The freshman Pensacola City Councilman won his first political skirmish with Mayor Hayward and City Administrator Bill Reynolds when he pointed out the county guidelines for the city’s nominee for the RESTORE advisory and that Hayward had called an unlawful meeting to discuss it. Bare could be the one thing that the mayor has feared the most—a council member who knows Robert’s Rules of Order.
Escambia County Area Transit
ECAT has reported 1,530,053 total rides for 2012—an 11-percent increase from the previous year. National ridership increases for fixed-route systems only reflect a 1.8 percent increase, according to America Public Transportation Association.
Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins recently presented the community-based care agency at Lakeview its Most Improved Performance Standards Award. FamiliesFirst Network contracts with DCF to provide prevention, diversion, foster care, adoption and other family services in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.
Bethel Youth Development
At Pensacola’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, this group’s volunteers passed out over 5,000 new books and 10,000 bookmarks free to children and youth. The service project, called the MLK Parade of Books Project, is done in partnership with Bethel AME Church, Robert Robino Productions and area businesses.
Most city hall observers felt that Gulf Power executive Bentina Terry was the perfect pick to represent the city on the RESTORE advisory—University of Michigan Law School graduate, Pensacola resident, African-American, female and someone outside of Hayward’s usual picks. Instead the mayor chose his campaign treasurer, Dave Penzone—a fine man, but someone he had already used for his pension advisory. What made matters worse was Hayward never explained or defended Penzone’s nomination. Result: Penzone vote 3-5; three days later, Terry vote 9-0.
In the middle of the Penzone debacle, the city attorney bailed on the Pensacola City Council. In an email sent to Mayor Hayward, City Administrator Bill Reynolds and the Pensacola City Council, he excused himself from giving any opinions on council rules and policies. Messer had been criticized by council members for not using the latest version of the council rules at the ill-fated super special, but probably unlawful, committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 25.
The early favorite to be the Democrats’ choice to run against Gov. Rick Scott is about to find out how hard it will be to defeat an incumbent, even one as unpopular as Scott. The governor’s proposed 2013-14 budget is chocked full of goodies guaranteed to win votes.