Pensacola, Florida
Saturday December 16th 2017

Archives

Winners & Losers 8/3/17

Winners
Pensacola Firefighters Union
The Pensacola Professional Fire Fighters Local 707, which represents the City of Pensacola’s Fire Department employees, reached a tentative three-year collective bargaining agreement with Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward. Past union negotiations have been contentious, but the new agreement, if approved by the Pensacola City Council, will increase the starting pay for firefighters by $2,500 a year. In addition, firefighters will each receive a three percent pay increase each year over the next three-year period.

Eden Condominiums
The Perdido Key condominium has offered 25 wounded American military veterans week-long stays in paradise. It’s the fourth year in a row that Eden has offered luxury waterfront units for deserving heroes and their families. The veterans, some of who have said they have never taken a real vacation, will begin arriving on Sept. 16. This year Eden will work with two military veteran organizations, Wounded War Heroes and the Wounded Warrior Project to identify veterans and coordinate the week-long event.

Pensacola Network
The community organization that connects African American business owners, organizations and professionals celebrated its fourth anniversary last Friday at DeVilliers Square in historic Belmont-DeVilliers. Pensacola Network’s regular monthly networking events are held on the last Friday of every month. The events have fostered business relationships and spurred economic development within the community.

Losers
Doug Underhill
Bullying doesn’t work well in the Escambia County chambers. Mike Whitehead, Wilson Robertson and, at times, Gene Valentino tried to force their wills upon their fellow commissioners. Commission Chairman Underhill spent hours in budget workshops trying to impose his views on economic development, mass transit, public safety and budgeting upon the other four commissioners. In the end, he failed to count to three and lost the votes on nearly every issue.

Eric Olson
His predecessors understood the need for public participation in the budget process and the need to control costs. City administrator Olson has taken a big government view, freely granting raises without any job evaluation system in place and not questioning Mayor Hayward’s borrowing tens of millions of dollars against future revenues. Meanwhile, the Port of Pensacola has seen its business model collapse with few funds being budgeted to attract new customers. The least experienced city administrator in Pensacola history is turning out to the least fiscally responsible.

Reince Priebus
The White House chief of staff was pushed out of the Trump administration as part of the president’s purge of anyone tied to the Republican National Committee. Priebus suffered through a stormy six-month tenure and never gained control. He has been replaced by John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security and retired four-star Marine general.