Wells sends out his first memo as council executive

TO: City Council President Jewel Cannada-Wynn and Members of the Pensacola City Council
FROM: William D. (Rusty) Wells
VIA: Office of the City Clerk
RE: Council Executive Position
DATE: June 23, 2014

Following recent conversations with the Mayor’s staff, I believe that there is an interest in revising the relationships between the Mayor’s office and the City Council, with the objective of developing an improved process of communication and governing the City. I agreed to undertake this assignment at the Mayor’s request because I believe that Pensacola can and should function as other Mayor-Council cities function in Florida, without some of the dissention and rancor that has recently arisen. I am convinced that the Council and the Mayor have a common objective of helping Pensacola grow and prosper and that there is a great deal of common ground upon which to stand. In pursuing this assignment, my personal objective will be to assist the Council in defining those objectives and surveying that common ground. I believe that the Mayor expects the staff to do the same.

I have watched your Charter workshop last week with great interest. It is obvious that the Council requires staffing and legal input to fulfill its Charter responsibilities as the legislative body of the City. All other Mayor-Council municipalities in Florida, regardless of size, seem able to function with one city staff and one city attorney’s office. I suggest that before Pensacola starts down a more contentious road of setting up two competing governments in City Hall, we take a little time and find out how our sister cities in Florida manage to govern as one city government. I believe the Mayor thinks that I can help us do that, and I am asking each of you to give me that chance.

I want to conclude this communication by thanking you in advance for your consideration. I know that we all share the same perspective that the opportunity to serve the government of our families and neighbors is a great privilege.