Aquarium group won’t release pledge names

After the daily newspaper revealed that Aquarium for Pensacola didn’t have the letters of support from elected officials as it claimed and couldn’t prove that it had 70,000 petition signatures, I asked the group’s founder William Young III to provide the list of pledges he had to pay the $50,000 needed for the feasibility study.

His reply: “To protect the privacy of donors, we are not able to release their names.”

My response was: “What proof is there that you have any pledges? You have asked a government agency to delay the demolition of the plant based on having letters of support, 70,000 petitions and $50,000 in pledges. You don’t have the letters, couldn’t prove the 70,000 signatures….why should we believe you have the $50,000 in pledges? This involves public property. I’m not trying to be an ass, but the public has a right to know who your donors are. You are in the public arena and need to be transparent.”

As I wrote earlier, I can’t believe ECUA staff didn’t require him to provide proof he had the necessary $50,000 for the study.