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Winners & Losers 5/30/13

WINNERS
Caprice Blizzard
The social worker described as an “advocate, surrogate parent and mentor” for youth in foster care is the recipient of the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Visionary Award for exceptional efforts on behalf of the department’s clients.  Blizzard is an independent living coordinator for FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview Center. She is responsible for ensuring that teens in foster care develop skills necessary for managing their lives when they “age out” of the system.

Hangout Fest
The Gulf Shores, Ala. outdoor music festival was a huge success for the fourth consecutive year, pumping over $30 million into the local economy. MTV, VH1 and CMT covered the weekend event and provide a livestream of the entire event at HangOut.MTV.com, as well as television updates and highlights across MTV, VH1, CMT, MTV2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, VH1 Classic, CMT Pure and Palladia.

Gulf Power
The utility has partnered with McCallum Sweeney Consulting to develop the Gulf Power Industrial Site Evaluation and Certification Program to partially develop some vacant properties to make it easier for businesses to locate there. The program will our region be more competitive in economic development and catch up with what Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and other states already are doing.

LOSERS
Pensacola Downtown CRA
The Community Redevelopment Agency has lost its director and is doing little to increase revenue to handle payments due on outstanding bonds for the maritime park and to ECUA for relocating its Main Street plant. So, of course, the CRA chairman Brian Spencer and City Administrator Bill Reynolds have suspended any CRA meetings.  Only in Pensacola.

Randy Oliver
The former county administrator delivered on Jan. 31 to the mayor, city council and Community Maritime Park Associates his report on the operations of the maritime park. We all thought that was it and waited for Mayor Ashton Hayward to tell the citizens what he will do with the recommendations.  Nearly three months later, we learn Oliver has a new final report. Again we wait (thumbs twiddling) for Hayward.

Pensacola Neighborhood Services
In March 2012, the city department was awarded the contract to manage the maritime park. In its proposal, the department projected it would generate $235,000 from concerts, rentals, vendor rentals and miscellaneous. As of March 31, 2013, Neighborhood Services missed the mark by nearly $200,000, taking only $37,115 for those items. It’s only success was charging for parking for Wahoo games and other events.  Oliver failed to mention this in his reports. Hmmm.