Posted June 5, 2018
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 proposed location simply did not maximize the civic return needed. However, it is disappointing that other locations in Pensacola that would have been more suitable could not have been brought forward.
One positive is the development of a number of cultural and community amenities that have been identified for the Bruce Beach property in this process. Unfortunately, there was no funding in the NRDA project for these, but they can still be pursued from the state. In fact, the funding should be a legislative priority for the city every year to find support for these amenities that serve both the community at large but specifically recognize the historical nature of Bruce Beach to our African American community. I have personally told the biggest proponent of these amenities that they would be a legislative priority for me if I were mayor.
Our resources are scarce so their use must be optimal. To accomplish that, Pensacola will require leadership that has a proven track record of bringing people together on a common shared goal. I have done that at the county and look forward to doing the same at the city and specifically for Bruce Beach.