Tuesday, November 17th, new Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill was sworn in on a very cold Tuesday morning but at a very warm swearing in ceremony in the commission chambers. Grover Robinson, IV was also sworn in for another term for District 4. At the same meeting County Commission Chairman Lumon May turned over the chairman’s gavel to the District 5 Commissioner Steve Barry, who was named the new chairman of the Escambia County Commission.
Doug Underhill is now the District 2 County Commissioner seat after defeating two-term Commissioner Gene Valentino in the Republican Primary and beating his Democratic opponent Deborah Moore by capturing 65 percent of the vote for the District 2 County Commission seat.District 4 Commissioner Robinson, also a Republican, beat out Democrat challenger Mike Lowery to hold his District 4 seat for a third term with 71 percent of the vote.
In an interview with The Pensacola Voice, Underhill spoke about the importance of targeting the poorer areas of District 4. He said, “What really compelled me to run, having served my country in the military, I saw some things here that were not why I fought in the military! We talk about the need for economic development in this county; however, we need to stop focusing on how to sell it better, but how to make it better! Now, as we grow this new economy how do we make sure that a poor kid growing up in Myrtle Grove, Warrington, or Mayfair looks at that new economy and says I can be part of that? The only way that he does that is we must show him how and hold him accountable to it and work with him not direct him, but work with those young people to show them that this can be their future.”
Escambia County Commissioner Wilson Robertson congratulated both commissioners for their being elected to office. He went on the commend Grover C. Robinson, IV for being installed to serve as President of the Florida Association of Counties (FAC). Robinson was sworn in during the installation lunch at the 2014 FAC Annual Conference in Orange County. “Counties are the backbone of this great state.” said Commissioner Grover Robinson. As FAC President, Commissioner Robinson will oversee the Association by directing policy, advocacy, the management of the BP Oil Spill RESTORE Act process, and the administration of the Florida Association of Counties.
As earlier stated, District 3 Commission Chairman Lumon May turned over the chairman’s gavel to the District 5 Commissioner Steve Barry, who was named the new chairman of the Escambia County Commission. Barry represents the northernmost district in Escambia County including Cantonment, Quintet, Walnut Hill, and Century where sizable African-Americans and other minority voters live. Commissioner May joked about relinquishing his role as chair when he noted he will not be signing so many official county documents and representing the county government at all the official meetings. May has two years left in his District 3 term of office.