Jeremy's Notebook

A Little Fuzzy in the Nebulas

January 8, 2013

Before authorizing the mayor to execute a $2 million Economic Development Transportation Project Fund Agreement between the city of Pensacola and the Florida Department of Transportation Monday, City Council Vice President Jewell Canada-Wynn had a question: was it “free money.”

“Now, here’s the catch,” said City Attorney Jim Messer, before explaining that the $2 million worth of state funds hinged on the city’s ability to bring in 100 jobs.

The state money is for infrastructure improvements at the Port of Pensacola.

“Well, then the question is, ‘jeepers, what happens if we don’t create 100 jobs?’” Messer posed, explaining that the money is tied to the jobs, but that there is a two-year window in which to create such jobs.

The attorney also relayed a message from Mayor Ashton Hayward, stressing that “he not only expects, but needs the full support of this council, as well as the chamber” in order to successfully pull the effort off.

Canada-Wynn pressed a bit harder, wondering where the jobs might originate.

“It’s just a little fuzzy here,” she said.

City Administrator Bill Reynolds said no further information could be provided because of the “nebulas territory of economic development.”

“Where are they coming from? I can’t answer that,” he said. “We are in the cloud of the nebulas right now.”

The city council—noting the importance of economic development efforts—agreed to support the move.

“Everything in life is a risk,” said Councilwoman Sherri Myers, “but I think this is something we can pull off.”

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  • doh January 9, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Jewell Canada Wynn and economic development – equally as scary. You gotta laugh at the free money question.

  • joe January 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Jeepers, one would think they would have some sort of plan with how to ensure jobs in exchange for “free money”

  • rachel terry January 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Sherri Myers and economic development.

    Scary.

    She and Barbara Mayall will have sidewalks and ECAT busses but no one left to use them.

    Others will be fine with that as long as process was observed or the mayor is blamed, truly culpable or not.

  • jeeperman January 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Do not worry, The Mayor will just ask the FDOT to forgive the “loan” when it comes time to prove that 100 new jobs were created with the money.

  • HazeMotes January 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Do you mean “nebulous”?

  • DD January 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    They go in blind for $2 million but scream and file lawsuits about the mayor paying his chief of staff.