The Bright Idea department of the Winners & Losers division of the IN media and entertainment empire can’t wait for the “2011 Ballsy Plan” to share its latest brainstorms. Here are the six best ideas:
1. LOST FUNDS A Local Option Sales Tax plan was presented when the tax was passed in 2006. Proposed changes to that plan should be clearly publicized on the home pages of city and county websites before the changes can be approved.
2. CONSOLIDATION A Functional Consolidation Task Force should be appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, constitutional officers, the newly-elected Pensacola mayor, School District and ECUA to make recommendations for the 2011-2012 budgets.
3. SURPLUS SCHOOL PROPERTY Any school district buildings that are deemed surplus should be made available for $1 a year to other local governments or community groups before they are sold to the private sector. The good of the community should be given priority.
4. BROADCAST MEETINGS ECUA and school board meetings and workshops should be broadcast online, recorded and made available for citizens to view at their convenience.
5. ELIMINATE TWO AT-LARGE CITY COUNCIL SEATS The voters can elect the mayor, who is now the chief executive officer of the City. The two at-large seats dilute the voice of the seven city districts.
6. APPOINTEES Any person appointed to fill a spot on the Pensacola City Council, Escambia County Commission, ECUA board or school board can only serve the balance of the term of their predecessor and not run for re-election. Appointees have an unfair advantage in elections.