the web for all to see. It was informative on every level and citizens could benefit from what was shared. Check it out.

Where do we go from here? FORWARD!

I will meet this week with a County Commissioner to discuss his vision for our economic development opportunities in the future. I have yet to be included in the Chamber's meetings on economic development, yet I look forward to learning more about their goals for 2009.

I will sit down over the holiday and digest what I have learned, plan for the future and decide where I can best serve. Committee requests have come out. I chose Neighborhood Services first, Economic and Community Development second and Finance third. Mayor-elect Wiggins decides on each committee.

Many upcoming decisions we face will be tough. Some will object. Some will support. I will listen to all sides, but always put the people of District 3 first.

FYI:Our Police Department leads the nation in many areas. We have bona fide experts in many areas such as Jimmy Donohoe and the project he is leading with autistic and alzhiemers patients. He is also working on Environmental Law Enforcement which may help with our challenges at the bluffs. PPD and the PFD are committed to our City. Hug a cop or a fireman over the holidays.

We have many opportunities and much to be proud of as Pensacolians. Current Council actions are disappointing; to see those who have lead our city for so many years appear to be scrambling to lock in their visions for the future rather than stepping aside and letting the new council take the torch. Change is hard for some.

Pensacola's best days are still to come. Over $500 millon in new development is coming in the next 24 months. Our future's so bright...we gotta wear shades!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, please write to me with any ideas, concerns or thoughts you have. I am ready to get to work for YOU.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Perfecting the Process

I have received numerous emails concerning the how and why of the recent Airport Hotel Deal.
I feel the Airport Deal was rushed through to approval without the proper analysis and relied on incomplete data.

Although I agree that we need new construction and I favor the project in concept; I am seriously concerned with how it was presented and passed. This is a disappointing situation that some on City staff have created and I believe we need to review all aspects of the RFP and negotiation process.

I spent my entire career in lending following pre-established, well defined and specific procedures and there was not an inch of room for mistakes. I was accountable to six or seven aspects of each transaction and Federal Guidelines were paramount to the process. We had to do our work exactly the same for each case or else funding was denied.

The lost documents and misinformation in this most recent transaction speak to the need for open government. Our City needs to execute it's processes with transparency and systematic precise controls. Everyone should know exactly what is happening at any stage in the process of any transaction involving our city. The Citizen's deserve fair, consistent and honest representation that is documented and available.