Poll: Pensacola voters want mayor to renew town halls

According to the latest Inweekly-Political Matrix poll, City of Pensacola voters overwhelming want Mayor Ashton Hayward to hold town hall meetings in each city district at least once a year.

When looking at the 402 completed surveys of likely city voters, Inweekly found 70.1 percent were in favor of the public meetings  that were a staple of the mayor’s first three years in office.

Mayor Hayward began his first term in 2011 with monthly town hall meetings that he called “Taking City Hall to the Citizens.” He would hold them on a monthly basis in each city district. His city administrator and department heads explained city programs, and the mayor would field questions from citizens. He discontinued the town halls in December 2013.

For the past three and half years, he also halted “Mornings with the Mayor” press briefings and his annual State of the City addresses.

Inweekly asked Pensacola’s most likely voters would they “like Mayor Ashton Hayward to hold and attend town hall meetings in each of the city’s seven districts at least once a year.” The vote wasn’t even close. Over 70 percent said yes with only about 12 percent in the negative.

The telephone poll was conducted via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology by Political Matrix from April 25 to May 2. The numbers used were supplied by the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office. Only City of Pensacola households who voted at least three out of the last four elections were called. The numbers were randomized upon implementation of the study and 402 completed studies were collected.  The margin of error of the study was +/- 4.8 percent.

The complete survey will be published in the May 11 edition of Inweekly.

City Town Halls? City Districts
Overall 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Yes 70.1% 60.4% 74.1% 69.4% 66.7% 65.4% 79.0% 71.7%
No 11.9% 18.8% 7.4% 19.4% 9.5% 11.5% 8.1% 8.7%
Undecided 17.9% 20.8% 18.5% 11.1% 23.8% 23.1% 12.9% 19.6%

3 thoughts on “Poll: Pensacola voters want mayor to renew town halls

  1. A good question to ask city voters in a future poll would be if they approve of elected officials who refuse to attend “all meetings of the City Council” as it says right in the voter-approved City Charter. Within days of being elected in 2010, Mayor-elect Hayward said he would not and for the most part he has not. The contemptuous behavior is contagious. Councilman Johnson claims that being a City Council member is a full-time job for which he should be paid about $38,000 a year. The City Council members have voted themselves a life-time taxpayer funded pension and lifetime health care just as if they are full-time city employees. Yet, most have spotty attendance records. Only Councilwoman Myers has a near-perfect attendance record. In today’s PNJ story – “Girard Place gains approval” – a line on the second page of the story tells the story of Johnson’s role in city government – “and Councilman Larry Johnson was absent from the meeting.”

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