Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018

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The Buzz 7/21/11

MACK ATTACKS Sometimes the most innocent requests can lead to melodrama, especially when it involves the city of Pensacola. The IN requested a copy of the alternative redistricting map that Supervisor of Elections David Stafford was asked to develop by the City Redistricting Commission.

The alternative map, labeled “City Sample C,” had more contiguous districts. It shifted Maren DeWeese out of District 3 and into District 4 with Larry Johnson. District 6, which is held by Brian Spencer, became the downtown district with a 56.44 percent white majority.

The map was posted on Rick’s Blog (ricksblog.biz) late Wednesday afternoon. By that night, Redistricting Commissioner Diane Mack was irate that she had not received the map prior to the newspaper.

At 8:56 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, Mack fired off an email to Elaine Mager, Supervisor of Elections David Stafford, City Attorney Jim Messer and Council President Maren DeWeese:

“Elaine:
I don’t know who is responsible for releasing the latest districting map sample to the media (Outzen’s blog) before it was sent to the Commission members, but it was a violation of protocol and I hereby register my objection and complaint. Please forward to the appropriate parties.”

The next morning, Stafford replied that IN publisher Rick Outzen had made the request several hours after the alternative map had been sent to Mager. Stafford copied Messer, Mager and commission chair DeeDee Davis on the email to the Outzen.

Mack wasn’t satisfied and wrote in her reply to Stafford: “To send the information to him was out of order and a discourtesy to us. The proper procedure would have been to inform him that the map had not been distributed to the Commission and to refer his request to Commission Chair.”

She told Stafford that she planned to take up the issue at the next commission meeting.

Stafford replied: “Thank you for sharing your opinion on proper procedures for public officials responding to requests for information. That said, I don’t intend to continue this dialogue over e-mail, but will be happy to address it at the next meeting.”

An hour and a half later, Mack apologized to Stafford, but still kept the controversy going: “The question remains is who took it upon him/herself to put a bug in Mr. Outzen’s ear that there was something to be requested.”

This is indeed the question.

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