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The Buzz 7/14/11

ALL IN THE FAMILY The husband of Escambia County Commissioner Marie Young’s longtime aide has been operating an illegal sand borrow, construction and demolition debris pit for at least two years, according to county code enforcement officials.

The pit’s owner, Anthony Green, is the husband of Aretta Green, who is Young’s commission aide. Code Enforcement Special Master Robert Beasley issued a cease and desist order on Tuesday, July 5 requiring Green’s GFD Sand Pit off of Blossom Trail to stop all activity.

Escambia County commissioners voted at their July 7 meeting to ask the Sheriff’s Office to assist County Code Enforcement in enforcing the order that Green apparently ignored, according to Commissioner Wilson Robertson. The vote was 4-0 in favor, with Commissioner Marie Young abstaining from voting.

Why didn’t Young vote in favor of the motion? She didn’t want to give the appearance of a conflict, according to papers filed with the county attorney.

We do have the husband of a commissioner’s aide blatantly ignoring the law. Tony Green has been known to flaunt his connections with Young in making business deals. The commissioner, whose aide is paid more than any another commission aide, refused to vote to enforce the cease and desist order.

According to news reports, Commissioner Young, who was originally appointed to her position by Gov. Jeb Bush, will not be seeking re-election in 2012.

CLEARWIRE OUTSOURCES Apparently Milton can’t beat the Philippines when it comes to low wages.

PC World reports Clearwire will move its customer care call centers to the Philippines after TeleTech Holdings, the outsourcing company that Clearwire hired last month, closes down the carrier’s former call centers in the United States.

The company has significant profit issues, according to PC World. In the first quarter of this year, Clearwire reported a loss of $227 million. Clearwire said then that it had enough cash and investments to continue operating for 12 months and expected to achieve positive cash flow in 2012.

STREAMING HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL Superintendent Malcolm Thomas recently contracted with PSB Live to video stream the county’s high school football game of the week via the Internet.

At psblive.com, fans view a multi-camera production with graphics and instant replay for free. The games will also be archived and can be viewed at any time.

PSB Live has 40 advertisements per game and is donating 20 of them to the schools playing that week. The schools can sell the ads at whatever price they desire and will keep all the proceeds. In addition, PSB Live will sell the remaining 20 ads and will donate half the funds directly to the school district.

AIRPORT’S OUTLOOK NEGATIVE Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘BBB+’ rating on the City of Pensacola’s approximately $35.6 million in outstanding series 2008 airport capital improvement revenue bonds issued on behalf of Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport.

However, the rating outlook is negative for the second consecutive year because of the airport’s weak balance sheet liquidity and slightly above-average leverage. According to Fitch Ratings, the airport’s unrestricted cash balance position has historically been poor relative to its operating expenses, and for fiscal 2010 the airport only had 60 days cash on hand.

Fitch Ratings gave the airport bonds a negative outlook in 2010, too. The reasons for the negative outlook then included the oil spill in the Gulf and the opening of the Panama City-Bay County International Airport.