Hello Beach Residents! Welcome Guests! Welcome to this gorgeous place we call home.
Spring is definitely in the air and the changes coming to Pensacola Beach are as fresh and welcomed as the weather. Just as we welcome in a new season we would also like to welcome Ms. Leigh Davis our new S.R.I.A. Executive Director and Mr. Juan Lemos, our new Director of Development and Environmental Services. ThePensacola Beach Advocates would like to officially welcome them to the most beautiful place they will ever work.
We are so fortunate to have such qualified individuals assume the reins as Executive Director and as Environmental Services Director for the S.R.I.A. The S.R.I.A. Board also has a new chairman at the helm and it is our local elected member, Dr. Thomas Campanella. Just like the winds are always changing on the beach, I am hopeful that this new leadership brings many welcomed changes to our local governing body. At the Advocates, polling of our members suggest we can improve the governance of local matters on the beach. During this research, we discovered SRIA is defined as a dependent board having authority over the municipal affairs on the beach.
As you know all of our county commissioners have an appointment to the board, and we the residents have an elected representative. Do you really know what S.R.I.A has the authority to do? The statutes gives them the ability to not only manage the leases on the beach but to do so much more…and they have the ability to enforce it. If you are a member of PBA, check out the document on our website. It reads like a city charter.
I bring all of this up because recently we have had problems similar to those of other beach towns in the state of Florida. We have had a proliferation of “hometels,” 5g poles that were erected without proper committee approval, unlicensed businesses operating illegally, and decisions made unilaterally that should have been heard and debated by the SRIA board. At S.R.I.A. board members have committees that they have been assigned where most matters should be discussed before decisions are made. It seems like policies get created, but very little input is given by the board members who are appointed to serve.
The majority of residents do not want the S.R.I.A. to go away. In fact, the staff receive very commendable remarks. We want our dependent governing board to bare their teeth, show some grit, and flex their muscles where the statutes say they can. I hope that the relationship our chairman and new executive director will bring to the table will be one of extensive dialogue, debate, and exchange before decisions are made. Welcome to the most beautiful beach in the world… let’s keep it that way. If you would like to join the Pensacola Beach Advocates please go to our website at pbadvocates.org and join today. Make your voice heard exponentially when we meet, share, and educate on matters that count for the residents and leaseholders on the beach. Also save the date -June 5th - for the Sea Turtle Homecoming and Baby Shower. Permits and planning are in the works.