Pensacola, Florida
Saturday October 25th 2014

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Winners & Losers 5/17/12

Winners

Brian Spencer
It’s rare to get a Pensacola politician to admit to a mistake, even rarer for him to remedy the error. Pensacola Councilman Brian Spencer initially mishandled the Marine Aviation Marine Memorial Bell Tower for the city’s Veterans Memorial Park when he tried to have it replace the helicopter at the park. When a public uproar ensued, Spencer reversed his stand and moved to keep both memorials at the park, and has become the biggest advocate for the bell tower.

Clay Ford
The state representative from Gulf Breeze was recognized as the Legislator of the Year by the Associated Industries of Florida’s Environmental Sustainability Council for his work in the passage of metal theft legislation. As the prime sponsor of HB 885, Ford spearheaded efforts to address costly metal theft in our state.

Navarre Beach
American Shore and Beach Preservation Association announced recently that the Navarre Beach 2006 restoration project is a winner of its “Best of the Best” Restored Beaches contest. Nominees were placed in one of three categories – Urban, Community and Park/Habitat beaches – and competed by region.  Thanks to voters’ support, Navarre Beach won the entire Best Community Beach category as well as garnered the highest overall vote total.

Losers

Mayor’s Office
Mayor Ashton Hayward’s two top administrators got flak last week from the Pensacola City Council. A council member accused City Administrator Bill Reynolds of violating Florida’s Sunshine Law and a couple of others appeared to be gunning to force Hayward to fire his chief of staff, John Asmar. Who would have ever thought City Attorney Jim Messer would be the one the city council likes?

First Transit
The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1395, which represents bus drivers for Escambia County Area Transit, has filed a grievance against the company contracted to run the service. The union claims that First Transit had agreed to provide its part-time bus drivers with dental, vision and life insurance. After signing those employees up for the benefits and providing them for a month, First Transit revoked the benefits without notice on May 10, according to union officials.

Marco Rubio
The Republican Senator from Miami accused Democrats of scheming to keep student loan interest rates low “by raising taxes on small businesses, very small businesses … the kinds of small businesses that give jobs to graduates.” Actually, it targets high-income professionals who use a tax loophole to avoid paying payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.