Century Council Votes To Make Amends With Town Planner

January 9, 2018

The Century Town Council voted Monday night to attempt to make amends with Debbie Nickles, who resigned as town planner on December 29. Nickles worked with the town for 40 years, until calling it quits over moral and ethical issues, and concerns about the town’s credibility.

Nickles did offer to continue work on several ongoing projects. She gave no reason for her resignation in a memorandum to Mayor Henry Hawkins and town council members. But she told NorthEscambia.com in an email, “I feel that I have been placed in a moral/ethical dilemma and that the Town has lost its focus and credibility”.

“Most of us were very, very sad to see her resignation,” Council President Ann Brooks said Monday night.

Brooks said Nickles was working on numerous projects for the town, including a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), EPA Brownfields, implementing Land Development Code, a five-year schedule of improvements, housing grants and Triumph funding requests.

Brooks said the University of West Florida Haas Center would help the town complete the formation of a CRA for about $10,000, but Nickles was a comparative bargain, charging $40 per hour.

“There’s no way (without Nickles) that we could get the help we need,” she said. “She really has a heart for the town, she has been an asset.”

The council vote to attempt to lure Nickles back was 4-1, with council member Louis Gomez voting against. Nickles was not at the meeting; she will be contacted by phone for her decision.

After a brief chuckle, Gomez said, “The question I got is why did she resign anyway?”

“I don’t see why we are backing up and asking her,” he said. “You can’t let your temper get in the way of business.”

At the town’s last council meeting in December, Nickles expressed  grave concerns regarding the town’s decision to bill an apartment developer $180,250 to establish water and sewer service as opposed to $63,500 based upon a 2015 verbal agreement that she and then-mayor Freddie McCall made with the Paces Foundation. The 2015 agreement was based upon then-current published rates. [Read more...]

“I feel like this is a moral, ethical thing to me. I feel like we made a commitment to them and the town should honor that commitment,” she said addressing the town council in December.

NorthEscambia.com file photo.


10 Responses to “Century Council Votes To Make Amends With Town Planner”

  1. Roger on January 9th, 2018 7:54 pm

    Again. More of the same. And the CPA/Vice Chamberperson comes up again surrounding another topic of faulty finances. Cue in President Trump now to come up with a few good nicknames for these individuals. It would be priceless.

    I’m just saying, follow the bread crumbs and get to the source of these issues once and for all.

  2. Well on January 9th, 2018 7:49 pm

    Hopefully she will stick to her convictions and let Mr. Gomez be the man.

  3. AD on January 9th, 2018 4:33 pm

    I’d be glad to do it for $40 an hour! I thought the employee s of the town made between $10 and $20 per hour?

  4. David Huie Green on January 9th, 2018 1:12 pm

    “You can’t let your temper get in the way of business.”

    Her actions do not read like a temper tantrum, more like a question of ethics and morals. Those shouldn’t be abandoned as ” the way of business.”

    David for honor

  5. Carl & Sylvia Godwin on January 9th, 2018 11:37 am

    I hope Mrs. Debbie will reconsider and come back and help us. We may as well call it quits if we don’t have her to help better the town. She has done so much for Century and still had a lot of irons in the fire. Ya’ll please treat her right and try to get her to stay. I believe with all my heart that she loves Century and wants to see Century at it’s best. Seems like Mr. Gomez is kind of selfish and wants to run the show. We don’t need that , we need a council that will work together. Hoping ya’ll do the right thing and Mrs. Debbie will consider staying.

  6. Chelleepea on January 9th, 2018 9:37 am

    I’m glad our council has sense to ask Ms. Nickles back. Nobody in this administration has the talent or experience to lure investments and grants to Century. Ms, Nickles already has the network to make the right connections. Why start from scratch?

    We should realize that this debacle with the apts sewer /water puts Century in a bad light with future investors.

    Good PR is essential in attracting investors and businesses to Century. This debacle has made Century look weak, unprofessional, and greedy although there was good intentions on all sides to benefit the town.

    I hope that the town can come together and work as a team.

  7. tg on January 9th, 2018 6:41 am

    Without her ability to raise grants Century can call it a day and change its name to HWY 29 Crossroads.

  8. Scott on January 9th, 2018 4:39 am

    Sounds like Gomez is willing to take on all of Nickles projects to completion. He doesn’t want her back guys. Lay the ball in his lap. Is Gomez the “ethical” and “moral” concerns of Nickles? She is a very credible lady.

  9. Citizen on January 9th, 2018 2:11 am

    Gomez must be clueless.

  10. Resident on January 9th, 2018 1:53 am

    Bring back Debbie! How many millions did she bring to Century? She was the best thing Century had going for it.

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