When elected officials face a fired-up community, watch out. A bingo hall that stirred opposition in the Florida panhandle is now spurring community groups to hire their own expert to propose a comprehensive development plan to their own county commissioners.
A grassroots coalition mobilized against a proposed bingo-casino plan in Perdido Key, Escambia County, near the Florida-Alabama border, the Pensacola News Journal reports. Led by the Perdido Presidents Forum of condominium association presidents, they contacted the media, county commissioners and other condo groups — all aimed at stopping Dallas developer Cy Keefer and Escambia Commissioner Gene Valentino, who saw the 18,000-square-foot bingo-casino project as a job-producing economic boost.
Beyond the bingo fight, the forum now seeks a wider role in planning for the future, to propose their own community vision and influence elected officials on development. It’s a fascinating look at the possibilities of what opposition to one project can lead to.