Escambia County

Passing of the gavel at Escambia County Commission meeting had humor and gratitude

November 25, 2013

A standing room-only crowd packed the commission chambers to see the gavel passed from outgoing chairman Gene Valentino and his successor Lumon May. May took the opportunity to both honor and poke fun at the outgoing chairman.

May called up Maureen Valentino to stand with her husband while he presented the commissioner with a plaque. He also presented Gene with a tongue-in-cheek award for his service.

Holding a certificate in his hand, May read, “On behalf of the county commission, we are giving the first “Stand Down Commissioner, Changing of the Guard” award presented to Commissioner Gene Valentino for your long diligence and outstanding performance during your tenure as chairman. Never failing to scrub out an item from the 10,000-ft. level even if you are in the weeds.”

In his remarks, Commissioner Valentino talked about the challenges of serving on the BCC.

“We cover the gamut of issues on a daily basis,” he said. “The one that you come into the office to lobby for—that is so important to you—sits on our agendas as one of 30 items. We try to vet through all of them, giving all the concern and passion to each of them that you give to your one.”

He closed with: “I’ve been proud of the four commissioners up here, believe it or not, and to deliberate with them on the issues that are of great concern to you. Thank you very much.”

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  • CJ Lewis November 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    If the Pensacola City Council used the same system for changing leaders, tomorrow District “1” Councilman P.C. Wu would be handing the gavel to District “2” Councilwoman Sherri Myers with District “3” Councilman Andy Terhaar made Council Vice-President. District “7” Councilwoman Jewel Cannada-Wynn would not even be eligible to serve as Council President until 2019.

    In coming months, the Commission should seriously discuss the best way to elect or appoint its two leaders. Electing a Chairman (or Chairwoman) and a Vice-Chairman (or Vice-Chairwoman) at the start of each two-year term with both serving in office for the full term would almost certainly provide the most continuity and stability benefiting Escambia County.

  • Lars November 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I suspect the word is gamut, not gambit. But in Valentino’s case who knows.

    • Rick Outzen November 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Went back and watched the video. The commissioner probably did say “gamut.”