It took a week and a half to arrive at this morning’s special Pensacola City Council meeting regarding the city’s representative on Escambia County’s RESTORE Act advisory committee. This morning’s meeting itself took less than 10 minutes.
After his first nominee was rejected by the city council, Mayor Ashton Hayward called the special meeting yesterday to accommodate consideration of his second pick, Gulf Power executive Bentina Terry. The mayor and council needed to agree on a representative by today, as per county guidelines for the advisory committee.
“When the name was mentioned to me yesterday, I was absolutely ecstatic when I heard it,” said Council President P.C. Wu.
Terry is vice president of external affairs and corporate services at Gulf Power. Her name had been mentioned during previous council meetings pertaining to the RESTORE pick.
Before unanimously approving Hayward’s second pick, the council heaped a healthy round of praise onto Terry. Members thanked the mayor for speaking with them personally about his selection and described Terry as “an excellent choice,” “first rate” and “absolutely, 100 percent the right person.”
Mayor Hayward told the council he expected the RESTORE funds to be a “game changer” for the area. He also talked about “buy-in from the community” and said the city would have a process pertaining to the its RESTORE interests.
“This is going to be a team effort,” Hayward said.
Escambia County is assembling a nine-member advisory committee to address the expected RESTORE windfall—Clean Water Act fines stemming from BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico—and how best to use the funds. The county has allotted one seat on the advisory committee for the city of Pensacola.
Terry was also selected by Ecambia County Commissioner Lumon May as the individual to sit in the advisory committee’s citizen at-large seat. The commissioner said yesterday he planned to revise his selection if Terry was approved today by the city council.