Five hour-plus council meeting fails to make daily

September 7, 2011

I really don’t know exactly when the Pensacola City Council meeting stopped meeting. At 8 pm the group was still discussing. The daily newspaper had nothing on it-which is a clear sign they don’t take the body seriously any more.

The Council President’s strategy of leaving off the agenda Brian Spencer’s request to discuss the powers and duties of the position worked. Spencer and the rest of the council were too exhausted by the time the he could introduce new business. The issue isn’t dead. There is plenty discontent in the council ranks over her leadership. The question is —will they simple let her go knowing that they only have two months of her or will they address the agenda process and the president’s duties?

The Feminae Bona have spent hours whining about the power of the mayor, completely ignoring the council presidency. They have never voted on or even really discussed the agenda process from the council’s perspective. The battles with the mayor’s office that Deweese has had since March could have been avoided had the council addressed the office of council president and its “powers,” but that would require difficult conversations between each other in an open meeting.

With Deweese blocking any discussion on the issue, Spencer will need to have a special meeting called. According to the city charter, three council members can call for a special meeting or the mayor can. I see now other way for resolution. The duties of the council president and the ability of individual council members to add items to the meeting agendas need to be decided regardless of who hold that position.

The decisions need to be made before the next president is elected so that person fully understands his/her role.

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