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Thursday October 23rd 2014

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The RESTORE Team

beachEscambia County’s RESTORE Act advisory committee is almost in place. The nine-member body is on the table for Thursday’s county commission meeting.

Commissioners are assembling the committee to assess potential uses for the expected windfall of funds stemming from the yet-to-be determined Clean Water Act fines levied against BP for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf. Escambia County may receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million in RESTORE money.

During Thursday’s county commission meeting, seven seats on the committee will be considered, while the remaining two will be selected. Each commissioner has nominated an individual to serve, with the other seats relegated to the city of Pensacola, the collective local environmental community and two citizens at-large.

The nominations are as follows:

The city of Pensacola has chosen Bentina Terry to represent city interests on the committee. Terry is an executive at Gulf Power, and was also Commissioner Lumon May’ choice to sit on the committee prior to being selected by Mayor Ashton Hayward and approved by the Pensacola City Council.

A collection of environmental groups have selected Christian Wagley to represent environmental concerns on the committee. Wagley owns a green-building consulting business and is an active voice in local environmental issues.

Commissioner Wilson Robertson has tapped Alan McMillan to serve on the committee and represent transportation issues. McMillan is a member of the county’s Mass Transit Advisory Committee.

Commissioner Gene Valentino has selected Donnie McMahon to represent economic development interests. McMahon is a principal in McMahon and Hadder Insurance, Inc. and also a past president of the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce; he was also initially a nominee for the RESTORE committee’s environmental seat.

Following the city’s selection of Terry, Commissioner May has chosen Al Coby to serve as an at-large citizen representative. Coby was formerly the city manager of Pensacola.

Commissioner Grover Robinson has selected Tammy Bohannon as the committee’s governmental representative. The Pensacola Beach realtor and business owner is also Robinson’s appointment to the Santa Rosa Island Authority.

Commissioner Steven Barry has chosen Gregg Beck, a local real estate broker to represent financial interests on the committee. Beck serves as chairman for Beck Property Company.

Commissioners will select the final two seats—two citizen at-large seats—from a list of nominees provided to them by county administration. Any citizen could have submitted their names for consideration.

The at-large list consists of Harlan Butler, Jesse Casey, Jim Cox, Jim Donovan, John Fogg, Dr. Gloria Horning, Michelle Avignone Inere, Michael Johnson, Gregory Jones, Barbara Mayall, John Peacock, Courtney Peterson, Vernon Prather, John Soule, William Turner, William Vann Milheim, Deborah Velleco, Tracie Watson, Valerie Watson and Frances Yeo.

County commissioners will meet Thursday at 9 a.m. for their morning work session, then again at 4:30 for a public forum and 5:30 p.m. for the regular commission meeting. Commission meetings are held at the county’s downtown governmental complex.