Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 17th 2019


Winners & Losers 7/11/19

Robert Bender
Beachgoers didn’t have to pay the $1 Bob Sikes toll to Pensacola Beach over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. District 4 Commissioner Bender announced on the eve of the holiday that he would utilize District 4 discretionary funds to pay the toll from midnight Thursday, July 4, to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 7. Hooray!

Rolling Hills & Wedgewood Neighborhoods
State Rep. Alex Andrade announced that Florida Department of Environmental Protection has reported to his office that a task assignment was executed for the final closure of the Rolling Hills Construction and Demolition Debris Facility on Friday, June 28. Closure construction work should be completed within four months. Following completion of construction activities, the site will be closely monitored for several weeks to confirm site stabilization and adherence to the engineered design.

Barbara Petersen
After 25 years, the president of the First Amendment Foundation in late June announced her plans to retire at the end of this year. Under her leadership, the First Amendment Foundation worked with Governor Charlie Crist in the creation of the Office of Open Government in the Executive Office of the Governor. Petersen has received many awards during her span as president, including the prestigious American Library Association’s 2018 Eileen Cooke Award honoring those who champion access to government information and the public’s right to know.

Malcolm Thomas
Once again, the Escambia County Superintendent of Schools has put his ego and those of his administration ahead of the futures of the 40,000-plus students in his care. Though we knew Thomas didn’t like the performance metrics of the $2.3 million vocational grant from Triumph Gulf Coast, we were still disappointed that he walked away from the agreement. He told the PNJ that he would rather do it myself. Like he promised to make Warrington Middle the highest-performing middle school in Florida? Last year, it was ranked as one of the worst in Florida. Inweekly has little faith that the school district will do much on vocational training without objective measurements. The Escambia County School Board needs to intervene or resign.

Mike Weaver
In April, the former Escambia County public safety director told the county commissioner that the nearly $6 million write-off of uncollected ambulance bills was because of a “software glitch.” However, an internal investigation has revealed there was no such “glitch” after no testimony or documentary evidence was found to support the claim. The report also found that former Emergency Medical Services Chief Steve White violated a county ordinance by hiding the true cost of new EMS software from the Escambia County Commission two years ago by breaking up the cost into several invoices less than $50,000 each.