Vince Whibbs’ Last Speech – Written but Never Given

July 7, 2006

Note: The weekend before his death, Pensacola Mayor Emeritus Vince Whibbs was working on a speech in support of the Community Maritime Park. These are his notes for that presentation:

Who are we? What are we?

If we don’t know, how in the world will we ever be able to convince John Q. Pensacolian that the Community Maritime Park is the best and the only solution to the renaissance of Downtown Pensacola?

I can’t answer for you, but this is what I am convinced what we are and who we are:

We are a group of men with the vision to bring solid, sound beatification to our community through a redefinition of the highest and best use of our waterfront assets and a renaissance of pride and confidence in our community.

The goal is to have waterfront access for all our citizens and visitors – 24 hours a day, 365 days each year, and to provide a gathering point for families to enjoy safe, serene accommodations as we share educational, recreational, social and athletic activities in a park we can all use.

The strategy is to convince the uninformed citizens of Pensacola that a Community Maritime Park will serve the best interests of all residents of our City through:

  1. A public awareness campaign that will put forth the true facts of the effort.
  2. Develop public support of the maritime museum to be partnered with the University of West Florida. engaging the student body to get it done.
  3. Fan fever of baseball fans to get out the vote to defeat the referendum. There are thousands of Little Leaguers here in Pensacola who love baseball.
  4. Put “Families to Work” supporting the park and to defeat the referendum.
  5. Emphasize the importance of job creation through the 1,500 jobs needed to construct the project and the close to 1,000 permanent jobs providing opportunity for our sons, daughters and grandchildren to stay in Pensacola.
  6. Refute the fallacious statements that the maritime park will raise taxes for all the citizens of Pensacola.

The above will get us started, but it will never happen unless we, individually, and collectively feel and reflect the passion that we must have to convince our fellow citizens that the park is not only possible, but absolutely necessary, and we can make it happen.

LET’S DO IT TOGETHER AND DO IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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One Response to “Vince Whibbs’ Last Speech – Written but Never Given”

  1. Casey Jongko Says:

    Thanks for this Rick. I actually gave one of the “Vote YES!” Tshirts to my brother in law, Andrew Ray (Vince’s grandson) this afternoon, after giving him the good news, as well as the news about the renaming the park after his “papa”.

    God, Vince will surely be missed!

    -Case

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