DIB Seeks Finance Committee Member
Posted: Oct 5, 2021 1:47 PMUpdated: Oct 5, 2021 1:47 PM
Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board is looking for a new member for its Finance Committee.The Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) is a dependent special agency funded by a tax levy on properties within its district boundaries. The district consists of 44 blocks that encompass the urban core of Downtown Pensacola, an area that was proclaimed “Florida’s Best Place” during a vote conducted by the American Planning Association’s Florida Chapter. The Finance Committee provides financial expertise and guidance to the DIB’s five-member Board of Directors.Applicants must own property, work or live within the DIB's 44-block downtown district, which runs for several blocks east and west from Plaza De Luna to Belmont Street. They must also be available for monthly meetings, with three consecutive absences constituting a resignation.The Finance Committee works in collaboration with the DIB Board for the overall benefit of the district regardless of individual personal feelings, experiences, perceptions or beliefs.Appointees will be governed by Florida’s Public Records Law and Sunshine Law, as well as the City of Pensacola Code of Ethics. The appointment will be reviewed annually or as determined by the DIB chairman. To apply, CLICK HERE.
Local Farmers, Artists Gearing Up for Special Edition "Halloween Market" Oct. 30
Posted: Sep 30, 2021 2:27 PMUpdated: Sep 30, 2021 2:28 PM
Children are encouraged to dress in their most outrageous costumes for a special “Halloween Market” edition of the Palafox Market on Saturday, Oct. 30. Vendor booths will be decorated for the autumn holiday, offering candy to trick-or-treaters. Kids can get their faces painted for awesome Halloween selfie opportunities. Also, candy prizes will be awarded in a costume contest and in a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. In addition to the sweet treats, everybody’s favorite arachnid superhero, Spider-Man, as well as Disney’s Princess Rapunzel, will be mingling with fans. Palafox Market, coordinated by the Downtown Improvement Board, is staged in Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. As many as 8,000 people meander along the plaza’s red brick walkway on the busiest of days. “Our vendors love interacting with their patrons, and Halloween is an exceptional opportunity for that,” said Emily Kopas, DIB chief operating officer. “The weather is beautiful this time of year and the produce is abundant, so we think Halloween is a great time for a special celebration at Palafox Market.” The market features up to 200 vendors ranging from local farmers and bakers to artists and craftsmen and women. All the items available at Palafox Market are grown, created or produced within 100 miles of Pensacola. While the market is open year-round, produce is available according to local farmers’ growing seasons. Fresh veggies and fruits likely to be in season at Halloween include locally-harvested arugula, oyster mushrooms, collard greens, radishes, carrots and apples. Shoppers may also find plants, baked goods, local honey, cut flowers, many different kinds of art and handmade goods and lots more.  The “Halloween Market” is a great opportunity to snap up unique fall décor and start Christmas shopping. Entertainment at the market is provided by the String Farm bluegrass band near the MLK bust. In 2020, Southern Living magazine named Palafox Market as the best farmers' market in Florida. Palafox Market also consistently wins local awards in categories like “Best Farmers' Market," "Best Free Thing to Do" and "Best Place to Buy Local Produce.”
DIB Seeks Manager for Palafox Market
Posted: May 17, 2021 2:02 PMUpdated: May 17, 2021 2:38 PM
The Market Manager oversees the day-to-day operations and market day set up as well as accepts and processes vendor applications. The market manager sets the tone and represents the market internally with vendors and externally to shoppers/visitors while representing the Downtown Improvement Board and its mission. Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:Oversee the incoming vendor applications and perform necessary bookkeeping of application feesSetup and maintain a jury pool of local artists to review applications and submitted works by applicants on a timely schedule (monthly)Track market metrics such as attendance of vendors, cancellations of vendors, waiting lists of approved applications Collect vendor fees and proper bookkeeping per office protocol Maintain all vendor applications and records, including current licenses and permitsEnsure proper permit applications are submitted and approved to operate market Maintain any and all volunteer recordsAssist Executive Director in annual budget of the marketSupervise vendor setup properly and breakdown properly each market day including overseeing of waste control/disposalEnsure proper equipment is ordered and delivered and or maintained for each market day including but not limited to port-o-lets, handwashing stations, consumable goods for port-o-lets and handwashing stations, padlocks for electrical boxes and port-o-letsHandle any emergencies or situations that arise with vendors or visitors of the marketAssign vendor spaces and manage overall market layoutCultivate and maintain a balanced market with a variety of vendors and goodsSubmit regular reports to Executive Director and present publicly to Board of DirectorsAssist in creation, produce, management of market promotions, advertising and special eventsAny other duties as assigned by Executive Director Core Competencies:Experience with Quickbooks softwareStrong organizational and personnel management skillsProficient skill in Microsoft Suite (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) software programExcellent time management skills and ability to coordinate interrelated projectsExperience in database initiation and maintenance Education or experience in Fine ArtsStrong interpersonal & conflict resolution skillsMinimum Acceptable Qualification:Associates or at least 5+ year(s) of project/event management experienceSufficient strength and physical dexterity to perform duties and responsibilities of this job, including moderate lifting, long period on your feet and in all weather conditionsNo criminal record (other than minor traffic violations)Possession of a valid driver's license for the State of Florida, or ability to obtain within 30 days. Must have at least 5+ year(s) licensed driving experience. Must have a clean driving record within last 5+ yearsAbility to provide/pass pre-employment background check, criminal background report, negative drug & tobacco test result and credit report when requested COMPETITIVE SALARY AND BENEFITS based on training and experience.REPORTS TO:  Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement BoardSEND RESUMES TO:  Executive Director Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board, 226 S. Palafox Place, Suite 106 Pensacola FL 32502 NOTE: All expressions of interest and resumes must be received at above address by 5:00 pm CST on Friday May 21, 2021 to be considered.
Palafox Market Celebrates 14 Years
Posted: May 11, 2021 10:20 PMUpdated: May 11, 2021 10:20 PM
The modest farmers market project that blossomed into the centrepiece of Saturday mornings in Downtown Pensacola is celebrating its 14th anniversary. On Saturday, May 15, shoppers at Palafox Market will enjoy live entertainment, activities for kids and giveaways. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, rain or shine, in Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza. “We’re all looking forward to celebrating 14 years of Palafox Market,” said Sydney Barrow, market manager. “This market wouldn’t be what it is without our amazing vendors and the support of the community.” This anniversary is especially meaningful because the market was closed last year from March to October due to Covid-19. “Our vendors offer a variety of products like unique art, baked goods, fresh produce, live plants and so much more,” Barrow said. “These vendors took a big hit in 2020 due to the pandemic, so it has been great to have everyone back together.” Palafox Market, coordinated by the Downtown Improvement Board, opened in 2006 with a strictly agricultural focus, giving about 25 local farmers a venue to offer their products to shoppers in the downtown area. It first met under the Interstate 110 overpass, and then a vacant lot, before finding its home in Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza. Maria Pena said she brought her homemade soap and other handmade goods to Palafox Market in 2009 or 2010 after she and her husband retired. “We were at the end of Palafox in a little lot.” Said Pena, who’s booth is called Lady PMOBug Natural Soaps. “There were eight, maybe nine, vendors, mainly a lot of vegetables and stuff like that. I was the only one making soap at the time. We’ve been doing it ever since. We’ve met so many nice people.” In the beginning, the market was only open on Saturdays during harvest seasons. “The DIB decided to make the market year-round when it was expanded to include other vendor types like bakers, jewelry makers, artists, etc.,” said Lissa Dees, the former executive director of the DIB. Dees recently went on to become the parking manager for the City of Pensacola. “Once enough other vendors were part of the market, the DIB felt that it could be sustainable throughout the entire year and not just limited to spring and summer,” she said. “Ag vendors could still sell seasonal products in the fall and winter months, so it made sense.” Today, as many as 8,000 people meander along the plaza’s redbrick walkway on the busiest of Saturdays. Customers might be sampling fresh tamales, buying local squash or perusing original works of art for sale by Pensacola artists. The String Farm bluegrass band performs for donations in the center of the plaza near the MLK bust. With current Covid-19 restrictions, there is space for 120 vendors at the market.  Not only are all of the available spaces usually spoken for, but there is typically a waiting list.  There is always food ready to eat for sale, ranging from giant bags of popcorn and fried pork rinds to homemade pies and cakes. Many of the edible items are organic or otherwise aimed at a niche market, like gluten-free and keto-friendly baked good and specialty mustard. The products offered at the market all come from within 100 miles of Pensacola. Like Pena, many of the vendors are cottage entrepreneurs for whom the market represents much of their sales. “Ninety-nine percent of my sales come from this market,” Pena said. “This market has been great for me.” Amanda Wyant and Patricia Schrieber started New Roots Farm in early 2020, and they’ve been a part of Palafox Market since January. New Roots Farm grows organic micro-greens, like kale, purple kohlrabi and clover, sought for their dense nutrition when eaten raw. Wyant, who lives in Navarre and makes the trip to Pensacola every Saturday, said Palafox Market puts her in contact with her target audience. “It is a commitment, but it is absolutely worth it,” she said. “We tend to cater a little bit to people who are vegan or vegetarians, or are looking to improve their health.” In 2020 Southern Living magazine named Palafox Market as the best farmer’s market in Florida. Palafox Market also consistently wins local awards in categories like “Best Farmer’s Market,” “Best Free Thing to Do,” and “Best Place to Buy Local Produce.” 
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: DIB Seeking General Counsel
Posted: Feb 18, 2021 6:06 PMUpdated: Apr 6, 2021 2:36 PM
Proposals are now being solicited from experienced and qualified Florida attorneys or law firms to provide legal services as General Counsel for the Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board (DIB), a political subdivision established by the Florida Legislature in 1972.  BACKGROUND The mission of the DIB is (i) to market downtown Pensacola to business prospects and investors, (ii) to serve as an advocate for projects necessary to revitalize downtown Pensacola and to create in downtown a thriving urban neighborhood; (iii) to enhance downtown Pensacola as a place to work, visit, live and be entertained, and; (iv) to raise awareness of downtown Pensacola as an important business, residential, cultural and entertainment center in the Triangle metropolitan area. The DIB was incorporated as a dependant special district of the City of Pensacola per Chapter 189, Florida Statutes.  The DIB was formed in April 1972.  The long-term strategy of the DIB is formulated by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, comprised of Downtown property and business owners, while the day-to-day affairs are executed by the DIB’s Executive Director and staff. LEGAL REQUIREMENTS All Federal, State, County, and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations that in any manner affect the items covered herein shall apply, including but not limited to the DIB Special Act, Laws of Florida, Section 72-655 as amended.  This RFP and the resulting contract will be made and ended in Escambia County, Florida and shall be governed by the laws of the State of Florida. A proposed contract for services shall accompany the proposal.  SERVICES TO BE PERFORMED The DIB seeks to engage an attorney with prior experience (paid or unpaid) as General Counsel of a public agency to be responsible for all facets of the general types of legal issues that might arise for such a position. The General Counsel will be expected to keep current on all aspects of law relevant to a special district and provide counsel and support to the Board and Executive Director in the following ways:  1. Attendance at meetings of the Board of Directors as requested by the board for the purpose of providing legal services and consultation; 2. Attendance at such other meetings as requested by the Board of Directors or Executive Director; 3. Preparation of resolutions, contracts, and the like concerning DIB business; 4. Preparation of written legal opinions on matters concerning the DIB at the request of the Board of Directors or the Executive Director; 5. Review of contracts, bid specifications, and purchasing documents for the purpose of legal and policy compliance, appropriate risk transfer, and risk analysis and avoidance; 6. Consultation with DIB staff regarding personnel matters, litigation, and other matters concerning DIB business; 7. Analysis of proposed or enacted legislation, published legal opinions, and other matters that may have an impact on the operations of the DIB; 8. Advising the DIB as to whether to file claims or commence litigation, and representing the DIB in connection with certain claims and litigation filed by or against the DIB except where, in the opinion of the General Counsel, special expertise is required; 9. Providing advice and assistance on matters of law related to the Florida Sunshine Statutes, conflict of interest,  the DIB enabling legislation, and in seeking advice from other public entities; 10. Provide legal assistance and consultation to DIB staff and directors on matters of property rights and property management, including trespass, encroachment, lessee obligations, easements, and access; and 11. Such other activities as may arise from time to time and as requested by the Board of Directors or the Executive Director.  YOUR RESPONSE TO THIS RFP Proposals must be submitted in writing and describe in adequate detail the following elements:  a.) a description of the attorney’s qualifications and experience, including areas of expertise, accomplishments, previous employers and previous or current public sector clients, b.) a description of the law firm including the size of the firm, others attorneys and support staff, location of the firm, and scope of its practice, c.) a resume including years of experience, education, and professional affiliations and licenses, d.) a description of legal services currently being  performed or previously performed for public agencies,  e.) a description of backup attorney(s) within the firm who would be available in the absence of the designated General Counsel,  f.) describe regulatory action, tax liens, or legal sanctions taken or pending against the attorney or firm, g.) the addition of any “value-added” services that the responding attorney might bring to the engagement beyond the scope listed above, and h.) the total annual cost for each of next three years that the attorney or law firm proposes to provide the legal services desired.  The Proposals shall also include certificates of insurance for Workers’ Compensation to meet statutory limits in the State of Florida and professional liability insurance of no less than two million ($2,000,000.00) dollars.  Proposals will be accepted during normal business hours via US Mail, hand-delivery, or courier service in the offices of the Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board at 226 South Palafox Place – Suite 106, Pensacola, Florida 32502 until 4:00 p.m. (central time) on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Eight copies of the complete response to this RFP are required. Proposals shall clearly indicate the legal name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the Proposer (company, firm, and partnership, individual). Proposals shall be signed above the typed or printed name and title of the signer. The signer shall have the authority to bind the Proposer to the submitted proposal. All expenses for preparation and submission of the RFP to the DIB are to be borne by the Proposer. The Proposals will be opened at 5:00 PM (Central) at 226 South Palafox Place – Suite 106, Pensacola, Florida 32502 on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.  EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS The DIB seeks to obtain and purchase all services noted above at the lowest possible cost.  In its evaluation of the proposals received, the DIB will consider and factor the cost structure proposed, compliance with the noted specifications, the relevant experience of the respondents, and understanding of DIB mission and authority.  An examination of the firm’s ability to perform the services desired, the reputation of the officers or representatives assigned to provide legal services on behalf of the DIB, and the location of its facilities may also, at the sole discretion of the DIB, be part of the criteria used to select an acceptable vendor before a contract is offered.  The DIB will meet on April 27, 2021 to consider the proposals and may elect to interview one or more of the proposers before a contract is offered at the meeting on April 27, 2021 or at a subsequent meeting on May 25, 2021.  The successful proposer must be prepared to begin work no later than June 14, 2021.  In evaluating proposals, the DIB will consider all information that it deems relevant for awarding a contract including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, price, ability to perform, experience and past performance. With regards to any proposals or proposals submitted in response hereto, to the extent permitted by law the DIB reserves the right to waive any errors, omissions, irregularities, and deviations if the DIB determines that such action is in the best interest of the DIB and/or public health, safety and/or welfare. Furthermore, to the extent permitted by law the DIB may waive any requirement or provision hereof and reserves the right to modify the requirements referenced herein, to reject any and all proposals, to modify (with the approval of the proposing party) the proposal, to negotiate with any proposing party regarding any price, term and/or condition, including increasing or decreasing a proposed price and/or the scope of the project.  This RFP is utilized merely as a vehicle to facilitate the evaluation of a Proposers and proposals. Except as required by law this RFP shall not in any manner grant and shall not be construed in any manner grant rights, benefits or expectations of any manner whatsoever to any person interested in submitting, contemplating submitting, or who in fact does submit a proposal in response hereto. The final terms and conditions of any project contemplated herein may be negotiated between DIB and any responsive Proposer and, except as required by law, the DIB shall not be required to accept any proposal or negotiate with any responsive Proposer notwithstanding perceived favorable provisions of price, time of performance, experience, quality of service, etc., contained in a responsive proposal. The DIB reserves the right to negotiate a proposal in the best interest of the DIB which may include adding or deleting terms and conditions from those specified herein and/or from the proposal upon by a responsive Proposer or contained in a responsive Proposer’s proposal.  QUESTIONS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Questions regarding this RFP process and questions relative to the scope of services shall be addressed to Walker Wilson, DIB Executive Director, in writing at [email protected] and be received no later than 4:00 P.M. (Central) on March 31, 2021. Any interpretations, clarifications, or changes made will be in the form of written addenda issued by April 7, 2021. Oral answers will not be authoritative.  PUBLIC ENTITY CRIMES Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 287.133(2)(a), are hereby notified that a person or affiliate who has been placed on the convicted vendor list following a conviction for a public entity crime may not submit a bid, proposal, or reply on a contract to provide any goods or services to a public entity (defined as the State of Florida, any of its departments or agencies, or any political subdivision); may not submit a bid, proposal, or reply on a contract with a public entity for the construction or repair of a public building or public work; may not submit bids, proposals or replies on leases of real property to a public entity; may not be awarded or perform work as a contractor, supplier, subcontractor, or consultant under contract with any public entity; and may not transact business with any public entity in excess of the threshold amount provided in Florida Statutes Section 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO  for a period of thirty-six (36) months from the date of being placed on the convicted vendor list. A “public entity crime” means a violation of any state or federal law by a person with respect to and directly related to the transaction of business with any public entity or with an agency or political subdivision of any other state or with the United States, including, but not limited to, any bid, proposal, reply, or contract for goods or services, any lease for real property, or any contract for the construction or repair of a public building or public work, involving antitrust, fraud, theft, bribery, collusion, racketeering, conspiracy, or material misrepresentation.  PROPRIETARY/CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION Proposers are hereby notified that all information submitted as part of, or in support of, proposals will be available for public inspection after opening of proposals, in compliance with Chapters 119 and 286, Florida Statutes, “Public Records Law” and the “Government and Sunshine Law” respectively.  EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY In connection with carrying out any project, the selected Proposer shall not ever have engaged in, and shall not during the term of the contract engage in, any discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, or physical handicap. PROTEST PROCEDURES If a proposal of a Proposer is deemed non-responsive or non-responsible, the Executive Director of the DIB shall provide written notice of the decision to all Proposers. The Executive Director of the DIB shall provide written notice of the decision to all the Proposers of an award of a contract. The procedures outlined under Section 120.57(3), Florida Statutes shall be utilized to resolve any protests of a decision of the DIBarising from the contract solicitation or award process under this RFP with the exception that any person who is adversely affected by  a decision of the DIBarising from the contract solicitation or award process under this RFP shall file with the Executive Director of the DIB a written notice of protest in writing within 72 hours after the a proposer’s receipt of the written notice of the decision from the Executive Director of the DIB. Any Proposer filing a protest shall submit with its protest a protest bond, payable to the DIB, in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).  If the protest is decided in the protester's favor the entire protest bond is returned. If the protest is not decided in the protester's favor the protest shall be forfeited to the DIB.  The protest bond shall be in the form of a cashier's check.