Moving forward on the Community Maritime Park

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

As many of you likely know, I and other city council members recently questioned the most recent appointment to the CMPA and the process used in that appointment, which I felt the circumvented a process previously established by the city council.

While I am disappointed in the outcome of the vote, I hope that moving forward, all involved can come together to work toward a successful Maritime Park project. I plan on taking a more active role, attending more CMPA meetings, and doing all that I can to ensure the project's success while safeguarding the interests of my constituents. To that end, I have reached out to CMPA chair Eddie Todd to discuss the project and extend my offer to help in any way possible.

One aspect of the project I would like to focus on is the Covenant with the Community. The Covenant stresses minority participation in all aspects of the park's planning, design and implementation, and establishes a Contractor Academy to assist all interested parties in learning about the process, explaining the requirements, and boosting the number of minority-owned businesses submitting proposals. I believe that the covenant is an integral part of this project, and moving forward, I want to help ensure that it is properly implemented.

The CMPA's contractor academy committee will meet this Friday, and a public forum on the contractor academy will be held on Saturday. See below for details:



CMPA appointment issue

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Below is a clip from the March 11 city council meeting where I asked city attorney Rusty Wells about the process for the pending CMPA appointment. The council was in the process of passing a resolution to accept the power to appoint and remove CMPA board members, but as the CMPA was in the process of making an appointment, the Council intended to let the CMPA make the appointment, provided it come back before the Council for approval.

In an effort to make sure I as well as citizens understood the process, I asked City Attorney Rusty Wells to explain.

Mr. Wells explained that the planned arrangement would work assuming the CMPA amended their articles of incorporation and bylaws to implement the resolution. Unfortunately neither I nor City staff anticipated the possibility that the CMPA agenda could be arranged in such a way that the appointment would be made before they amended the bylaws.

Also below the video clip is a copy of the March 12 CMPA meeting agenda.

The Community Maritime Park has been a controversial project in our community. My concern is that the CMPA's recent appointee and the process by which he was appointed further erodes the public confidence in the project and adds another degree of controversy and divisiveness.

Interestingly enough, the four council members who voted in favor of discussing this issue at a special meeting on March 15 all supported the new city charter, while most of those opposing discussion did not. The 2008 city council elections and and the city charter vote made it apparent to me that city residents want change. I've heard again and again that "business as usual" is not acceptable. I want to thank my constituents who have expressed their concerns about the process. I will continue to work to be a strong voice for the people of District 4.

I am sure this issue will come up at Monday's Committee of the Whole meeting. I believe that a vote on this appointment will be a vote on who has influence at City Hall — is it the citizens and taxpayers of this community, or is it a select group of well-connected individuals who have long exercised too much clout?

CMPA Board Meeting Agenda 3-12-10


Control of the Maritime Park

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today I received an email from constituent C. C. Elebash about recent changes in the Community Maritime Park plan:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
To: "Mike Wiggins" , "Megan Pratt" , "Diane Mack" , "P.C. Wu" , "Sam Hall" , "Larry Johnson" , "John Jerralds" , "Jewel Cannada-Wynn" , "Marin DeWeese" , "Ronald Townsend"
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 11:05:42 -0600Subject: Control of Maritime Park.doc

March 13, 2010

TO: Pensacola City Council

SUBJECT: Control of the Maritime Park

Dear Mr. Mayor and Council Members:

You should promptly take back direct control of the Community Maritime Park. The original proposal has fallen apart. The CMPA management arrangement no longer makes sense. The entire project is in disarray. Too many people and agencies are involved. Responsibility is diffused.

The baseball park is the only major element in the Community Maritime Park now going forward as originally planned. The ballpark has little public support. It has always been the least popular part of the CMP. In view of the poor prospects for State and City revenues, you should revisit your decision to build the stadium.

The Maritime Park is doable on a reduced scale. A smaller City investment could provide a “green field”, an attractive public area, and the amphitheater. You could also provide infrastructure to attract private development.

Above all, Council should be in direct control of the Maritime Park. You are our elected and accountable City leaders. Only you can restore order out of the current organizational morass.

Sincerely yours,

C. C. Elebash


District 4 Beautification Day March 13

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Councilwoman Maren DeWeese and I will be hosting a beautification work day on Saturday, March 13 from 7-9 AM at Hyde Park Road and Scenic Highway, where District 4 meets District 3.

Come out to help us beautify our community!

My famous mom is planning on attending and will bring plenty of goodies from J's Bakery.

For more information about the event or past beautification efforts, see or email me at


Coastkeeper event tomorrow night

Please join us tomorrow night, Thursday, March 4, from 6-9 PM at Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen and Taproom, to support Emerald Coastkeeper and the fight for clean water.



Vacancies on city boards

Monday, March 1, 2010

There are currently vacancies on three city boards: the Zoning Board of Adjustments, the Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals, and the Parks & Recreation Board.

Anyone interested in serving may contact me at Applications are due by Friday, March 12.

For more information on the boards' responsibilities and membership requirements see the news release on the city web site:


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