Pensacola Politics

Homeless ordinances generated from the mayor’s office

February 1, 2014

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.

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  • Sonia Gray February 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I challenge the leaders of Pensacola to live on the streets of Pensacola (Preferably during the winter months, when it is the most challenging time for the homeless population), without any help from family or friends, etc., for a weekend and see what it is like. They need to do it with no money on their person, wearing a pair of jeans, a tee-shirt and light jacket and, if they desire, a hat. They can carry a blanket to keep them warm, but will be subject to the same laws as anyone else within the city who is living on the street would be subject to. Their food would come from those of us who do what we can to help the homeless, but again the rules would say family, friends, co-workers can’t bring them food. I think it should start on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. and end on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. A respected and trusted journalist would follow them, document their experience, take photographs, etc. and submit it at the next City Council meeting PLUS publish their article in the Independent News. Perhaps, then, they would all begin to understand.