Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday October 1st 2014

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Winners & Losers 5/16/13

WINNERS
Ashton Hayward
Pensacola’s mayor may be coming out of his political slump. For the first time in months, his press releases actually proclaim something worthwhile. Over six days, Hayward announced that the fish hatchery, that he first told us about two years ago, was included in Governor Scott’s projects to be funded with the Natural Resource Damage Assessment monies and that Southwest Airlines would add in November flights to Nashville and Houston.

Cox Communications
For the eighth consecutive year, Cox Communications was recognized as one of the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity. Cox has ranked in the top 25, for the last seven years, with a ranking of No. 22 this year, up from No. 25 in 2012. Cox was also honored for its diversity leadership with a No. 4 ranking in the DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Blacks.

Perdido Landfill
The renewable energy partnership between Gulf Power and Escambia County hit a new milestone. Since startup, Gulf Power’s Landfill Gas-to-Energy project at Perdido Landfill has generated nearly 65 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy. That’s enough electricity to power a 100-watt bulb for 7,000 years. Landfill methane gas is one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy, forming naturally by decomposition of organic material in landfills.

LOSERS
Ernie Lee Magaha
An independent audit released recently reported that the former Escambia County Clerk of Court may have violated Florida statutes when he gave his longtime employees generous lump-sum payments, cost-of-living raises and a vacation buyback program in the months before he left office. Carr, Riggs & Ingram found five key areas where his actions ranged from poor business practices to possible law violations.

Flights to Atlanta
The downside to the Southwest Airlines announcement about taking over AirTran and adding flights to Nashville and Houston is that the carrier will be dropping direct flights to Atlanta. The selling point for the community to lure AirTran to Pensacola 10 years ago was competition with Delta to keep airfares to Atlanta lower. It will be interesting to see if Delta hikes its rates at the end of the year.

Heritage Foundation
The conservative think tank issued a report that proposed bills that give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship could cost the country $6.3 trillion over their lifetimes. Hispanic groups and several politicians blasted the report, which was counter to other reports. According to the Social Security Administration, the immigration bill would add about $300 billion in net revenue to Medicare and Social Security over the next decade.