Moving Forward in the Pensacola Mayor’s Race

I would first like to thank Mayor Hayward for his eight years of service to Pensacola. While we have sometimes disagreed, he has always presented himself and our city well. Jill and I wish An and him the best in their family’s next endeavor.

Now that it is clear that we will have a new mayor, I want to describe how I would fill the role to best serve Pensacola.

My twelve years of public service have shown me that the best ideas come from those who live closest to the issues. In other words, the best solutions to move our community forward will not come from City Hall but from our citizens. Anyone who tells you solutions only come from City Hall and its administration simply is not committed to true citizen involvement. The purpose of the Mayor is not to be the source of all ideas but rather be the leading conduit to make good ideas for the community come to fruition.

To achieve this, each of my first seven months in office would be focused in a specific district, developing citizen-led plans for that district. Once there is a plan, it will be the Mayor’s job to execute it. Certainly, we will not have the funds to do everything needed at once, but we will have a citizen-led map for each district to find more success.

However, the Mayor and administration cannot be the only ones working. For eight years we have placed elected public servants on the sidelines, and I intend to put the City Council back to work. As I see it, it is the job of the Mayor to meet weekly with each council member to engage them in each district’s plan.

In addition to working towards success, engaging the council will make those positions more important to our community. With greater value, council positions will be a perfect place to develop the next generation of leaders for our community.

That being said, Pensacola’s success cannot be driven by elected officials alone. I would ensure an open dialogue with the public to get input on our progress. I would meet regularly with the press, not only to provide information but to also answer questions. We would also provide a way for the public to openly address the mayor like they can the City Council and County Commission, and ensure transparency.

Finally, for Pensacola to continue to thrive, we will need friends and partners. To that end, I would meet with officials across Northwest Florida to explore a shared vision for success and find ways to work together. Success in Northwest Florida will generate more success if the region works together. The Mayor of Pensacola should be leading that regional collaboration. My past service in Escambia County provides the fastest access to that cooperation.

This is how I see the Mayor’s role in the work needed to continue Pensacola’s forward momentum. Local government is not magic. It starts with listening, continues with building relationships, and demands hard work. I am the most qualified candidate to fill this role for Pensacola. With your support, I look forward to doing great things for our city.

— Grover Robinson


Issues

Downtown Parking

I have been hearing many complaints about the parking from the 24 hours to Saturday enforcement to service charges for some time from a variety of citizens. I shared my concerns with the Downtown Improvement Board director Curt Morse, and my opinion that the implementation needed some significant tweaks.

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New vision needed for the Port of Pensacola

The Port is a glaring weakness in the City of Pensacola’s financial health. The 56 acres with deep water access is a great asset for the city. The problem is we may not be looking at the right way to use it.

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Do we need an executive order on drug policy?

Recently two TV stations contacted me to request my comments on a position on marijuana policy published by a mayoral opponent in the PNJ this weekend. While this is not a primary topic for me as to why I am running, I was asked to respond to a fairly complex position

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Thoughts About a Skateboard Ban

While I have tried to stay away from commenting on current city issues, I was recently asked about my position on the citywide “Skateboard Ban.” My thoughts are how can a community that recently celebrated with much fanfare the development of new Downtown Skatepark under the I-110 underpass in such a short time propose a community-wide ban on skateboarding.

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Thoughts About the Mayor's Salary

The City Council recently proposed a raise in the mayor’s salary. My first thought was that it was not needed; that the money could be better spent elsewhere. But understanding that the stated purpose of the proposal is to encourage a wider array of talented people to run for the office.

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Fish Hatchery: Good Opportunity at Different Location

With my recent filing for Mayor, several people have asked me about the Fish Hatchery. I have typically stayed out of other jurisdictions, but since I have declared my intention to serve in Pensacola, I have a few thoughts and comments to share.

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A better use of Bruce Beach?

One of the most effective things to do in public service is to listen. Not only do you get to hear what others are thinking, every now and then you learn things you had not thought about.

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