Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday October 1st 2014

On Sale:

Follow the Blog

Archives

The Buzz 7/24/14

Lbj Bashes Myers At the end of the Pensacola City Council meeting on July 17, Councilman Larry Johnson surprised his fellow board members by attacking Councilman Sherri Myers. He said that on Monday he had asked that the council investigate Myers’ conduct to “determine whether or not it is consistent with our city charter.”

“The City charter requires council members to deal with employees through the mayor,” Johnson said. “I am concerned that this Council member has violated that requirement of the charter. I’m deeply concerned that this Council member has interfered with the administration by contacting city employees directly.”

Johnson alleged that Myers had harassed and intimidated city employees, had tried to circumvent the city’s public records process and had helped others circumvent the process. Reading from prepared notes, Johnson said that he believed her “behavior and constant negativity has been divisive and disruptive both to our city government and to this Council.”

He claimed that Myers had filed frivolous lawsuits and Sunshine Law complaints. “I believe this conduct is inappropriate, disruptive and may have potentially violated our city charter,” Johnson said. “The charter makes it very clear that Council members that violate this charter must forfeit their office.”

Johnson said the council had an obligation to investigate his charges. He wanted to know how many times Myers had contacted city employees directly and how much her lawsuits had cost the city.

“I want to know how many public records request this Council member has initiated, how many hours of staff time has been spent on these requests and how much these request have caused tax payers.”

Johnson said he would be making a public record request to get that information to support his allegations and that he planned to make a motion to have Myers investigated by the city council.

Councilwoman Myers said that she welcomed a investigation and seconded what she thought was a motion. She said that Johnson’s mistreatment of her and his retaliation against her should not be tolerated and should also be investigated.

“Madam chair, you and this council have an obligation when you see this kind of behavior by a council member you need to do something about it,” Myers said. “And you need to investigate it. That’s the right thing to do for me.”

City Council President Jewel Cannada-Wynn said, “I will take care of this. It is unfortunate that this has come to this.”

She said that if there was an issue with how a city council member interacted with city staff, then she expected that the mayor would be the one bringing the issue forward. She recommended that the mayor call that council member directly.

“These types of issues only set to divide us,” Cannada-Wynn said. Myers pushed for a vote on the investigation, but Johnson said that he would bring it forward later. The council did not vote on the matter.

Wahoos Packing Them In Past opponents said a ballpark on the scenic Pensacola Bay in the Community Maritime Park was stupid and no one would go to the games.

What we know now for a fact is that Pensacola Blue Wahoos fans are coming in droves.  For the third straight season, the Wahoos surpassed the 200,000-fan mark, with an announced sellout crowd of 5,038 on Thursday, July 10 against the Montgomery Biscuits that put the Wahoos at 204,963.

Pensacola, which ranks third in attendance in the Southern League, has sold out 27 of its 50 home games this year and currently is averaging 4,471 fans per game for a total of 223,555. It is on pace to surpass 300,000 total fans at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium for the third time in its three season of existence.

Only two other Southern League teams—the Birmingham Barons and the Jacksonville Suns—have drawn 200,000-plus in three seasons since 2012. They also are No. 1 and No. 2 in attendance in the 10-team league this season. However, consider that the Birmingham area has a population of 1.13 million, while Jacksonville’s is 1.35 million. Pensacola? Its population stands at 448,991—or a third of Jacksonville’s size.

Maybe the Community Maritime Park Associates board, which oversees the prime downtown waterfront property, will vote to add more seats?

Climate Change What’s going to happen when climate change hits Pensacola? Will it be like one of those apocalyptic Hollywood movies where hurricanes and a fast rising Gulf of Mexico wash one of America’s oldest cities clean off the map?

No one can predict for certain, but the environmental group 350 Pensacola would like the city of Pensacola to form a Climate Change Task Force to look at the issue and how the area might mitigate effects. At its July 14 Agenda Review Conference, the council voted to delay discussion until its next meeting in August.

Dozens of Florida agencies and county and city governments have already created plans to deal with climate change. The task force, if formed, would look at flooding issues, reducing carbon emissions, home energy improvements, improving energy efficiency of buildings and transportation.

With 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists believing climate change is upon us, 350 Pensacola President, Elaine Sargent, said the time for Pensacola to act is now.

“We want a forward-looking city that looks at ways to contribute less to global warming and adapt to climate change effects that are inevitable,” she said.
Christian Wagley, who heads Sustainable Town Concepts, said he believes the city council will support creating a Climate Change Task Force.

“No one came out and said it was a dumb idea,” Wagley said. “I’m quite confident we can address any concerns, so they can pass it. They do want a city that’s seen as progressive and forward thinking.”