Loser: Marty Donovan
In recent history, few communities have had an elected official as fickle as Martin Jude Donovan: realtor, occasional environmentalist and one-time Pensacola city councilman. His opinions on the maritime park, referendums and even his own city district have flipped and flopped over the years.
When Trillium I, the 2002 city plan to build a new city auditorium and festival park on the nearly 30 acres across from City Hall for $40 million, was being discussed by the Pensacola City Council: “It has gotten totally out of control for a city of 56,000 people.” — Independent News, “Trilliumzilla,” May 9, 2002
When petition signatures forced a referendum on the Trillium I plan: “The citizens earned the right to their election, and the council should be bound by this election. Let’s be true to our city code. Let the people speak at the ballot box.” — Pensacola News Journal, “Voters to decide Trillium,” Feb. 26, 2003
When Donovan won re-election in 2004: “Obviously 60 percent of the people appreciate the job I’ve done. You can’t ask for more than that.” — Pensacola News Journal, “Three City Council contests will go to Nov. 23 runoff,” Nov. 3, 2004
Note: Four years later, Larry Johnson would beat Donovan in a runoff. Johnson garnered over 61 percent of the vote.
When Donovan led the opposition to the Community Maritime Park in 2006: “It’s clear to me, having gone door-to-door in the neighborhoods and talking to my constituents, that the people will definitely reject this baseball stadium project on Sept. 5.” — WSRE debate, Aug. 31, 2006 Note: The referendum for the “baseball stadium project” passed in Donovan’s city district, 2,006–1,562.
When Donovan’s 2009 petition drive against the bond financing for the maritime park failed: “It’s a shame that people have become so apathetic…” — Pensacola News Journal, “Petition fails to stop Maritime Park bonds,” Dec. 8, 2009
When Donovan failed to deliver his petition signatures that opposed the city council’s approval of the CMPA’s contract for the design-build of the maritime park: “…for the city manager to set an arbitrary time limit of 5 o’clock is not right.” — Pensacola News Journal, “Effort to stop Maritime Park stadium fails,” Aug. 21, 2010
Note: The new charter has the same wording on the petition as the old charter. In 2003 and 2006, Donovan delivered the petitions during normal business hours.