10 Most Powerful – Escambia County

August 8, 2006

Top 10 Most Powerful Government Officials in Escambia County

  1. George Touart – County Adminstrator Manages the largest workforce in the county. Has the power to cut thru red tape. Few things happen without his approval. Commissioners follow his lead.
  2. Marty Donovan – Pensacola City Council Has single-handedly kept the city government from proceeding on Community Martime Park. If he defeats park, all future major projects will have to be approved by him and Stop Our City – regardless of the council vote. He becomes the de facto ruler of the city.
  3. Ron McNesby – Sheriff Two-term head of the largest law enforcement agency in the county. Has yet to lose a hearing, FDLE investigation, grand jury or corner’s inquest. Manages $71 million dollar budget. Great to be his friend – rough to be his enemy. There’s no one to oppose him 2008.
  4. Mike Whitehead – Commission chairman Has Touart’s ear. More experienced politician than even senior commissioner Tom Banjanin. Comfortable working behind the scenes. Banished Independent News from courthouse.
  5. Jim Paul – Superintendent of Schools. First two-term superintendent in decades. Quiet, humble leader that makes things happens.
  6. Ronnie Arnold – Asst. Superintendent Handles teacher union negotiations, sales tax extension and most ever thorny issue facing the public school system. Very effective leader.
  7. Tom Bonfield – Pensacola City Manager Efficient leader of a large workforce. Deserves kudos for dealing with a ten-member city council.
  8. Ernie Lee Magaha – Clerk of Court The only man who has told Touart “No.”
  9. John Fogg – Pensacola Mayor He’s about to surpass Vince Whibbs as the longest serving mayor.
  10. Chris Jones – Property Appraiser The man who valuates our property has tremendous power. This year his appraisals got the county an additional $31 million in property taxes for 2006-07.

3 Responses to “10 Most Powerful – Escambia County”

  1. Tim Sexton Says:

    You’ve got to be kidding, right? Jim Paul makes things happen? He’s the kingpin of the single most incompetent, inept and corrupt school district in Florida, if not the whole US. He kisses Jeb’s ass, doesn’t respond to teacher complaints and is out of his office more than George Bush. Unbelievable.

  2. Jim McClellan Says:

    About Marty:

    I do not want my vocal support of the Maritime Park to be misinterpreted as a dislike for or disrespect toward Marty. Unlike many of the folks involved in the SOC effort, I know that Marty truly wants to make things better here in Pensacola. I disagree with him on this issue, but let’s all remember that he has directed his same passionate voice toward the clean-up of Bayou Texar (even before he was elected.)

    And, I think the CMP team would agree that his fervent opposition has on balance led to a better proposal. Certainly, knowing that it would receive such careful scrutiny has caused the team to be more diligent in its efforts to ensure public access and accountability.

    Absent the park issue, there are a number of other issues (health care, housing, equality)where Marty’s voice and leadership are sorely needed. Once this divisive issue is behind us, I hope we can rally the same level of intensity (from all sides) for those.

  3. GoSaveAnotherCity Says:

    Marty is certainly a very talented councilman. Although I do not agree with his stand on the park project, his voice is relevant to many issues facing our community. It will be a shame if his legacy is defined by his dislike of the one of the park proponents instead of the many good things he has done for Pensacola.

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