Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pensacola Prediction

So, it seems Pensacola city voters have approved a new municipal charter authorizing a "strong mayor" system. Now, let's see if they have the brains to elect one who's intelligent and honest.

Don't count on it. We fervently wish them well, but we've seen this movie before. Voters who find themselves incapable of electing a city council majority with brains and integrity are unlikely to smarten-up and suddenly elect anything better as mayor.

Save this prediction on the front of your refrigerator: Sooner or later -- probably sooner -- a "strong mayor" elected by the people of Pensacola will be indicted on corruption charges. And, he'll go to jail, just as so many county commissioners have in the past.

Unless, that is, his criminal defense lawyer succeeds in empaneling a jury made up of the same kind of dummies that voted for him.


C.J. Lewis said...

We did more than that. We imposed term limits that don't kick in to oust any of these incumbents from office until no earlier than 2021. We also restricted the citizen referendum provision. Although you can now get something on the ballot with fewer signatures, you now can't challenge anything related to the $200 million plus annual budget, levying of taxes, and fees too, or what the mayor and council members pay themselves or the staff. Expect a pay raise as one of the first orders of new business.

The council is glad to have this over. The original CRC recommendations never sent to the voters were too close for their comfort. They all get to keep their jobs, still only meet twice a month to make decisions for a few hours, and get to keep their lifetime state pensions after at least six years of part-time work. They also get to keep appointing friends and friends of major campaign contributors who live at the Beach or in Gulf Breeze to city boards and commissions, even when there are city resident volunteers eager to serve the public interest.

John Peacock said...

It would be great if some folks would just roll up their sleeves and offer suggestions and try to make improvements rather than just point out why everyone else is wrong! Permission granted to offer suggestions, develop compromise and more the community forward!