beach closedThe new editorial board of the PNJ has come out swinging. First, they ask the city council to delay any referendum on the expansion on the DIB. Today, they’re for Abolishing Island Authority.

I’ve always been in favor of smaller government, but I fear the backroom deals that will be made by making the beach administration a county department. Decisions that have been made at public SRIA board meetings could be shifted to decisions by dept. heads or the county administrator without any pubic input.

The County already “manages” Perdido Key. Is Perdido Key better off than Pensacola Beach?

Also, shouldn’t this decision be held off until Grover Robinson (in whose district the Beach lies) is on the board? He clearly has a bigger mandate from the voters than Whitehead, White or the two lame ducks – Dickson and Banjanin.

I do agree that general public often gets the shaft on SRIA votes and policies – Remember how long it took to get more lifeguards and we still don’t have a beach parking garage. However, there are no signs this county commission will be any more concerned for the public and won’t become just a rubber stamp for developers.

If the commission proceeds with abolishing the SRIA, then it needs to have a beach advisory committee that reviews in public hearings the policies and dept decisions for Pensacola Beach and makes recommendations to the commission. The Commission may ignore them, but at least the public will have input.


coffeeOver the summer, we had heard the Escambia County Administrator George Touart was pressuring County Atty. Janet Lander to write a legal opinion that the county commission could abolish the Santa Rosa Island Authority without a vote by the state legislature.  Well they can’t but they will vote on Thursday on whether to ask the legislature to abolish the SRIA (Commission may abolish SRIA).

It’s interesting that Touart and Whitehead are pushing this issue during the lame duck period before Gene Valentino and Grover Robinson IV (who still faces a general election, but is expected to win) take office. Pensacola Beach is in Robinson’s district.

Why abolish SRIA? The buzz is that they want to raise the residential building cap on Pensacola Beach.

What about Buck Lee? The SRIA executive director believes he will be a county department head and no longer have the SRIA holding down his salary or voting on his contract.

There is definitely a consolidation of power happening – first, don’t rollback ad valorem rates and keep $31 million tax windfall; second, creation of finance dept to cut out Ernie Lee Magaha; third abolish SRIA.

What’s next?

Hot, Hot, Hot – 8/7/06

August 7, 2006

Rick's Blog

Top 10 Posts for today:

  1. Todd says Intelligent Design is not about
  2. CC craps out with letter
  3. Marty and Charlie road show
  4. Sorry, Todd – You are a monkey’s uncle
  5. What has WCOA become?
  6. Hopkins wants City to Sale Trillium
  7. WCOA Pensacola speaks becomes Marty speaks
  8. SRIA quits posting board minutes
  9. Pensacola Sucks! Whatever
  10. Gannett buys FSU paper

beach closedThe Santa Rosa Island Authority no longer posts its broad minutes on its website Santa Rosa Island Authority. The last minutes posted were for their 2/01/06 board meeting that weren’t posted to the site until 3/7/06.