The Pensacola City Council reboots its budget workshops today at 9 a.m. at Pensacola City Hall. The Pensacola Fire Union may or may not come in mass. City Council member-in-exile Diane Mack will probably be there to talk about the changes to the budget that she failed to make in her two years on the council, but wants to see done now.
As I see it, the City Council has four options:
1) Discuss each budget amendment and inquiry in detail. Taking straw polls on each and draft budget changes that are balanced.
2) Take votes at the beginning of the meeting on each of the items and decide which ones have at least five votes for the council members to discuss further. This might cut the laundry list down to five or six items.
3) Appoint a subcommittee consisting of Maren Deweese, Megan Pratt and Sherri Myers–the three members who want the budget amended. Let them fight it out and present their recommendations to the entire council at a later date.
4) Do a straw poll on whether Mayor Ashton Hayward’s budget as presented has five votes. If the budget has the support of the majority of the council, meeting is adjourned.
You can watch the meeting online and see which option they take. It’s clear the Mayor’s budget has six votes, but will the minority try to punish them and drag this out?
If option #1 or #2 is what prevails, expect council members to bail as quickly as possible, especially if the meeting lasts more than two hours.