Thursday, March 28, 2013

Goodbye to a Dream?

Little boys dream.  Pro baseball player.  Pro football player. Astronaut.  Blue Angel.

The perfection of a double play.
The perfection of the touchdown long bomb caught in stride.
The perfection of the space shuttle landing with no engines.
The perfection of the Blue Angel loop.

Little boys aspire to be like their heroes.  There are far to few heroes these days.

I'm afraid that as I take my boys out to today's Blue Angel practice one more of the dreams in their life will fade from existence as bureaucrats in Washington think cutting the Blue Angels didn't hurt that bad.

It does to him and millions like him.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The oven is heating up for some home cookin!

The City has defined policies in place for many things.  These policies are detailed in the below policies of the City Council.

policiesofcitycouncil

One of the policies deals with disposition of City real estate (YOUR REAL ESTATE).

In the current policies, the Mayor identifies property he would like to dispose of to City Council and how he wants to negotiate (seek bids, issue RFPs, direct negotiation,etc.) and then:

"City Council confirms property availability and determines the transaction method as outlined below."

Here is where you need to pay attention.

Over the last few days, David Freeman, an owner of the Jackson Generals of the Southern League, has been meeting one on one with Council members discussing a hotel and conference center at Commendencia Street Slip.  He doesn't want to do it at the Maritime Park as it doesn't make financial sense and the City can't give him any incentives on that site.

No documents, no emails, no trail.  Just conversations.

Here is the Shooby Doo.

Yesterday at 1:53pm CAO Bill Reynolds sends out a proposed new policy for Council to consider. The new policy is regarding DISPOSITION OF REAL ESTATE.

Proposed Property Disposition Policy

Under the proposed new policy, the Mayor no longer has to recommend to Council that a property be put up for disposal and Council no longer has any say so in whether it is made available.  The mayor can use one of three methods at his choice:
  1. Open Bid
  2. RFP
  3. Direct Negotiation
May as well read direct negotiation only. 

The Mayor can then negotiate any deal he deems fit (not Council determining method of disposal) and bring it back directly to Council for approval or rejection.

So the first time Council sees any sale or lease deal, it is an up or down and ALL negotiations with the party are done already. 

Can you imagine the political pressure Aunt Ginny will be providing through her HAYWARD MARKETING SOLUTION.

Actually property owners within 100 yards will know of the deal being negotiated before Council does under the proposed changes to Policy as they must be notified before negotiations.

I am for City Council remaining a check and balance determining which properties can be offered and what method will be used.

Under the proposed plan, the Mayor could declare ANY CITY PROPERTY (City Hall, Seville Square, Plaza Ferdinand, etc) except the airport, Maritime Park and port surplus, directly negotiate for its sale and if he has 5 votes on Council the peoples property is gone.

Here is a hypothetical.
  • Policy passes Council
  • Mayor chooses direct negotiation on Commendencia Slip
  • Appraisal done by appraiser chosen by Mayor.
  • Is there any property owners within 100 yards besides the Mayor's law firm and New World Landing?
  • Value comes back at PICK IT $ 1, 2 , 5 million
  • Mayor negotiates that as incentive if Freeman builds hotel city will forgive purchase price over 10 years making the land essentially free or some $1 year 99 year lease.
  • Freeman and Mayor reach deal.  Press release.  Front Page.  Aunt Ginny Editorial.
  • "Council we have developer agreeing to build $_ million hotel turning surplus property not on rolls to property tax paying property"
  • Renaissance, eyes to the prize, first and foremost, lead to succeed, Council be LEADERS.
  • 5 votes, deal done (can you name the five?)
  • Architecture by ___ (Brian Spencer called; he has met with Freeman and communicated he is not interested in being the architect on the project and under no circumstances will do any work.)
  • Surface work by Roads, Inc.
  • Building by Hewes
  • Landscaping by Jerry Pate
  • Good for everyone.
Next!

CMPA...Additional Thoughts

I can't get Bob Kerrigan's letter off my mind.  As I think about the issues he raises, I can't help but think of the following issues contributing to the financial problems surrounding the CMPA.

  • Where are all of the groups who came to the CRA and promised that if the CRA would loan the additional money for the "back of the house" that their group would use the amphitheater.  I am going to go pull that meeting and call out like Bob does every group who came to speak in favor.
  • Why does UWF and Dr. Bense get a pass for not building a museum "due to funding" but they can buy a golf course and build a hotel and conference center.  The fact is John Cavanaugh left and Dr. Bense didn't share his vision and scrapped the project.
  • The amphitheater has been open almost a year. How many amphitheater events has City Parks and Rec brought?
  • What is the status of the breakwater that was to be built?  How will it be funded?
  • Why did it take so long to put prices on each parcel?  I know of at least one hotel project that directly asked Ed Spears for a price over a year ago and he said "We don't have one yet"
  • Jazz Fest Seville Square, Pit Masters Seville Square, Crawfish Festival Seville Square, GGCAF Seville Square.  Quit giving permits on Seville Sqaure and route the folks to CMP.
  • Issue an RFP for a developer to do a spec retail building with __ number of shop spaces.  See what you get.
  • Sell naming rights to the park - Vince Whibbs Sr. Southern Company Community Park (example only) No split required.
Lots of ideas.  But the Park has been substantially completed for a year.  Do something!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DAMN! Don't look for a Christmas card Bob!

Within Reason vs. Difference Maker...Clash of the Deep Pockets!

Can't wait to see which way Outzen falls!

The following was sent to City Council.

Bob Kerrigan Goes OFF!!!!

Hatch Mott Gets SQUEEZED

Hatch Mott McDonald was awarded the contract by the CMPA for COR (Owners Rep) services.
They had a budget, they had a plan, they had a team.

Enter Mayor Hayward and his "long time friend" and campaign supporter Jerry Pate.  Time to get them to the trough.

My previous post documented the Mayor's insistence on including Jerry Pate Design and HMM's acquiescence.

Now to the dollars:
  • Total COR Budget                                                     $ 356,256
  • Original amount planned for Jerry Pate Design             $      0
  • Amount in amended COR Budget for JPD                  $ 138,720
  • Percentage of COR Contract to JPD                               39%
  • No proposal
  • No quotes
Good to be a Mayor Supporter!

7-18-11-COR-Estimated-Cost-through-March-2012

Scott Davison Round 2...Who is David Freeman?

New guy, from out of town, developer, bringing great things to Pensacola.  Sound familiar. 



Last night at the COW several council members discussed meetings with David Freeman.  He is working each Council member individually (walking the halls so to speak) and what I understand is he is looking to do a hotel deal in downtown.  Any disposition of taxpayer property should be subject to an open RFP.

So lets see about David Freeman:

Former Chairman of the Nashville Predators of the NHL

Bio

Ran into problems with the IRS

$3,3 Tax Lien...Problems with Personal Guarantee

Suing his former business partner, currently incarcerated convicted felon who caused his financial issues

Ongoing lawsuit

Freeman is the majority owner in the Jackson Generals of the Southern League.

Jackson Generals

Bad things happen to good people, I understand that.

I will be interested to see where this goes and to what extent the Wahoos success led to this opportunity to the City.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hatch Mott ties NMTC to COR Role

Hatch Mott McDonald (HMM) letter of April 7, 2011 to Ed Spears

COR-Fee-Allocation-Breakdown

Significance:
  • Clearly shows COR contract was between HMM and CMPA
  • Clearly shows their role was to:
    • address permit issues,
    • design and build revisions
    • deal with NMTC funding and enhancements
Questions Raised:
  • Under what authority does Ashton Hayward as Mayor demand that his "long time friend" Jerry Pate Design be included in the HMM contract?
Under the laws of the State of Florida CMPA is a NFP corporation

By Laws

Can someone help me here?  How can the Mayor's office make these unilateral decisions in a contract between HMM and the CMPA?

Two weeks after the initial email mandating Jerry Pate Design involvement and less than a month before the April 7, letter, Hayward and his wife accompanied Pate and his wife to Miami

Trip to Miami

This letter is later revised and sent to Ed Spears on April 27, 2011.  In the updated letter, HMM states without question:

"Also as requested by the City of Pensacola administration. Hatch Mott McDonald (HMM) will be utilizing the services of Jerry Pate Golf Design, Inc. as a sub consultant to HMM to provide basic COR reviews/responses, landscape architecture reviews and serve as the COR liaison to the CMPA and the City of Pensacola.  Mr. Steve Dana will serve in this COR role for Jerry Pate Golf Design, Inc."

Where was Jerry Pate Design in the RFP HMM submitted to the CMPA?  Isn't this identical to Land Capital substituting MPDP in their role as Master developer?

Oh yeah, Land Capital didn't substitute in the Mayor's "long time friends"

Broussard-to-Spears

So how much does Jerry Pate Design get....stay tuned.

Hayward Appointed Jerry Pate to CMPA Role

  • No Bids
  • No Quote
  • No Problem
Shortly after assuming office, Mayor Hayward immediately went to work funnelling taxpayer and Federal NMTC dollars to "a long time friend and internationally respected professional, Jerry Pate",

This is before Admiral Mason. (No contract in place)
This is before Main Street (No contract in place)
This is before Spring Street (No contract in place)

On February 24, 2011, one month after coming into office, Hayward places Steve Dana, from Jerry Pate Design, square in the middle of the CMPA planning.

Brian Spencer was also added to the team but only "to volunteer his time and services to collaborate with he design-build team"

Hayward-for-Pate

For the record, Hatch Mott McDonald was the COR for the project, until the Mayor steps in.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Barker Reads My Blog!!

After I posted By the way Mr. Barker, Decrease estimated revenue for Airline Renals? Are you selling Air Tran's kidney? last night, I wanted to see how long it would take City Staff to make the change for the typo.

Sure enough they bit!  LOL! 

Glad to be of service Mr. Barker.  Might want to check the rest of the notice!  But then again you have always been a com(m)ittee of one.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Monday COW - The Barker Shooby Doo Show Live!

On Monday, City CFO Dick Barker continues his financial shooby doo's with a string of questionable items included in the COW agenda:

The Dick Barker Show

  1. Now that he got spanked by putting himself on the auditor selection committee last year, Barker offers up a GFOA (Government Finance Officer Association) recommendation that "all members of the audit committee should be members of the governing body". 
    • This guidance was out since 2007 but Barker has always put himself and George Maiberger who works for him on the selection committee.  I didn't hear him offering up this guidance last year while he was breaking Florida state law with his committee.
  2. CFO Barker fails to draw any attention to the GFOA Recommended Practice which states "auditor independence would be enhanced by a policy requiring that the independent auditor be replaced at the end of the audit contract."  This detail is prominently featured on page 30 of 168 of the COW packet.
    • The City's current auditor has had the contract for decades.  When Barker broke Florida Law with regards to last year's auditor selection process, the City's current auditor did not even note the CFO's illegal act in their audit report presented to the City.  Additionally, the current auditor found all of the issues noted by me and presented to Council as "minor".  Then stated when it was presented to Council  "We aren't concerned about $3,000 of Mayor's expenses".  This is the same firm that is now chasing down individual BP gift cards for the Chamber.
  3. Later in the meeting in an innocent sounding MID YEAR SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET RESOLUTION. CFO Barker slides in a statement: "Reductions within the Gas Utility are to address the warmer weather experienced this fiscal year. Various revenues have been reduced and are offset by various line items, the majority of which is the cost of gas."
    • EXCUSE ME! The reduction is $13.5 million in revenue on a total budget of $52.5 million.  A 25 % shortfall.  Where can you cut that much and still send the City the $8 million for the General Fund? 
IT MAY BE JUST ME BUT I WOULD NOT ALLOW BARKER TO JUST STATE "DECREASE APPROPRIATION FOR VARIOUS ACCOUNTS".  WHAT ACCOUNTS?

ANOTHER $1.8 MILLION REVENUE SHORTFALL AT THE AIRPORT IS HIDDEN IN "DECREASE APPROPRIATION FOR VARIOUS ACCOUNTS". WHAT ACCOUNTS?


  The Dick Barker Comedy Hour begins at 3:15 Monday.  Enjoy the show!

By the way Mr. Barker, Decrease estimated revenue for Airline Renals?  Are you selling Air Tran's kidney?

Which is it Mr Messer?

As I reflected on the issues noted in my previous post, one fact keeps troubling me:

When the leases were being rushed and Special Meetings were scheduled:

  • Did Mr. Messer not know of the State laws and City Policies surrounding Port of Pensacola leases or
  • Did he not care to require their enforcement?
It is either one or the other!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Asmar signs off on deal!

In the previous post, on November 9, 2012 at 8:50 am, Port Director Clyde Mathis forwarded Revision 7 of a lease for Warehouse 9 at the port to Mayor Hayward's Chief of Staff, John Asmar as the deal leader for the City.

The Company wished to operate a subsea component fabrication, repair and assembly center.

On the same day at 1:59pm, Asmar sends the lease to City Attorney Jim Messer and his assistant Stephanie Tillery telling him the staff finds the changes acceptable and asks the City Attorney to finalize as Asmar wants to execute the lease on Monday.

Execute

OOOOPS!  Execute a lease?  What about City Council?  Remember the Special meeting that was cancelled was on November 19, 2012.  Asmar either had no intent on getting Council approval or he was going to execute and ramrod the lease through Council.  Both options unacceptable.

Council Policies in place state:

  • Appropriate proposals should be brought forward to Council for consideration in accordance with established City policy on Council and public notification of proposed port leases.
This was not done.

  • A minimum of thirty (30) days before any such lease is considered for approval by City Council, Council will be notified by an Information Memorandum that a Port lease is expected to be presented to Council. This Information Memorandum will include, at a minimum, the name of the proposed company, the type of business to be conducted, and the proposed length of the lease. For purposes of this notification procedure, notification shall be submitted thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled Council meeting at which said lease would be considered. At this time, the name of the firm and other information falling under the confidentiality protections of Florida Statute 315.18 will be released.
This was not done. A SPECIAL MEETING WAS SCHEDULED IN SHORT ORDER.

Procedure For Public Notification:

3.  A minimum of fourteen (14) days before any such lease is considered for approval by City Council, or a committee of the City Council, written notification will be mailed to property owners (as identified on the most recent Escambia County tax roll) within a radius of approximately 2,500 feet from the main entrance gate to the port. Such notification will inform property owners that City Council will consider a port lease at specified Committee and Council meetings and will note the times, dates, and places of both meetings, as well as the name of the company and the type of business to be conducted under the lease. For purposes of this notification procedure, notification shall be mailed fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled Committee meeting immediately preceding the Council meeting at which said lease would be considered.

This was not done. SPECIAL MEETINGS NOT ALLOWED.

FLORIDA STATUTE 315.18

CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN RECORDS HELD BY DEEPWATER PORTS

Any proposal or counterproposal exchanged between a deepwater port listed in s. 311.09(1) and any nongovernmental entity, relating to the sale, use, or lease of land or of port facilities, and any financial records submitted by any nongovernmental entity to such a deepwater port for the purpose of the sale, use, or lease of the land or the port facility, are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, 30 days before any such proposal or counterproposal is considered for approval by the governing body of such a deepwater port, the proposal or counterproposal shall cease to be exempt. If no proposal or counterproposal is submitted to the governing body for approval, such a proposal or counterproposal shall cease to be exempt 90 days after the cession of negotiations.

THE MAYORS'S DEAL TEAM WAS VIOLATING STATE LAW!!!!!!!!

policiesofcitycouncil

As an aside, the Mayor's team is so detail oriented that between receiving the lease at roughly 9am to pushing it to the City Attorney at 2pm, the Chief of Staff wants the lease received and executed by MONDAY.

This Mayor and his staff obviously have no regard for city policy, no regard for Citizen's notification and no regard for STATE OF FLORIDA LAW.

What's This?

In our first installment of the Asmar/Hayward economic development misfire, we have the below email from Port Director Mathis to deal architect John Asmar.

The email APPEARS to show that a deal was in the works since at least early October but that Port Director Mathis had no idea anything was coming.

Mathis:

"John, received attached this am.  Kind of came out of the blue as there was no conversation that anything was forthcoming from them."

The fact that the lease is REV 7 and that Rev 6 was on 10/7 lends support that this had been batted about for awhile.

What's This?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Anatomy of Hayward / Asmar Economic Development Failure

Over the next few days I will provide detail surrounding a gigantic economic development failure bungled by the Hayward Administration which have cost the City and the Port of Pensacola millions of dollars and may have damaged the relationship with a major tenant at the Port. 

Although everyone in the "downtown crowd" is well aware of this train wreck, mysteriously the news outlets in Pensacola have not reported the story.  Only good news and press conferences from Aunt Ginny's propaganda machine.

Last year a special Council Meeting was scheduled by the Mayor's office on November 19, 2012 at 9am for the approval of "Project High Hat".  The project included:
  • A 5 year lease of warehouse 9 at the Port of Pensacola. 
  • $150,000 annual rental 
  • The lease had two 5 year renewal clauses
  • The company would create 100 new full time jobs
  • Staff contacts were John Asmar, Chief of Staff, and Clyde Mathis, Port Director
11/19/12 Special Council Meeting Materials

The documents above included:
  • The lease never previously presented to Council but ALREADY SIGNED BY THE TENANT.
  • An appraisal of the property.
  • An agreement with Florida DOT to fund a $ 2 million grant specially for Project High Hats needs with the expectation of the 100 new jobs.
With little notice, the special meeting was cancelled without additional comment from the Mayor's office or notification of Council as to why.

I understand that the lease was deemed deficient by outside counsel on final approval.

Subsequently, I understand that "Project High Hat" has been abandoned by the tenant is not actively being negotiated.

The failures by the Hayward Administration detailed have resulted in the City:
  1. losing the lease opportunity with Project High Hat
  2. losing the eligibility for $ 2 million of State of Florida grant money to improve the Port of Pensacola
  3. a lost opportunity for at least $ 5 million in payroll in the City
The documents will show that up until the day before the special meeting the Mayor and his staff were all set to move the project forward.

Cudos were circulated.  Press conferences were planned.  Then.....crickets!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ashton and Aunt Ginny

How long will the PNJ continue to deny that Aunt Ginny is secretly (heck, openly) propping up the Mayor and his agenda.

http://ricksblog.biz/mayor-sandbagged-wahoos-on-oliver-report/

How can Kevin Doyle sit back and let the Hayward clan use Gannett's paper as a propaganda tool?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

One or the other!

Monday I began reviewing the information received from the State Attorney related to his investigation of Ashton Hayward. Well either Mr. Marcille missed something or Dick Barker was less than honest to the prosecutor.

In his letter to me, Mr. Marcille stated "according to Dick Barker the investment officer for the city, bids were put out to local public depositories for the investment of city funds. In each instance, Servisfirst Bank provided the best rate for the type of investment the city was seeking."

This statement is false.

Bank-RFP

The city requested quotes from financial institutions on November 1, 2011 at 4:03PM.  Bids were due back by 12noon on Thursday November 3, 2011.

The request was for $5 million of city funds and asked for quotes for 12, 18 and 24 months.  A 6 month option was NOT requested in the request for rates.

Response Receipts
Suntrust - November 1, 2011 5:11pm
BBVA Compass - November 1, 2011 5:42pm
Coastal Bank - November 2, 2011 4:00pm
BB&T November 2, 2011 4:04pm
Bank of America - November 3, 2011 9:30am
Wells Fargo - November 3, 2011 10:31am
ServisFirst - November 3, 2011 10:51am
Regions - November 3, 2011 11:08am

Servisfirst, whose local chairman Bo Carter was on the mayor's transition team, and who the mayor would obtain a mortgage from one month later which MAY have been already in process, bid the following:

  • 12 month 0.35
  • 18 month 0.43
  • 24 month 0.55
The incumbent BBVA Compass bid:

  • 12 month 0.48
  • 18 month 0.50
  • 24 month 0.55
The results indicating the best bid were submitted to Barker and the notes state: Per Dick award Servisfirst MM @.30.

Why would Barker select an option that wasn't requested in the bid?

The ServisFirst quote of a 6 month MM rate was not asked or requested. Only 12, 18 and 24 months.

Why did the other banks not get an opportunity to bid 6 month rates if Servisfirst bid 6 month rates?

Why was $5 million bid but $12.5 million awarded?

Would notifying banks it was going to be $12.5 million gotten different results?

How did Barker know that Servisfirst would even be interested in another $7.5 million?  Where is that discussion documented?

I'm sure Barker will say he asked for money market rates also but clearly the bid request was for 12, 18 and 24 month periods.

The State Attorney's file contained:
  • City Investment Policy
  • City request for quotes
  • Quotes received from banks
  • Quote Tally sheet 
  • The City's investment schedule
The State Attorney file did not contain:
  • Appraisal of Hayward home used for the Mortgage
  • Loan application of Hayward with dates
  • Loan to value ratios of the Mortgage
  • Entire loan file of Hayward
  • Interview notes with Hayward
  • Interview notes with Barker
  • Interview notes with Servisfirst management
This transaction could be just a curious string of coincidences but you don't know unless you INVESTIGATE and start putting people under oath and subpoenaing documents.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

FYI...Lawsuit against Hayward/Barker

Order

The Mayor's attorney was arguing that "mere citizens" do not have standing to sue the Mayor for illegally using city funds.

For those who are not aware,

DeWeese-v-Hayward

As part on the case, I am asking that all illegally used funds be repaid.

The defendants' (Hayward and Barker) have 20 days to respond per the Judge's order.

Parting Shot on Asmar Harassment Investigation

At the conclusion of the City's investigation, please be advised that ALL emails, depositions, testimony and other documents relating to the matter become public records.

Interesting reads will be:

  • Deposition of Mayor
  • Deposition of Asmar
  • Deposition of Buswell
  • Deposition of Reynolds
  • Deposition of Messer
  • Deposition of allegedly harassed employee
  • Emails from the above.
Just the thought of the above has the City's outside Counsel Larkin frantically doing spin control. 

Asmar's buddy can't protect him

Below is a letter from Jim Messer, City Attorney, to Bill Reynolds regarding John Asmar's alleged harassing behaviour with a City staffer.  Reynolds asks Messer if the City has any recourse as Asmar is a contractor.

Messer states " The law abhor's a wrong without a remedy"  

Amen brother!

Messer concludes by saying "My two decade long personal, social and professional relationship with the Chief of Staff erects insurmountable conflict of interest and credibility issues that preclude my further comment on the substance of this matter."

Really?  Now where did we learn this before?

The drop came in 1995 when Asmar tried to persuade a judge to dismiss a citation issued to a woman for failing to keep her golden retriever leashed. The woman, who was dating an assistant county attorney, asked Asmar to intervene. County commissioners sternly rebuked Asmar. One called for his firing. Asmar demanded an apology for the commissioners' remark but it never came. A week later, he announced his resignation. "That's not an action that's tolerable," said County Commissioner Mike Whitehead. "Local government is a difficult place to train and learn. You get one shot or usually, you're history."

The name of the County Attorney that Asmar was trying to fix the ticket for:  Jim Messer!

http://www.sptimes.com/News/040200/NorthPinellas/Controversy_follows_R.shtml

Messer Weighs In

Monday, March 11, 2013

SAO Letter

Below is the SAO office letter regarding the criminal investigation of Mayor Ashton Hayward.

I will be calling shortly to schedule my appointment to review the documents they have regarding their investigation.

SAO Letter

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Open or Closed?

Below is my public records request of the SAO regarding their criminal investigation of Mayor Ashton Hayward.

I will be posting the SAO letter on Monday AM.

Curiously and not reported in Aunt Ginny's Mullet Wrapper is the very last sentence.

"We have reviewed each of your allegations and have determined that there is insufficient evidence to establish that any crime has occurred.  If any additional information is discovered in the future, we will review it at that time."

Is the investigation closed?  If so, the interview and investigator notes cease being an attorney work product and become a public record.

In their response to me, Ms. Murphy states that the SAO considers the notes work product. 

Florida Statutes 119.071 (1) (4) (d) states:

"A public record that was prepared by an agency attorney,,,that reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the agency and that was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation...or that was prepared in anticipation of imminent civil or criminal litigation is exempt from s. 119.07 (1) and s. 24 (a) Art 1 of the State Constitution until the conclusion of the litigation or adversarial proceeding.

My folks are telling me SAO has 2 choices:
  1. Publicly state that the investigation is ongoing or
  2. Hand over ALL documents including interview and other notes.
We will see on Monday.

Public Records Request

Friday, March 8, 2013

Repeat ?

St. Petersburg Times, published October 18, 2000

CLEARWATER -- A top-ranking city administrator resigned under pressure and an assistant city manager was reprimanded the day after it was disclosed the two men swapped e-mails at work containing off-color jokes and conversations about their private storage business.

Interim City Manager Bill Horne gave Planning and Development Administrator John Asmar a written reprimand for sending inappropriate e-mails on the city computer system Tuesday afternoon. Then, he said, he asked Asmar to resign.

"In light of all the things that have happened, I felt it was important for him to consider seeking other professional opportunities," said Horne, who declined to elaborate.
 
 
 

Reynolds Statement on Asmar Alleged Harassment

Concerning Reynolds quotes:

"but frankly I did not get involved in the situation"
"I did not delve into any details regarding the source of her discomfort"

The Mayor's response when advised of the situation: Lets move her!

The responsibility for Asmar's actions rest SOLELY with the Mayor.
"For the most part, I was not made aware of Mr. Asmar's dealings. He has always answered to the Mayor."

Reynolds Statement on Asmar

Insufficient?

Insufficient - CYA. Not no because they know others are investigating and if the others find something or pursue something then they have an out.

Can't wait to see the files.

Who did they interview?
What records did they subpoena?
What files did they obtain from City Hall?
What email records did they review?
What did they review regarding the Mayor's mortgages?
What did they review regarding Jerry Pate Design?
Did the mayors bank accounts get subpoenaed?
Who did they interview with Servis1st?
Did they interview the Boylestons?
Did they interview Burney Merrill?
Did they subpoena documents regarding Pen Air?
Did they interview anyone with Molton Allen Williams?

Can't wait to see and obtain the ENTIRE file!

SAO Email

Update:

Fioble -  a minor flaw or shortcoming in character or behavior (Merriam Webster)

PNJ minimization. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Evidence from Past Articles on Asmar. Negligence?

You can bet that the following will come up if/when the City is sued.  This appears to be a pattern with Mr. Asmar.  Does this rise to negligence on the City's part is my concern?

All articles quoted are linked below.

__________________________________________________________

"Last year, allegations of unprofessional conduct by supervisors and low morale sparked an extensive internal investigation of Asmar's city department. It resulted in the department being required to do follow-up reports to make sure several employee complaints were resolved."

"The two secretaries were contacted because they had both transferred out of prime jobs in Asmar's department and city human relations officials wanted to know why, said human relations investigator Michael Burke.

The two secretaries also complained that planning department supervisors, including Asmar, sometimes displayed harsh, demeaning and unprofessional conduct toward their employees. One secretary alleged Asmar called her "my girl" against her wishes, although she said he stopped after she twice objected."

http://www.sptimes.com/News/100700/NorthPinellas/Audit_shows_minor_con.shtml

__________________________________________________________

"CLEARWATER -- Two top city administrators used city computers to swap e-mails that included a picture of overweight black women in thong bikinis, jokes about a sperm bank and other sexual innuendo and discussions about a private business enterprise, a St. Petersburg Times review shows.

Interim City Manager Bill Horne said Monday he would admonish Garry Brumback, assistant city manager, and John Asmar, planning and development administrator, for showing poor judgment by sharing the racy e-mail.

Horne said that e-mailing the picture of the two women in thongs with the caption "Does this suit make my butt look BIG?" was clearly inappropriate. Asmar sent Brumback the picture, who forwarded it to someone else. Both men are white."

"Asmar at first responded to questions about the e-mail by saying he would cut down his personal use of city e-mail. A half-hour later, he called back, saying he had reflected on the photo of the black women in bikinis.

"It was probably inappropriate and it never will happen again," said Asmar. "That was a year ago. It was one of the those things where we make mistakes. It did not mean to hurt anyone at all."

http://www.sptimes.com/News/101700/NorthPinellas/Officials_rebuked_for.shtml

__________________________________________________________

"A former secretary sued him in North Miami Beach, saying the city administrator forced her to resign because she was old."

"Older employees in the divisions were asked to take early retirement with enhanced benefits or risk losing their positions, says Anne Hornfeld, a 70-year-old former secretary for Asmar when he headed utilities. Faced with termination, Hornfeld retired reluctantly.

Later, she discovered a younger woman had filled her job, states the federal lawsuit she filed. The lawsuit, accusing North Miami Beach of age discrimination, is pending.

Many employees disliked Asmar's dictatorial style, said Kelvin Baker, who testified in a sworn statement for Hornfeld's case. Baker, who was public works director, called Asmar "autocratic"

"Gloria DeMilly sued Homestead, alleging that Asmar's "management style and his perceived bias against women managers . . . contributed to an extremely hostile work environment, which no person should be forced to endure," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit's few details included DeMilly's claims that she was paid less than male employees and she was locked out her computer after she resigned. The city settled the case for $50,000 this year."

http://www.sptimes.com/News/040200/NorthPinellas/Controversy_follows_R.shtml

This is shameful!

Below is a redacted copy of a letter from the alleged victim of Mr. Asmar's actions.  Notice the date.

I will be posting Mr. Reynold's statement and Mr. Messer's opinion as redacted.

Yesterday morning I sent all of the documents in my possession unredacted to the following:

  • Aunt Ginny
  • Kevin Doyle
  • Dick Schneider
  • Tom Ninestine
  • Nate Monroe
  • City Council
All are aware of ALL of the allegations.  Mr. Doyle, Mr. Schneider and Ms. Myers acknowledged receipt.

Asmar-Harassment

How long is a reasonable period...6 months?

I never received a single document from the City or Asmar regarding emails to or from jasmar@asmarlawfirm.com in the period June 30, 2011 to August 2012

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Asmar Harassment Allegation by 7th Floor Staffer

John Asmar, the Mayor's former chief of staff, has been accused of harassment by a city employee.  The allegations surround an apparent relationship Mr. Asmar was conducting with another city employee and his attempt to involve the allegedly harassed employee in his affair.

I am reading the documents and discussing with experts what if anything would be appropriate to post but they include direct references to Asmar throwing a condom on the alleged victims desk.

The alleged victim asked Mr. Reynolds CAO to intervene.  She was subsequently transferred to a different city department, however, her duties have gone from executive level to receptionist.

A statement by CAO Reynolds seems to indicate that Asmar's dismissal from City Hall was directly due to this issue.

Mr. Reynolds stated "It is clear that the Mayor had determined that the situation needed to be addressed and therefore that Mr. Asmar would be departing service with the City, in effect ending the issue."

The alleged victim has retained an attorney.

How much will this end up costing the citizens of Pensacola?

More to come.




City Projects Schedule for Those in Charge

Who could use an all inclusive 2012 City Schedule of projects by date, delivered to them weekly on every Friday afternoon of all:
  • Gas main installations
  • The F Street Deep Well Anode project
  • Bus Bench completions
  • Bid release and due dates
  • Airline Agreement Execution dates
  • City capital project construction schedules
  • Committee of the Whole submission dates
  • Master plan process dates
  • Port lease expirations
  • Grant submission deadlines
  • Street repaving schedules and
  • Stormwater projects
A)   The City Council
B)   The Press
C)   The County Commission
D)   The Public

Click the link below to see who is updated weekly on these issues and also a copy of a recent report updated for them.

And-the-Winner-Is

2012-Schedule-v45

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Neighborhoods Mayor Speeds Thru Neighborhoods

Mayor Hayward is proud of his focus on safe neighborhoods, CNG and leading by example.  I have proof of all three below.

The below video is from a dash camera in a PPD cruiser that observed Mayor Hayward driving at over an estimated 70 miles an hour down Summit Blvd. in the Cordova Park neighborhood near the Scott Tennis Center in his white City owned CNG vehicle.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbamDEYw9_4


I didn't know a CNG vehicle could go that fast!

Fairness warning:
  1. The speed limit on Summit MAY be 80 mph.
  2. City Policies and Procedures regarding use of City vehicles by employees may not have been updated for the new charter yet to exempt the Mayor. Ha!
  3. The new charter does not EXPRESSLY forbid speeding by the Mayor so... its open for interpretation.
The PPD officer immediately initiates a chase of the Mayoral perp.  At a high rate of speed the cruiser follows the City CNG car as it turns onto 12th Avenue towards the Airport.  The cruiser turns towards the airport to follow and...............

Below is a link to Pam Childer's website.  It lists all traffic offenses and their outcome.  Just enter in the name of the offender and see the results of this 2012 traffic incident.

http://www.escambiaclerk.com/xml/xml_web_1a.asp

Did ya find it??

Might want Pensacola Energy to slap the SWAVE on that puppy and enter it in the Snowball Derby!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Need to Wrap up Several Issues

After a few months off and the receipt of additional information, I will begin posting documents obtained from public records requests.  Over the next few weeks, I will be disclosing the following:

  • The facts behind the Mayor's Office complete failure surrounding a large economic development project at the Port of Pensacola.
  • The facts behind the Mayor's appointment of Jerry Pate Designs on a no bid basis as part of the Community Maritime Park completion.
  • Invoices showing Hoar Constructions usage of their private jet and charging it to the CMP project.
  • Additional documentation as to the true actions of Mayoral PIO Derek (Lewis J. Christopher) Cosson.
  • Interesting documentation on who receives weekly updates on City Projects, Construction and Bids.
  • The amazing capabilities of our city's CNG vehicles with regard to speed.
Since last I blogged, it appears that the Asmar Weekly turned on the Mayor the second Mr. Asmar fell out of good graces.  Now who could have seen that one coming?

Duh!