EMERALD COAST UTILITIES AUTHORITY The bids for tearing down the Main Street Treatment Plant have come in much lower than anticipated. ECUA has seven bidders that want the job, and their bids range from $70,000 with add-ons to nearly $4 million. Staff is recommending a $735,000 bid to the board at its June 23 meeting.
PORT OF PENSACOLA The GE Wind Energy Plant has orders for more than 600 wind turbines. Nearly 300 of them will be shipped through the Port of Pensacola to Brazil starting this month. More contract employees could be added later this year to meet demand.
ASHTON HAYWARD The mayor of Pensacola has found a tenant to lease the third floor of city hall for three years, putting more than $500,000 into city coffers. H2 Performance, a consulting firm that advises defense contractors and provides training for IT professionals, is the lessee. The company is ranked 139th of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. magazine. In March, it was a recipient of the 2011 Florida Companies to Watch award by GrowFL.
MICHELE BACHMANN The Minnesota Congressman won the recent GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire. Any time a Tea Party candidate can speak in front of a crowd and not come across as a nut, he or she wins.
CHRIS HUGHES The Okaloosa County Tax Collector announced his retirement. It was about time. Hughes was first elected in 1992 and had pre-filed to seek a sixth term in 2012. The last couple of years have been filled with problems. A Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation in 2007 uncovered allegations that several of Hughes’ high-ranking employees were spending work hours helping him conduct private business.
In March 2009, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported Hughes had handed out $692,000 in bonuses in three years. The paper also uncovered $182,000 in travel expenses in four years for Hughes and key staff members.
RAY SANSOM The Florida House Speaker won in state court on charges of slipping a $6 million airport project into a state budget. Now the federal government is investigating him. The FBI has served subpoenas on the House and the District 4 legislative office in Shalimar, demanding all of Sansom’s official travel records since January 2004.
ANTHONY WEINER The New York Congressman has made sure that we all know how to pronounce his last name, thanks to a series of provocative photos the married Democrat sent to women. House leaders are calling for him to resign. Weiner has checked himself into rehab to deal with his social media addiction.