April 11 Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Trustees meeting notes:
Bentina Terry was appointed to the CMPA board this afternoon. Terry, a fairly new resident of Pensacola and a vice president for Gulf Power Co., fills the vacant spot left by Hugh King.
King, a former pastor of Greater Union Baptist Church, was voted off the board in February after pleading no contest to a cocaine possession charge in January. He received two years probation.
The other contenders for King’s spot were: Sam Horton, Grace Resendez McCaffery, Lester Smith, LuTimothy May, and Michael Johnson.
Sims withdrew his name prior to the meeting.
All the candidates except Johnson spoke to the board before the vote, which was initially: Terry, 3; May, 2; and all others, 1. Terry was chosen after a subsequent vote of herself, 5, and May, 4.
Board member Susan Story abstained from voting because she heads Gulf Power, where Terry works.
Board member John Merting was absent.
When Terry was questioned by the CMPA board before the vote, she was asked if she could see any potential problem disagreeing with Story, who is her boss. Terry replied that it’s her (day) job to disagree, and her last evaluation at Gulf Power proves Story doesn’t a problem with that.
Prior to the voting, board member Juanita Scott asked if they could expand the board, referring to all the candidates’ impressive qualifications. There was no response to the proposal at that time, but the idea certainly came up again later.
Story proposed expanding the board to 15 to make it more inclusive. Terry and Scott agreed.
“Minority doesn’t just mean African American or female,” Scott said.
Judge Lacey Collier pointed out that Pensacola has a Vietnamese community when he questioned the extent of inclusion.
Board member Collier Merrill asked if there was a problem and why the issue was being discussed. Story said she believes there are people on the periphery of the project who feel excluded.
The issue of expanding the board will be discussed again on May 9.