Pensacola politics has been a topic of major concern for at least a dozen years. Topics of contention or debate come and go, and come and go again, and never seem to get settled. They range from soccer fields, to waterfront parks, to sewage plants, to the port, to consolidation with the county, to a commission form of government, to a weak mayor, to a strong mayor, a city manager, or not, to a theater for the arts, paid firemen or volunteer firemen, to whether or not there should be one-way streets, and a freaking statute.
Pensacola politics operates like a blender and all we get out of it is mush. The Bass-O-Matic comes to mind. It is like a ship without a rudder. I suppose that this is why I have not paid much attention as to the ‘why’ things are the way they are. Until recently.
We read in the paper nearly every day about the good old boy network and how it has to go. That’s a given. Today I found out what that means and in a very practical sense. Reading a couple local blogs concerning local politics, this statement arose that, according to the first-hand source, was said by one city councilman to another. Sam Hall did not mention any names until I flat out asked who it was that behaved like that. I’m getting interested in local politics so I want to know. Wouldn’t you? This statement was made by Ron Townsend of D-7 to ‘the newcomer’ Sam Hall of D-2.
‘It’s not that I don’t support you Sam, it’s that you came in here gangbusters and you had to be taught a lesson.’
That sort of statement screams of arrogance from someone with a very big chip on his shoulder. It also begs the question, who is Mr. Townsend beholden to? Who ‘taught’ him his lesson? And, what lesson does Mr. Townsend have to teach Mr. Hall? Are there more? And, who else on the city council needs to be taught something? Just who does Ron Townsend think he is anyway?
It gets better, or worse. Sam recounts . . .
[o]ne member got mad at me for recruiting a candidate in his district. He said, “Sam, we’re peers, we’re brothers. That ain’t right for you to do that. We’re supposed to support one another. How can you be against me like that?”
Apparently Ron Townsend is feeling a little territorial. What, no one can enter his district without his permission? In addition to a chip on his shoulder, it seems he is feeling a bit insecure.
From this experience, it is becoming apparent as to why things are the way they are in the city. Mr. Townsend could take the high road now and apologize for his crass statement and attitude, and vow to get along. Not only to Mr. Hall, but to the city residents he represents. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior from a representative of the city.