BP Disaster Environment Escambia County

RESTORE Committee Outlined

March 12, 2013

During this week’s Escambia County Commission Committee of the Whole, the board will discuss the RESTORE Act advisory committee’s purpose and role. The following is an informational sheet included in the agenda packet.

March 14, 2013 Committee of the Whole
Agenda Item #4
RESTORE Advisory Committee

Issue Sheet

Executive Summary:

On October 18, 2012, the Escambia Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution
establishing a RESTORE Advisory Committee. The purpose of the Committee is to develop a
plan, take public input and set the final goals for Escambia County’s use of RESTORE funds.
The Committee will review projects and submit recommendations to the Board of County
Commissioners for consideration.


1. The Committee shall review projects submitted to the Board of County
Commissioners for consideration of funding pursuant to the RESTORE Act.

2. The Committee shall assign each project proposal into one of three categories:

Workforce development and job creation



3. A project may only be submitted for funding in one category.

4. At the Committee’s discretion, similar projects may be combined into a unified project
proposal. Projects with a total estimated cost lower than $500,000.00 will not be
considered for funding using RESTORE Act funds.

5. The Board of County Commissioners shall establish ranking criteria for the
Committee to use. The Committee shall rely solely on the ranking criteria established
by the Board of County Commissioners.

6. The Committee shall rank each project and compile aggregate ranked lists of the
projects submitted in each category.

7. The Committee shall then submit the lists to the Board of County Commissioners for
review and approval.

8. The Board of County Commissioners may adopt a timeline for the ranking and
approval process and any other deadlines it deems necessary. This timeline and
other deadlines shall be binding on the Committee.

Direction Desired:

1. Develop public input and visioning process
2. Establish ranking criteria
3. Adopt an approval process
4. Adopt a timeline for ranking
5. Set Committee schedule

a. Committee begin twice monthly meetings
i. Committee orientation: Sunshine, RESTORE background information
ii. Teambuilding and familiarization and process review
iii. Project Review
iv. Project combination
v. Project ranking
vi. Submittal to BOCC
b. Assign staff and Committee resources

6. Reconsider project categories whereby each project selection is weighted by the
criteria only.

7. Reconsider $500,000 minimum or establish small project criteria to “lump” into a
$500,000 program.

The COW begins at 9 a.m. Thursday at the county’s downtown complex.

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  • Ames March 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

    But the payback ain’t paying enough ;)

  • pave me March 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    this process is ass backwards. Develop a set of priorities first which then guides the selection of projects that fulfills those priorities. I know that is a hard concept for Wilson to embrace but I am confident that Grover, Steven and Lumon get it. There may be hope.

    Funny watching Mean Gene and Tricky Touart exact their revenge on the Chamber. Chamber paying the price for not supporting Touart’s run at a commission seat and slapping Gene down a few years ago in his quest to control economic development. Payback is hell.

  • Ames March 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    LLaird, for 40 years or more training options for poor Panhandle citizens has been limited to the low wage job market. Contempt for the poor is deeply engrained in Panhandle Society and requires deep measures of class division.

  • L.Laird March 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    On October 18, 2012, the Escambia Board of County Commissioners adopted rules:…WAIT…Two new members WERE not aboard yet, so why should they be saddle with these very restrictive rules??? Funding for long term programs for the working poor would be nice…they lost jobs and income…that bridge too no where in Beulah was not hurt. I vote to re-do the rules, so citizens in general might get some funding that might help them, and not a few paint contractors and road builders…..

  • Ames March 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    By all means,yes, from the very first word.
    Are rules in place concerning out-of-meeting discussions about matters to be addressed by the Board, Committees, Commission, and Council?

  • CJ Lewis March 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The Board of County Commissioners should direct that all meetings of the RESTORE Act Advisory Committee be documented by verbatim meeting minutes prepared by a certified court reporter.

    In the City, the Charter Review Commission failed to do so with the result that, with the exception of the last set prepared on August 19, 2009, the rest of the meetings minutes do not fairly correspond to the discussion captured on the meeting videos. The resulting chaos and misinformation has plagued the city government for years.

    When I became the Secretary of the Escambia County Consolidation Study Commission, we did the best we could with the little resources we had but mostly I wrote notes really fast to try and produce near verbatim meeting minutes until we hired Judy Burns as our Recording Secretary to help.

    Council President Maren DeWeese hired a certified court reporter to document the meetings of the city’s Districting Commission. It is mostly because of the verbatim meeting transcripts that we know that: 1) the City Council district boundaries were gerrymandered to protect the incumbents; 2) Districts 5 and 7 were racially gerrymandered to dilute the percentages of African-American citizens in those districts; 3) the Districting Commission’s so-call Public Hearing, attended by only four of seven members, lasted less than four minutes; 4) Districting Commission Chairwoman DeeDee Ritchie Davis, who by then may have already left Pensacola relocating to Gulf Breeze with her new husband, failed to discuss the Districting Plan at the Public Hearing as required by the agenda; and 5) the Districting Commission failed to vote after the Public Hearing to send the Districting Plan to the City Council.

    The City Council didn’t care about any of the problems let alone violations of law because all of their seats were protected, e.g. District 1 Councilman P.C. Wu was not redistricted into District 3 as he would have if the Districting Commission had not rejected the Districting Plan prepepared by the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections, etc. City Attorney Jim Messer’s unexplainable legal assessment of the Districting Commission’s work was, “Good job.” However, on the upside, we at least know what problems need to be fixed in the Charter to ensure future City Councils play no role in the districting process, etc.

    With respect to the RESTORE Act Advisory Committee, verbatim meeting minutes will ensure that there is an unimpeachable record of everything said or not said and every action taken or not taken. Everyone monitoring the process, to include the Board of County Commissioners, County Staff and media can read one authoritative version of the events of each meeting vice the multiple versions of the truth that inevitably arise when issues get heated.