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Monday September 15th 2014

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Homeless ordinances generated from the mayor’s office

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There is some confusion over how the city of Pensacola’s homeless ordinances become law. They were passed by the Pensacola City Council last May, but they originated in the mayor’s office.

In fact that’s how PNJ reporter Nate Monroe described the three ordinances given to the council to consider – “a trio of ordinances Mayor Ashton Hayward’s office presented to the council.” (See Pensacola News Journal, “Begging rule passes,” May 21, 2013.) Here is the cover memo for one of the ordinances, which is from Mayor Ashton Hayward to the Pensacola City Council. See COW052013Homeless.

The Pensacola City Council shares responsibility because the body passed the ordinances recommended by the mayor (Homeless Ordinances Find a Home), but the laws clearly started with Hayward and he signed them into law.

City Administrator Bill Reynolds sold the council on the ordinances. He said, at the council’s Committee of the Whole, the city would be exploring additional funding sources with its federal lobbyist and was collaborating with EscaRosa on the “little outreach piece that they’re working on.” It doesn’t appear that ever happened.

I did a little more digging and found the memorandums from the mayor’s office for all three of the homeless ordinances: 05062013pg4; 05062013pg7; and 05062013pg10.