Pensacola, Florida
Saturday December 16th 2017

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Outtakes—No Special Snowflakes

Few are surprised that Tamara Fountain is no longer working for Mayor Ashton Hayward. If we have learned anything about the mayor over the past five years, it’s that Ashton’s loyalty to his employees lasts as long as the positive headlines keep coming.

John Asmar, Bill Reynolds, Colleen Castille, Lila Cox, Jim Messer, Alan Gray, Ed Spears and LuTimothy May all thought they were good, dedicated public servants doing what the mayor wanted them to do. Some of them even felt they had special personal relationships with Ashton. Most were dismissed without a word from the mayor.

Fountain had a front row seat to these dismissals. She watched employees being walked out of city hall with all their possessions in a cardboard box. Somehow the Chief Operations Officer thought she would be treated differently, that she was a “special snowflake.”

The one person who could have saved her career was the mayor. He could have come forward and defended Fountain. Ashton could have explained why he didn’t know her education and talked about why she was promoted to be his second-in-command.

He did not speak out until after Fountain’s resignation was announced. Even then, he focused on her “accomplishments” and sidestepped how and why she came to work for him.

Fountain blamed the media and local bloggers for her demise. She accused them of crossing the line and personally attacking her. She alleged the media has bullied her and other city employees.

Her rapid fall from power happened because she would not issue the facts about her education and experience. She would not have the mayor go on television and correct his misstatements. Instead, Fountain doubled down and delayed the release of her personnel file. And then she went “all in” last Thursday and released a resume that that corrected her education but said little about her prior work history.

For the COO of a city that preaches transparency, her actions were anything but transparent.

Public record requests aren’t bullying. The citizens have the right to know her qualifications and why she was hired. She brought the scrutiny upon herself.

Fountain laments how this may have taken a toll on her family. However, she did nothing to stop her top assistant, Derek Cosson, when he created a blog that anonymously attacked and humiliated several council members. Her appeal to their sympathy is disingenuous. She must believe her family is more important than the families of Charles Bare, Sherri Myers, Gerald Wingate and others that Cosson attacked.

There are no special snowflakes at City Hall.