Monday, November 19, 2012

My Letter to the City's Auditor

Below is a link to the letter I wrote to the City's Auditor.  I have not included the 316 pages of support nor the binder of Mayoral Mileage and Mayoral Expenses.  Most of that data is located on my blog.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Letter to the Auditor

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sorry to be Away

I have been a little busy.  Enough people have asked what I will do about all the issues I have found. Let's wait and see. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pen Air Deal - Revisited

Recall that the Pen Air deal was presented to Council as a DIB incentive that the City's only involvement was a $79,000 debt forgiveness.  Recall that Councilman Johnson was chastised in the Asmar Weekly for claiming the deal was less about Pen Air and more about a deal for an individual.

It appears there may be more to the story.  The deal appears to have been directly brought to the DIB by the Mayor and his staff. And that the DIB was potentially instructed by the Mayor or his staff to create the incentive specifically for the deal.

A quick recap:

  • November 8, 2011 40 South Palafox Place LLC organized
  • February 1, 2012 Theisen Building acquired by 40 South Palafox Place LLC
  • February 9, 2012 Merrill Land (DIB Chair’s business) requests meeting with DIB to discuss parking for their business partner. No mention of Pen Air.
  • March 28, 2012 DIB Executive Director starts asking for individual meetings with Board to brief them. No email due to them being public document
  • March 30, 2012 Draft of Parking Incentive Policy Statement shared with Chair
  • April 3, 2012 DIB Board passes Parking Incentive Policy Statement
  • April 3, 2012 DIB Director writes letter to John Asmar advising City of BOD passing the Parking Incentive Policy Statement and asking for meeting to discuss applicants.
 Now check out the following email from Asmar to Hayward.  Note the dates within the above timeline.
What would subpoenas and depositions reveal?

Messer Doing Just Fine on City Dime

City Attorney Jim Messer is raking it in. In addition to his monthly fee, he bills the City additional for other legal work such as the Occupy case.  Total under the Hayward adminstration, $270,581.

Asmar's payments are classified as legal fees.  He has received $208,617 for all of the bad advise he gives the Mayor.

RETIRED City Attorney Rusty Wells has gathered an additional $58,475 on top of his retirement to help out on Code enforcement issues.

In what I can't understand, the City pays V. Keith Wells PA $1,000 per month with no explanation.  $25,000 over the period.  Any relation to Rusty? 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hmmm...No gifts?

Outzen Hypocrisy Laughable

On his blog today, Asmar Weekly publisher Rick Outzen beats his chest about how his "watchdog" paper was vigilant in its research of George Touart in 2007.

"We suggested that he provide the commission and the public his personal income tax returns, records of all real estate transactions, financial reports of all businesses that he owned fully or in partnership with others, a list of all the clients of those businesses, list of trips that he had taken with people and businesses that do business with the county and records of who paid for the trips."

You will never hear him call for this information from Mayor Ashton Hayward. 

When it comes the the Mayor, the watchdog is really a lap dog.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Morrison changes his tune

Asmar Weekly reporter Jeremy Morrison is changing his tune regarding a mysterious "third party" that was effecting Union negotiations with the Police.

In a July 12, 2012, blog post Morrison insinuated directly that the "third party" was me.

"Asmar has been the subject of multiple complaints from some members of the Pensacola City Council. During regular meetings, board members have made repeated references to the chief of staff’s aggressive demeanor, with Councilwoman Maren DeWeese taking up the subject on her blog. Do those sentiments constitute the third party?"

Now the Asmar Weekly claims that the "third party" is Larry Johnson.

With the Council changing here shortly, it is important to the seventh floor to continue to show the new Council that if they question the Mayor they will be abused in both printed press outlets. 

A real newspaper prints substanitiated facts, not questions that skirt libel of uninvolved people.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rack of Lamb Confirmed

When Molton Allen & Williams was scheming with John Asmar to become the Citys Broker of Record for insurance, the executives of MAW arranged for a private dinner at their beach house complete with a driver for the Mayor to pick him up and take him home as well as a private chef.

Mayor Hayward
John Asmar
CAO Bill Reynolds
John Williams, Chairman of the Board.
Jack Pruett, VP of Claims
Tim Burnette, Managing Director - Employee Benefits.
Stuart Freeman, Managing Director - Property & Casualty.

The menu:  Rack of Lamb  

I'm sure the MAW / City relationship didn't come up!

Date of the Private Dinner: January 18, 2012

Date the RFQ went online: February 9, 2012

Anyone want to guess who won the RFQ?


Gallery Night Police Video

I have been told that normal police procedure is for officers to turn in their in-car video recording CDs as they become full.

I have been contacted by a citizen who stated the following:

Following the Gallery Night incident with the Mayor and John Peacock, on Wednesday the 24th of October and the day before these issues were brought to Council, the Department retrieved all in car camera videos from every Police cruiser.  This retrieval even included going to individual officer homes to retrieve their video CDs. 

If this citizen is in fact correct:

Where are these videos?
Who ordered this retrieval?
What will these videos show?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From a Commenter this Morning

In response to my post last week noting my failed attempt to place the issue of the Mayor's expenditures on the next Council Committee agenda a commenter left the following comment this morning:

Comment Below (Unedited)

The information HAS BEEN forwarded to the State Atotrney's Office. I encourage all interested citizens to contact the SAO and inquire as to the status of their review.

Favorite Vendor Contracts

Jerry Pate Design was contracted to perform 2 additional landscape designs for two areas as part of the overall Main Street Improvement Project.

Only a couple of potential issues here:
  1. The contracts were signed to do the designs 14 days after Roads, Inc. stated the Main Street Project was substantially complete per their invoice below.  This means that the work is new work over and above the Roads contract.  What else could the area need?
  2. If these 2 contracts were over and above the Roads contract WHY WERE THEY NOT included in the Roads Inc. contract in the first place as the work is for a space clearly within the project area? 
  3. The memo attached states the projects themselves have not been funded, but we are spending money on a design anyway?
  4. The memo makes it clear that the anticipated projects are small enough to keep competitive solicitations from being required.
Roads Invoice

Jerry Pate Owners Rep Contract

Spring to Baylen

Spring to Reus

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mayoral Expenditures Brought up

Died for lack of a second.


Present for the vote

All 5 must own the outcome

Zimmerman Brought up

Asked for bills. Asked for oversight.
Died for lack of a second.


Present for the vote

All 5 must own the outcome

Roads Contract

As requested.

No mention of early completion bonus.

Roads Contract

Comment Transparency

Maren, certain comments are not being posted. Any reason why?! Transparency please on A Little Something Extra for the Mayor's Partner
on 10/24/12

Comments regarding what I have published are allowed as they are expressing opinion on a fact or document I have posted.  The only area where comments are rejected are when they spin off into allegations that can not be supported by facts.  I allow everyone to post anonymously and have no means nor try to determine who is posting here.  If you have facts, provide a link to the support in your comment.  No support, no post.

Some of what I have posted are just lack of internal controls, bad City Council oversight and violations of City policy.  Some could be more and that will be for others to pursue.  But everything I have posted is backed by a supporting document.

Please call me if you have any questions or want to discuss any issue. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Little Something Extra for the Mayor's Partner

As if I were surprised, the City unilaterally saw fit to give Roads Inc. (Cody Rawson, President) an early completion bonus of $ 25,000 for its work on Main Street.  Rawson is partners with the Mayor in a real estate deal on Innerarity Point.

The bonus was NOT offered in the bid, but deemed appropriate by the City.

The bonus was NOT approved by Council.

The Change Order authorizing the bonus was approved  and signed 2 months after the project was substantially completed.

No documentation on the offer of a completion bonus is attached to the contract or change orders.

Roads Bonus

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mayor Hayward Makes History

The line item reversal has been created.  New law has been decreed by the Mayor. In an email response to my request for information, Dick Barker, CFO, confirmed his final approved budgeted numbers for the accounts amended by Council and line item vetoed by the Mayor.

Line Item Reversal


Monday, October 22, 2012

This is who we pay $39,500 a month to.

This guy will take money from communities to "attract tourists" then when his efforts fail, post the following on facebook. 

If there are no tourists, are your services effective?

Is this a person we should have leading our efforts to attract tourists?

We are paying for this

Sarcasm alert: Does any other local or regional PR firm have a private jet?
The cost of a JET is typically a part of pricing to customers...passed on to our citizens.
Has the Mayor been on any trips?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

NWF Daily News Zimmerman Article

Thursday night I emailed the link to the Zimmerman invoice to:
  • Ginny Graybiel PNJ
  • Dick Schneider PNJ
  • Nate Monroe PNJ
  • Rob Williams AM1620
  • Jim Sanborn, WCOA
  • Jeremy Morrison; IN Weekly and
  • WEAR
Crickets! except for Jim Sanborn.

On Friday morning I emailed a link to my blog to the NWF Daily News.

Some cities have NEWSpapers..

Friday, October 19, 2012

Zimmerman Denies Marketing Pensacola outside Pensacola

Curtis Zimmerman, the head of the Zimmerman Agency, recently denied in an letter to the editor printed in the NWF Daily News that he was marketing Pensacola outside of Pensacola.

"The Zimmerman Agency does not represent Visit Pensacola. We do work for the city of Pensacola. We do ads about city services targeted to residents and business in Pensacola."

Targeted to residents and business in Pensacola...An outright lie.

They are actively marketing for tourism to Pensacola.

Zimmerman appears to do (see bills for yacht and Porsche) or say (see Zimmerman comment above) anything for money.

It appears Zimmerman is downplaying their association with Pensacola everywhere else but in their puffy reports to the City.

  • Shouldn't a firm that the Citizens pay so much to be proud to serve as our agency?
  • Should Pensacola do business with firm's that lie about their involvement in the press?
  • I guess all of those out of market tourism ads in Zimmerman's monthly reports are false.
  • I imagine all of the "aggressive pitching" was not so aggressive.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another Potential Fraud by Zimmerman

In the PNJ, nope. 
In the NWF Daily News, nope
WEAR, no
Inweekly... please.

Zimmerman Agency purchased a $48,000 2008 Porsche Cayman from Bill Dube Hyundai in Wilmington, Massachusetts and invoiced it to the Emerald Coast CVB.

It was labeled as a prize in a supposed Internet Viral Video contest.

The invoice to the CVB just said Bill Dube.

The Bill of Sale clearly states just the name Mark Bellinger.

The check from the Zimmerman Agency clearly reads Bill Dube Hyundai.

Zimmerman employees that were aware of the transaction:
  • Richard Long
  • Chris Groom
  • Chris McLaurin
This is who Mayor Hayward insists we pay $39,500 per month PLUS EXPENSES to.  But I'm sure it cant happen here.  Derek Cosson is reviewing all the bills.

Zimmerman Buys Bellinger Porsche, Bills CVB

Zimmerman Sept Report

So what did they do?

Developed compelling angles and storylines to help position the City of Pensacola as a forward thinking, business friendly city. Dissected each publication along with the editorial calendar to determine the best angles for pitching along with researching specific writers that focus on economic development, FL beats, Green initiatives, etc. Aggressively pitched laser focused media universe for each angle. Follow-up continues on all leads in order to secure placement in established story.  

Translation - Not much!

September Report

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two Weeks. One Question. Crickets!

Two weeks ago I asked the Mayor, Mr. Barker and Mr. Messer a simple question.  No response!

Last night I asked again.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

City RFP Manual

City of Pensacola RFP Manual

As requested, the link above reflects the current RFP manual for the City of Pensacola.

It was written in 2003.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mayor Expense Treasure Hunt

Here's a few items that will be of interest:
  • Tally the number of expense reports approved by City CFO Barker as dictated in City Policy
  • Tally the City tax dollars spent on high dollar "staff meeting" lunches
  • Tally the City tax dollars spent at Starbucks
  • Look at the number of meetings the Mayor attends that match up with PGA Tour events
  • Notice that Al Coby approved travel vouchers before he left.
  • Notice the Mayor charged the City card for 1st class airfare to San Diego and had to reimburse the City for the cost over coach.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Farnborough...But Wait There's More

The Mayor’s Impactful International Economic Development Efforts In London

London Trip Timeline According to Travel Documents

• Departs Antwerp by train - Sunday July 8, 2012 for Brussels
• Changes trains to the Chunnel Eurostar to London – Departs Brussels 12:56 PM
• Arrives London – Sunday July 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm
• Checks into St. Martins Lane Hotel – Sunday July 8, 2012
• Presumably attends Cocktail Party for Aerospace Alliance
• Checks out of hotel and takes cab to Waterloo Station – Monday July 9, 2012
• Purchases train ticket to Farnborough at 9:10 am – Monday July 9, 2012
• Takes the train to Farnborough arrives shortly after 10:00am

Total Possible time at Air Show on Day 1, Monday July 9, 2012 Opening Day – 3:38 minutes

• Purchases return ticket from Farnborough to London at 1:38 pm – Monday July 9, 2012
• Departs London - Monday July 9, 2012 at 5:04 PM for Brussels
• Arrives Brussels – Monday July 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM
• Changes trains to Antwerp

Total Possible time at Air Show on July 10, 2012 – Impossible, Not there
Total Possible time at Air Show on July 11, 2012 – Impossible, Not there
Total Possible time at Air Show on July 12, 2012 – Impossible, Not there
Total Possible time at Air Show on July 13, 2012 – Impossible, Not there
Total Possible time at Air Show on July 14, 2012 – Impossible, Not there
Total Possible time at Air Show on July 15, 2012 – Impossible, Not there

According to the Press release, who did the Mayor miss meeting with over the week:

• 1506 Exhibitors from 39 countries took part with representation right across the supply chain
• The first five days of the show attracted just over 109,000 trade visitors,
• 80 military delegations from 46 countries attended
• 13 delegations from the civil sector.

Im sure glad we the Citizens paid for a cocktail party and 3 hours of effort!

Farnborough...An Important Event July 9 thru 15

From Ricksblog, posted July 9, 2012

Farnborough International Air show means something this year

Mayor Ashton Hayward and the Greater Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce are in England for the biggest aerospace event in the world. This isn’t the first time Escambia County has attended, but it may be the most important time.

Airbus’s announcement last week that it plans to build a $600-million aircraft assembly plant in Mobile has made our western neighbor the hottest story in aerospace industry.

The Mobile Press Register is reporting that the cant miss event party in London this past weekend was the one hosted by the Aerospace Alliance, a trade association representing the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, in the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace. In attendance were executives from Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Raytheon and dozens more companies hoping to win business selling parts and services to the new plant, set to begin production of A320 aircraft in 2016.

Let’s hope that Pensacola, Escambia County and Santa Rosa County can provide a united front and with the help of Gov. Rick Scott lure some huge employers to our area. The chambers, county commissions and city councils in the two-county area will need to work together on incentives to make it happen.

A Press Release On the Airshow stated:

US$72 billion of confirmed orders at Farnborough International Airshow

9-15 Jul 2012

Orders and commitments announced at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) totalled US$72 billion for 758 aircraft, a 53% increase on order figures in 2010.

To add further weight to the show’s success, 1506 Exhibitors from 39 countries took part with representation right across the supply chain and 20% Exhibitors have already rebooked for FIA 2014.

The first five days of the show attracted just over 109,000 trade visitors, 80 military delegations from 46 countries attended and a further 13 delegations from the civil sector.

FIA 2012 also enjoyed support from Government with the Prime Minister opening the show and a further six Cabinet members making keynote speeches, as well as senior ministers visiting from the UK and overseas.

This Air show truly was an important week to be in London.  The Mayor interrupted his vacation with his family to participate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apparent Violation of Internal Controls or Barker's Apparent Failure

Training & Travel Policy Dated December 2011

From the Policy

The City’s Chief Financial Officer will review and approve the reconciliation.

The Form

The Form PF-210PC

No approval of the Director of Finance resulted in City funds paying for an apparent non-City charge.

This is either a Mayoral override of internal controls or a failure of the CFO to perform his duties as dictated by City policy.

More Policy Violations by the Mayor

Directly from the City's Training and Travel Policy updated in December 2011.

Based on my reading of the document it appears the Mayor has repeatedly violated this policy.

Expenses are calculated as follows:

(1) Hotel/Motel Single, at cost. Receipt required
(double at same cost will be accepted)

City does not pay Florida State Sales Tax on lodging within the State.

Violation 1   Violation 2   Violation 3   Violation 4      

Mayor CLEARLY Violates City Policy

Directly from the City's Training and Travel Policy updated in December 2011.

Based on my reading of the document it appears the Mayor has repeatedly violated this policy.

City vehicles should be used for official travel in lieu of privately owned vehicles whenever possible. When use of a privately owned vehicle is authorized for official City business, the employee will be reimbursed at the rate established by the City of Pensacola. All such travel shall be supported by a mileage reimbursement form showing the trip date, purpose, where travel commenced and ended, and total miles. No other expenses related to the operation, maintenance or ownership of a vehicle are allowed. Mileage for commuting (travel to and from home and job site) will not be reimbursed.

I will get the entire policy up today.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mayor Mileage

Below are the the Mayor's mileage reports turned over to me.  They total $3,118.29.















Florida Attorney General GAP

Government Accountability Project

The Attorney General of Florida firmly believes in the principle that government must be accountable to the people. The Florida Constitution – the document that sets forth our rights as citizens of this great state – provides that the public has the right to know how government officials at all levels spend taxpayer dollars and make the decisions affecting their lives. As such, the principle of open government is one that must guide everything done in government for its public.

Florida is among the nation’s leaders in providing for public access to government meetings and records. However, simply allowing access to records is no longer enough in light of the technological advances that make it infinitely easier, cheaper and more efficient to provide information to people far and wide.

The Office of the Attorney General has launched the Government Accountability Project (GAP), in partnership with the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, with the objective of encouraging state and local government entities to be proactive in providing Florida’s citizens the information and records they need to hold government accountable. This web site is part of the GAP initiative. Here, the Attorney General’s Office will strive to provide Florida consumers with useful information disclosing how the agency operates. This office will strive to serve as an example for other government entities to follow.

In addition to the GAP, the Attorney General is promoting transparency in private attorney contracting and is holding the Attorney General’s Office out as an example of what such transparency should be. While the Attorney General’s Office functions as the state’s first and foremost legal representation, private attorney contracts are often used to ensure the appropriate resources and expertise can be dedicated to specific cases and issues when necessary.

here is the link:

A learning opportunity for our Mayor and his administration. 

To enhance the transparency of the process and thus the ability of citizens to hold their government accountable, the Attorney General must make a written determination, prior to entering into a contract with an outside legal counsel, that the representation is both cost-effective and in the public’s best interest. The Attorney General also requests proposals from private attorneys before determining which attorneys will represent the agency on a given case.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mayor Mileage

Ashton J. Hayward III, Mayor of Pensacola, charges the citizens of Pensacola mileage for such brief trips as:

  • City Hall to Pensacola Association of Realtors (across the street)
  • City Hall to Jacos for lunch
  • City Hall to Clark Partington
  • His home to downtown for the MLK parade.

In addition, Ashton J. Hayward III charged the Citizens of Pensacola for round trip mileage to and from his house to the Mitt Romney Political Rally at the Fish House.

I was shocked by these mileage charges.  Hundreds of dollars each month.  I have never even considered mileage I drive for City business for reimbursement.

Our City has over a dozen vehicles available to him every day including a CNG car.

I will be posting the mileage over the next days.  Take a look. 

January 12 mileage

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Financial Records have been turned over


Conflict of Interest Opinion

Council recently asked for a legal opinion regarding any potential conflicts of interest in bids for City work made by outside business partners of the Mayor.

We were informed by Mr. Messer that he will not provide opinions to Council because he also works for the Mayor.

So typical for this administration, turn to a member of your transition team, Bruce Partington, pay his firm $2,500 without seeking any other free direction from the Florida Ethics Commission and get the opinion.

For the record, I have on several occasions worked through the City Attorney's office to obtain, FREE OF CHARGE to the City, direction from the Ethics Commission on potential voting conflicts.

Below is the opinion from Partington.

CPH Opinion

I find several interesting statements in the letter.

  1. The LLC has been administratively dissolved and according to Partington "may not carry on any business except that appropriate to wind up and liquidate its business and affairs."  What will they do with their $4,100,000 mortgage and the property?  How do they wind up and liquidate?  On what timeline?  Are monthly debt payments liquidating?
  2. The Mayor verified that the payment obligations on the $4,100,000 mortgage are current.  The Mayor makes $100,000 per year, has a $ 981,000 1st mortgage on his primary residence and up to a $750,000 second mortgage on his primary residence with another transition team member's bank. 
How in the world does this equate? 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time to find out

FY 12-13 started at midnight.  I sent the Mayor the following email today to request the final budgeted amounts for the line-item vetoed accounts.  We shall see.

Request for Budget Line Items

Barker Stonewalling Public Records Request

On August 14, 2012, 48 days ago, I requested financial information from the City of Pensacola regarding expense reports and expenditures on City credit cards.  Mr. Barker has promised the information to me several times but as of today I have received nothing.

Financial Request

If an elected official with full rights to review ANY document of the City is being denied access this way, how is our transparent Mayor treating the ordinary citizen.

I have included a seven day warning regarding going to the State Attorney to compel compliance.

Friday, September 28, 2012

This will be interesting

Last night, I was very clear in what I entered into the record regarding the Mayor's veto and the effect that it had on the budget.

Mr. McKenzie and Ms. Myers also were very clear with Council what the legal implications of the line item veto are.  It will be interesting to see what the Mayor will put in the final approved budget line items. 

Will he follow the process and zero out those three accounts and file a supplemental budget resolution October 1 which based on Council's discussion would surely pass or does this issue continue?

McKenzie Opinion

Pen Air's Change of Plans

Glad the DIB and Mayor invented policies which they broke and moved heaven and earth for them.  David Tuyo seems to have over committed. I would love to know the real story.

The Mayor touted this as a huge win for Downtown.  It's now just going to be a new branch and empty space.

  • Was due to happen in the summer
  • To date zero (0) new employees downtown
  • Was going to buy the building
  • Now just plan to lease space
It will be interesting to see how the parking incentive is applied.

Announced with a Roar

Abandoned with a blog post

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Questions I Will ask of the Mayor While He Attends

On the record and on TV.

  • The Jerry Pate contract was completed & signed 5 months after the work began. Were any City funds paid for this work without a contract and from which fund and account number.
  • Conflict with Servis1st Bank regarding 2 deposits of  City funds as well as a personal loan
  • Pen Air & DIB, Did John Asmar instruct the DIB to create the new parking incentive plan.
  • CMP COR.  Was Hatch Mott McDonald instructed to include Steve Dana or Jerry Pate Company in the construction process at the CMP?  What was he paid for his services?
  • Did you claim the Moulton Allen & Williams rack of lamb dinner and limo ride as a gift on the required state forms? 
  • Were you aware that Boyleston was the lowest and most responsible bidder based on the process you implemented regarding bids for auction services on surplus equipment? 
  • Was a new architect selection committee convened for the purpose of architect selection for the Legion Field & Woodland Heights design project after Quina & Grundhofer had been selected and began their work?  Was this committee properly noticed?  Where? 
  • Who arranged the recent Romney Bus Tour rally at the CMP?
  • Why was Redfish Harbor LLC not disclosed on your 2010 financial disclosure form?
  • Do you allow for city staff to make disparaging about other elected officials of this City when responding to citizen inquiries?
  • Do you know what happened the news reporter Jamie Leigh at WEAR following her interview of you during the Rebranding roll out?
  • Have you done any of the recommended repairs to Fire Station 3 since the final engineering report was issued in July 2011?
  • Who is paying for J.Nixon Daniel to represent you in Ms. Myers law suit?  If it is the City, what fund and account number are theses funds being drawn from?
  • Who has advised you that a line item reversal exists?

Bare Weighs In

Charles Bare's comment from the PNJ

"I have been reviewing the Florida Sunshine law. In the case of this particular meeting, I don't believe the public was giving proper notice of a meeting of 4 city council members. According to the Florida Sunshine Manual:

"Accordingly, the (Sunshine) law is applicable to any gathering, whether formal or casual, of two or more members of the same board or commission to discuss some matter on which foreseeable action will be taken by the public board or commission. sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government v. City of Sarasota, 48 so. 3d 755, 764 (Fla. 2010). And see City of Miami Beach v. Berns, 245 so. 2d 38 (Fla. 1971); and Board of Public Instruction of Broward County v. Doran, 224 so. 2d 693 (Fla. 1969).

It is the how and the why officials decided to so act which interests the public, not merely the final decision. a...s the court recognized in times Publishing Company v. Williams, 222 so. 2d 470, 473 (Fla. 2d DCa 1969), disapproved in part on other grounds, Neu v. Miami Herald Publishing Company, 462 so. 2d 821 (Fla. 1985):

Every thought, as well as every affirmative act, of a public official as it relates to and is within the scope of his official duties, is a matter of public concern; and it is the entire decision-making process that the legislature intended to affect by the enactment of the statute before us."

In this case, the discussion focused on the budget and the veto message sent by the Mayor which is the subject of an item to be considered at the City Council meeting tonight. After considering the text above, I, for one, am glad I was not in attendance. This is not government in the sunshine. The Mayor should have appeared before a publicly-noticed meeting to discuss such matters."


For the record, I was not invited to the non-noticed meeting of councilmembers called by the Mayor yesterday to discuss an issue to be voted on by Council tonight.

What did the Mayor tell these Councilmembers in a non-noticed meeting?

According to the PNJ:

He added that he is confident he will have the six votes he needs today at the council meeting to preserve the full ad contract.

“Let me be crystal clear: The mayor, the mayor’s office and a majority of the Pensacola City Council stand united,” he said.


Mayor's Marketing Dollars are Gone Either Way

Let me be clear...

  • Council voted to amend the Mayor's budget decreasing advertising and marketing expenses and increasing Council funds.  That amendment passed 5-3.
  • Another amendment was made moving dollars from the Mayor's office budget to the police training budget.  That amendment passed 7-1.
  • Amendments are NOT subject to veto. Only passed ordinances.
  • After the amendments passed.  The Amended Budget Ordinance 40-12 was passed by Council 7-1.
  • At this point, the Mayor's proposed budget ceases to exist in its entirety and the Council has adopted a final budget for the City of Pensacola.
  • The Mayor has three choices.
    • Do nothing and let the amended final budget become enacted
    • Veto the entire final budget ordinance
    • Line-item veto any individual line items in the amended final budget
  • Line item veto does not restore the presented budget amounts but merely strikes the line items that he line item vetoes from the Amended Final Budget passed by Council.  Line item veto is a tool only to strike items from the budget not reallocate.
Regardless of the action tonight, the marketing dollars are no longer in the budget.  The Mayor would need to submit, after October 1, a supplemental budget resolution to reallocate funds from other budgeted accounts to his marketing buckets.  Council would then vote on the supplemental budget resolution.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mayor's Personal Marketing Not Working

Below is the caption under the Mayor's news conference photo on WALA's website.

Pensacola Mayor Tony Hayward held a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 26, to publicly announce that he wants to work in cooperation with the city council. Council members said Hayward vetoed their budget.

Can't make this stuff up.

Just to be clear

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Events R Free @ the CMP!

I sent Dick Barker an email requesting the information regarding any required permits, any event fee charged, any need for insurance and any costs for power or security for the Mayor's Romney event.  Mr. Barker punted to Bill Reynolds who sent me the response below.

Reynold's Email

So based on Mr. Reynolds email the precedent is set for a multitude of similar events to be held at the CMP without cost, permits or insurance requirements.
  • Events that invite citizens down to the CMP for political rallies, demonstrations, pep rallies, group gatherings, church services, meet and greets, assemblies, bus shows, boat shows, car shows are all free of charge to use the CMP.
  • No insurance is required for free public events at the CMP based on the City Administrators email.
  • No permits are required to use the facility for free public events based on the City Administrator's email.
  • If you need to borrow a City owned PA system, one appears to be available free of charge.

Pensacola, on behalf of the Mayor and City Administrator Bill Reynolds, enjoy your Community Maritime Park. 

You may want to print Mr. Reynold's email above as proof that events are free at the CMP!

Mayor's Romney Event at CMP

A few questions:

  • Did the Mayor as CEO of the management company for the park require the Romney campaign to pull the necessary permits for an event?
  • Did the Mayor as CEO of the management company for the park require the Romney campaign to pay an event fee for usage of the Park?
  • Did the Romney campaign provide proof of insurance to the City?
  • What services did the City provide to the event? Security? Power?
Did the Mayor use his office and authority to utilize City assets and resources for the furtherance of a political candidate?

I will be asking Dick Barker these questions today.

Mayor's Conflict Of Interest

Yesterday, City Council passed two contracts with Roads Inc. and Hewes and Company, companies owned by the Mayor's business partners Cody Rawson and Allen Bell, subject to City Attorney Messer's written opinion that the contracts do not violate State Statute 112.313 which detail conflicts of interest.

112.313 Standards of conduct for public officers, employees of agencies, and local government attorneys.


(a) No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.

To me, it appears clear. 

  • The Mayor is a Public Officer.
(1) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term “public officer” includes any person elected or appointed to hold office in any agency, including any person serving on an advisory body.

  • The Mayor is also the contracting officer for the City.
  • The Mayor is an owner in Redfish Harbor LLC along with three other owners. (Pair, Bell and Rawson). 
  • The members have joint contractual debts to AMFI Insurance for a mortgage of over $4,100,000.
  • Roads Inc. and Hewes and Company wish to do business with the City.
  • Rawson is an owner of Roads, Inc.  Bell is an owner of Hewes and Company.
  • Roads Inc. routinely bids on City road work.
  • Hewes is bidding on construction work at the Port.
  • Funds from City work approved by the Mayor may be used to meet debt requirements to Redfish Harbor creditors to the Mayor's benefit.
  • Any contract in which Roads Inc. bids will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between the Mayor's private interests and the performance of his public duties.
  • Any contract in which Hewes and Company bids will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between the Mayor's private interests and the performance of his public duties.
If the City Attorney issues an opinion that indicates a conflict does exist, as I expect he will, there are other issues I have noted recently that also indicate a conflict.

If the City Attorney issues an opinion that indicates these relationships are within Florida Statutes, I will ask for a second opinion from the State of Florida.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Messer Opinion

Messer Opinion

Nate is Being Leaked To

A citizen sent me these emails with Nate Monroe of the PNJ. Evidently, the City Attorney's opinion on the veto power of the Mayor has been discussed with him.  He states:

"Again, I'm confident that what we reported reflects Messer's position, which will be made even clearer when he issues a written opinion next week."

If Messer comes back making a ridiculous argument that the Mayor has the power of "line item reversal"
I will immediately make a motion to seek another Attorney General opinion.

Just to be clear...I have made two specific requests for opinions individually of Messer and he has not told me his opinion, but the Mayor's office has been told his opinion.

The City Attorney is supposed to work for both the Mayor AND City Council.

Nate knows

Asmar and Messer Contracts

John Asmar's detailed contract

Asmar Contract

John Asmar's detailed contract extension

Asmar Contract Addendum

Messer Contract

Messer Contract

FYI...Please note that Councilwoman Myers and I opposed his appointment as City Attorney

PNJ Misses Again on Veto

Today's PNJ continues to misrepresent facts involving the Mayor's veto and Council's actions on it.

Facts incorrectly stated include:
  1. Mr. Messer has stated that he has not issued any opinion on the Mayor's veto as of Friday afternoon.  He is expected to give the Committee of the Whole that opinion today.
  2. Council can not take up the veto issue and vote to override today.  Today is a Committee of the Whole meeting only.  We are not meeting as the City Council today and it was not advertised as such.
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Agenda: 092412cow.pdf
Date & Time: Monday, 24 September 2012 - 3:15pm
Meeting Type: Committee of the Whole
Location: Hagler-Mason Conference Room

The Charter clearly states " The City Council may, by an affirmative vote of at least six (6) of the nine (9) City Council Members, override the Mayor’s veto of an ordinance or resolution at any time prior to midnight on the fifth (5th) business day after the day the Mayor exercises the veto or prior to midnight on the day of the next City Council meeting after the exercise of the Mayoral veto, whichever last occurs.

Mayor's 2010 Disclosure

Below is the Mayor's 2010 financial disclosure

Hayward Disclosure

Friday, September 21, 2012

Congratulations to the Low Bidders

Monday's committee of the whole agenda is below.  We are being asked to approve 2 contracts.  One for a new guard gate at the Port of Pensacola and one for street reconstruction.  Both have been awarded to the low bidder. 

COW Agenda

What is a weird twist of fate is they are consecutive in the agenda (7 and 8) and both contracts are going to business partners of the the same real estate deal.  Cody Rawson of Roads, Inc, and the Mayor's cousin, Allan Bell of Hewes and Company LLC.  Don't confuse Allan with his brother Harry who was involved in the DIB City Debt Foregiveness deal.

Redfish Harbor State of Florida

Roads Inc.


Bank of Pensacola $3,775,000 Mortgage

AMFI Purchases $4,158,000 Mortgage 

Based on the bid sheets, Roads Inc was 10% less than the next bid.
Based on the bids sheets, Hewes was 6% less than the next bid.

These contracts are presented to Council with a "plus a 10% contingency" clause.  Any guess who gets to approve that contingency without further discussion with Council?  The Mayor with no further Council input. 

Couple of other issues:
  1. Redfish Harbor LLC has been adminstratively dissolved.  Does that impact its mortgage?
  2. Why would AMFI insurance buy the mortgage from Bank of Pensacola?  Good Investment?
  3. Woodbury Family owned businesses are now owed over $5,000,000 by the Mayor or his businesses.
  4. Under the charter, the Mayor must devote his entire work efforts to the City of Pensacola and makes $100,000 per year. Who, if anyone, is servicing this debt?
  5. How many mortgages can one person have that don't have principal reduction?
  6. Who was head of Bank of Pensacola when this loan was made?  Where is he now?
Final Issue

The Mayor's street (Osceola) made the list.  Only 6.5 blocks to be reconstructed in the whole City and the Mayor's street is 1 block of it.

What was it graded last year by the City Public Works Department?
When was it last paved?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Attorney General Bondi Validates My Concerns...Messer was Wrong

In a six page letter to City Attorney Jim Messer below, Attorney General Pam Bondi ruled that Messer erred in the advice he provided to City Council regarding the Audit Committees ability to "ratify" the errors made by City CFO Dick Barker in the initial RFP for auditor services.

"Accordingly, it is my opinion that the audit committee may not ratify or approve the action taken by the financial officer absent statutory authority authorizing the delegation of the Committee's duties. A mere perfunctory or ceremonial acceptance of the previous action will not validate the defective request for proposals."

She further states that due to Mr. Messer's erroneous opinion, the City violated Florida Statute 218.391 which provides a template which must be created by a municipality for the creation of and performance of functions by an audit committee.

Attorney General Bondi states "Where the Legislature has prescribed the manner in which something is to be done, it is, in effect a prohibition against its being done in any other way."

Attorney General Bondi Opinion

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sorry Jim...Derek Cosson Lied to the PNJ

What in the world is going on at City Hall?

Mr. Messer sent me the following email today regarding the line item veto opinion I requested.

Messer response

Council needs to know from the City Attorney IF the Mayor has such power or not.  And Derek Cosson appears to have lied to Nate Monroe about Mr. Messer's opinion.

Cosson Lied to Nate Monroe

This issue is too important for lies and spin.  Lying to the press is completely unacceptable about something this serious to the Citizens of Pensacola.

The Veto and My Request

Below is the Mayor's veto letter to Council


Below is my request of City Attorney Messer for a formal legal opinion regarding his interpreation of "line item reversal" conveighed by the PIO, Derek Cosson to the PNJ.

Opinion Request

Messer Creates New Budget Term

I did a google search of budget line-item reversal.  The findings are below.  Evidently Mr. Messer is inventing an entirely new form of budget adjustment.  When I blogged about it yesterday, little did I realize that my blog would be the only instance occurring in government anywhere IN THE WORLD.

He should copyright it quickly.

Google Search

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Line Item Veto

Someone needs to explain to the Mayor that he does not have the power in the use of a line item veto to reallocate the funds back to the previous location in the budget.

Here is what happened.

Mayor Hayward presented Council a budget.

Council made an action to return the MIS and Mayor's office advertising funding to 2012 levels.  That action can not be line item vetoed.

Council made a separate action to use the funds previously in the advertising accounts to Council budget line items. 

Council then passed the annual budget as amended.

The Mayor can line item veto any line item included in the amended budget, he can not reallocate the funds he vetoes to additional line items.

It's not called a line-item reallocation.  Does the Mayor now have more power than any Governor in America??


According to Nate Monroe of the PNJ, City Attorney Messer has altered the City charter to now be a "line-item reversal".  I will be asking him for a legal opinion citing his legal basis, previous precedent and asking for a formal legal opinion as City Attorney. 

I'm glad I got clarification on his malpractice insurance as part of the confirmation process.

FYI, No Special Meeting Required

Veto Override. The City Council may, by an affirmative vote of at least six (6) of the nine (9) City Council Members, override the Mayor’s veto of an ordinance or resolution at any time prior to midnight on the fifth (5th) business day after the day the Mayor exercises the veto or prior to midnight on the day of the next City Council meeting after the exercise of the Mayoral veto, whichever last occurs.

The Contract for Owners Rep

Yesterday, I detailed the approval process followed by the Mayor's office to select an owner's representative for the Main Street Improvement Project.

Below are key pages to the contract obtained from the City's online records.  These documents clearly show:
  1. Page 3 - The duration of the agreement is from September 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.
  2. Page 2 - The services are stated to begin September 1, 2011
  3. Page 1 - The agreement is signed February 3, 2012, 5 months into a six month project.
  4. Page 3 - Payments were to begin November 1, 2011.
How can an agreement be done for retroactive work?
Is this the way our City is run?
Are we allowing contractors to do work without a signed agreement?
When did payments begin in fact?
If payments were made before the deal was signed, under what mechanism?


Hard Work on the Bluffs

Saturday's work day was a great opportunity for District 3 citizens to make a difference in our community.  We held our Bluffs clean up near the Lennox sub division clearing a large area of low brush and forming some new views of Escambia Bay.  Behind us you can see a palm that was completely obscured by brush and overgrowth.  These work days really make a difference.

Councilman-elect Andy Terhaar joined in and provided much needed help.  We had a great chat about many issues that are important to District 3 including Fire Station 3.  Thanks to all that came out and made a difference in our District.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Zimmerman Named in Funneling Cash to Okaloosa Commissioner

Zimmerman Agency, either knowingly or unknowingly, is caught up in the now arrested Okaloosa Commissioner scandal for passing through sponsorships of $10,000 twice through invoices to the Okaloosa TDC.

See the arrest report indicating the payments below.

Zimmerman Funnels Cash

I'm sorry but the "we didn't want to do it" or "we didn't know" claim is a little hard to believe. 

And our Mayor wants to kick them $220,000 of your tax money next fiscal year to market him.

Council left all funding in each department for each of the City's enterprises when it passed its amendment..

More Inside Deals for Supporters

Below is a request for quotation summary from City Purchasing Manager George Maiberger to Chief of Staff John Asmar dated November 15, 2011 related to the Main Street Improvement Projects.

Items to note from this document include:

  1. It is dated November 15, 2011
  2. Hatch Mott McDonald is the low bidder.
  3. The Mayor himself is not copied.
The Quotes

Below is a response from the Chief of Staff to Mr. Maiberger copying the Mayor and Bill Reynolds, the CAO, indicating that regardless of the quotations, the Mayor has selected a vendor who:
  1. Will cost the citizens $ 9,666 more than a well qualifed vendor (21% more)
  2. was the COR on the Admiral Mason Park project. which was completed a week prior.
  3. is a close friend and financial supporter of the Mayor.
The Mayor's Decision

Below is a request from Mr, Reynolds over two months later, asking Al Garza, Public Works Director, to assist the Mayor in executing service agreements (Plural) with the vendor.

Items to note from this document include:
  1. The request is dated January 20, 2012, over two months after quoted
  3. Its specifically asks Mr. Garza to approve the Admiral Mason Stormwater Park Agreement also.
  4. The press release below shows the Admiral Mason Project was completed in November 2011, two months prior.
  5. The vendor is specifically highlighted in the Admiral Mason Press release.
  6. It appears the vendor had conducted all work at Admiral Mason with NO CONTRACT IN PLACE and no document for processing any payments by the City.
  7. The quoted fee of the vendor has increased from $56,000 to $63,500
  8. Who is the document routed to and signed off by after Reynolds?
The Instructions

Adm Mason Press Release

More to come including the contract terms and any additional information made available.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Meeting Deadlines Not Required

Mayor unveils new city tagline, logos and marketing initiatives that will bring the brand to life
PENSACOLA, Fla. – July 18, 2012 – Mayor Ashton Hayward today launched a new brand identity for the City of Pensacola, featuring the tagline “The Upside of Florida” as the foundation of internal and external marketing efforts for the strategic rebranding campaign. ____________________________________________________  

Now note the date the new brand was promised to the City by Zimmerman in Mr. Reynolds memo to Council.  

Last Line  

  • Did we hit some bumps in the road? 
  • Did the initial brand not "pop"?
  • Why aren't contractual terms enforced?  
  • Did the City already have the brand but need 4 and a half months to develop the rollout and plan the Saenger extravaganza?  

 I will be reviewing the initial RFP package as well as the contract to see what other details promised may be slipping by Zimmerman.    

District 3 Scenic Highway Cleanup Saturday

We will be having another Scenic Highway cleanup Saturday from 7 to 9 near the entrance to the Lennox Subdivision between Rothchild and Logan.  Early fall is a great time to clear out some of the summer growth, continue to develop new "windows" to the view along Scenic and a time to talk with your neighbors.  I have invited Councilman-Elect Andy Terhaar to participate.  What a great way for us to spend some time working together for District 3. 

Remember to bring some gloves.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Unbelievable Comments By a Paid City Staff Member

City CIO Derek Cosson responded last night to a Citizen's questions.  The Citizen was so shocked at the words of a City employee regarding an elected member of the City Council that they forwarded the comments to me.  Our tax dollars are paying for this type of Mayoral disinformation.

This, in my opinion, is disgaceful, unprofessional and completely out of line from the City's Information Officer.  Below the email string is the City Employee Handbook statement on political activity.  You can expect the Mayor's office to do nothing as this type of activity by his staff seems to be condoned by this Mayor.

I will be addressing my concerns with the Mayor directly.

From: Derek Cosson
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 6:57 PM
Subject: Re:

Ms. ,

I have not reviewed every item in that blog, but when I have seen it there have been no facts, only misinformation, slander, inaccuracies, etc.

I can not speak to her request as it was not made of me and I have not been involved with it.

There are travel line items in the budget, yes, but that's not what WEAR asked for. They asked for actual expenses which requires reviewing the various records I mentioned previously.

Regarding your question about the Chief of Staff, my understanding is that he is not required to file any such form.

It is sad that people are getting caught up in this manufactured, artificial drama instead of focusing on positive forward movement.

On Sep 12, 2012 5:55 PM, "" wrote:

1)what facts are she incorrect about?

2) why hasnt her request for documents of expenditures from august been complied with? why aren't all city expenditures simply on line"

3) cetainly there is a "travel" line item in the city budget that can be readily printed out listing all checks and payments..I am incorrect?? perhaps I could ask escambia county to confirm?

4) why has the chief of staff not filed a financilal disclosure if the "City under the current administration is more than at any point in the past"??? Is there something to hide??

You know I have always dealt from a position of openness and good faith. I have no axe to grind...just want honesty


From: Derek Cosson
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 4:46 PM
Subject: Re:

Mrs. DeWeese's blog is a not a very good source if you are looking for facts.

The records in question were not simply in some easily accessible file labeled "overseas travel." WEAR asked for all costs associated with overseas travel by any city officials (including those no longer with the City) over a four-year timeframe. That required an extensive review of checks, invoices, and other documents by our finance staff, all while they are working on budget issues.

As you know, the statute does not define a "reasonable" timeframe, but given the expansive nature of the request, I do not believe that 5 business days was an unreasonable amount of time.

While there is much room for improvement, I wholeheartedly believe I understand and welcome any suggestions from you or anyone else on areas for improvement.

My best,


On Sep 12, 2012 4:29 PM, "" wrote:

Dear Mr. Cosson

I have been keeping up with city issues on Ms Deweese's blog. I had hoped that your presence in the City's administration would serve as a good check on poor decision making. I must say that I am very disappointed that you have failed to maintain your prior reputation of openness and honesty.

Why would it take you more than an hour to pull up the computer records requested?

Are you being given the full autority to do your jjob as you feel it should be done?


Political Activity

While it is important that all citizens take an interest in and exercise their voting privileges, it is likewise of
vital importance that City employees not use their position to further or prohibit the candidacy of an electoral
applicant. While the City cannot dictate employee involvement off duty, employees should be very cautious
about engaging in any political activity for or against any candidate. Such activity may negatively affect the
working relationship between staff and elected officials.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So Very Proud of Council

The FY13 Budget for the City of Pensacola has been approved. 

Council made two very important amendments tonight to redirect funds for non-enterprise fund related advertising & PR and fund much needed public safety and legislative branch support.

Council has come a long way since last years budget hearings and made some strong amendments tonight to protect the citizens interests and taxpayer dollars.  Council was clear that City funds should not be used to fund the Mayor's CEO branding efforts.

Once the two motions were made and passed,  I made a further motion regarding the Zimmerman Agency funding knowing full well our Council had traveled far on the existing amendments yet we needed to discuss the issues at hand.  Bill Reynolds, the CAO, crossed way into politics as opposed to administration in his lecture of Council tonight, and of course, the Mayor was not in attendance to defend his proposed budget.

There were several options available to Council tonight and those options remain in the coming months to make adjustments and changes to the Mayor's inflated advertising and PR requests. 

I made an effort to request clarification as to options available to Council and Mr. Barker stated for the record supplemental budget resolutions as well as approval of requested funding were options.  Our enterprise funds have well established marketing expertise on staff as well as citizens of the City of Pensacola capable of entering into short term advertising & marketing contracts until the "long" process of making an informed choice for an advertising and marketing agency can be accomplished.

We as a Council spoke up for the citizens of the City of Pensacola and made an incredible amount of progress toward a citizen driven budget process. I look forward to continued discussion on the policy, process and citizen input that is essential to such an important decision. 

It will be interesting to see the Mayor's response.  The public safety vote was 7-1, clearly enough to withstand a veto.

Jamie Lee Waste Watch Video on Rebranding

Below is a link to the Jamie Lee video as part of the waste watch report on the Mayor's branding campaign.

At the branding press conference, Lee asks the Mayor about Zimmerman and their future with the City and Hayward outright tells an "untruth" on camera when he tells Lee that he "I haven't even gone there yet" when asked if he plans to keep Zimmerman on retainer.  Lee then details the 3 year Zimmerman contract for $38,000 per month.

PIO Won't Give Up The I

Derek Cosson, the City's CIO, seems to be stingy with information.  WEAR was trying to get City and County travel information for a recent story on official travel.  The County complied with the request within the day.  The "transparent" city staff seems to be having some trouble collecting their data.  Of course, I'm sure the Mayor's numerous travels will require a significant amount of detail gathering. Spain, London, New York, Washington, etc.  Does the Waldorf or the Willard have a governmental rate?


Hope Channel 3 is not in a rush.  My request below has been outstanding since August 19, 2012.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Carie Zimmerman also told council yesterday that the Agency was "100% against the yacht and had nothing to do with it"

Here is what 100% against and nothing to do with looks like 100% Against

Zimmerman to Council "Birdwell. Never heard of her."

Carie Zimmerman, co-founder of the Zimmerman Agency, told Council Monday afternoon she has never heard of Jane Birdwell or BPM despite the fact that Jane sat at the table with Team Zimmerman in their "pitch" to become the advertising agency for the City.

In a video I will be trying to edit down for relevance over the next few days, Birdwell was even touted by Zimmerman as their local point of contact for the City. Jane actively participated in the presentation.

This is all very similar to MPDP who included dozens of local "partners" in their initial presentation to the CMPA.

Is their a message board somewhere on the web that states "If you want to win work in Pensacola, just include the names of locals in your proposal and pretend they are with you UNTIL you get the work?"

Monday, September 10, 2012

3 Reasons to Reject Zimmerman


Zimmerman moves Pensacola Closer to New Orleans

I guess we are trying to fool people in New Orleans into flying out of Pensacola.  It appears our city has moved westward.

Zimmerman Used Local Firm to Win Contract

I reviewed the Zimmerman Agency presentation to Mayor Hayward and staff.  I found several issues interesting.

  1. Jane Birdwell of the local firm BPM brought Zimmerman to the City. Jane sat with Team Zimmerman at the presentation and spoke as part of their team.
  2. During the presentation, Zimmerman stated one of the keys to their approach was having BPM, Jane's firm, as the local day to day point of contact.
  3. While a large majority of advertising work for the City is related to the enterprise funds, no directors of the enterprises had any input into the hiring.  The only city representatives were the Mayor, Travis Peterson, John Asmar, Bill Reynolds, George Maiberger and Derek Cosson.  The Airport Director, ESP Director and Port Director were not present.
  4. A significant discussion was held about "CEO Branding" or making sure the branding campaign, and our tax dollars, focus significantly on branding the Mayor and his team.
After getting the introduction, public records clearly show that the Zimmerman Agency no longer needed Jane once they won the work as detailed in the email to Travis Peterson below.

Mayor's Office

More political games with taxpayer dollars.  How disappointing.

Does this sound familar?  Where one team is presented and then, once the work is won, you never hear from those folks again.

Zimmerman promised a local point of contact.  Who is that person?

Friday, September 7, 2012

USA Today Article on Pensacola International Airport

The news wasn't good. 

"Domestic airfares increased 4.8% in the past year.  Airports with the highest increase in average fares, 1st quarter 2012 compared to 1st quarter 2011:

  1. Flint Michigan  - 23.7%
  2. Indianapolis - 16.3%
  3. White Plains - 15.8%
  4. Fort Myers - 15.7%
  5. Pensacola - 15%
  6. Grand Rapids - 14.8%
  7. Memphis - 14.6%
  8. Jacksonville - 13.6%
  9. Cincinnati - 13.0%
  10. Milwaukee - 11.6%
Affordable airfares are a major determining factor in attracting businesses to a region.  A review of the budget shows air carrier landing fees increasing from a budgeted $750,000 in 2012 to $2,500,000 in 2013.  Airlines will pass those fees along to the consumers.

We have a very nice airport but it must be affordable for people to use it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

FY13 Budget Hearing

Follow up to first public hearing for the Mayor's FY13 proposed budget.

Requests for more information on budget issues were as follows and will be part of our upcoming Committee of the Whole  meeting on Monday September 10th.

Economic Development Fund   Agenda p.11

FEMA funding allocations  not part of Agenda

Zimmerman Agency Contract

DIB Budget

Of greatest concern to many Council members were the lack of policy statements and accounting controls & procedures which must be included within each of these requests.  Although the City's CFO stated what is "intended" and already in place elsewhere within the city procedures/expenditures,  the ED fund and the advertising contract represent new endeavors on the Mayor's part and require Council to have "specific" policy in place.

Each issue will be discussed in detail at our Monday meeting and I urge citizens to weigh in beforehand or attend the meeting with your concerns and solutions. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Public Hearing on the Budget This Afternoon

Today at 5:15pm in Council Chambers is the first public hearing on the 2012-2013 budget as well as the DIB Budget and the CRA Budget.  This is the Citizen's chance to be heard on issues they like or dislike in the budget.

Usually lightly attended with few speakers, low participation is used by staff as signifying tacit approval by the public of the budget.

Great Points from a Citizen

I received an email from an anonymous citizen on the Mayors purchasing authority.  It is reprinted below without comment.

1) do you have a copy of the first "summary" issued 1/18/11?

2) who initiated the "replacement" memo
3) what emails exist that discussed a need for a replacement memo?
4) why were all parties directed to sign on the dotted line?
5) was the meeting recorded?

the central and constant contolling issue is "specifically" (not generally, as a group..category...etc) adopted by the council. It is clear council must specifically appropriate funds for XYZ company to provide XYZ services. Council cant approve general category of funds i.e. marketing and then the mayor approve SPECIFIC contracts to SPECIFIC parties for SPECIFIC services at his whim without SPECIFIC council approval.

Words do actually mean something.

“At the conclusion of the meeting, all were in agreement of the interpretations and the purchasing authority granted to the Mayor. This memo replaces the summary of mayor's purchasing authority issued on January 18, 2011.

Please sign below indicating your concurrence”

I will be requesting a copy of the 1/18/11 summary and emails today.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Root of Mayoral Fiscal Control

I asked for and received the document located at the link below that is the basis for the Mayor's purchasing authority.  Signed by the "Big Three", Coby, Wells and Barker in March 2011 it provides their opinions as to the Mayor's purchasing authority under the Charter and City Code.

It essentially states that when the Council passes the annual budget, the Mayor has unlimited control of any line item that is budgeted including method of obtaining pricing and selection.

Mayor's Purchasing Authority

I will discuss aspects of this opinion this week.

Friday, August 31, 2012

20 Questions

  1. How can any issue presented in any forum in Pensacola ultimately incurr an anti-Studer comment? Really?
  2. Why are people that are usually tight with money so free to give it candidates for yard signs, magnets and junk mail?
  3. Can anyone come up with a use for used yard signs other than garage sale signs? I've tried.
  4. Why does our "transparent" Mayor have frosted glass between the mayoral suite and the Public?
  5. How many miles have been put on the CNG car the city bought?
  6. When is Charlie Daniels coming back to the CMP?
  7. Can live, work, play be accomplished if play outweighs live and work?
  8. Has anyone told the Wahoos thanks for helping with the Veterans Memorial Park?
  9. Has anyone noticed how fast the City Parks & Rec Department cleaned up after the storm? Wow!
  10. Can the Marina Oyster Barn get flood insurance?
  11. Why is it that already wealthy people look for inside deals?
  12. How many people remember Thadeus Cohen and Becky Bray came up with Pelican Drop & Saturday Market?
  13. Can anyone get over the feeling when a baby smiles at you for no apparent reason?
  14. Why do big colleges want to play little colleges in football?
  15. Who does the power company call if their power goes out?
  16. If you had $5 million would you retire or reinvest it all?
  17. How long will it take to reopen the road to Fort Pickens?
  18. Has anyone noticed all the Frigate birds here since the storm?
  19. Is there anything better than getting off the school bus on a holiday Friday afternoon?
  20. Will Navy beat Notre Dame in Dublin tomorrow? 
Whew, I think its time to move on.  See ya next week.

Hayward / Servisfirst Relationship

Below are documents that show the following:

  • On December 16, 2010, Mayor Hayward appointed Thomas B. (Bo) Carter, former President and CEO of Coastal Bank and Trust to his Transition Team.
Transition Team
  • On April 1, 2011, Servisfirst Bank of Birmingham, Alabama opened its Pensacola office.  Thomas B. (Bo) Carter of the Mayor's transition team was named by Servisfirst as their local Chairman of the Board.
Pensacola Open
  • In the June 30, 2011 Deposit Market Share Report, issued by the FDIC, Servisfirst was the 3rd smallest bank in terms of deposits in Escambia County Florida with $24.9 million in total deposits.
  • As of September 30, 2011, the City of Pensacola had $74.4 million in investments.  No money was on deposit with Servisfirst Bank.  All of the City's pooled investments yielded 0.25%.
  • On November 10, 2011 the City of Pensacola deposited $12,500,000 of the City's investment pool in Servisfirst Bank at a yield of 0.30%.
Financial Report
  • On December 20, 2011, Ashton Hayward entered into a mortgage with Servisfirst Bank for use with a secured revolving credit agreement of not to exceed $751,000.  This debt is on top of a $980,000 interest only balloon mortgage with Warrington Bank on his primary residence.
LOC Mortgage

Balloon Mortgage
  • This mortgage satisfied a previous mortgage loan from Coastal Bank and Trust where Mr. Carter was previously employed.
  • Mayor Hayward's primary residence was assessed by the property appraiser at $877,000 in the 2012 assessment.
  • On December 13, 2011, James D. Hayward, the Mayor's uncle and another party entered into a mortgage with Servisfirst Bank for a commercial property located on Baylen Street.
JD Hayward Mortgage
  • This mortgage satisfied a previous mortgage loan from Coastal Bank and Trust where Mr. Carter was previously employed.
  • On February 14, 2012, the City of Pensacola deposited an additional $10,000,000 of the City's investment pool in Servisfirst Bank at a yield of 0.45%
Financial Report
  • Both of these investments yield between 15 and 20 basis points more to the City than the other pooled investments at BBVA Compass.
  • The 2 investments with Servisfirst total $22,500,000 or 28% of the City's investments.
  • The 2 investments with Servisfirst of $22,500,000 almost equal the Bank's total deposits the year before.
  • In a May 15, 2012, press release Servisfirst stated "ServisFirst Bank Pensacola reached profitability after one year of operation in the market. Overall, the bank has shown 67% growth year/year for the 1st quarter of 2012, with its loan growth reaching $448 million, a 30% increase over the same period in 2011."

All documents are submitted without comment, merely explanation. I will leave it to the Citizens to draw their own conclusions.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2012 Neighborhood PCIP Matching funds meeting

Our PCIP program for neighborhoods is one of the strongest partnerships we have in our community and each year HOA's and NA's are able to improve their neighborhoods with matching funds from the City.

PCIP provides the City of Pensacola’s organized neighborhood groups with the opportunity to apply for up to $10,000 in matching grant funds for neighborhood improvement projects. Neighborhood groups must match the dollars with cash, in-kind donations, or sweat equity.  This is a 50/50 partnership.

Improvement projects on both public and association-owned property are eligible, as well as programmatic activities.

Past selected projects include:
Entryway signage
Decorative lighting
Cultural/historical programs

The workshop:
When: Thursday, September 6  at 5:30 PM

Where: Hagler/Mason Conference Room on the second floor of City Hall, (222 West Main Street).

Neighborhood groups interested in applying for grant funds are encouraged to have a representative attend this workshop, where the program and application process will be covered in detail.

A total of $50,000 is available in this year’s grant cycle. More information, including an online application, is available at Applications are due by October 9, 2012

Hope to see you there!

Oh My!

Why bless their little hearts.  The PNJ can't help themselves.  Yesterday's article about my decision to run for Mayor was comical. 

DeWeese Targets Mayor.
Councilwoman ends re-election bid to take on Hayward 

Well shut my mouth! Is he running for re-election?  I asked David Stafford if anyone else had pre-filed.  He told me no.  I do declare.  Did the PNJ get a quote from the Mayor that he is running for re-election or is that "speculation"?

For the record, I am the only declared candidate for Mayor.  IF the Mayor files, he will be running against me...Just sayin.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Time to Move Forward

Two years ago, I supported Ashton Hayward for Mayor. Ashton promised fiscal conservancy, to personally sit down and negotiate on behalf of the City on issues, to keep his focus on public safety and neighborhoods and to work with City Council to make our City great.

Ashton Hayward as failed to keep too many of his promises and for that I am truly sorry.

His lack of active participation in our government and complete delegation of all duties not including a camera, requiring interaction with Council or the unmanaged public is ridiculous.

The backroom deals and City contracts for friends and supporters are shameful.

Our Mayor touts his economic development efforts and doesn’t mind spending our tax dollars flying all over the world on marketing trips but could not even bring himself to sit at the table and negotiate a $12 million development project at meetings right in City Hall.

He has shown us, through his budget, a document developed with little regards for the fundamental responsibilities of City government.

It is a budget that spends astronomical amounts of taxpayer dollars on soft, intangible expenses like advertising, branding and CNG vehicles while issues such as public safety, roads, sidewalks and neighborhoods are neglected.

It is a budget that continues to be all about building the brand of the Mayor, rather than serving the Citizens.

It is a budget that reflects a Mayor who spent all of our capital project related dollars through 2017 on politically popular projects in the first year of his term and now realizes that required projects are beyond his funding capability.

It is a budget that continues to build a barrier between our City employees and the Mayor that told each of their unions when running for office that he personally would sit at the bargaining table with them to negotiate, a promise he has not kept.

While many on the City Council may not agree with certain aspects of the budget, under the current interpretation of our charter there is little we can do, absent 6 votes, to change it. The Mayor will not attend Council meetings to answer our questions or concerns. The Mayor’s office will insist on Council passage as is, resist any line item adjustments and attack the Council in the press. Any efforts to change the budget will be met with stonewalling and objection. This is not the cooperation with Council he promised as a candidate.

Our current Mayor/Council issues have been described by many as growing pains and by others as dysfunction.

I disagree.

I campaigned for the charter changes. All of the videos and transcripts of the Charter Review Commission reflect an envisioned balance of power between the two branches, not the present autocratic manipulation of the charter Mayor Hayward has put forward in this first 2 years in office.

As I reflected on the upcoming election, I pulled out the simple, plain paper campaign flyers from when I first ran for office and found the saying "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." It occurred to me that, if re-elected to Council, the next two years would be more of the same between Mayor and Council.

My desire to make our City’s charter work is stronger than ever. With experience, we have come to understand where the vague or undefined terms are in the Charter and how to correct them, but I can not drive this change from my seat for District 3 constantly challenging the inattention and autocratic interpretations of the Mayor.

My opposition to the Mayor’s policies are negatively effecting District 3 as the Mayor attempts to politically punish me, while actually punishing the Citizens. Fire Station 3 is a prime example of this. I have been asking for some action in the only City owned building in all of District 3 for two years. Originally, Ashton Hayward told me “Repairing a fire station is not bringing jobs to Pensacola.” In the last two budgets, the Mayor has stated that he will repair the building, but when pressed can’t seem to find the money.

That is not productive, nor positive for moving District 3 or Pensacola forward.

I am therefore announcing my withdrawal from the District 3 City Council race and announcing that I have pre-filed to run for Mayor of the City of Pensacola in 2014.

I wish Andy Terhaar good luck as my new Councilman and I look forward to working with him when I am elected Mayor. I hope Andy remembers, when he takes office, that in the August primary, 70% of District 3 citizens voted for the fiscal reforms and stronger council promised by fellow District 3 resident Charles Bare. I hope Andy will stand up for what is right for District 3 and not just be a Mayoral yes man.

To be clear, as Mayor I will:

• Attend each Committee and Council meeting to personally present proposed policies, recommendations, contracts and initiatives and invite input from City Council and the Citizens

• Be responsive to Council and Citizens and support their direct access to department heads.

• Define each department and role within the City structure

• Work with Council to propose charter definition, clarifications and amendments to clarify many of the heavy handed interpretations of our current Mayor.

• Restore the trust of the City employees in the office of the Mayor and treat our employees fairly and with respect.

• Cut the office of the Mayor to a staff of 3, the Mayor, the City Administrator and a staff assistant saving the City over $500,000 annually.

• Amend the Charter to allow Council the opportunity to employ staff and an internal audit function independent of the Mayor.

• Focus on providing those fundamental responsibilities a city should and cut the constant spending on flashy projects and photo op management.

• Manage the City through respect and empowerment of our employees

• Include neighborhoods in every step of the budget process and create an environment of collaboration with decisions based on the needs of our citizens

• Return economic development leadership and tourism development to the professionals at the Chamber of Commerce and Visit Pensacola assisting where asked or needed and;

• Embrace our history as the City of Five Flags

All of the above are achievable by restoring City government to a proper balance while continuing the achievements we have made in the last four years. I look forward to serving the Citizens of Pensacola and making the City of Pensacola the City where thousands live the way millions wish they could.