Mayoral Transition Committee Recommendations

The intent of the Mayoral Transition Committee's report is to provide a roadmap for the strategic planning of Pensacola's future, offering recommendations and focus areas that address the critical issues faced by the city. It emphasizes the need for a deliberate and long-term approach to ensure progress and success. The report highlights the importance of inclusivity, transparency, and collaboration, aiming to benefit all citizens of Pensacola. By involving experts from various fields and considering input from City Hall employees and community members, the report seeks to create a comprehensive and well-informed plan that addresses the needs of the city.

This report signifies a commitment to progress, inclusivity, and effective governance. By providing a strategic plan and vision, it offers a clear direction for the city's future, enabling coordinated efforts across departments and administrations. The focus areas and recommendations reflect the current challenges faced by Pensacola, ensuring that the report is relevant and responsive to the city's needs. Moreover, the report emphasizes the importance of citizen engagement and accountability, seeking to empower the community and address their concerns. Overall, this report serves as a valuable resource that can guide decision-making, foster collaboration, and ultimately contribute to the continued growth and success of Pensacola.

Completed Transition Team Recommendations

The staff of the City of Pensacola has demonstrated exceptional dedication and efficiency in accomplishing a multitude of crucial tasks between November 2022 and May 2023. The following recommendations from the Mayoral Transition team have been completed.

  • Conduct a thorough, city-wide review of all policies and procedures.
  • Create the position Director of Economic Development.
  • Hire a grant writer to seek grant funding and a designated manager to execute the obligations of the grants awarded.
  • Keep the weekly Mayoral Press Conference.
  • Partner with the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority.
  • Provide professional training on effective communication for all employees.
  • Review City Hall's organizational structure.
  • The city should add a dedicated grant professional to their staffing matrix.
  • There is currently minimal visibility of the performance of City departments available to the citizens. The implementation of a concise measurable performance dashboard on the City of Pensacola website would provide a valuable information source for both administrative officials as well as the general public to track the effectiveness and challenges of various City services.

In-Progress Transition Team Recommendations

The staff of the City of Pensacola has prioritized several of the transition team's recommendations and is diligently working to implement these recommendations and supporting the vision of Mayor D.C. Reeves for the City of Pensacola.

  • Audit all City / CRA Properties and a) categorize them as Sell, Lease, City Programming, PPP, etc., b) if Sell, Lease, or PPP list: identify opportunity timeline, RFP release date, desired use, and contact information, and c) if PPP, provide a partnership / engagement whitepaper for developers to follow. (To be addressed by F.S. after SB 102)
  • Begin City of Pensacola LDC review with review of CRA Overlay District Design Standards.
  • Conduct a comparative salary analysis of the pay of nearby cities, counties and similar-sized cities in other parts of the state.
  • Conduct an independent pay review.
  • Consider conducting desk-side audits to determine workload compared to staffing.
  • Create a set of core values, code of ethics, and a mission statement.
  • Create a strategic plan and vision.
  • Create an active campaign within City Staff to promote volunteering in youth programs.
  • Create and regularly update a City of Pensacola Master Plan for Growth with the following focus areas: City / CRA Development Opportunities.
  • Employees need to be empowered to make decisions without going through various boards for small items.
  • Ensure departments are teaming as necessary to efficiently advance development and construction projects through the planning and permitting process.
  • Establish job descriptions that are clear and consistent with the work that is being done.
  • Invest in QLess Software that would streamline the customer service experience. This software would keep track of every customer interaction with actionable insights and extensive statistics about employee performance.
  • Look into the compression of salaries. Are long-term employees being compensated fairly?
  • Look into the processes/policies of the Human Resources Department and how the department responds to complaints.
  • Office hours should be open to the public from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. without designated times to interact with City personnel.
  • Permit response times should be published and tracked to create transparency internal and external to the public.
  • Provide ongoing professional development and leadership training for supervisors and departmental leaders.
  • Review onboarding process for new employees.
  • Review the job duties of team members who may have been promoted or reclassified.
  • Set city staff compensation and benefits packages at levels where the city can retain and attract the most qualified talent.
  • The City and CRA should collaborate with non-profit organizations and service providers currently engaging target demographics to promote City programs to those who could potentially benefit.
  • There needs to be an intention and organized plan for responding to citizen concerns with clear oversight by one department.
  • Hold departmental town hall meetings (this can be done via zoom).
  • The Mayor should look at training to equip leaders and employees with the skills and tools they need to cultivate a culture of professionalism and respect. Training is also needed when new systems are put in place. My observations were that new systems such as the “NEO” were decided on by management and the employees received little training on how to use it resulting in frustration and total pushback.
  • Review Mission, Vision, Values of the City and let employees have input.
  • Train on the importance of listening to employees, with new procedures such as “rounding” and increase reward and recognition to show gratitude and caring towards employees. Increase face time with the Mayor, do more employee appreciation days, and increase all employee days with the Mayor and families.
  • Perform an analysis of all user-fee based programs to determine if those programs are aligned with the strategic vision and if aligned, analyze sufficiency of user charges in relation to taxpayer subsidy.
  • Analyze business processes to determine if efficiencies and more effective approaches such as digitization can be incorporated.
  • An alternative project should be identified so that bond funding can be expensed in accordance with the parameters of issuance.
  • Begin exploring and evaluating updating the City's financial software before it expires in 2026.
  • Updated staffing study for the police department to include all divisions and a staffing study for the fire department to include all fire stations and divisions.
  • Comprehensive pay study for all public safety positions and recommend a designated pay scale.
  • Work with community partners and other governmental agencies to create a way to curb and eliminate gun violence in our community.
  • Develop a citywide economic development model that aligns business recruitment, retention and expansion, innovation and entrepreneurship with a measurable strategic growth plan that fits the economic makeup of Pensacola
  • Leverage the work of the Transition Team to identify no more than five key short-term initiatives under the umbrella of the Economic Prosperity Task Force
  • Undertake a longer-term Strategic Visioning process both as a catalyst for public engagement as well as a pivot point for embedding a new discipline of planning and measurement within City Hall as a hallmark of the Reeves administration.
  • The Administration should take initial steps to identify a consulting team with a strong track record in creative and inclusive participatory planning, and the ability to design and implement a broad suite of tactics from digital and event engagement, surveys, focus groups, and more at scale to touch a Citywide audience.

Next Up | Transition Team Recommendations

  • A liaison should be hired to shepherd projects through the various departments who manage permitting.
  • Install traffic cameras at intersections with high crash totals, but are not designed in a way that allows for easy enforcement.
  • Plant more street trees! Create a strategic tree planting protocol that provides the citizens and the City with clear direction on how to navigate this difficult process so that we can get more trees in the ground in the city rights-of-way, where they provide the greatest benefit to the community.
  • Create an employee reward system for those who go above-and-beyond to help citizens.
  • Hold an annual staff workshop where city staff bring ideas, issues, and proposals to City Council for discussion and consideration.
  • Extend early child development services into the Parks and Recreation facilities.
  • Establish comprehensive capital management and funding structure.
  • Create a system to push resumes of veterans & military spouses looking for jobs in Pensacola to hiring managers.
  • Have a standard process for maintenance and upkeep of our city parks and facilities for citizens to be able to use.
  • 311 system improvements.