Monday, November 30, 2009

Take a Stand

In One week we will know the results of the No 48 Million Debt petition drive. My concern is with the fact that their petition,based on article III section 15 of our City Charter, does not align with their Need's Statement posted on their website.

Petition statement: The action to which we object is as follows:
That City Council approve a resolution authorizing the issuance of Redevelopment Revenue Bonds, Series 2009 and approve all actions necessary to complete the sale. Further, that Bonds be issued in an amount not to exceed $48 million.
Yet the quote from their website states:
"We want to see a 15 to 25 acre public park built on the city owned Trillium waterfront property. A park that would be a permanent monument to the citizens of Pensacola. A park that would be a tribute to the water that we are all so proud of. A park that we deserve. Sounds simple: Using public owned land to build a public park and all for about half the cost of the proposed baseball field and stripped down park that is now being proposed for the $48,000,000 of city debt. Why can't we have a park? The simple answer: Special interests, egos and personal agendas want a park in their image."

A few points that need to be clarified:

1. We have a tribute park. Plaza De Luna is a permanent monument to the citizens of Pensacola. Plaza De Luna is a tribute to the water that we are all proud of, the CMP is altogether different it is one of the most important projects in the history of Pensacola.
The Vince Whibbs Community Maritime Park is a visionary project that not only gives access to the waterfront, but also creates a large venue for our citizens to gather and celebrate their beautiful waterfront. We will all benefit from the improvements and gain a higher sense of community. The events that our new park will bring to our area will be world class and open up the City of Pensacola to success and prosperity that to date we have not realized or imagined possible...this is big thinking for a hopeful & patient community.

2. On September 5, 2006 9,684 citizens of Pensacola voted YES for the Vince Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park... not special interests, egos or personal agendas. The CMP has been voted on and approved by the citizens. Next Question please.

3. The petition question being raised is simply "how the City of Pensacola will finance the park". The actions taken on October 8,2009 were in line with council discussions on March 27, 2006.

Councilman Donovan:"Do we know what the total bond issue will be to net $40 million?"
Finance Director Barker: "that was with 3 years of capitalized interest. The most recent numbers I have are around $42 million".
Councilman Donovan: "$42 million"?
Finance Director Barker: "Yes Sir'.

Here's my point: Net Proceeds of $40 million + 3 years capitalized interest + closing costs = total cost of CMP. This equation has not changed, the timing of the bond issue has changed due to the first referendum, yet the fundamental and very basic calculations have not.

Again, the citizens of Pensacola voted YES for their Community Maritime Park in September 2006. The only question now is "how will it be financed"... don't confuse these two very seperate issues. It is time to move forward on the most important project Pensacola has ever seen.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Path

"Around Here, However, We Don't Look Backwards Very Long, We Keep Moving Forward, Opening Up New Doors And Doing New Things, Because We're Curious...
And Curiosity Keeps Leading Us Down New Paths."
Walt Disney

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New City Charter

Congratulations Pensacola

The new city charter has passed with the unofficial votes cast at:
55% yes and 45% no.

This is the next logical step in transforming our city's future. We have a confident and energized City Council and a City Staff with decades of experience. This is the perfect time for change in how we communicate and drive our successes.

When I walked the district last year & discussed the direction of our city with you at your frontdoor, I could see the "What If" that was happening for our citizens. We have a wonderful opportunity in our hands now to create the momentum that our city has lacked in the past. We have the most diverse City Council Pensacola has ever seen with 70% minority membership and each council member bringing all aspects of our city together.

Tomorrow is a new day Pensacola. Let's change the official seal and get to work!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fire Truck Pull

What a wonderful way to spend your Saturday...Hope to see you there!!

"The Ronald McDonald House will host the Fire Truck Pull from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Seville Quarter in downtown Pensacola.Teams of 20 will compete to pull a fire truck 50 feet in the least amount of time to win the trophy.
The event will feature a free children’s area with activities including face-painting, games, inflatable bouncers and more. Ronald McDonald and Friends, Scoop from the Pelicans, and Star Wars characters will be there from noon to 2 p.m. to greet attendees. Admission is free.
Proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House. For more information about the Fire Truck Pull, contact development director Angie Hanson, 477-2273 or e-mail events@rmhpensacola.org"

information from Staff Reports at PNJ Nov. 16th.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

District 3...START YOUR ENGINES!!!

The City of Pensacola is accepting applications for the 2009/2010 PCIP Neighborhood Matching Grant Program from neighborhood associations that have been registered with the City for at least 3 months. Neighborhood groups may apply for up to $10,000 which must be matched by cash, in-kind donations or volunteer labor. The deadline for applying is 5:00 p.m. on December 11, 2008.

Neighborhoods may apply for a grant under one of two categories: a) improvements to public property b) neighborhood improvement programmatic activities; or improvements to association owned property. (You may request an application in WORD format by email to hgibson@ci.pensacola.fl.us).