Mayor, Councilman Seek To Control Information Flow From Century

March 20, 2019

For the second time, Century’s mayor and a council member are seeking to control the flow of information from the town.

“Anything concerning me and Seat 2…I want a heads up…if the council is on television, on in a newspaper, or on William’s NorthEscambia saying that they are speaking for the council, I want to be involved in that. I want my opinion and my vote to be ask for,” council member Luis Gomez told his fellow council members Monday night.

“If you are going to speak for me in front of a camera or in a newspaper or in a meeting in this (the council) room, I want to have some say so. I don’t want anybody making no decisions for me or making no kind of comments or no decisions.”

“The newsman get on there and say we spoke with the mayor of Century and town leaders. They spoke to you (Mayor Henry Hawkins) and they spoke to her (council president Ann Brooks). I’m a town leader. Ain’t nobody spoke to me…I’m a leader too, and if you ain’t spoke to me, don’t say you spoke to town leaders,” Gomez also said.

“One of the things I asked the council, we need a PIO (public information officer) officer. That never went anywhere. We need somebody authorized to speak to represent the town,” Hawkins said. Last year, he told the council he should speak for the town and expressed displeasure over comments made by Brooks to WEAR 3 .

“We’ve had a lot of bad press in the past starting with the folks that got beat up for violating the Sunshine Law that they was never briefed on,” Hawkins added.

Gomez also said that if a single council member is going to speak for the council in a meeting, he wants to choose that person. “I don’t want it to be said the council recommended this, because if I didn’t say it out of my mouth that yeah that’s what I recommended, that’s not the council’s approval.”

“If we are going to have a meeting that is not going to include the entire council, and I know that there is a possibility of shining a bad light on Century or getting the council in some of a danger, I think we need to bring it to this table,” Gomez said. “I don’t want anybody representing me without my approval.

Gomez made a motion that if his name is going to be used in a council decision that he have a vote on the subject matter. Brooks, who conducts the meetings as council president, never asked for a second or vote on the motion.

Gomez, Brooks and council member Sandra McMurray Jackson were recently fined by a judge for a noncriminal violation of Florida’ Sunshine Law. Last summer, three council members attended at least some portion of a closed-door meeting with CPA Robert Hudson, Town Clerk Kim Godwin and the town’s auditors. The meeting was not advertised as a public meeting, which forbid more than one council member from attending.

“I should be able to come in this room, and if I shouldn’t be able to come into this room, I should be notified why I can’t come in this room. I should be notified prior to me coming in. I could be down here paying my gas bill and come in here to see if I left my cap in here. I paid $250 for that,” Gomez said, referring to his $250 Sunshine Law violation fine, not the value of the cap. “We could be having a budget meeting that I knew nothing about.”

“If I am going to go up in flames for making a bad decision on the budget, I need to be sitting in the room for the budget meeting,” he said.

“The meeting you are speaking about is a workshop that each one of us individually have attended in the past with the auditor,” Brooks said.

“No, that’s a lie,” Gomez said.

Gomez incorrectly claimed that members of a citizen advisory board held a meeting 30 minutes early, “and when the newspapers got there they violated the Sunshine because they started early.”

“And  they went to jail and had to pay fines…and they got arrested because of a time,” Gomez also claimed falsely.

Four appointed members of the volunteer advisory task force received deferred prosecution for violating the Sunshine Law by holding a meeting two hours in advance of a publicly advertised time. The individuals were never arrested, never faced any criminal charges and never went to jail as claimed by Gomez.

Disclosure: WEAR 3 and are media partners, often sharing news, photos and videos. WEAR 3 and do not share ownership. photos, click to enlarge.


40 Responses to “Mayor, Councilman Seek To Control Information Flow From Century”

  1. Lack of accountability. on March 22nd, 2019 9:51 pm

    So they are going to let the Blues Brothers and crew take public money, make a loan to McMurray keep her as a voter yes man?Why are there no indictments, removal from office? Why can they let the Mayor redact airplane ticket what does this tell one about everyone in line above this. Pitiful. Criminal

    The secret is out. Impotent

  2. Florida logger on March 22nd, 2019 5:04 pm

    The mayor needs to resign he can’t show where his budget goes and the water and gas, and sewage,etc as got century in financial debt because he lets all his people and friends have it free and act like it broke or it on the city fault he may be good mayor over Pritchard yup

  3. John on March 22nd, 2019 9:44 am

    Wow!!! English 101 should be applied here. A town as small as Century needs a public information officer? So typical of the left, they want grow the government without actually doing anything! The State needs to investigate and remove/prosecute!

  4. Embarrassed on March 21st, 2019 8:33 pm

    One councilman wants to be heard but shouldn’t and another newly elected councilman doesn’t seem to know where City hall is located unless its to break a tie with Jackson and Gomer. The county should take over before the town is a total loss.

  5. Native 1950 on March 21st, 2019 8:16 am

    Wow…this is more fun than going to the beauty shop or nail salon and just listening…

  6. Curious on March 21st, 2019 7:19 am

    David – you are right. Citizens of Century, find out when the next council meeting is and attend.

  7. 429SCJ on March 21st, 2019 5:22 am

    Someone needs to prepare an operating instruction and establish procedural protocols for the Mayor and Staff.

    When novices step onto the big stage, without proper guidance and oversight, it is always an invitation to problems.

  8. Stumpknocker on March 21st, 2019 4:29 am

    @Darnell you are absolutely correct and not alone. I have spent many days scouting out Century and have came up with serval plans for other businesses to promote jobs and growth in Century. They went no where due to the lack of city government. There is great potential in Century but it’s being past over, I couldn’t even recommend Century with a straight face to these potential developers nor would I, what a waste.

  9. david on March 20th, 2019 11:37 pm

    Has anyone ever noticed…through all of this…nothing has been done or accomplished.
    All the things everyone is unhappy about does no good getting on this paper and venting.
    if there is something must not be illegal…
    Or all of this is normal in this world
    You can get mad, stomp your feet or what ever…if you want change….you make it. Dont sit back and think the town fairies from another dimension is coming to a rescue

  10. Nearby Neighbor on March 20th, 2019 4:30 pm

    I tried to read the story but couldn’t get past the horrible grammar. Please Sir, if you are representing your town the least you need to speak correctly.

  11. chris on March 20th, 2019 3:32 pm

    “Mr. Gomez may not use perfect grammar ” No may or maybe about it. This is somebody who is allegedly representing the citizens of Century, and forms sentences of an elementary nature. Then again, he is with a King who said another individual “was a lie” so there you go.

  12. Orrin THomas on March 20th, 2019 2:06 pm

    It sounds like to me that the mayor is hiding something .Also, the city council.. When you add it all up, you need to clean house and start over. Otherwise, it will get worse.

  13. anne 1of2 on March 20th, 2019 1:21 pm

    Mr. Gomez may not use perfect grammar but at least I understand his sticking up for himself. He has every right to do that. Good for him!

  14. chris on March 20th, 2019 12:30 pm

    “Seek To Control Information Flow ” seems like you would do this if you had something you did NOT want others to know about.

  15. Sylvia on March 20th, 2019 10:08 am

    I think if you live in Century city limits you have the right to know what’s going on with the town. They need to quit acting like a bunch of moron and people would not be talking. To Mr. Gomez, I would not be trying to steal the spotlight if I was involved in the circus going on in City hall. I never thought I would be embarrassed to say I’m from Century. The pride is gone and I just feel so sad.

  16. Mr Benny on March 20th, 2019 9:22 am

    English 101

  17. Bob on March 20th, 2019 9:19 am

    “M in Brat” – I agree!!!

    Transparency – characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices

  18. Amazed on March 20th, 2019 9:13 am

    Well, Mr. Gomez. You do not have to worry about anyone speaking for you anymore. You have spoken and proved without a doubt that you should have no “voice” in what is said at meetings or anywhere else. How petty and ridiculous you sound! I am so proud that I never voted for you! You are just a “yes man” for our incompetent, smug mayor (whom I never voted for either). It is a shame that Ann Brooks is a lady and you sit and call her a liar! You need to step down, sir, because you certainly are no leader!!! I have always been proud of my town Century. After seventy years here, I am feeling so ashamed of the hysteria that is portrayed in the City Hall!!!

  19. 429SCJ on March 20th, 2019 9:08 am

    The mayor should hire a troubleshooter, someone to ensure that everyone is compliant and to simply just make those/these problems evaporate.

    I would recommend someone with a Special Forces background, someone who is not above burning a village or retiring a problem child.

  20. Tom Vino on March 20th, 2019 9:01 am

    This is as hilarious as it is sad. Mr. Governor, the poor people of Century need your help. Seems a bunch of buffoons have taking over the cities government, sir. Please save us before they all get indicted. Wonder what their party affiliation is? Hmmm.

  21. just sayin on March 20th, 2019 8:57 am

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

  22. sam on March 20th, 2019 8:36 am

    It’s kind of funny to see the english language abused by a city leader. actually it’s an embarrassing.

  23. Chris on March 20th, 2019 7:59 am

    Based on sentence structure and grammatical context, they are not fit to lead a first grade English class.

  24. tg on March 20th, 2019 7:58 am keep up the good reporting.

  25. Mary on March 20th, 2019 7:53 am

    I keep waiting for Barney Fife to show up!

  26. Bama Bob on March 20th, 2019 7:52 am

    I can’t wait to tune in every morning. You cannot make this stuff up. It is sad, but so hilarious. Gotta be boosting North Escambia viewership.

  27. SW on March 20th, 2019 7:48 am

    Century, LoL.

  28. McDavid Resident on March 20th, 2019 7:30 am

    Can we get “Century Boulevard” removed from highway 29 in McDavid? What will it take? A petition drive? Folks who live apart from Century want nothing to do with the place or its name.

  29. M in Bratt on March 20th, 2019 6:45 am

    I worry that we will all have to find other forms of morning entertainment when the Gov. and Legislature finally shut this clown show down. Maybe William will start posting one of the old comic strips so we can still have a morning laugh.

  30. Willis on March 20th, 2019 6:43 am

    Well mr. gomez, 2 of you council members should try attending a few more meetings. You might know what was going on.
    Or just look around.

  31. Jerry on March 20th, 2019 6:34 am

    Someone should give them a headsup that they are going to jail for crimes

  32. M in Bratt on March 20th, 2019 6:34 am

    Telling lie after lie hasn’t worked for them, maybe a gag order will. Good luck with that one.

  33. Ellenb on March 20th, 2019 6:30 am

    Well there you have it…dumb, dumber, & even more dumb. Most of the time you can judge someone’s intelligence by hearing them speak & these 2 prove it. Century has become the butt of everyone’s jokes! Is Gomez really jealous that he wasn’t given the opportunity to be made fun of even more? Really? He and Hawkins have both now called someone else liars when they obviously don’t even know what the truth is. Apparently ignorance really is blissful for these two. What is obvious to me is that these two clowns just wanted to be powerful, in positions of importance without having the knowledge of how to be there. If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!

  34. Century resident on March 20th, 2019 5:44 am

    What a disgrace and embarrassment to century these people are clean house and elect new every day there is some kind of corruption going on

  35. Anne on March 20th, 2019 5:12 am

    WOW, this is a contorted response from the Century Town Council each line being more nutty than the one before.

    Gomez seems to have his feelings hurt ” I’m a town leader. Ain’t nobody spoke to me…I’m a leader too, and if you ain’t spoke to me, don’t say you spoke to town leaders,” Gomez also said.”

    Seems that instead of the expected finger pointing away from the speaker Gomez is pointing it right at HIMSELF and saying “Don’t Leave Me Out”.

    Holy cow, how did these people EVER get into these positions?
    TERRIBLE for the folks who are honest and above board in Century.

    William and you have my families TRUST in reporting unbiased and true news where this farce of a Town Council has eroded their trust and believably to the near point of self-destruction.

  36. Native on March 20th, 2019 4:29 am

    Reading this story explains a lot about the condition of the town of Century. Leadership is nonexistent. I’ve heard more intelligent conversation from a kindergarten student council.

  37. Obvious on March 20th, 2019 1:19 am

    No the citizen advisory committee had a sunshine violation because the consultant advertised the time of the meeting wrong and they held it anyway. True the council spent a lot of money for Skievaski when all they basically had to do was take a sunshine course. It’s not rocket science. No they weren’t arrested.

    The elected official has just as much opportunity to read the charter and educate themselves and read about the sunshine law as anyone but they didn’t and don’t.

    Gomez and McMurray had a violation for entering a private meeting with other council member present.

    Ignorance is no excuse and no they cant control information and each person has freedom of speech to talk to whom ever what ever — when ever. The fact is he was worth a darn he would be on the phone with the Governor or his FL representative getting to the bottom of this financial mess
    “Everything he says Gomez”

    This further demonstrates the Grand Jury Report that they are incapable of government. Does the state see what all are dealing with here?

    They have no right to privacy as it pertains to the government– of the people –by the people.

  38. Darnell on March 20th, 2019 1:01 am

    Relocating to Pensacola area the past few months, and this town , Century is for sure not a place I want my business associated with nor business ventures.
    No town is perfect, yet to try and surpass terrible, and look the other way at the problems I see and reports…lets just say Pensacola is where we are staying and my business offsets.

    I enjoy employing opportunities and growth.
    Retarded growth and the obtuse actions I see in that little town makes me understand how a few can make a wonderful town stagnant .

  39. Let it all hang out on March 20th, 2019 12:53 am

    Well here you have it..Anybody want to interview..”Everything he says Gomez” ?

    Mic him up..let him talk..

    Just keep on talking..

    WEAR interview him pluuueezzzz..

  40. David Huie Green on March 20th, 2019 12:47 am

    “I don’t want it to be said the council recommended this, because if I didn’t say it out of my mouth that yeah that’s what I recommended, that’s not the council’s approval.”

    If a vote was taken, no matter how how members of the council individually voted, the decision of the body as a whole was the council decision/recommendation.

    David for understanding

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.