Pensacola, Florida
Saturday October 25th 2014

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The Buzz 8/11/11

HAYWARD STREAMLINES At his State of the City address, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward announced his reorganization plan for city hall.

To accelerate his economic development efforts, Hayward recommended the establishment of the Office of Economic Opportunities and Sustainability, which will be tasked with developing and implementing policies for economic development projects, and partnering with other entities to develop public and private funding sources for job-creating projects. This new cabinet-level position will oversee the Departments of Housing, the Division of Inspections, and the Division of Planning.

Specifically, he is consolidating the Library and Parks and Recreation Departments, as well as the Neighborhoods Division of the Community Development Department, to form the new Office of Neighborhood Services. This new structure will put all of our neighborhood and neighborhood-serving departments and staff under one management structure, and will be led by the Director of Neighborhood Services.

The mayor also recommended the creation of a Chief of Neighborhoods to coordinate resources, policies and activities across all City Departments to the benefit of Pensacola’s neighborhoods. The Department of Neighborhood Services will oversee the Library, Parks and Recreation, and Neighborhoods departments.

Mayor Hayward told the city council that he will continue to push for consolidating services with the county. “The Escambia County Commission has spoken favorably about functional consolidation efforts, including emergency dispatch communications, traffic signal synchronization and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), among others,” said Hayward. “Over the course of this budget year, I will be advocating for the implementation of these consolidation opportunities with our partners at Escambia County, and hope to generate more cost savings for the taxpayers as a result.”

The mayor also hinted at privatizing some city services. “We will also explore opportunities for private-sector solutions to city services and functions. Should certain city functions be deemed more cost-effective to the taxpayers when performed by private-sector enterprise, then we should consider those opportunities out of respect for the people who employ us—the citizens.”

WACKADOO ROUNDUP Mayor Ashton Hayward is trying to rein in the Pensacola City Council on its search for a council executive. At its last workshop, the council had narrowed their selection to two candidates–a county administrator from Louisiana and a deputy city manager from south Florida. A salary range from $90,000–$130,000 was discussed.

Hayward sent a memo to the Pensacola City Council on Aug. 2 stating that the salary range that he approved for the position is at the C-03 range ($40,456–$82,742). Until the council makes its recommendation to the mayor, he is assigning Elaine Mager to the Office of City Council, who has over 25 years with the city and was most recently the executive assistant to former City Manager Al Coby.