Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Winners & Losers 1/30/14

Winners

Pensacola Police Department
The annual crime report, submitted by the Pensacola Police Department to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, shows an overall 14 percent reduction of the city’s crime rate compared with the previous year. The decrease is the department’s largest annual crime reduction in over 14 years.

Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
Its “Music for Families” event on Saturday, Jan. 18 had the best turnout in the history of the event, with a grand total of more than 890 guests for the afternoon activities. According to PSO executive director Bret Barrow, more than 400 of the participants were children.

Jett Crowdis & Andrew Carney
Two local high school students were chosen to attend the 2014 Sunshine State Scholars program, which takes the top STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) students from around the state. Crowdis from Pensacola High School was chosen to represent Escambia County, and Carney from Gulf Breeze High School was chosen to represent Santa Rosa County.

Okaloosa County
During the recent Destin Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, the Florida Chamber Foundation presented Okaloosa County’s four local chambers of commerce and the Economic Development Council for Okaloosa County with the Six Pillars award. The award was for completing a county-wide strategic plan using the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Six Pillars framework.

Losers

Ashton Hayward
For four months, the Pensacola City Council waited for the mayor to put the airport food concessions contract back on its agenda. Over those four months no new information was presented to persuade any of the council members to change their votes. Therefore, the mayor’s recommendation for OHM Group failed to pass. The mayor’s stalling turned what should have been a routine vote into a major news event. Now the airport is scrambling to figure what to do since the current vendor’s contract expires on March 31. Might we suggest food trucks?

Jewel Cannada-Wynn
The Pensacola City Council president exhibited another example of petty Pensacola politics when she unsuccessfully tried to block the naming of the new community center at Legion Field for the late Rev. Theophalis May, pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church for 38 years. His May’s Construction Company was known for its restoration of historic buildings, including the L&N Marine Terminal Building in downtown Pensacola. His son, Commissioner Lumon May, has been the guiding force behind youth sports at Legion Field for nearly two decades. Cannada-Wynn questioned the action during the council meeting with Pastor May’s family in audience to accept the honor after what they thought would be straightforward vote.