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.

Attendees:
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?

Rack-of-Lamb

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.

Pratt
Hall
Johnson
Jerralds
Wu
DeWeese

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.

Pratt
Hall
Johnson
Jerralds
Wu
DeWeese

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
Anonymous
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

Hmmm

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. 

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/local-news/former-tdc-director-bought-porsche-with-county-funds-document-1.33408?tc=cr

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.
http://www.nwfdailynews.com/opinion/columns/guest-column-zimmerman-agency-we-just-want-a-fair-chance-1.30648

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.

Transparency??

http://www.cityofpensacola.com/budgets

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.

1-26-12
2-8-11
2-28-12
3-29-11
3-8-11
3-14-11
3-29-12
4-21-11
4-25-11
4-27-12
4-28-11
5-9-11
5-18-12
5-25-11
5-26-11
6-10-12
6-29-11
6-29-11
7-26-12
7-24-12
7-28-11
8-27-12
8-30-11
9-8-11
9-28-11
10-6-11
10-27-11
11-29-11
12-29-11









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.

1/31/2012

3/6/12

3/8/11

3/24/2011

4/17/2012

5/5/2011

5/12/11

5/21/12

6/18/2012

6/16/11

8/25/2011

10/17/2011

11/14/2011

12/19/2011

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:   http://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/20AB6480E324FC5885257297006997E7

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

Unbelievable...

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.