Pensacola, Florida
Sunday December 21st 2014

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Winners & Losers 1/10/13

WINNERS

Donna Fassett
Pensacola lost an angel when the executive of ARC Gateway passed away in late December after an extended illness. Fassett headed for nearly 20 years the non-profit that served adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She was a passionate mentor for the field of social work, a determined activist of people with disabilities, and a tireless volunteer for numerous local charities.

Jennifer Allen McFarren
The Greater Pensacola Chamber has promoted its former Programs and Events manager to its new director of Workforce Development, a position solely dedicated to growing and enriching workforce development opportunities. The 2012 IN Rising Star had previously coordinated the majority of the Chamber’s programs, including the annual PACE awards, Gopher Club breakfasts and Leadership Pensacola.

Rick Scott
The Florida governor can brag that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent for the month of November—down 0.4 percentage points from last month and the lowest since November 2008. This was the largest drop in the rate over the month since October 1992. Since December 2010, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 3.0 percentage points and 202,500 private sector jobs have been created.

LOSERS

Ernie Lee Magaha
The Escambia County Clerk of Court failed to win a 15th term, but the loss was a nice boon for his employees. Since losing his re-election bid, Magaha has spent over $800,000 on lump-sum payments, cost-of-living raises and a vacation buy-back program for his employees—further proof that lame ducks can be expensive for taxpayers.

City of Pensacola
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently praised his police department for newly released 2012 homicide statistics, which showed 414 murders in the city—the city’s lowest homicide rate in 40 years. The city of Pensacola is headed in the opposite direction. The number of murders inside the city limits has nearly doubled since last year, and is the highest in the past 10 years.

Tea Party
The Tea Party pushed hard to unseat Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the Speaker of the House. The boys weren’t happy with Boehner for not falling over the fiscal cliff and actually negotiating with the White House. Well, they failed. Twelve House Republicans broke from Boehner either by voting for someone else or deliberately not voting at all, but fell five votes short of forcing a second ballot.