In today’s daily paper, former Pensacola Mayor Jerry Maygarden makes that point that economic development is not the city government’s job. While I agree with Maygarden that the primary role of municipal government is public safety, assuring safe water/ reliable sewer/trash collection and maintaining roads and parks, I also think that government should be sure that it doesn’t hinder economic development. By its ordinances and very operation, the city is knee deep in economic development.
The city is the final judge of and approves every development project – including the technology park- within its boundaries. How can it say it’s not involved in economic development? It sets the design criteria in special districts inside the city.
The city spends millions with local vendors. How it awards contracts has a huge impact on local businesses.
The taxes and other fees that the Pensacola City Council sets impact home and business owners…..and economic development.
Finally the City controls two major economic cornerstones – the airport and the port. How it manages those resources has a huge impact on this economy.
Nice try, Jerry, but Pensacola City government is the middle of economic development in Escambia County…whether it wants to admit it or not.