Hayward Establishes Mother of all Advisory Committees
By Walker Holmes
Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward announced today that he has formed a 27-member Advisory Advisory Committee to guide the continued growth and development of Pensacola’s advisory committees.
Over a nine-month period beginning in April, the committee will be tasked with assisting the Mayor in advising what should be his next advisory. To date, Mayor Hayward has established advisory committees for his transition, the west side of the city, Port of Pensacola, pensions and urban redevelopment. Consistent with his 20 Solutions for 2011, Mayor Hayward has encouraged the committee to develop 13 advisory committees.
“The City has hired consultants, formed blue ribbon task forces and appointed committees for long decades,” Mayor Hayward said, “but some people were left out. This is a tremendous opportunity to take action and appoint everyone to a committee. We’re seeing some very positive things happening in downtown and along our waterfront, but we have a limited window of time to capitalize on our present momentum before more people move out of Pensacola.”
Within minutes of the announcement, Pensacola Councilwoman Megan Pratt expressed her concerns. “I’m not one for numbers,” said Pratt, whose doctorate is from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “but I don’t think the Advisory Advisory Committee should count towards the 20 needed. The mayor should instruct the group to create 14 committees, not 13.”
Other council members were very supportive.
“As a downtown resident, business owner and a member of three advisories, I’m excited to see Mayor Hayward shift focus from the planning phase for advisory committees to taking action,” said Brian Spencer, chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency. “This is a great opportunity to find my wife Crystal something to do.”
Much like the advisory committees on port and pension issues established last year by Mayor Hayward, the Advisory Advisory Committee will be asked to produce a report outlining specific recommendations.
“It’s my hope that this committee can be a springboard and catalyst for further growth and investment in downtown Pensacola,” Hayward said. “From day one, I have believed in the Pensacola tradition of having someone else to blame if an idea goes wrong.”