Two strikes on Spencer

April 3, 2012

Pensacola City Councilman Brian Spencer represents a district with wide disparities -rich-poor, black-white, large corporations-minimum wage workers. Some of Pensacola’s wealthiest neighborhoods and some of its poorest are in his district. While focusing on downtown is rewarding-personally, politically and professionally-for Spencer, the areas above Garden Street need attention, too.

I was saddened and bewildered by Spencer’s positions on the opening of Government Street and the relocation of the Cobra helicopter. Not so much the positions, but the lack of time spent listening to his constituents. With all the hurt and pain in the poorer neighborhoods of District 6 over Trayvon Martin, poverty, racial disparities and public education, why did he choose to make an old helicopter a big issue?

Is this what the city really needs to be debating on the front page of the daily newspaper?

Imagine if Spencer had invested the same energy in trying to save Spencer Bibbs Elementary last year. Or helping A.A. Dixon. Or working with the churches to put on more job fairs like the one done by the Blue Wahoos.

Brian Spencer is brilliant. He does care about people in his district. However, he needs to get back on track. It’s great to have ideas….just not every idea is a great one.

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  • Ross Overstreet April 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm


    I read your blog at least weekly and have for years, and I appreciate what you do, but also recognize when you are trying to stir us up and name drop (Spencer, TrayVon, A.A. Dixon, etc) or increase SEO performance.

    Brian Spencer got caught on the wrong side of a PR challenge with what seemed a small positive recommendation originally. Who knew the helicopter meant that much? I was ignorant as well about it, and stand educated about its symbolism and importance to our community and beyond. Mr Spencer went above and beyond – not to solve a PR situation but to truly communicate the new understanding he has of the helicopter’s meaning to our respected veterans and others. His apology to me was one of the most heartfelt statements I have seen from a “politician” in a long time and made me respect him more. Others could learn from this honest and genuine self-sacrificing leadership that is rare in the politically-charged world of today.

    I would love to see an article contrasting Spencer’s handling (positive) of this situation vs Sam Hall’s bad approach to the Nathan Monk situation.



    • Rick Outzen April 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Ross – “Who knew the helicopter meant that much?” That is the point of this post. Spencer should have spent the time to find out. Apologies are good, maybe even rare. However, politicians need to listen and get the pulse of the people that they represent. Spencer failed in these two instances. Neither failure is fatal…if lessons were learned.

  • eric April 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Quite a strectch to bring the Trayvon Martin travesty into Mr. Spencer’s umbrella of representation.

  • Tony Teschel April 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm


  • Tony Teschel April 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Come on Rick, really? Mr. Spencer has something to do with Trayvon?

    • Rick Outzen April 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Does he have anything to do with helicopters?