Check out July 8 issue

Cover Story: All Levels, All Stoked, All the Time


Don’t add a disclaimer. If you decide to compliment one of the Pensacola Grrrls Skate Society’s skaters’ abilities, don’t make it backhanded with a clause like, “for a girl.” Read more.

News: Titan Breaks Ground

Pensacola is on its way to having the largest aviation MRO in the country. At the groundbreaking, Mayor Robinson said, “This is a great day, but this is not just a great day for Pensacola. This is a great day for Escambia County and Northwest Florida.”  Read more.

 

News: Budget Next Up for County

It’s the county administrator’s job to create the budget, not the commissioners. That’s why the budget has a message from the administrator and not the commission chair. And the budget was supposed to be completed by July 1. What budget did former administrator Janice Gilley leave the county? Read more.

News: Speaking Up, Out and With Cecile Scoon

Cecile Scoon recently made history as the first Black woman to be elected president of the League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL). Read more.

Weekly  Columns

Winners & Losers 7/8/21

Outtakes—Tale of Two Administrators

The Buzz 7/8/21

News Of The Weird 7/8/21

Free Will Astrology 7/8/21

A&E Happenings 7/8/21

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2 thoughts on “Check out July 8 issue

  1. CJ,
    The point is the budget is the county administrator’s responsibility as per her contract. The process is outlined in the budget. It’s how he/she plans to operate the county in the upcoming year- the BCC approves her budget (plan), usually with few changes. Chief Budget Officer Amber McClure is her hire and she helps Gilley prepare the budget. Childers is the comptroller – she writes the checks.

  2. Regarding “Budget Next Up for County,” the county administrator is required to submit a three-part budget to the BOCC by “July 15” of each year. It says so right in Escambia County Code Section 2-84(5). That is still six days away. The “message” cited above is actually a letter signed by the county administrator when they formally transmit the Final Adopted Budget to the BOCC. I wonder if the BOCC actually reads the letter. The most recent “letter” was signed by County Administrator Janice Gilley on October 22, 2020. It certainly painted her accomplishments in a glowing light. It does contain one oddity. It cites Florida Statutes Chapter 129.03(3) as her legal authority for transmitting the Final Adopted Budget to the BOCC. [I presume that she meant to write “Section” 129.03(3).] “Chapter 129” is an expansive state law that governs the County Annual Budget. It mentions “county budget officer” and “clerk of the court and comptroller” but not “county administrator.” Unless the BOCC takes action to designate another person as the county budget officer, it is by default the clerk of the court and comptroller. Someone might want to ask Pam Childers who is the county budget officer. I thought it was her. I think that Gilley should instead have broadly cited as her authority Section 2.84, Escambia Code of Ordinances. Did anyone ever sit down with Gilley at the start to explain her powers and duties? That seemed especially important in this case given that Gilley was so openly unqualified for the job both as per state law and also the Escambia Code of Ordinances, specifically Section 2.82(b). I thought it rather miraculous that Gilley actually lasted two years. I would have given her at best six months. The BOCC set Gilley up for failure by hiring a person they knew best but who was not the best qualified person for the job. In truth, Gilley was not qualified at all. Her skill set is as a political staffer, political appointee and political liaison (“schmoozer”). In October 2019, when Gilley recommending hiring Jana Still to be the HR Director, she cited as her legal authority for that action Section 125.74(1)(k), Florida Statutes. But County Administrator Alison Rogers once told me that the BOCC had never adopted Section 125.74 as the powers and duties for the Escambia County Administrator. Doing so is optional – “may.” Instead, way back in 1985, they last created a similar but different Section 2-84 in the Escambia County Code. So why would Gilley cite as her authority a state law that did not apply? The county’s “culture of chaos” does seem to start with people not knowing their jobs. The only person who seems to know what they are doing is the County Attorney. In April 2019, Commissioner Jeff Bergosh exclaimed, “There’s leadership vacuum in this county.” It’s a very big vacuum. I recall Commissioner Gene Valentino once decrying how hard county government was with “five chief executive officers.” No one challenged his assertion that each county commissioner was also a chief executive officer of the county. It really seems hopeless. By the way, one big flaw in the county’s organization is that the Chief Budget Officer does not report to the County Administrator. There are six people who are direct reports to the County Administrator. The Chief Budget Officer is not one of them. That is a dumb move. If legal, and the Florida Attorney General might have an opinion, the BOCC should make the Chief Budget Officer co-equal with the County Administrator and City Attorney.

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