John Peacock and his group have been put off by the Pensacola City Council until the August 20th Committee of the Whole meeting before they will be allowed to present their ideas on a strong mayor to the city council.
Here is John’s original letter to the City requesting to be put on the agenda:
Dear Mr. Mayor and Council Members:
As you are aware, a group of private citizens has been meeting for about a year to informally discuss the possibility of moving the City of Pensacola towards a “strong mayor” form of government. Other citizens have recently joined us and we are now at the point where we would like to share our thoughts with Council and ask you to officially appoint a citizens committee to pursue this matter.
Briefly, the background for our discussions has been:
- The Pensacola Bay Area is a desirable place to live, work and visit. We have a mild climate, beautiful beaches, many outdoor recreational opportunities, cultural attractions, several historic districts, nearby military bases and a below average cost of living.
- The future of our entire area depends on the continued revitalization of the City of Pensacola. The City is the area’s legal, financial, and cultural center. The City has a rich history and many historical landmarks. Importantly, the City owns almost 100 acres of waterfront property along Pensacola Bay.
- The City is making progress towards revitalization, but we apparently have not kept up with other coastal cities, like Charleston, Savannah and St. Petersburg. (Our situation has, of course, been exacerbated by hurricane damage, Florida’s insurance crisis, and property tax inequities.)
We believe our citizens should give serious consideration to a “strong mayor” type of government in order to expedite our renaissance. An elected executive mayor would be in a position to develop a vision, then plan, lead and implement the envisioned changes. Council’s authority would not be weakened by a “strong mayor” as Council would continue to control the purse strings and approve appointments; it would set the tax rates and approve the City budget.
Our group consists of city residents as well as business owners and other citizens that donate their time, talents, and treasures, in an attempt to make Pensacola the world class city it deserves to be. Our group would like to further explain our ideas at your July 23 meeting of the Committee of the Whole. We hope the outcome of that discussion will be Council’s official appointment of a citizens committee to identify and/or draft an acceptable strong mayor charter for the council to vote on in the fall.
Please place us on the July 23 agenda for the Committee of the Whole. You can contact John Peacock at 850-712-7466.
John L. Peacock, Jr.