Island Times Articles


February 8, 2024 Issue - By Rhonda Dorfman, PBA Board President

Help Wanted: 2 vacancies

1. District 4 County Commissioner
2. Executive Director- Santa Rosa Island Authority

These two individuals must work together as needed to solve problems as they arise in the management of Pensacola Beach. Both individuals need to be responsive to the residents and businesses who reside within this district and listen to their points of view.

Part I
District 4 County Commissioner Qualifications include:

1. A "fire in the belly" want and need to serve the public good.
2. Be able to manage growth after carefully assessing and providing for current infrastructure needs.
3. Address constituent complaints.
4. Clearly communicate with and manage all divisions of county government as needed.
5. Possess a vision for the entire county and a plan to protect the delicate ecosystem of the crown jewel - Pensacola Beach - from overdevelopment and overtourism.
6. Emergency management planning is a plus.
7. Honest and must not be tempted by revenue streams, which may not benefit the county because they do not meet the vision.
8. Understand the comprehensive master plan and zoning code and/or create one if not in place.
9. Must be able to work with other county agencies like the Escambia County Utility Authority, Escambia County Schools, ECAT, and EMS to create award winning services that attract new businesses and diversify economy.
Appreciate the military economic engine.
10. Provide traffic management solutions that effectively use state and Federal funds as a match to local funds to help manage needed infrastructure growth.
11. The qualified candidate must be able to read through a county budget and immediately identify waste, fraud, or corruption.
12. Candidate will be able to communicate effectively with other county employees and elected officials to convince counterparts that priorities outlined not only benefit District 4, but the entire county as a whole.

To Be Continued....Part II Help Wanted - SRIA Executive Director

Join PBA today at! Make a difference!

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January 25, 2024 Issue - By Arthur Leary, PBA Board Treasurer

Brrrr!  As I am writing, we have just experienced the coldest night in recent memory.  I guess it's appropriate with the Snowbird Beach Bash coming up in a few hours.  I just wish the Snowbirds hadn't brought that Northern weather here.  Well, at least it's not snowing and this freezing weather was only for a night, so I'm very thankful.  What a blessing it is to be at Pensacola Beach!

Pensacola Beach is a special and unique place for which we should be extremely thankful.  We must understand that we are stewards of this beautiful creation God has given us.  Too many look to the Beach for what they can get from it, whether it's enjoyment, a party place or making big money.  Sure, we should be able to enjoy this great Beach, have fun and generate income, too (we all have to pay our bills).  But there are a good number who contribute much to its care, and some who give far more to the Beach than they take.  That was a primary reason for establishing Pensacola Beach Advocates (PBA).

Whether to visit or to reside, people come to the Beach for its beautiful attributes.  It has grown tremendously since I first came here in 1972, and I'm not sure how much more growth it can handle.  Certainly, that growth could have been managed better, and undoubtedly, any future growth must be managed by those with a firm grasp of good stewardship rather than those with only government experience.

The Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA) was created to manage growth on Pensacola Beach.  Beach residents and businesses should be more cognizant of SRIA operations.  As some of you are aware, SRIA Executive Director  Leigh Davis has decided not to renew her contract when it expires in April.  Thus, the SRIA is seeking its next Executive Director.

I sincerely hope they do not use the same search firm as before.  In my humble opinion, that firm used poor criteria in its search process.  The largest flaw was selecting to interview only applicants working in local government, and excluding anyone with business or military experience.  The claim was only those with local government experience can lead a local government entity.  That's too much thinking inside a very small box when thinking outside the box is needed.  Government experience is not that valuable, any good manager can learn all necessary government procedures in short time.  Ah, but that makes too much sense.

Please consider joining PBA; membership is $30 per year.  Go to to join or renew.  Together, we can make the Beach a better community for residents and businesses alike.

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January 11, 2024 Issue - By Rhonda Dorfman, PBA Board President

Happy January Island Times readers! I hope that whatever brought you here to beautiful Pensacola Beach, we have far exceeded your expectations. If you're visiting for the first time, returning as a Snowbird, or enjoying your first winter as a homesteading leaseholder, we know we are blessed to be on Pensacola Beach.

My New Year's resolution is to enjoy the beach more and to be a better volunteer for the organizations that I serve. At the top of my New Year's resolution for Pensacola Beach Advocates (PBA) would be to grow our organization so that every homesteading leaseholder, every beach household, and every business on the beach becomes a member.

My next New Year's resolution is to create an ad hoc committee to review the statute which authorized the creation of the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA). With a little tweaking, I believe the SRIA could become incredibly more effective for both leaseholders and businesses on the beach. For example, appointed SRIA board members need to be more accountable to beach residents and the only way to do that is to change the way they are appointed.

No more boutique hotels in our neighborhoods. The SRIA has the authority to stop it, but they won't. Beach residents and businesses have the power to envision what our beach should be. We should not leave it up to the absentee business owners, who neither live, vote, nor spend their profits here to determine the future of our island.

As a visitor you may wonder what does this have to do with you? You obviously visit us because you like us. As advocates we want the beach to be as enjoyable for residents as it is for our visitors. Our fragile ecosystem cannot sustain unmanaged future growth and we need everyone who has vested interests in the beach to join our organization.

I am hopeful for 2024. I do see some initiatives in the upcoming SRIA budget that will benefit residents and visitors alike. I am confident that residents will be heard, however, I have a few ideas that would make things a little more efficient and secure for the future of our beach.

Please make PBA a priority for you this year. Check out our website for membership details. Membership is only $30 per year and you can go to to join or renew. Click on the membership tab and you can either join online or follow the directions to mail in your check. Either way, join today!

Let's make the beach a better community for its residents and businesses alike.

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