Author page: Derek Cosson

Longtime home of Pensacola’s black newspaper to house exclusive members-only club

The downtown Pensacola building which for many years housed Pensacola’s Colored Citizen, a black newspaper, will soon be home to an elite members-only club called “The Establishment.” Could they possibly have come up with a creepier, more dystopian-sounding name? The club is located in the two-story brick building at 201 South Baylen Street, built in 1898 by Christian Thiesen, a Danish immigrant…

I’m sorry, but Pensacola isn’t a strong town — yet

As you may know, Pensacola is currently one of eight finalist cities in Strong Towns’ fourth annual “Strongest Town” contest. Strong Towns is a non-profit organization which encourages cities to change the way they think and focus on things like resiliency over efficiency and building cities based on what citizens need now instead of abstract theories. I am a proud Pensacolian. I…

The burning of Bud Johnson

One hundred years ago this week, Bud Johnson — a 36-year-old black U.S. Army veteran who served in the first World War — was tied to a stake by white Santa Rosa County residents and burned to death in one of the most brutal lynchings in Florida history. The United States was marred by racial violence in what would later be called…

We don’t need big government telling us what to do about straws, Mike.

Mike Hill is Pensacola’s most conservative representative in the state legislature. But for some reason, he thinks we need big government in Tallahassee to tell citizens and businesses what they can and can’t do about something as mundane as single-use plastic straws. I believe in home rule and devolved government — the idea that, wherever possible, local communities should make decisions for…

Philip Beall, Sr. was a white supremacist. His name doesn’t belong on a bridge.

If you’re like most Pensacolians, you probably call the bridge between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze the “Pensacola Bay Bridge” or the “Three-Mile Bridge” — but it’s got an official name: The Senator Philip D. Beall, Sr. Memorial Bridge. So who was Philip Beall? Philip Dane Beall, Sr. was a Pensacola attorney who was elected to the Florida Senate in 1934 and served…

It’s time to replace everyone on the Downtown Improvement Board.

At its meeting this week, Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board voted to ask City Hall and Escambia County to split the cost to hire an attorney to write a new anti-panhandling ordinance. What in the hell? Isn’t this the same board that led the push for Pensacola’s last anti-panhandling ordinance just last year? You know, the unconstitutional one that the ACLU sued the city over,…

Susan Woolf a great pick for Pensacola’s city attorney

Mayor Grover Robinson has made his first major personnel move since taking office three weeks ago, advising Pensacola City Council members that he will appoint Susan Woolf as our next city attorney. Woolf is a fantastic choice: she is highly competent and she’s already familiar with our city government, having previously served as an assistant city attorney from 2008-2011 and as general counsel…

ARB won’t reconvene after blocking public input

On Tuesday, the City’s Architectural Review Board held a special meeting to decide whether or not to issue a demolition permit for a the historic Pensacola Vocational School building on West Garden Street. Despite the fact that at least five citizens were waiting patiently to speak to the board, chairman Carter Quina quickly moved to get a motion and have the board…