Pensacola had a head start over the rest of North America 451 years ago. When DeLuna founded Pensacola, there was no New York, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans or Orlando…just Pensacola. When the first settlement failed, it took another 135 years for Spain to comeback to Northwest Florida. By then, New York was 92 years old; Boston 71; New Orleans, Chicago and Orlando had not been founded. Pensacola still had a chance to be a leading city….it didn’t seize the opportunity.
The next 400 years were filled with hurricanes, lost military battles, racism that destroyed a vibrant African-American middle class and political corruption. Pensacola fell out of the list of top American cities and saw its power within the state of Florida dwindle as the area become the laughing stock of the state, nation and world.
The running joke is that if something weird happens in the news it’s either linked to Germany or Pensacola.
I talked with an out-of-town reporter who has been here covering the BP oil disaster. He said, “Escambia County is always complaining about something—that’s just how they are in Escambia County.”
The latest petition by Marty Donovan and Jack Nobles is typical behavior from those whose political careers were based on their family names rather than professional or personal accomplishments. Their poorly thought-out initiative to stop the construction of the stadium at the Community Maritime Park could cost the city and the CMPA $35 million in taxes and investment…money that they will not refund the city.
Both Donovan and Nobles were big on defending the long-term leases at the Port of Pensacola and airport—saying the City must stand behind its agreements. However, they have no sense of obligation to fulfill the contracts with the Studers, Maritime Park Development Partners, Bondholders and Capital Trust Agency/IRS.
The sad thing is Donovan and Nobles doped eight others to join the Tantrum Ten. Over the next few weeks, we will learn how much the dynamic duo really explained about the ramifications of the petition drive.
Meanwhile the stadium will be built. The petition drive only increases the cost of the project for the community if it’s successful in rescinding the Design & Build—and Marty and Jack have opened themselves up to lawsuits over interference with the business of those trying to fulfill lawfully executive contracts.
It’s time Pensacola start catching up to the rest of the world. Pettiness and bullying shouldn’t rule this beautiful city in which we live. It’s time for Pensacola to stand behind its agreements.