It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I had to chuckle when someone sent me a picture of a half-empty parking lot with $5 parking and a "Brian Spencer" sign. It would be funny if it were not so serious. The parking issue in downtown Pensacola is no joke. We can do better.
With the recent appeals court ruling, I have received several questions about my thoughts on the Bayview Cross. I have been clear and consistent in support of the Bayview Cross since the issue first appeared. The cross was erected as a private memorial and has remained on the property for decades. For many, the cross has become a part of the park.
The most important role of any government – including Pensacola’s – is to provide public safety for its residents and businesses. Unfortunately, the city’s current administration has let citizens down by not supporting its law enforcement.
To provide effective service, the City of Pensacola needs 152 sworn police officers. For much of 2017 and 2018, we have had only 124 officers, which has left patrols uncovered in many neighborhoods.
On the issue of homelessness, I have worked with agencies like the Escarosa Homeless Coalition with John Johnson. He would be the first to tell you that the panhandlers are not the homeless but people willing to take advantage of an issue for their personal gain. The Homeless Coalition was behind the better way to give campaign that the Leadership Pensacola class of 2016 supported with decorated parking meters for people to place change that supports agencies who care for the truly homeless.
The news of the hatchery is both positive and disappointing at the same time. While in the wake of a series of Civicon sessions, there is little doubt the community would be significantly underutilizing a valuable asset if the hatchery had happened in the proposed location.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.