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.

Conduit?


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.

http://www.fox10tv.com/dpp/news/local_news/pensacola/Mayor-seeks-unity-with-city-council

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.

(7) CONFLICTING EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP.—


(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 Mayor...in 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.

Hewes

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

Veto

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??

UPDATE

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?

Relevant-Contract-Pages

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
  2. This was a TARGETED SOLICITATION
  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 ASHTON HAYWARD ANNOUNCES CITY OF PENSACOLA REBRANDING
 
 
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
To: 
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
To:
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,

DC

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.

http://www.weartv.com/newsroom/features/waste-watch/videos/vid_31.shtml

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?

WEAR

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


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yacht?

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-Yacht-Invoice

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.