Pensacola, Florida
Friday October 19th 2018


The Buzz 7/30/15

City Staff Takes Road Trip In his latest “Upwords” newsletter, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward said that his Constituent Services team, the group that manages the city’s automated citizen complaint system (Pensacola 311), recently visited 311 operations in New York and Washington, D.C.

The system was launched four years ago. In 2013, it was updated and an smartphone app was launched. According to the mayor, the system has handled 20,000 citizen requests since its inception, an average of 5,000 a year.

“The platform has grown from a simple phone line to include a powerful mobile app and interactive web interface where you can track your issue step-by-step until it’s resolved,” wrote Hayward. “In addition to serving our citizens, 311 is an incredibly powerful tool to provide my team and City Council members with the data we need to make decisions, improve efficiency, and better serve our constituents.”

He said his team is exploring new options to improve the 311 system — “including implementing multilingual support and using social media even more to communicate directly with citizens about their issues.”

To access the system, simply dial 311, visit, or download the “Pensacola 311” app from the App Store (iPhone, iPad) or Google Play Store (Android).

Jolly, Murphy Poll Well The Tampa Bay Times polled 160 of the state’s political insiders to determine the strongest Democratic and Republican candidates for Florida’s U.S. Senate race.

In Republican U.S. Senate primary field:

  • Rep. David Jolly 37 %
  • Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera 22 %
  • Rep. Ron DeSantis 21 %
  • Former Attorney General Bill McCollum 14 %
  • Rep. Jeff Miller 5 %

McCollum and Miller have not announced whether they will run.

On the Democratic side:

  • Rep. Patrick Murphy 62 %
  • Rep. Gwen Graham 19 %
  • Rep. Alan Grayson 18 %

Graham has not committed to run and may decide to fight to keep her Congressional seat.

The Florida Insider Poll consisted of 53 Democrats, 94 Republicans and 13 people registered to neither major party. Pensacola native Ryan Wiggins was one of the people polled.

Concealed Weapons for Troops Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced on July 27 that the his agency is now expediting Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License applications for active military members and veterans.

“The men and women who serve and have served our country deserve all of the support we can provide,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “We are pleased to expedite active military members and veterans’ applications for a concealed weapon license, and our partnership with tax collectors throughout the state will make this process even more convenient.”

Active military personnel who want to apply for a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License should include a copy of their Common Access Card or other form of official military identification with their applications when they submit them to the department.  The department can also accept a copy of service members’ current orders as proof of active duty status.  Honorably discharged veterans should submit a copy of their DD 214 long form with their applications.

Individuals may apply for a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License by mail or in person. Visit to download the application and to find a convenient location.

REBUILD Helps Landlords REBUILD Northwest Florida has a new program designed specifically for owners of rental houses in Escambia County. The new Rental House Hurricane Mitigation Program will operate much like the historical “homestead” program, with a few exceptions.

Under the new program, the rental house owner must provide proof that the property is a rental, such as a current lease agreement, and successful applicants will receive FEMA funding to cover half of the costs for improvements. The rental house owner covers the remaining half.

REBUILD has secured limited FEMA funding for the new program to help rental house owners reduce potential hurricane damage and property loss and possibly qualify for insurance discounts. After a brief application process, REBUILD handles the paperwork, house inspection, customized scope of work and the construction of qualified improvements, which may include roof deck attachment, roof-to-wall connections, gable end bracing, shutters and opening protection, exterior doors, attached garage doors and skylights.

Those who own rental houses in Escambia County that were built before the 2002 Florida Building Code may contact REBUILD Northwest Florida to see if their property qualifies for the Rental House Hurricane Mitigation Program. Multiple properties are allowed under the new program; however, limitations may apply, depending upon demand and available funding. FEMA funds are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

REBUILD’s historical “homestead” Residential Hurricane Mitigation Program will continue to assist homeowners in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties while funding lasts.