Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Three Questions with Councilman Hall

I sat down with Pensacola City Councilman Sam Hall on Monday and discussed some of Pensacola's pressing issues. We talked about the future of Pensacola's port, the Community Maritime Park and the city's social service spending.

First of all, Hall supports a dual-role for the port's property; shipping and transportation should still take place on it, but these activities should be scaled back. He thinks the tourism industry should have a bigger influence on the property.

His reasoning: The city is already using CRA funds to develop tourism downtown and Pensacola should start focusing on that mission.

Secondly, I asked Hall if he thinks the city is exploring alternative funding sources for the CMP.

Just a little background: In the coming months, the Florida Supreme Court will rule on the Strand case. The court could decide that until county residents vote on the CMP, its funding scheme is unconstitutional.

The astonishing thing is: Hall thinks the city isn't exploring other funding sources for the CMP. This is amazing; the Strand case could sideline the planned construction of the CMP. The city needs to start exploring a plan B for funding it.

Lastly, Hall had an interesting line of reasoning when he talked about funding the social services in Pensacola. He thinks we shouldn't dramatically decrease the funding that goes to them. Hall said the city would end up paying more in the long-run if they cut spending to social services.

I'd need to read some research on this before I agree with Hall. Although, it could be true; it does make sense.

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