Ride Society’s Campbell joins DIB

A New York media producer turned Downtown Pensacola business owner is joining the Downtown Improvement Board. Claire Campbell has been appointed by Pensacola Mayor Grover C. Robinson, IV, to serve on the five-member body which seeks to foster growth in a 44-block district in the heart of downtown.

Campbell is the founder and owner of Ride Society, the region’s premiere indoor cycle studio. A native of Pensacola, Campbell spent a decade in New York in marketing before opening the Palafox space in 2018.

“We are very excited to have Claire join our team,” said Wilson Walker, executive director of the DIB. “Her perspective as both a business owner and communicator will bring a unique and valuable perspective to everything the DIB does.” Campbell’s first meeting as a board member was September 28.

In addition to serving on the DIB, Campbell is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pensacola Little Theatre and Pensacola Cultural Center.

The DIB is dedicated to improving the district’s quality-of-life and economic success by creating a cleaner, safer and more enjoyable environment.

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1 thought on “Ride Society’s Campbell joins DIB

  1. One big thing that the city council failed to do in 2009/2010 was review the Special Acts part of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Pensacola. I complained about this for years but council members were afraid to raise the issue. The Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee (URAC)’s 2012 final report recommended that the DIB be abolished but nothing was done. [I heard that Mayor Hayward got massive blowback from the people who control the DIB and backed down.] The best living proof of what I say is that the term “city manager” can still be found in that part of the City Code. Had the council done its job in 2009/2010, they would have amended the DIB Act to replace “Mayor” with “Council President” in just four places. Under the DIB Act, the authority of the Mayor is limited only to nominating DIB board members whose appointments must be confirmed by the council. The Mayor cannot remove a DIB board member and exercises no executive authority over the DIB. Further, the DIB Act needs to be reviewed to determine if it has accomplished its purpose as described below. If so, it needs to be abolished and stop charging extra property taxes to pay for its bloated staff. None of what was written in the DIB Act in 1972 when Eugene Elebash was the mayor is still true:
    Section 3. – Statement of policy and legislative findings.
    (a) It is the policy of the state to make it possible for the city to revitalize and preserve property values and prevent deterioration in the downtown area by a system of self-help to correct the commercial blight of such deterioration as has developed there. The board hereby created is intended to provide a vehicle whereby property owners who will benefit directly from the results of such a program will bear the substantial cost thereof and thereby local problems may be solved on the local level through the use of machinery provided by local government. (b) The legislature hereby finds and declares that among the many causes of such commercial blight in the downtown area are the following: Automobile traffic flow is strangled by outmoded street patterns, proliferation of uncoordinated uses and parking areas, faulty lot layouts, fragmentation of land uses and parking areas necessitating frequent automobile movement, lack of separation of pedestrian areas from auto traffic, lack of separation of vehicle traffic lanes and railroad traffic, and excessive noise levels from strangled auto traffic. Voluntary cooperation for coordinated development has limitations because of fragmentary ownership, distant absentee ownership and unusual conditions of title and other conditions. (c) The downtown area is plagued with vacant and deteriorating buildings which are neglected and produce a depressing atmosphere. Many businesses of all types have left the area for new locations in suburban shopping centers and few businesses have entered to take their places. The oldest commercial structures in the city are in this area and some are obsolete, of inferior construction and incompatible with modern functional design as is featured in competitive shopping centers. (d) The area now has few residences and many of the residences which do exist are undersized and of inferior construction which would not be permitted for new construction under the city’s building code. It is in some instances a proper function of government to remove blight and blighting influences from commercial areas. The police power may be inadequate to accomplish this purpose. One effective device for removal of the blight of the downtown areas is the planning and implementation of planning for appropriate land use, beautification, continuity of planning and aesthetic and technical design concepts, and removal of deteriorated and obsolescent structures. (e) The legislature further finds and declares that the provisions of this act and the powers afforded to the board are desirable to guide and accomplish the coordinated, balanced and harmonious development of the downtown area in accordance with existing and future needs, to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the area and its inhabitants, visitors, property owners, and workers, to establish, maintain and preserve aesthetic values and preserve and foster the development and display of attractiveness, to prevent overcrowding and congestion, to improve auto traffic and provide pedestrian safety, and to provide a way of life which combines the conveniences and amenities of modern living with the traditions and pleasures of the past.(f)The legislature further finds that the powers conferred by this act are for public uses and purposes for which public money may be expended, and for which the eminent domain, police and taxing power may be exercised; and that the necessity in the public interest for the provisions herein enacted is hereby declared a matter of legislative determination.
    (Laws of Fla., Ch. 72-655, § 3; Laws of Fla., Ch. 80-582, § 1) The council can ask the Florida Legislature to abolish the DIB at any point but they just seem afraid to do so.

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