View Drew’s four-year plan for Pensacola

Taxes and government spending

Together, we’ll build the most efficient, streamlined, and citizen-focused government in Pensacola’s history.

  • From day one, I’ll scrutinize every dollar City Hall spends. Within my first 100 days as mayor, I’ll complete a review of all active city contracts, eliminating wasteful expenditures that don’t provide a clear benefit to citizens.
  • Unnecessary lawsuits have pushed the city’s legal costs out of control, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars that would be better spent on fixing potholes and sidewalks or hiring more police officers and firefighters. I’ll reduce unnecessary legal expenses and litigation and promptly disclose line-item legal costs to the city council and the public.
  • We’ll cut burdensome fees and unnecessary taxes to reduce the burden on Pensacola’s citizens and small businesses.
  • I’ll evaluate the city’s allocations to outside agencies like FloridaWest and PEDC and reduce them if citizens don’t receive a clear return on their investment.
  • We’ll review city practices and regulations to seek and destroy any unnecessary red tape facing citizens and employers who come to the city’s offices needing to get things done.

A better environment for job creation

Government doesn’t create jobs — but together, we’ll make Pensacola the best, most welcoming place in America to start a career or grow a business.

  • We’ll install a customer-centric culture at City Hall and make it as easy as possible to start a business, get permits and licenses, and connect businesses big and small with the resources they need.
  • Working with our university and colleges as well as top employers, we’ll make reversing Pensacola’s “brain drain” and retaining and developing our workforce a top priority. We’ll leverage all available tools to promote a larger university presence and more vocational opportunities within the city.
  • We’ll partner with the county, state, and federal governments as well as the private sector to further Pensacola’s growth as a high-tech aerospace hub at Pensacola International Airport and across the I-10 corridor, bringing hundreds of good-paying careers to Pensacola.
  • Our location along the central Gulf Coast is a great asset. We have access to major air, sea, road, and rail connections. We must actively pursue regional, national, and international opportunities and partnerships so our citizens and businesses can take full advantage of today’s global economy.
  • Pensacola has the unique opportunity to become a hub of technological innovation in the 21st century. I support making broadband Internet access a public utility instead of a private luxury to help our communities grow, learn and compete. We’ll explore the feasibility of working with private partners to create a citywide, true gigabit speed fiber optic network to provide the infrastructure for an innovative knowledge economy.
  • Pensacola is home to one of the highest concentration of military veterans per capita in the country, but too often, government fails them in their transition into civilian life. We’ll establish a plan to end veteran homelessness, getting our veterans off the street with the utmost urgency, housing our heroes, and connecting veterans with jobs within our city.

Transparent, people-focused government

We’ll run a transparent campaign and bring sunshine to every corner of City Hall.

  • The so-called “LLC loophole” allows wealthy donors to sidestep limits and use companies to give thousands of dollars to political candidates. I believe ideas and vision — not deep pockets — should win elections, and that’s why I’ve pledged to never accept corporate campaign contributions or money from PACs.
  • As mayor, I’ll infuse transparency into every department, overhaul the city’s public records process, and ensure that most requests for public records are met within 24 hours or less.
  • I’ll move the mayor’s office from the 7th floor of City Hall down to the people, establish regular open-door office hours, attend city council meetings as required by the city charter, and hold regular town hall meetings throughout the city.
  • For too long, adversarial relationships have persisted between local government officials. I’ll build upon a culture of trust, respect, and cooperation between the mayor’s office, city councilmembers, and all Pensacolians.
  • We’ll require city employees in leadership positions to complete annual training on Florida’s open meetings and public records laws.

Putting neighborhoods and residents first

Pensacola is a city of neighborhoods — and we’ll make sure that our neighborhoods are at the heart of everything City Hall does.

  • We’ll build stronger connections between City Hall and neighborhood associations, and work to bring neighborhoods directly into the decision-making process, allowing residents to help select which neighborhood projects receive funding.
  • Going beyond new streetlights, sidewalks and repairing potholes, we’ll launch beautification projects in neighborhoods throughout the city to foster a sense of ownership and pride among residents.
  • We’ll enact a proactive, market-based approach to development. Our current city land-use regulations and processes hinder smart development. We’ll work to establish clear, common sense standards within our historic neighborhoods to encourage growth, not stifle it.
  • We should act to ensure housing opportunities exist for all of our residents throughout our city: we’ll reevaluate and expand our existing affordable housing programs, allocate funding, and create incentives for workforce housing in our neighborhoods.
  • With states across the country legalizing the use of marijuana, it doesn’t make sense to tie up police, courts, and our already-overcrowded jail with low-level marijuana cases. It’s time to decriminalize marijuana and give police officers the discretion to issue tickets instead of making arrests and filling up our jail for possession of 20 grams or less.
  • Improving our city’s quality of life and future growth starts with education, especially at an early age. More than one-third of our children are not ready for Kindergarten by the time they turn 5-years-old. We’ll work with community partners to establish a plan for early childhood development through the expansion of preschool education and afterschool programs throughout the city, working to establish a first-of-its-kind early childhood education facility.
  • Pensacola is a city with bountiful natural resources. Restoring public access to our waterfront from all of our neighborhoods should be paramount. We’ll leverage all opportunities — from oil spill restoration funds to LOST funding — to clean up and restore public access to our creeks, bayous, and bays.
  • We’ll also work to strengthen the relationship between our police department and the neighborhoods they serve by establishing a citizen’s advisory council and renewing our focus on neighborhood safety issues like speeding and pedestrian safety on our roadways.