It's not easy being the voice of opposition in Pensacola. Each often takes the heat for unpopular stances.
Each is a thorn in the side of The Establishment. Charles Fairchild is one such thorn in Pensacola city politics. Inhe was a leader of the citizens who opposed the city's original bayfront festival and municipal auditorium idea on Again, Fairchild has stepped forward as a leading voice of opposition at Pensacola City Council and public meetings. His new political action group is called Save Our City.
Outzen, who profiled Studer in IN's last issue, asked Fairchild to explain his opposition to the Community Maritime Park and what he would prefer to happen with Pensacola cra of the last large tracts of undeveloped land on Pensacola Bay. Why are you so concerned about Pensacola's downtown? I've worked downtown since I came to Pensacola in My first office was in the San Carlos Hotel. I really Pensacola cra with the area.
I've seen it in good times and really bad times. It's why I keep my office downtown. But the area has changed. I can see that as I walk Palafox Street. When the government center was built, that is probably when things turned for the worse. What would you like to see done on the Trillium property?
In a perfect world, I would "Pensacola cra" to see it be all park.
But this is not a perfect world. I realize that there needs to be some type of economic development to support the park.
I would be satisfied with feet along the waterfront and 5 acres on the peninsula dedicated as public
Pensacola cra. Where do you come up with feet? People have discussed anywhere from feet to Pensacola cra being set aside for the park. I chose the higher figure. What do you see as the biggest faults of the proposed Community Maritime Park?
Let's start with the baseball park. It uses up a lot of the land. And I don't care what the park's promoters say, it's not a mixed-use facility.
Other events may be held there, but they will only be taking them away from other venues. The University of West Florida doesn't need a trophy waterfront location. It can build a campus anywhere else downtown. It doesn't have to be on the water.
The conference center is not needed.
Pensacola cra we need is a replacement for the Bayfront Auditorium. What about the Pensacola City Council's idea of expanding the community center at Sanders Beach to serve as the replacement for a municipal auditorium?
Sanders Beach is a neighborhood. I have a real philosophical "Pensacola cra" putting a commercial facility in a neighborhood. What do you think about the "Pensacola cra" museum? I think the maritime museum should Pensacola cra put on the Port of Pensacola property at Warehouse No. The museum should be an anchor for downtown. I don't consider Trillium property an anchor.
The Port of Pensacola is a natural location for the museum. It's close to the Historical district. The other museums are within walking distance. Building the maritime museum there is a great way to preserve the Port of Pensacola. I don't even know if it's still a maritime museum. UWF is applying for matching funds to build it and I think they will require the facility to have an educational purpose.
Where does a maritime museum fit into that scheme? Is it a really going to be a maritime museum or a marine and archeological research center? I still think it should be the port.
Pensacola cra are you against the University of West Florida building on the Trillium property? The university can build anywhere.
It doesn't need what I call "trophy waterfront" property. It only needs the ability to get to the water. Professor offices, classrooms and administrative offices can go elsewhere.
UWF can go in there. Is there anything you like about the Community Maritime Park proposal? They are trying to do something positive. I like the public park part, but there is just not enough of it. I like the bulkhead where boats can tie off and the lighthouse. I also like that people will be able fish along the water. Nationally recognized urban planner Ray Gindroz was hired to hold a series of public forums and modify the original proposal based on the input he received.
What do think of Gindroz's modifications? I participated in the historical district input sessions. Gindroz is a good urban designer. However, I was disappointed in what he came back with.
He was hired by the park promoters, so he brought them a plan
Pensacola cra gave them what they wanted. Why do you claim this project is not a public-private partnership? I don't see any private dollars going for the public portion of the project. The taxpayers of Pensacola are paying for the public park, baseball park and conference center. The private sector is a paying for its own buildings. I don't consider someone building his own building part of the public.
How is that not a public-private partnership? Where did you get those numbers? Recently, the city staff took the plan that Ray Gindroz presented Pensacola cra council and which they approved. They have cut out a lot of things to keep it at the level.
They have had to delete such things
Pensacola cra the West Side Marina, gazebos, public shelters and two parking decks. The new budget also drops the sound system, scoreboard, food service, field equipment and furniture and fixtures.
I wonder who is going to pay for that? You 've made some statements against the Community Redevelopment Agency. But how do you really feel about the CRA? The intent of the Legislature for the Pensacola cra was good, but the application has been bad.
And not just here in Pensacola. The CRAs have become private banks that fund a lot of experimentation. Give me some examples of what you mean by experimentation. The redoing of Main Street twice, building the Pensacola Grand Hotel, constructing the Amtrak train station and the development of Palafox Pier are a few experiments that come to mind. What do think the Pensacola CRA should "Pensacola cra" doing? CRAs are authorized to eliminate slum and blight from a designated area.
I realize you think that ECUA should be the agency paying for it. But if I've got a zit on my face, it doesn't matter how it got there. I've got to deal with it.
What else gets your blood boiling about the Pensacola CRA?