Presser: Mayor Addresses a Number of Issues

Jun 4, 2019

Credit City of Pensacola

Unwanted trash, an upcoming town hall, and food truck inspections…all part of Monday’s news conference with Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.

After reviewing last week’s events, the Mayor touched on the litter problem at DeLuna Park downtown, and the apparent bad aim of some visitors.

“And how much litter there is – in a sense less than 50-feet from a trash can,” said Robinson. "Most all of our parks have trash cans in them; we put them there for you to dispose of your trash. We want you to come use our parks – that’s the idea.”

Roughly 97% of the city’s population live within about a quarter of a mile from a park, according to Parks and Recreation. Dumping trash on the ground, says Robinson, causes at least two problems.

“When you go there and just dump [trash] out of your car, and we have to clean up after it, it slows things down,” the Mayor said. “Not only does it leave the park in a bad position for the next person coming in, it’s just not the way we want to present Pensacola. The second problem is, is that it takes somebody else going in to pick it up.”

Robinson announced that he will host a town hall meeting in District-1 — represented by Councilman P.C. Wu — on Wednesday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Vickrey Resource Center on Summit Blvd.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson addresses the media at his weekly news conference, June 3, 2019.
Credit Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

“These town halls have been important to me; we have been scheduling but sometimes there’s a challenge getting up with the council member,” said Robinson. “I’ve wanted to do this with each council member, so I appreciate P.C. and we’re looking forward to getting together on that date, and being there for him.”

This is the fourth town hall he’s held since taking office. Previous ones were in Districts two, five and seven, and there have been numerous takeaways from each. The Mayor is expecting a number of issues to be raised by District-1 residents.

“One of the things that we’ve seen already has been talking about traffic, certainly on Langley [Avenue], I think that’s going to come up, obviously,” said Robinson. “We’re going to be right before the vote on the issue of the soccer fields; I’ve talked to a couple of neighbors over in Scenic Heights that really did not want to see the [YMCA] leave.”

“But I think they realize that it’s not the city that’s forcing the Y out; the Y is leaving and the city’s just trying to make the best of a bad situation, and keep the Y somewhere in northeast Pensacola.”

Pensacola’s long-running issue with food trucks continues. Jerry's Bistreaux's Food Trailer has been shut down less than a week after opening, because the city contends it did not have a business license.

Credit via Facebook

“We are looking at how we find things out about what’s going on,” said Robinson. “Clearly, this exposed a little bit of a challenge that we had [that] we did not anticipate. We’re used to the fire marshal being alerted when somebody pulls a permit, and they commence construction.”

The Pensacola News Journal reports a complaint was filed against Jerry’s by another business, claiming the food truck was violating part of the National Fire Protection Association's code outlining mobile and temporary cooking set-ups.

That code became Florida law last year.

“If the truck can just pull in and out, wherever, then how’s the fire marshal know to go look at it?” asked the Mayor. “I think what makes it a little more difficult is this new rule. And I’ll be very clear; out fire people did not set this rule in any way. We just obey the rules that come out.

Elsewhere, Amy Lovoy began work Monday as the city’s deputy chief financial officer, after two decades with Escambia County – last serving as interim administrator after the recent exodus of some of the county government’s hierarchy.