Notes: CMPA meeting, more info

More notes from the April 11 Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Trustees meeting:

Business other than Bentina Terry’s appointment to the CMPA board and its possible expansion was discussed during the meeting on Friday.

Mort O’Sullivan, for instance, stepped forward from the audience and said he has talked with officials from the potential master developers’ companies and “there is concern about one not stealing the other one’s ideas,” O’Sullivan said.

He went on to urge the board to make the developers – Trinity Capital Advisors and Land Capital – stand by what they submit (April 30 is the deadline) and not alter or amend their proposals later.

Board chairman Judge Lacey Collier had recommended the board use Owen Beitsch as a consultant to present the developers’ proposals, talk to experts, such as engineers, and give the board an ultimate recommendation.

Terry and board member Susan Story indicated the developers should be able to give their own presentations.

“I just think the more transparency, the better, even if it adds a layer of difficulty,” Story said. She added that choosing a master developer is perhaps the biggest decision the board will make.

Board member Collier Merrill recommended the developers give one-hour presentations to the CMPA board at the May meeting, and then Beitsch give board members his recommendation at the June meeting.

After discussion, the motion approved unanimously.

A motion for a contract with Beitsch also approved unanimously. Terry abstained because she said wasn’t on the board during the previous discussions.

Judge Collier said Miller Caldwell, whose Caldwell & Associates heads the master design team, wasn’t present at the meeting because he feels everything is on schedule and he will have the necessary permits by the September deadline.

In other business, the judge said the sturgeon study will not hinder CMP activities.

And two representatives from Friends of the CMP updated the board on their activities. And yes – they like the acronym “CMP.” The representatives said that is how the community refers to the $70 million park, so “We want our CMP” will be the motto on signs and other promotional items.

Friends’ Kenneth Lamb also told the CMPA board the Website,, received more than 10,000 hits within 90 minutes on April 10. The total number of visits was 15,395 for that day, when a news report was e-mailed to people.

The site typically gets around 1,000 hits a day, Lamb said. “It is just unbelievable the responses we are getting from people.

“We don’t want this thing falling off the radar…”

Lamb also suggested they switch to an email system he said is free and will help with public records requests. The CMPA board agreed.

The Friends also talked about a logo contest for all middle and high school students in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Regarding the Contractor’s Academy, CMPA board member Eddie Todd said they need another committee member. Bentina Terry will also fill that spot.

Toward the end of the meeting, Mayor John Fogg expressed concern about Ed Spears’ continued service as interim director of the CMPA board, as Spears also juggles other responsibilities and serves as the City of Pensacola’s neighborhood and economic development administrator.

“I don’t know how long the city manager can divert his assets in support of us,” Fogg said.

“I think it depends on the Supreme Court,” Judge Collier said, “and just hope and pray for Mr. Spears’ good health.”