The right to petition a Pensacola City Council decision is not one that should be taken lightly. If the citizens have voiced their concerns in the hearings involving a decisions, participated in the process and the council votes against their wishes, then a petition is the only course. That isn’t what has happened with the Design-Build Contract.
In 2003 when the City plan for an auditorium and waterfront park on the site was rejected by a referendum, the public had voiced objections at numerous city council meetings, including the one on the final vote.
On the Design-Build contract, none of the petition committee spoke out against the contract. They didn’t give the council an opportunity to make changes because they never told the council what their objections were.
Both Marty Donovan and Jack Nobles are leaders in this community, serving together on the city council for the first 28 months after the 2006 park referendum passed. They had ample opportunity to question the plans, the design and layout and all the agreements -both as councilmen and as community leaders. They could have been a part of the park process. They chose not to be.
If Donovan and Nobles were truly about making the Community Maritime Park better, then why haven’t they been involved? With their substantial wealth, they could have contributed to the Maritime Museum and helped make it a reality. They could have at least organized a fundraiser for it. If they just could have matched the Studers’ contribution to the museum, UWF might have accepted the New Market Tax Credits and built the museum.