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The Buzz 9/19/13

Reynolds Wins In Court Escambia County Judge Thomas Johnson cleared former Pensacola City Administrator Bill Reynolds of a non-criminal public records violation for allegedly not releasing in June 2012 a copy of the new city logo that former Councilwoman Diane Mack had requested from the city.

Mack had requested the new logo from City Clerk Ericka Burnett while copies of it were circulating throughout the city, according to the state attorney’s office. Burnett forwarded the email to then-Public Information Officer Derek Cosson who, in turn, asked Reynolds if the city had taken possession of the logo. The city administrator immediately responded negatively and Cosson passed the message on to Burnett, who told
Mack the city didn’t have copies of the new logo.

Meanwhile, the Pensacola International Airport had installed its new entrance sign, and Cosson was discussing with Steve Sorrell, ECUA executive director, the feasibility of putting the new city logo, of which Sorrell had a copy, on the utility’s water tower near the I-110 overpass.
Cosson, who now works in the city’s IT department, pleaded no contest on July 23 to the charge and received a $350 fine.

In August, Mayor Ashton Hayward heldat the Saenger Theatre  a mandatory training session for city employees on Florida Sunshine and public records laws.

Florida Job Market Weakens The Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research recently released its economic overview and it found weaknesses in the state’s job market.

According to the report, the job market will take a long time to recover—about 515,100 jobs have been lost since the most recent peak. Rehiring, while necessary, will not be enough.

Instead the hole will get deeper because Florida’s prime working-age population (aged 25-54) is forecast to add about 2,900 people per month. About 900,000 jobs need to be created for the same percentage of the total population to be working, as was the case at the peak.

The preliminary data for the 2012 calendar year showed that that Florida’s wage level further declined to 87.7 percent of the national wage level. The state’s wage level actually increased over the prior year, but the U.S. average annual wage increased more.

Women Unite Seven local women have joined together to form the Institute for Women in Politics of Northwest Florida, Inc. The non-profit corporation has been established, according to its bylaws, “to provide a nonprofit education, training resources, and counseling services to promote and fulfill the vital need for women to serve at all levels of government in the Florida counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa.”

Serving as the institute’s founding Board of Directors are: Kimberly Aguiar, president of the City of Pensacola general employees’ union; Amanda Jo Combs-Bowden and Lorraine Ogan, both active in the Pensacola Bay Area League of Women Voters; attorney Kim Kirschenfeld; former Pensacola City Councilwoman Diane Mack; Amy Miller, director of marketing, finance, and administration at the Port of Pensacola; and banker Lola Presley, active with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

Mack, who will serve as the organization’s first president, said the board’s top initial priorities are building a membership base to support and fund the Institute’s mission and developing a campaign school for women candidates who may run for office in 2014.  Amy Miller has been elected vice president/president-elect and secretary, and Kimberly Aguiar will serve as treasurer. {in}