Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wagley and the Vision Group?

I was really interested in the below string of emails.

Vision-Group

The Vision Group emails go to and between the following:

  • Brian Spencer
  • Alan Gray, Planner
  • Christian Wagley, Restore Committee Member
  • Steve Dana, Jerry Pate Companies
  • Alex Adams, Planner
  • Ben Nolan
The wider distribution included:
  • Jerry Pate
  • Travis Peterson
  • Quint Studer
  • Chuck Tessier
  • Andrew Rothfeder
The Mayor must have been blind copied on the email because he is not listed but this email came from his email harvest.

The group appears to be formed to funnel the State and Restore dollars into Downtown Pensacola development.  This group appears to be entirely FOR PROFIT.  As developers and planners these dollars will continue to increase the use of their services and their downtown investments.

The quotes that ring loudest to me are:

"I will tell you I've been in dozens of meetings with FDOT around the state and that was probably the best reception we could have expected. I want to thank everyone for their assistance and perseverance in not only submitting ideas, but pressuring local politicians, your bosses, associated organizations, friends to bring the leaders to the table and bring our ideas in front of the top leaders from FDOT and the City of Pensacola. It's taken over 8 months since we decided to tackle this project at that FDOT public meeting at the Pensacola Civic Center and we have come a long way towards organizing ourselves and influencing others. WELL DONE."

"The second item which we also have in Pensacola is getting core members into appointed positions in cities, counties, CRAs, etc... This really shows you the system we are working in and you have to attack cancer from the inside with chemotherapy! "

Questions: 

  • Is Christian Wagley who is on the Restore Committee a plant for the downtown development interests? 
  • Who is funding this group?
  • How are they getting access to FDOT and Secretary Barfield?
  • Who have they gotten appointed to City or County committees or offices?
Groups like this do not operate without funding!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

isn't alan gray the same one just hired by the city even though he was not the highest ranked candidate for the planning position?

Maren DeWeese said...

YEP

Alan Gray, AICP
Planner at City of Pensacola

Location
Pensacola, Florida Area
Industry
Architecture & Planning

Anonymous said...

What percentage of the County's General Fund budget is funded using ad valorem property tax revenues collected within city limits?

Given that the City's CRA will get 95% of all new DIB, City "and" County property taxes generated within the CRA's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, to include the two-square mile "slum & blighted" downtown, what would be the incentive for the County to approve spending RESTORE Act dollars inside one of the City's TIF districts? None.

If the County wanted to see a return on its strategic investment of RESTORE Act monies, its smart, tax-savvy move would be to invest the dollars in areas where the County will collect 100% of the increased County property taxes.

Unknown said...

The "Vision Group" is an informal group of concerned people--mostly planners and architects--who were concerned that DOT was going to build a cheap and unattractive Bay Bridge that would harm Pensacola and Gulf Breeze. They came-up with ideas for making the bridge and the approaches on either side more attractive and bicycle/pedestrian-friendly, including use of a roundabout for better traffic flow. They even took the time to do some drawings to help make the case to DOT.

Answers to questions posed:

1) No, my position on RESTORE is not as a plant for anybody. I was directly elected by the local environmental groups, with whom I have a great relationship of trust from some 20 years of working together on common goals.

2)The "group" is very informal, has only come together in person a couple of times, and does not receive any funding that I am aware of.

3) Access to DOT was gained by putting together a group of motivated people with good ideas; because of that when we called DOT they were willing to meet. A few members of the group attended the DOT meeting, and it was entirely on their own time as best I know.

4)I'm not aware of anybody the group has helped get appointed to any boards or committees. The way you get appointed to committees is to attend meetings, listen, get involved with good ideas and energy, and build trust with the community. People who do that stand out from the rest, get asked to serve, and usually make good committee members.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Christian Wagley