For the love of all Five Flags.
Tonight Pensacola City Council will delve into meaty issues, including the creation of a domestic partnership registry to allow committed, co-habitating unmarried couples in the city specific and basic legal rights, awarding a stormwater project of just over $1 million along Carpenters Creek and slope stabilization near Baywoods Gulley, adding an ATM at the airport and spending about $750,000 to rehab the park garage there.
They also are scheduled to hear a monthly crime report from Pensacola Police Chief Chip Simmons, a financial report from Dick Barker, and an update about how to track code enforcement complaints on the city’s revamped website.
See the full agenda here.
They will also seek to prosecute the Upside of Florida again.
The Upside of Florida is the much-maligned slogan (and accompanying “swave”) crafted for the city’s marketing efforts by The Zimmerman Agency, a Tallahassee-based ad company Mayor Ashton Hayward hired to rebrand the city last year.
Zimmerman isn’t on our payroll any more but that hasn’t stopped the manufactured controversy about how much “everyone” “hates” their slogan. A slogan, by the way, that only a handful of people would remember if the people who hated it would stop bringing it up so often.
And so tonight, we will go at it again, this time in an effort to make the official city motto “The City of Five Flags.”
How about some discussion on when the city will significantly streamline a code enforcement process that moves like molasses running uphill in January? Or some discussion about using form-based zoning and land use to prevent things like the Dollar General Store on Summit and Spanish Trail. Or some discussion about what the CBRE report says we should do to start marketing the 70 percent of vacant land in downtown that is government owned? Or some discussion about creating a one-stop permitting office where inquiries about that vacant land can be addressed? Or some discussion of what potential tenants may be on the line for one of the remaining empty parcels on the Community Maritime Park site?
Instead we get more hard-hitting discussion about the city motto, which all too often seems to really be The Place That Can’t Let Go.
That agenda is full of action items and projects that are forward-looking. Here’s hoping that’s the spirit that carries the day.