Hayward’s inaction costs Burgess Road $350K and public safety

July 13, 2017

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward does not like Councilwoman Sherri Myers. She doesn’t dress cool. She’s old and not from a good Pensacola family, and she refuses to blindly vote for his projects.

In 2014, Mayor Hayward, Councilman Larry Johnson and the mayor’s supporters tried to get someone else elected to her District 2 seat. Johnson publicly attacked Myers in a July 2014 council meeting, He accused her of violating the city charter and asked his colleagues to investigate whether Myers had interfered with the mayor’s operations and harassed and intimidated city employees. (Read more).

Despite Johnson’s attack and the mayor’s supporters holding fundraisers for her opponent, Myers wouldn’t quit. She campaigned on making Burgess Road safer.

“I think the city has done a terrible job of infrastructure, especially safe routes to schools, which has not been on anybody’s agenda,” she told Inweekly weeks before the 2014 election. “We have the money. We’ve always had the money. It’s how you use it.”

Myers won a second term with 55 percent of the vote.

Since then, Mayor Hayward has made sure Burgess Road didn’t get its sidewalks and stormwater drainage. He didn’t include it his $15-million resurfacing plan. He has deleted it from the Local Option Sale Tax schedule.

Yesterday Councilwoman Myers learned that Hayward’s callousness has also cost the proposed $350,000 that the Escambia County Commission committed to the project.

Pensacola City Council President Brian Spencer was informed yesterday that the county funds had been reallocated.

From: David V. Forte
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 4:33:52 PM
Cc: District4; Jack R. Brown; Joy D Blackmon; Colby S. Brown
Subject: Fw: Burgess Road Sidewalks – City Council Agenda Item tomorrow

Councilman Spencer,

Per your request, at this morning’s TPO Board meeting, below is what I was able to find for your information.

The Burgess Road Sidewalks project was originally initiated by Councilwoman Myers several years back (roughly 2011-2012), and at that time, my understanding is that Commissioner Robinson agreed to partner with the City on the installation of drainage infrastructure and sidewalks for Burgess Road from Sanders Street to I-110.

The County’s portion runs from Davis Hwy west to I-110 (2,100+/-‘), and City’s portion runs from Davis Hwy east to Sanders Street (4,100+/-‘). So it’s about a 2/3 City to 1/3 County split.

The County allocated $350,000 from LOST III for the County’s portion of the entire project, but was waiting for the City to progress into the design phase. But after substantial time (years) of the City’s position to not move forward (due to the extensive cost for the City’s portion – $1M+), the County eventually decided to re-allocate the $350K to the Olive Road East Construction Project currently underway. This re-allocation occurred in June 2016.

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  • Bem July 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    So a street beautification pet project did not get funded. So what? The $350k was not “lost” it was re-allocated, so it cost taxpayers ZERO. This is news? LOL!

    • Lisa Broxson-Dinette July 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      It also included drainage …. duh…

  • Some that could not do business in P-cola anymore July 13, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Safe routes to school …. there is no such plan at any school in escambia county. I looked for it when trying to find a grant for my neighborhood when I still lived in Pensacola. Also by the way someone needs to look at the list that was approved during the council meeting in November of 2016 which Sherry approved when they got the bond approved. Burgess road is on that list. Yes I looked it up! So someone needs to do more research before taking someone’s word on things. This whole story has holes it appears.

    Now did Hayward drop the ball maybe . But again council approves LOST money I believe (resulting in the item on the agenda) so why has she not fought hard for that project to be funded so it can be designed and convinced her other council members it is needed. Come on people this is everyone’s fault in the council if it is important then the effort would have been made to convince everyone and get plans done to build it.

    Hell look at the cluster at Langley and 9th the county has plans for that at 30% for years now and yes that is NOT in the city … SURPRISE Pensacola …. it got blocked and that money got moved by the county to fund other things because the residence in that area of the city wanted Langley to stay vs going up McAlister. Come in Pensacola get out of your own way, grow, change, adapt, progress past the blame and get things done! One of the reasons I left pensacola and one of the reasons I have not returned.

  • Cindy Turner July 13, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I just moved back to the area after living in Colorado for the last 13 years. More incompetence, with the local government. Nothing has changed. We need more citizens like Mrs. Meyers to step-up, lead and do the right thing. And…we need to vote the likes of Mr. Hayward and others like him out of office. It’s the only way to get them out ~

  • David Johnson July 13, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    This road would probably get more attention if it had more bars and restaurants or maybe a fancy candy shop. The downtown crowd doesn’t seem to care much for real people who just want a decent street to travel on.

  • Gloria G Horning, Ph.D July 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Good ol boys acting like teenagers. Children’s safety should be a number one priority for all of the county and city representives. This is clearly bullying of a true representative of ALL the people. Shame, shame, shame!
    Ugly, ugly, ugly…

  • George Hawthorne July 13, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Sheri has been fighting for this project since she was first elected and it is a shame that the Mayor’s “petty behavior” and lack of governance has cost the citizens of Pensacola a worthy project that increases public safety in that neighborhood. Pensacola needs an “adult” in the Mayor’s office like Grover Robinson.