RESTORE Race Begins
Escambia County stands to get a windfall of money—with estimates ranging between $100 and $200 million—as a result of the Clean Water Act fines facing BP. There’s no shortage of outstretched hands, and the line forms at the doors of the county commission.
Exit Oliver, Enter Touart
After firing county administrator Randy Oliver, the Escambia County Commission suffered some community blowback. It paled to the public lashing commissioners received when they then brought back George Touart—who left under an ethical cloud in 2007—as interim administrator.
Not Your Father’s Clerk of the Court
After serving as Escambia County’s clerk of court since 1957, Ernie Lee Magaha lost his office to Pam Childers in the August primary. In December, the longtime clerk got the county complex named in his honor.
The new Pensacola Blue Wahoos experienced a stellar inaugural season, which wrapped up with titles such as Organization of the Year, Ballpark of the Year and Executive of the Year. Forty Wahoos games sold out.
Sweet Talker Travels On
He came to town with a grand vision of public-private partnerships, historical tourism, a golf course and hotels. A year later, Matt Altier has left the University of West Florida as VP in a move UWF President Judy Bense said “wasn’t unexpected.”
How 4-H Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bank
Navy Federal Credit Union needed land owned by the Escambia County 4-H to expand operations. Business leaders and politicians sweated it out until the deal was sweetened enough to earn the kids’ buy-in.
So Go the Logos
Everything old is new—or at least it’s been rebranded. The city of Pensacola made the biggest deal out of its rebranding rollout, but Escambia County, the chamber of commerce and civic center all got a spit-shine.
On the Bus, In the Library
Escambia County commissioners decided to collect a dedicated tax from property owners in order to fund the West Florida Public Library system and the Escambia County Area Transit.
New Town Order
A number of area powerhouses have seen changes at the top. Gulf Power, Pen Air Federal Credit Union and three area hospitals have named new CEOs.
Opening in the National Aviation Museum, the National Flight Academy offers students the opportunity to learn in an immersive, simulated environment.