Transparent Pensacola

  1. Vernon Stewart

    Public Information Officer

Public trust is a critical dynamic of a world-class city. From day one of his administration, Mayor Hayward has made a firm commitment to making city government more open, accountable, and accessible to the residents of our great city. This page is designed to accomplish two critical elements:

  • transparency 

    — access to information about what is really happening; and
  • accountability 

    — ways to hold decision-makers and partners accountable for the decisions we make.
Do you have any questions or would you like to see something added to this page? It is very easy to contact us.
title - CurrentIssues

Viewpoint: Filling the Gap with Workforce Housing

Mayor Hayward - October 6, 2016



There’s no place like home.
It’s where we are sheltered, find our peace, start our day, plan our future, raise our children and keep all that is precious to us.  As Pensacola and the rest of the country rebound from the recession and housing crisis, some segments of our community are still struggling in the wake of the recovery.  Living on the outskirts of the American dream, too many hard-working families cannot afford the costs of homeownership.  It’s an unrelenting problem, not easily addressed and never fully solved.  Nevertheless, we must devote ourselves and our resources to increasing our affordable housing inventory.  Why, you ask?

… Because homeownership is at the root of a vested citizenry and contributes to the long-term stability and growth of the region.

A thriving, competitive economy needs secure, productive workers who are confident in the future of the community in which they live so that they will remain a permanent part of a growing population.  The median annual income for a single-person in the Pensacola metropolitan area is $47,700 and a family of four is $59,600.  Yet many of our local households earn far less than the average income.  Individuals in these households provide essential services to our community – they are our child care providers, our firefighters, our law enforcement personnel.  

In its 2016 Home Matters Report, the Florida Housing Coalition found that among essential service providers in Florida that were surveyed, only elementary school teachers and registered nurses have median incomes high enough to purchase a home in the Pensacola area.  That means that vital segments of our workforce need quality housing that costs no more than 30% of their gross income.  For these families, every penny counts and if they cannot make ends meet in Pensacola they will be forced to look for jobs elsewhere.  We need to show our citizens, as well as companies looking to relocate to our area, that the City is invested in our workforce and that we are not willing to lose our most valuable resource – our people – to competing communities.

Even during this era of diminished public funding, the City of Pensacola’s Housing Division has managed to increase our community’s affordable housing options.  But we want to do more and we are willing to put some of our own skin in the game.  By moving city-owned property back into productive use we can create more opportunities for families to live in the city where they work and play.

Affordable housing is an integral component of regional economic development and we cannot afford to ignore the issue simply because it is a complex problem that requires multiple programs and multi-agency cooperation.  What we propose is not a return to the large, distressed public housing complexes of yesteryear.  Instead we are seeking to spur the development of innovative, aesthetically pleasing housing that preserves the character of neighborhoods.

In the coming months my staff will assemble a comprehensive list of city-owned land and recommend to the City Council that the City sell some of the parcels to provide funds for new or existing housing programs.  Some of these lots will be bundled with homebuyer assistance programs to help qualified families finance homes in mixed-income neighborhoods.  By utilizing for-profit and non-profit developers, federal and state incentive programs, and local private investors, we intend to manage our city-owned infill properties in a manner that can serve as a model for the growth of mixed-income neighborhoods and lead to the elimination of “pockets of poverty”.  The intended result:  a transformative mix of new affordable and market rate housing that will improve neighborhoods and provide more people with a place to call home in the City.

Review of Historic Structures Prior to Issuance of Demolition Permit
  • At the August 11, 2016 City Council meeting, the Pensacola City Council passed a temporary moratorium that no recognized historic structures nor buildings within city limits built during or before 1916 will be allowed to be demolished within the next 180 days while the city's planning board considers new historic preservation rules.
  • Planning Board approved a draft ordinance at their November meeting and that draft has been sent to legal for review.  After legal completes their review it will go to City Council for consideration.  


Airport Commerce Park

Below is the total amount of money spent on property acquisitions in connection with the Airport Commerce Park project.

Funds spent 9/4/04 thru 11/1/16:

 State:                                    $10,936,559.66

Airport Capital:                       1,831,834.79

Airport Operating:                   221,252.47

PFC:                                           5,609,485.79

FAA:                                           6,068,763.00

DEO:                                              333,275.00

Total:                     $25,001,170.71



Pensacola Energy Work Plan October 10, 2016

Below is the presentation that was presented to Council on 11/29/16 regarding the plans for the 15 million dollar pipeline project.

View here. 

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
  • City Council referred to Planning Board an ordinance that would allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Commercial and Industrial zones only beginning in the C-1 zoning district. Planning Board approved that ordinance and it has been referred back to City Council. This is anticipated to be brought back forth in January's City Council meeting.
Rumors regarding Chief David Alexander's status as Police Chief

Is there any truth to the rumor that City Hall has told Chief Alexander that he will not be able to continue past his DROP date? 



No. His contract was based on his drop date. In fire and police pensions, employees are not be able to continue past their DROP date as in general pensions. This was something that was agreed upon in the initial contract.
City Files Declaratory Judgement
  
Click here for all associated documents pursuant to public records law.
 
As the owner of Pensacola International Airport, the City of Pensacola has filed for a Declaratory Judgement in Federal Court to obtain answers to legal questions between the City of Pensacola, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The questions stem from FAA regulations requiring all entities using airport property to pay for the use of the property. Should an airport fail to enforce or comply with FAA regulations, the FAA has the authority to levy penalties against that airport that could result in the withholding of grants necessary to maintain and upgrade facilities, the repayment of previous grants, and the assessment of civil penalties.

ECUA operates three water production wells located on Pensacola International Airport property. These wells produce water that is supplied to Escambia County customers for a fee. Given its regulations and actions taken at other airports, the FAA has communicated to Pensacola International Airport that ECUA must pay Pensacola International Airport for the use of the airport property where the three water producing wells are located. In addition, the FAA has communicated to Pensacola International Airport that ECUA also must pay Pensacola International Airport  some unspecified percentage of the revenues ECUA derives from the sale of the water being produced from airport property and supplied to ECUA customers.

While the property in question was acquired for the Pensacola International Airport and the FAA did not release the property from FAA property transfer restrictions, ECUA contends that it owns or should own the land surrounding two of the three wells located on Pensacola International Airport property and is not required to pay Pensacola International Airport for either the use of the property or the water extracted from the three wells.

The City of Pensacola and ECUA have been working to resolve this issue for some time, but have been unsuccessful in finding a solution. The FAA's ongoing inquiries regarding the status of the matter and the need to timely resolve the issues now require the City of Pensacola to file for a Declaratory Judgement asking the Federal Court to answer the legal questions pertaining to property ownership and provide guidance to the City on its compliance with Federal law and FAA regulations. According to Mayor Hayward:

"We haven't been able to come to an agreement with ECUA on what the City's obligations are. ECUA believes that it should own the property surrounding the wells and that it is not required to pay for the use of the property or for the fair market value of water extracted. The FAA tells us that, if ECUA doesn't pay a concession fee, the City could be penalized for revenue diversion. We just want the court to resolve the legal issues and to tell us what our obligations are."

RFP 15-025 (Hawkshaw) Development Opportunity
  
The Hawkshaw property is a two acre vacant lot for sale in downtown Pensacola. 

The three finalists are the ITEX Group from Port Arthur, Texas and two local companies: Granger Development and Whitesell-Green/H+H Building Group. The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) last year for plans and bids for purchase.  The RFP has since closed.

What is the CRA?
CRA Meetings and Agendas
July 13th, 2015 CRA Meeting - Hawkshaw Proposal Selection Process - Video

On March 23, 2016, NewsRadio's Andrew McKay spoke with Assistant City Administrator Keith Wilkins about the (then upcoming) Public Meeting/Charrette held on March 29th. Listen to the Podcast.
City Staff Salaries

Here is a link to Top 8 City Employee Salaries
City of Pensacola position on gas tax
 
  • The city faced a deadline to file the appeal and we moved forward with borrowing $15 million.
  • We needed to preserve our position in the event that efforts to resolve this dispute don’t work. If we do not protect our position, our taxpayers will stand to lose approximately 7.3 million dollars in revenue.
  • It's important to remember that this dispute was brought on by the county last year when it abruptly moved to reduce the city's share of the gas tax revenues from 18 percent to 5.4 percent.
  • You can't just yank away dollars that are distributed from the state of Florida that we all pay into and think that they get to dictate what we get. 
  • We respectfully disagree. That's just not something we could accept and we want to go down a different path.
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