“Two days of her is like two days in hell.”
It’s not every day that the chairman of a city board — appointed by the city council — publicly disparages a city council member, on camera, but that’s exactly what happened on Monday. The comment, made by Community Maritime Park Associates (CMPA) chairman Jim Reeves about Pensacola City Council member Sherri Myers, came just over a half-hour into the CMPA’s Operations and Audit Committee meeting.
The comment came amid a discussion about the membership of the Operations and Audit Committee, often seen as an important precursor to meetings of the full CMPA board, or what Reeves called “the warmup for the big show.” CMPA trustee Justin Spence recently announced he would not seek reappointment to the board, and has planned to leave the body effective on October 31. The vacancy created by his departure would likely be filled by Myers, who has publicly pushed for greater City Council oversight of the Maritime Park board and has accused CMPA trustees of illegally conducting negotiations “outside of the Sunshine” of publicly noticed meetings.
Reeves appeared to try to head off the possibility that Myers might also assume Spence’s seat on the Operations and Audit Committee, announcing that Spence had agreed to continue serving on the committee. While the Operations and Audit Committee is subsidiary to the CMPA Board, committee members are not required to be CMPA trustees, and Spence had previously served on the committee before joining the CMPA Board as a trustee. Reeves suggested that he act within his authority as CMPA chairman to essentially reappoint Spence to the committee, and when some members questioned the necessity of the move, Reeves continued to explain his recommendation.
“Let me tell you something, you know, if you want to run that risk, it’s okay with me,” Reeves said. “See, I’m trying to get to the next point … With my apologies to the ladies in the room, I always found that it’s always good to have whoever your adversary is [apparently referring to Myers] going to the restroom inside the tent instead of outside the tent,” Reeves continued, referring to the infamous Lyndon Baines Johnson quote.
“So what I’m saying is that she’s just queer to get on the [CMPA] board, she’s been on it before, let’s put her on there,” Reeves said. “What you’re trying to do is not get her on this committee also … you’re saying that this position is already filled?” asked committee member Reid Rushing. “Look, two days of her is like two days in hell,” replied Reeves.
“The conversation regarding me and the City Council by members of the CMPA is disturbing,” Myers said in a statement to The Pulse. “The behavior of Jim Reeves and [Operations and Audit Committee chairman] John Merting is unacceptable as they both occupy the shoes of the public body that appointed them to serve on the CMPA. As I see it, the video portrays two good ole boys who forgot they were being filmed in a public meeting, rather than the Irish Politicians Club. The citizens who are paying the bond debt on the public improvements that the CMPA owns deserver better.”
“My comment is, ‘no comment’,” Reeves said when reached by The Pulse this morning.