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Wednesday July 23rd 2014

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Winners & Losers 1/17/13

WINNERS
Visit Pensacola
Tourism in Escambia County has been setting all-time lodging revenue records for the current fiscal year. The lodging revenues generated in October and November 2012 total $24.1 million, a 12 percent increase over the same period in 2011. This year, Visit Pensacola’s integrated marketing budget, which includes the Perdido Key Chamber and the Pensacola Sports Association, is $6.5 million.

Pensacola Code Enforcement
The City of Pensacola got serious in 2012 about cleaning up its neighborhoods. The number of code enforcement cases scheduled for hearing more than doubled, from 201 in 2011 to 575 in 2012. Those brought into compliance before a hearing more than tripled, from 114 to 383. The fines and liens increased to $129,772.

AT&T
Continuing its dedication to the University of West Florida and BEST Robotics, AT&T presented a $50,000 contribution to support the Emerald Coast BEST Robotics hub at the University of West Florida School of Science and Engineering.

Wells Fargo
The bank awarded a $50,000 Priority Markets Initiative Grant to Pensacola-based Community Enterprise Investments, Inc. (CEII) to support neighborhood revitalization. In addition to the grant, Wells Fargo employees will volunteer at least 160 hours of service to CEII for its affordable housing activities.

LOSERS
Rick Scott
The Florida governor has made it no secret that he doesn’t like Obamacare, and his political agenda got him in hot water with the media when he and his Agency for Health Care Administration claimed the cost of the Medicaid expansion would be nearly $26 billion over 10 years. The number was later revised to $3 billion, which still may be overstated.

Escambia County
The crime statistics continue to point out that the county, on a per-capita basis, is one of the most violent in the state. According to 2011 crime statistics reported by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the county’s 169 forcible rates ranked ninth in Florida for the number of rapes. When you consider that the other eight counties have twice to eight times the population of Escambia, the number is alarming.

URAC Report
In the absence of any decisive leadership from Mayor Ashton Hayward, the report from his Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee is taking hits from the Downtown Improvement Board and others around the community. The Pensacola Young Professionals are trying to suggest how the mayor can use it, but city hall has been mum on the report, even though they have had it for nearly three months.