According to the daily newspaper, Ashton Hayward, who will be sworn in today as the mayor of Pensacola, has reduced (temporarily?) his 20 Solutions for 2011 to six priorities for his administration:
1. Hire a city administrator. This wasn’t part of the 20 Solutions. Hayward doesn’t tell us what he will do for administration for the three to five months it will take to hire this administrator. Who will work on his 2011-12 budget in the meantime?
2. Appoint West Side Improvement Committee. Not part of 20 Solutions either. Another committee to deal with the six separate pledges he made for West Pensacola. Will this committee have direct access to Mayor Hayward or will it be filtered through the Wonder Bread transition team?
3. Examine personnel vacancies for potential savings. The Wonder Bread boys have identified 58 positions that are vacant, but Hayward isn’t ready to make a decision on eliminating them. He needs more time to meet with department heads. Though not in the 20 Solutions, Hayward committed at the Chamber forum to rollback the millage immediately. Cutting these jobs could help do that.
4. Explore budget reductions. This was in the 20 Solutions. Are “explore” and “examine” other words for study? What have the Wonder Bread Boys been doing? Did they pick a theme song?
5. Expedite tree fund and beautification projects. This was in the 20 Solutions. Hayward pledged to use the $800,000 fund “to improve existing streets with narrower lanes, wider sidewalks or bike lanes, trees and beautification, and other enhancements to accommodate better walking, bicycling, and vehicle travel.” What are the projects?
6. Partner with local governments to hire legal counsel for oil spill claims. Not on the 20 Solutions list either. This is really sort of a no-brainer.
….A very unexciting, safe start for the Hayward Administration, but then again Wonder Bread isn’t very bold or exciting. Out of the six priorities, one is forming a committee; one is hiring a search firm; one is working with the county and city of Century to form a committee; two require more studies and one is so vague you don’t what he’s taking about.
Maybe he will be bolder in his speech and the press conference today. Maybe over the next few days he will be more concrete in his initiatives. I hope so.