North Hill Preservation Association
When the residents in one of Pensacola’s oldest neighborhoods learned the state was relocating its Parole and Probation office to the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on North Palafox Street, they organized and made appeals to Mayor Ashton Hayward, Pensacola City Council and Governor Rick Scott. When the governor was in town, they picketed the event. The next day the Department of Corrections announced it was not moving to North Palafox—another grassroots victory for another city neighborhood.
IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area
The local women’s philanthropy group announced that its 2014 Membership Drive successfully concluded with 1,025 members. The organization will give back to the community by awarding 10 grants of $102,500 each to non-profit agencies in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in October. Since its inception in 2004, IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area has awarded 47 grants to 39 different non-profit agencies for a total of $5.151 million.
The Arc Gateway
The organization is celebrating 60 years of serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the greater Pensacola area. With the support of its members and volunteers, The Arc Gateway has provided a variety of programs—from pediatric therapy and recreation to residential support and vocational training—to help the people they serve realize their dreams.
City Consultant Addiction
One of the biggest criticisms that the Independent News had of the city manager form of government was its love for hiring consultants, completing studies and then ignoring the recommendations. The “addiction” has not gone away. The city paid Robert Marbut, the expert on the homeless, $3,000 plus travel expenses not to exceed $1,413 for two days of basic research and to conduct its community forum on the issue. It also picked up the tab for Carol Johnson, another consultant, to speak at the joint workshop of the Pensacola City Council and Escambia County Board of County Commissioners.
The attorney for the city of Pensacola has opined all city leases must go before the Pensacola City Council for approval. That is until Mayor Ashton Hayward lost the vote to give the airport food concessions contract to OHM Group. We’re not sure the city charter envisioned the city attorney being only the mayor’s attorney.
School Voucher Expansion
The expansion of the state’s voucher system appears to be dead after sponsor Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, withdrew the Senate’s version of the legislation (SB 1620), saying it needed more time to be vetted. While the bill could still be brought back, but Senate President Don Gaetz indicated that was unlikely to happen.