Jeremy's Notebook

‘100 Percent the Right Person’

January 31, 2013

mayor:city council panoramic

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.

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  • Barely February 1, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Yes CJ – perhaps one of them will find the hidden light switch and they can stop stumbling around in the dark room.

  • CJ Lewis January 31, 2013 at 11:48 am

    See Ashton, wasn’t that easy. Heeding the guidance of the Charter to “exhibit a cooperative spirit” was not so hard after all. Thanks for shocking everyone by showing up today!

    Kudos to Commissioner Lumon May for picking Bentina Terry and then saving Mayor Hayward’s bacon by letting him nominate her. [Don’t return the favor nominating David Penzone!] Had Hayward acted like an adult several weeks back, none of this would have happened and he wouldn’t have suffered a self-inflicted political defeat.

    The ineptness of City Attorney Messer, previously only known to Council members and a small cadre of Council watchers and local lawyers and judges, became much better known last week when it was revealed that Messer was using the pre-2011 Rules & Procedures of the City Council as his guide. Councilwoman Megan Pratt sure exposed Messer’s shortfalls for all to see. Ouch!

    Even better, City Administrator Reynolds was verbally body-checked several times by Councilman Charles Bare. Reynold’s self-rightous days of demanding his personal right to exercise Mayor Hayward’s Charter powers seem to be at an end.

    Nobody elected Reynolds as Mayor and he was not confirmed into office by the Council. While Reynolds only answers to Hayward, Reynolds can only exercise Hayward’s authority to supervise the completion of municipal functions. Reynolds cannot usurp and Hayward cannot delegate his Charter powers and duties to Reynolds.

    Next week’s Council Rules & Procedures Workshop now seems like a golden opportunity for the Council to start fresh after two years of groveling before Hayward who has to this point refused to let the Council fully exercise “the legislative powers of the City.”