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Tuesday July 29th 2014

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The Buzz 10.07

Hayward Skips Debate Last week Pensacola Mayoral Candidate Ashton Hayward refused to debate at a Downtown Rotary Club event because local politician Jerry Maygarden would be moderating the event. In an e-mail to Rotary membership, Hayward wrote:

“First, my campaign evaluates every speaking engagement I am invited to. As you can imagine, with a mayoral campaign of this nature there is no shortage of event requests.

I’m balancing several demands on my time – from fundraising, to knocking on doors, to speaking to groups like yours, and other general campaign work, not to mention being a husband, father, and businessman.

I was concerned to learn that Jerry Maygarden was going to be the moderator for the forum you had planned. I’ve known Jerry a long time, but I also knew he was very outspoken against the charter campaign last fall, which I supported. Jerry was also one of Mike Wiggins’ campaign contributors.

As you can imagine, this felt a little like watching the Florida-Florida State game with Jimbo Fisher or Urban Meyer as the referee…it just didn’t look quite fair. This circumstance, combined with another scheduling conflict (I was invited to also attend a meeting of the Pensacola Ministerial Alliance) convinced me to decline this invitation.

More troubling, however, was the very partisan comments made by Jerry Maygarden in an e-mail to some of you after my initial response.

In short, Jerry’s email commentary, as well as comments by a few others forwarded to me, made it clear that I made the right decision not to be in a forum moderated by a campaign contributor to my opponent and the city’s lobbyist under Mike Wiggins.”

A Hayward supporter told IN “this wasn’t one of Hayward’s finest moments;” Another Rotarian wrote the IN, “To me the email, forwarded from a Downtown Rotarian, comes off as juvenile and lame.”

Hayward may the first candidate to ever pass on the oldest Rotary Club in Pensacola – and one of the oldest in the nation and the second club formed in Florida. They aren’t accustomed to being shunned, especially for a meeting with the Pensacola Ministerial Alliance.

In 2006, Save Our City, the political action that opposed the Community Maritime Park, nearly backed out of a forum televised on WSRE because IN editor Duwayne Escobedo was on the panel –not the moderator, just on the panel.

After the letter surfaced, Wiggins told IN he was not used to turning down events to speak.

“I always appreciate the extra time. I show up everywhere.”

School District Favors Amendment 8 The Escambia County School Board is now in agreement with the controversial Amendment 8 legislation that effect classroom sizes in Florida schools.

“The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, recognizing the need for smaller classes and the need for flexibility at the school level in providing the best education for students of this District, encourage citizens to support proposed Amendment 8 in the 2010 general election,” reads a statement from the board.

The legislation, which will be on the Nov. 2 ballot, asks for voters to change the Florida Constitution’s s current “‘maximum’ class sizes to school-wide ‘average’ class sizes.” Revisions would amend class size requirements for public schools and provide an effective date. At least 60 percent of voters must approve the measure in order pass the measure.

Additional information on this amendment may be found on the District Website (escambia.k12.fl.us) or at the Florida School Board Association’s Website (fsba.org).

Some Upset With Wiggins, Too While mayoral buzz has largely centered around Ashton Hayward’s Rotary Club debate skip, there is a rumble in the African-American community over Mayor Mike Wiggins speaking at the memorial service of community activist Leroy Boyd and reading a proclamation honoring him.

Wiggins was not on the program and had been a vocal opponent of Boyd’s efforts to rename Alcaniz St. for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The question that some are asking is would Wiggins have done the same thing at the funeral service for Vince Whibbs, Sr. or M.J. Menge. Many felt the appropriate time to speak would have been at a city council meeting.

Wiggins tells IN the Boyd family had invited him to speak at the service and that Mrs. Boyd had approved the wording of the proclamation. Wiggins said that although he and Leroy often disagreed they talked often

“Leroy would often come plop himself in my office, which is just down from his place,” Wiggins says. “We talked more than people realized.”

Waves of Music After the music dies down at the much-anticipated Deluna Fest on Oct. 16, the sounds of electronic beats will fill the air downtown at Dolce Vita—for a good cause.

“Greenwaves,” a musical venture focused on raising money for the 399 South Project (that benefits oil spill victims) will feature two stages: one for DJs and another for local and regional bands.

“Our headlining band is a Jacksonville favorite named, ‘Greenhouse Lounge,’ who have been blowing up on the festival circuit and all over the Southeast,” says organizer Laney Camferdam.

Dills and Eddie Gold will be featured on the DJ stage. Both acts are playing Deluna on Oct. 15. Others set to play include Monozygotik and Greenhit.

So far more than 280 people have RSVP’d for the event on Facebook.

The price is $8 for admission. According to Camferdam, all proceeds go to the 399 charity or a local children’s art program.

If you are interested in contributing to GreenWaves, e-mail shaunholifield@yahoo.com.