In an effort to show they are fiscally responsible the Pensacola City Council is delaying its decision on the funds requests for Palafox Pier park completion, repairing the Pensacola Cultural Center and Springfest. By doing so, many of them are missing the point about the requests.
First, as I’ve written earlier, the Pensacola city budget is not as lean as the mainstream media, council and city staff want us to believe.
These funding requests are investments in our community. The DeLuna statue completes the public park at the end of Palafox St. It is a fitting tribute to this city’s heritage on its 450th anniversary. The cost is shared with the county and the private sector.
The Pensacola Cultural Center is a historical landmark and needs to be preserved. Community theater is an integral part of the culture of this community and needs to be cherished – whether Sam Hall and other city council members attend or not. Historically, the Cultural Center has much more significance than the Saengar Theatre.
Funding Springfest is probably the toughest decision. And it boils down to does the City want to help resurrect one of its signature events. We’ve lost the Pensacola Open/Emerald Coast Classic/Blue Angel Classic. We’re now left with the Blue Angels Show; Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival and the Pensacola Interstate Fair. Great fun!
Bayfest in Mobile was stayed in operation thanks to support from its local government. Its city leaders said that they didn’t want it to go away.
What I fear is that our tax dollars are going to fund these huge bureaucracies at the city and county levels and we will lose the very things that make this community special. We are paying people who run our governments more money than most of us make, pay them better benefits than we get, including health insurance that we can’t afford, and yet there is no money for the services that we need and the things that make the quality of life here better.
We might as well paint everything gray and be done with it.