Once again, county administrator fails good government test

The Escambia Board of County Commissioners meets today. Once again, County Administrator Janice Gilley has failed to provide the materials on an item coming up for approval, leaving the public and media no time to review and study her recommendation.

This is a big one: Implementation plans for the Family Emergency Financial Assistance Grant and Business Assistance Grant programs, assistance for implementing those programs; and how to spend the balance for CARES Programs in the initial allocation of $14,321,324.

Millions of dollars with no information provided. Inweekly isn’t sure that even if all the commissioners have been briefed on the details. If Gilley has shown anything to the commissioners any details of her plans, that’s a big transparency issue.

The county administrator comes from a world of backroom deals in state government. She doesn’t appear to care for public scrutiny or  input.

By many accounts, the first day of processing the home assistance grants was chaotic. The Gilley administration had to rush to set up assistance at community centers and libraries. The first press release only listed the Brownsville Community Center, the downtown Neighborhoods office and a link to the libraries. Carver Park Resource Center, Century City Hall, Ebonwood Community Center, Marie K. Young-Wedgewood Community Center and EREC/Walnut Hill Post Office were added later.

The administrator failed to make it clear to the commissioners and public that citizens on social security or disability weren’t eligible for the housing assistance, which caused even more consternation at the assistance sites.