It looks like the Pensacola Homeowners Association, also known as the Pensacola City Council, has chosen option 1. Sherri Myers says she won’t vote for the budget. She admitted that she cut any budget item that she believed the staff hasn’t justified. She calls the budget process flawed. She wants a new ordinance that requires budget to be delivered by July 1 (which I believe is a very good idea).
9:20 Sam Hall is fighting to speed up the process
9:23 Megan Pratt likes “The West Wing.” Council is still stuck on the Mayor’s Cabinet. Pratt appears to be supportive. Myers is not–although she says she likes John Asmar.
9:28 Can the council change the wording of the budget? Not the budget items, but the descriptions. Pratt and Maren DeWeese are seeking clarification. They may do straw votes on individual changes. Deweese says its unfortunate that nothing is going to change without amendments. Sept. 7 is the day to present the changes. Dick Barker says that the Mayor has agreed to some of the changes Pratt suggested.
9:33 Brian Spencer questions whether a part of the council is trying to return to the type of council that stagnated the city for the past two decades. Deweese appears to be rushing him. Spencer makes clear he fully supports the mayor’s budget as proposed and presented. He will not support any straw votes and further workshops. He wants to see new charter that empowers mayor to be our leader to be fully deployed. “I’m not going to hamstring this mayor.” Spencer is leaving the meeting. Hall has walked out, too.
9:36 Deweese is now focusing on the mayor’s reorganization. Deweese is somewhat going after the Chief of Staff position. She is talking about a visit she and the mayor took to Mobile. She says she trusts the budget and the mayor. She asks the council to give the mayor at least 90 days. Jerralds is next up.
9:37 Jerralds says let’s move forward. We know what didn’t work. He says he supports the budget and doesn’t know if the council needs to play around with this the rest of the day.
9:40 Larry Johnson says that he supports the budget as it is. THAT’S FOUR VOTES!!! Spencer, Hall, Jerralds, Johnson. Larry Johnson has also left. Townsend is absent (out of town), but I believe he is voting for the budget, which gets it to the necessary five.
9:43 Myers is responding. She says people voted for a system of checks and balances. She talks about the fear of creating a big boss. She says she still supports the mayor. It’s not about the mayor but our responsibilities. She says its all about checks and balances.
9:48 Deweese now has a presentation. Pratt interrupted and is still concerned about Escambia Treatment project and its place on the budget; Natural gas policies (B & C); and no-range positions. She will bring those up Sept. 7. Jerrald says he is staying, but the council has lost its quorum. Wu is absent, too.
9:51 Deweese is making a presentation on the Fire Rescue Units. Four council members to hear it: Deweese, Pratt, Myers and Jerralds. You will need to follow this on your own. I’m going to do the Ed Schultz Show.