Friday, December 19, 2014

Team, The Pension's are Draining the City...Lets Go to Lunch on the Taxpayers

Mayor Hayward made a big deal in his first term about the pension costs to the City.  It was "bleeding us dry".

So what did he do?

He got nine friends together and took them to the Fish House on the Citizens to discuss pension reform.

In the receipt below, a total of ten used the Baitshop private dining room to gorge themselves at the taxpayer provided trough.

$18.29 per person FOR LUNCH.

Hayward math...if the general fund is leaking, open a new hole so more can come out.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hayward Pulls Rug From Under Messer

Just like his namesake, Kim Jung Hayward will eliminate those close to him regardless of the consequences to them.

Case in point.

City Attorney Messer, a really nice guy, has been much berated about living in Birmingham.  In August 2014, he purchased a home in the Pensacola area.

Was Messer led to believe his contract would be extended or renewed only to have the Mayor pull the rug out from under him?

Is Hayward that disloyal to the man who more than anyone else in his administration has facilitated his disregard for the charter, the law or the ethics requirements of the State?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

While I was Out...Messer OUT!

More changes at City Hall.  Jim Messer, a really nice guy, is being shown the door.  Mayor Hayward wants an "in-house" attorney.

I wonder if the Mayor can find a City Attorney willing to walk into a Grand Jury Investigation of his potential corruption?

Messer has supported the Mayor's "interpretations" of any item put in front of him.  Hopefully someone with a "strong background in Florida law" will not be so quick to cover for Kim Jung Hayward.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More Fat Cating for the Mayors Staff at Jacksons

The Mayor decided to take the department heads to lunch at Jackson's to discuss his initiatives.


A couple of questions:
  • Who were the eight "Dept Heads"?....Mayor's description!
  • Were all of those "Dept Heads" approved by Council or are they "Directors" or "Administrators" or "Chiefs"?
  • Should City employees be using our tax dollars for lunch at Jackson's?
  • What was the "message"? Stop screwing the citizens?
  • Avocado Salad $16.75
  • West Indies Salad $16.75
  • Catch of the Day $17.00
  • Chopped Salad $12.00
  • Cobia Sandwich $ 10.95
  • Club Sandwich $12.75
Hundreds if not thousands of tax dollars each week...wasted on meals for the King and his court.

I'm Baaaaaack!

It's good to get away sometimes just so you can really appreciate how screwed up things are here!

I hear we need a boathouse, because free doesn't work for us as a City!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hayward Went on REAP Related Trip on City Dime

The spending and courting by Hayward in connection with the REAP program continued after the lunch and tour by Federal Judge Rodgers.

Hayward's January mileage log shows he:
  • 12/30/11 - Met with Judge Rodgers at the Federal Courthouse re: Reentry
  • 1/6/12 - Had lunch at Jaco's
  • 1/6/12 - Toured the Community Garden
  • 1/6/12 - Met with Saufley Warden re ReEntry
  • 1/13/12 - Traveled from City Hall to Pensacola Signs to see their new sign
  • 1/18/12  - Met at Clark Partington re: Reentry
  • 1/19/12 - Had another lunch this time at Fish House re: Reentry
  • 1/26/12 - Traveled from the office to the Airport for a Reentry Trip
The trip to St Louis has a hotel for 1/26/12. $140.12

Hayward left Pensacola at 12:02pm on the 26th arriving in St Louis at 4:27 pm
The hotel receipt shows he arrived at 5:20pm
His flight home  left at 3:45pm on Friday the next day getting him back to Pensacola at 7:32pm
Airfare was $323.20

Of course he requested upgrades!

No food was purchased.
No ground transportation was purchased.
No other expenses.
I guess he didn't eat in St Louis.
I guess he walked from the airport.

REAP continues in later months...all at the City taxpayer's expense. More to come!
How is this City business?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some Presidents pardon their turkey!!

Congratulations President Andy!!

Happy Thanksgiving!



Remember that all of the retail businesses in City District 3 are open for business on Black Friday.  Doors open early so get up and shop District 3's exclusive shopping district.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hayward Used Tax Dollars For Lunch with Federal Judge?

Reentry Alliance Pensacola (REAP) is a wonderful not for profit that is the passion of Federal Judge Casey Rodgers.  The program is designed to keep previous offenders on track.

Judge Rodgers has gotten Mayor Hayward involved with this not for profit organization.

In reviewing Mayor Hayward's expense reports I found a nice $49.74 lunch at Jaco's PAID FOR BY THE TAXPAYERS on the Mayor's City issued credit card.  The receipt clearly states the purpose was the REAP program.  The Mayor's mileage log shows that the Mayor charged the Citizen's mileage from City Hall to Jaco's and also charged mileage from Jaco's to the REAP community garden.

  • Was Judge Rodger's treated to lunch on the backs of City taxpayers?
  • Did she have the Southwestern chicken, the Palafox or the Tender Bleu Salad?
  • Did Judge Rodger's know that City taxpayer dollars were being used to pay for her meal?
  • Does the relationship between Hayward and Judge Rodgers create any conflict for the Judge if he is indicted?
  • Would Judge Rodgers have to recuse herself if Hayward comes before her?
  • Why should tax dollars be used to feed the Mayor and his guests for a not for profit he is volunteering to assist? How is that a City expense?
  • Did Judge Rodgers daughter intern for Hayward?
  • Has Judge Rodgers been the Judge on any lawsuits involving the City?
  • If CITY DOLLARS were paying for a Judge's meal while CITY cases were before their Court, is that an issue?
Legal readers, please weigh in as to the possible implications?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The King and His Court Luncheon in Private at Fish House

Brown bags not required if you are on King Hayward's Court.

In a private luncheon in the exclusive Bait Shop dining room at the Fish House the Mayor and 8 staffers dined on the taxpayer's dime.

The needless expenditure of taxpayer dollars - $226.24 FOR LUNCH

The taxpayer provide lunch included:
  • 5 Specialty Salads at $14 each (EACH!)
  • 2 Cobia Fish of the Day at $11 each
  • 1 Farmer's salad $9.95
  • 1 MOMA Salad $10.95 with salmon ADD $3.95
  • 1 MOMA Salad $10.95 with chicken ADD $2.95
  • 1 Fish House Club $8.95
If you add that up it's 11 meals.  The receipt states 9 attendees. 


How is "bring me back something" a taxpayer expense?

Some attendees included (trying to read the back of the receipt backwards):
  • Dick Barker. The City's Financial Watchdog stuffed his face at Citizen expense.
  • Bill
  • John Asmar, Contractor
  • Travis Peterson, Contractor

Why does the taxpayer need to pay for expensive lunches for employees and contractors who work together everyday?

Another taxpayer's entire City property taxes consumed in an hour!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hayward Spencer Party Like Rock Stars In Baltimore at Taxpayer Expense

It's good to be the King and his mini-me at the taxpayer's expense.

$137.66 for Spencer and Hayward to have dinner (without drinks)

While attending the Conference of Mayors in Baltimore in 2011, Hayward and Spencer dined at the very posh PAZO restaurant.  Here is what Zagat had to say about PAZO:


"The most beautiful people in Baltimore come to this Harbor East "knockout" from Charleston's Tony Foreman, where "inspired entrees are served in a "dramatic" "renovated warehouse" featuring "soaring ceilings", "sumptuous seating" and "stunning" "jewel-toned décor"; "well executed cocktails" augment the "killer vibe" P.S. the "valet is a plus." Zagat - 2012
Of course the Mayor and Julius must visit where the beautiful people go!!
What did they dine on?  It appears very exclusive tapas.


For those like me that don't know the finer things like Hayward and Spencer let me help you with the help of Wikipedia:
"The first jamones ibéricos were released for sale in the United States in December 2007, with the bellota hams due to follow in July 2008. The basic jamón ibérico is priced upwards of $52 a pound, and the bellota is priced upwards of $96 a pound, making these hams some of the most expensive in the world."
Hayward stayed at the Hilton for 3 nights (16, 17, 18) from the receipt, however, the taxi receipt below shows he left his hotel at 10:15PM on the 18th to go to 1200 Steuart Street.
A quick internet search shows that address is a condo development of high end condos
FYI - Our Mayor logs every cab ride and expense for reimbursement but interesting there is not a return cab receipt to the Hilton from the condo development.
Maybe he went to the wine bar located at the building.
Maybe he walked back to the hotel.
Maybe not?
All of this at your and my expense!  Let's assume best case for Hayward, bar hopping at 10:15pm on the City's dime?  City business at 10:15pm at a condo development?  Hmmm!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Big Doggin for Southwest

In this little morsel found in the additional documents obtained by the Federal Grand Jury in October was this receipt of the Mayor's buddies and him Big Doggin Southwest Airlines Bob Montgomery in a dinner at the ONLY place to Big Dog, Jackson's.

On the taxpayer funded menu:
  • Salmon $29 per plate
  • Chicken $25 per plate
  • Petite Filet $29 per plate
  • Grouper with lump crabmeat $41 per plate.
  • The KC Strip with Shrimp $66 per plate
  • A splitbone ribeye $49 per plate
  • Regular Filet $34 per plate
The total bill was $628.80 including a $104.80 tip. 

Now what is interesting was the list of millionaires that dined at the City's expense.

I'm sure none of these leaders could afford to go "dutch"
  • Julian McQueen
  • Jerry Pate
  • Jim Andrews
  • Quint Studer
  • Fred Levin
  • Bob Montgomery
Based on the email, Melinda Crawford, the Airport Director, didn't get to go, she just got stuck with the bill.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Evidently Federal Investigation Not Over

I have received via a public records request additional documents which were provided to the US Attorney's office subsequent to the documents presented to a Federal Grand Jury in September.

The additional documents and council videos relate primarily to the Mayor's expenses, the Main Street reconstruction project and the banking relationship with ServisFirst Bank. 

The subsequent documents appear to show that contrary to the Mayor's statements that the investigation is over, the investigation may be in fact continuing.

The most interesting documents noted so far in my review relate to a PNJ article by Jamie Page regarding the Mayor flying on the private plane of Fred Levin to a Reuben Askew event in Orlando early in his first term.  In the article below, an attorney for the Florida Commission on Ethics states that the flight should be reported as a gift or he should have paid the value of the gift back to Levin.


In a previous post, I have established that Hayward has never reported a gift to the State.

The only questions for the Feds is did he write the check he stated he did and did it include not only the flight but his admission cost into the event and if he stayed over the Friday night any other expenses such as hotel and other costs.

It appears that, as the article states Mr. Levin is not only a family friend and political supporter of the Mayor, his law firm was a vendor to the City at the time.

Since that time Mr. Levin has financed the $1 million purchase of Hallmark School for an LLC of which I understand the Mayor is a member.

Even if Hayward paid Levin back, it continues to show a pattern of the Mayor using City vendors for access to political, sports and other events.

Based on the Wernowsky article above and the Mayor's own statements to the press both the Levin contract and the Jerry Pate work were all no bid work, granted by the Mayor, to political supporters and friends, with perks for the Mayor included.

Am I missing something?

And then there is the green Range Rover.....

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mayor's Green Range Rover

I am seeking any information anyone has on a green Range Rover the Mayor was reportedly driving shortly after his first election.

It reportedly had a "Mayor, Official Business" sticker on the windshield and a license plate that was a custom tag with "Mayor" as the tag numbers.

If you have any information, please pass it to me anonymously on the blog, or push it to me through email.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dicksblog Derek Does Not Like Shoe on Other Foot

Dicksblog Derek Cosson has filed a stalking complaint against Liz Watkins. 

Cosson Complaint

The complaint was filed from City Hall and alleges Watkins:
  • harassed and intimidated him
  • posted defamatory comments
  • disseminated unauthorized personal materials
  • attempted to interfere with his employment.
Cosson alleges Watkins actions have caused him substantial emotional distress.

It is widely known that Watkins has been filming for a documentary on problems with the City Charter, City corruption allegations and the actions of the Hayward Administration.  She has interviewed dozens of people in town for their thoughts on the actions of the Hayward administration including me.  She has noted her documentary dozens of times on the record at Council meetings and Cosson has been undeniably deeply involved in many of the controversies surrounding the Mayor since being hired by Hayward with little or no formal education or experience in 2011.

Cosson has had a turbulent history at City Hall including pleading no contest to sunshine violations, being reprimanded, caught blogging under fictitious names and most recently authoring Dicksblog.

Cosson Charges



I am in receipt of many of the audio and video ramblings of Cosson which are in fact troubling. I obtained them directly from an open source blog on the internet. I have not decided if I will publish them.

In my opinion, they do form a pattern that very much could impact whether Cosson should be employed by the City.

One thing is for sure, if Cosson has formal charges filed, Watkins will hit the MOTHER LOAD of ability to depose UNDER OATH Ashton Hayward, Tamara Fountain, John Asmar, Colleen Castille, and a multitude of others at City Hall to see just what in fact they knew or directed with regards to his actions at the City.

I have inquired about the Mayor's and the City's position about a City employee suing a City Citizen but have not received a reply.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tricky Dick at it Again!

In the Nov 10 agenda conference package is a year end budget reappropriation proposed by CityAdminstrator/CFO/Shellgamer Dick Barker.

In what has become a tradition of shuffling the "budget" for LAST fiscal year around after the year has ended to match what happened, Barker puts a memo forward "informing" council about the proposed changes he is bringing forward.

It is full of Tricky Dick speak, intentional NONSPEAK and glossovers.

Here is a little Barker's spew and then the truth:
  • Barker - "Estimated revenues within the Community Maritime Park Management Services Fund have been decreased based on FY2014 actual revenues"
  • What the Data Shows - Budgeted Event Management Revenue $186,500 Actual Event Management Revenue $0
Hmmm.  Real informative Dick!

The City made more money off of public records requests ($2,432) than managing the CMPA events.  ($0)

Port Dockage exceeded budget but was curiously not noted by Barker in his memo.

Barker spends time detailing explanations for golf and tennis but doesn't discuss most of the nine (9) pages of budget shuffles.

And, oh by the way, no account numbers are provided with big categories such as Personal Services and Operating Expenses used instead of account level detail.  This way the real shuffling is left to Barker on an account by account basis.

Transparent as black hole!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Misuse of Office? Who else has these?

I was coming out of Apple Market this weekend and noticed this sticker on a VW SUV.  It says "Mayor, City of Pensacola, Official Business".  It appears to be the car of City contractor Laura Bogan, the Mayor's personal and campaign photographer.
  • How many stickers have been issued stating "Mayor, City of Pensacola, Official Business"?
  • To who?
  • What benefits do they provide?
  • If they have no benefit, why are they issued?
  • If they do have a benefit, why are they issued to contractors?
  • Why does the Mayor need a personal photographer?
  • We have money for personal Mayor photographers but not for Council staff?
  • Who has bloated the government more, Council or His Royal Highness?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jerry Pate Used Main Street Project Owners Rep Role to Push Jerry Pate Irrigation Products

In a previous post, I showed how Jerry Pate was not the low bidder for the Owners Representative role for the Main Street Redevelopment but the Mayor chose him anyway for the role.

November 17, 2011- the Mayor used Jerry Pate Designs work on the Admiral Mason Park which was not even under contract as the basis for awarding them an additional COR contract for the Main Street project..


Question: Why would Jerry Pate want to be the Owners Rep for a street project?
Answer:  To push its irrigation products from the inside by requiring them in the BID SPECS for the job?

Documents Obtained from Federal Subpoena Information

Bates (I) 001093- August 23, 2011 - Brian Spencer informs Derrik Owens "the Mayor has indicated that Steve Dana (Jerry Pate) is officially a team member of the current Main St. improvement project" cc: Steve Dana; Ashton Hayward

Derrik Owens responds that he has notified Atkins.

Bates (I) 001141 - August 26, 2011 - Owens to Spencer, Dana, Hayward, Garza, Helms, Coby, and Reynolds  - Discussions regarding project, estimates, and the RFP.

A project manual is prepared on major projects.  This manual states the requirements of each area of the project.  For his project the manual specifies the types of gravel, asphalt, bedding, plant material, and equipment installed.  This document also has blueprint drawings of what the project will look like and where everything is to go.

For the Mainstreet project, the irrigation blue print plans and specifications were written up by Jerry Pate Design.
  • The drawings clearly have the Jerry Pate logo.
  • The electric valves 1.5" are specified to be TORO products.
  • The Decoder is specified to be TORO products.
  • The Flood unreadable 2.0 GPM is specified to be RAINBIRD products.
  • The installation instructions for the irrigation equipment is DIRECTLY FROM THE TORO COMPANY MANUAL.  Look right underneath pictures in small print.
Actual Engineering Drawings from the Project Manual are included in the documents below


It must be nice to get your lifelong friend the Mayor to select your company (who was not the low bidder) as Owners Representative so that your guy on the job can require your products to be purchased and included on the project.

That's having your cake (at City expense) and eating it too (at City expense)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hmm...Rack of Lamb Dinner, Entertainment and Limo; Masters Passes; US Open Tix; Beard House; WGHOF Induction; Sugar Bowl; and the ST Airplane ETC, ETC, ETC

From: "Carbonell, Carolyn" ;;
Date: Oct 28, 2014 12:54 PM
Subject: RE: Public Records Request
To: "" <>
Cc: "disclosure" <>

Maren DeWeese,

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Florida Commission on Ethics.   There are no Form 9 Gift disclosures filed by Ashton J. Hayward, Mayor of Pensacola for the time requested.

If we can be of any further assistance please contact our office.

Thank You,

Carolyn Carbonell
Financial Disclosure Section
Florida Commission on Ethics
Post Office Drawer 15709
Tallahassee, FL 32317-5709

From: Maren DeWeese []
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 1:33 PM
To: disclosure
Subject: Public Records Request

Ms. Taylor,

Could I obtain copies of all gift disclosure Form 9's submitted by Ashton J. Hayward, Mayor of Pensacola from January 1, 2011 through today.

Thank you for your assistance.

Warmest regards,

Maren DeWeese
2435 Semoran Drive
Pensacola, FL 32503

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why Wait Til Thursday? In Weekly endorses:

  • Charlie Crist (D)
  • George Sheldon (D)
  • Clay Ingram (R)
  • Mike Hill (R)
  • Jeff Miller (R)
  • Jeff Atwater (R)
  • Adam Putnam (R)
  • Doug Underhill (R)
  • Grover Robinson (R)
  • Donna Clark
  • Sherri Myers
  • Brian Spencer
  • Linda Moultrie
  • Thomas Campanella
Yes to both Charter Amendments

State Amendments
  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. No

But what did Outzen say when the InWeekly was founded?

Plain Talk states
  • We will NOT endorse political candidates.
  • The Independent will NOT be running an editorial every week.
  • Our comments will be guided by the issue, not a political platform or personal belief.
  • Ummm.....
Outzen's hypocrisy still knows no bounds.


Doug Underhill?? Surely there is an explanation?

Ran across this little nugget:

Underhill Campaign Report

Total Monetary Contributions to Date - $ 85,641.00
Total Monetary Expenditures to Date - $ 86,193.20


No candidate, campaign manager, treasurer, deputy treasurer, or any person acting on behalf of the foregoing, shall authorize any expenses, unless there are sufficient funds on deposit in the primary depository account of the candidate to pay the
full amount of the authorized expense, to honor all other checks draw on such account, which checks are outstanding, and to meet all expenses previously authorized but not yet paid.

Sufficient funds means that the funds at issue have been delivered for deposit to the financial institution at which such account is maintained and not that such funds are available for withdrawal in accordance with the deposit rules or the funds availability policies of such financial institution.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Press Release by the Attorney for Ann Regan

Below is a press release from the Attorney for Ann Regan in her case involving campaign signs allegedly stolen from a yard in the Historic District.  I have edited the release to change the name of the investigating officer, the home owner and Chief Simmons wife as their identities appear to me to be incidental to the releases intent or may be protected by statute.

As a result of Crystal Spencer, wife of Brian Spencer, calling the Chief of Police Chip Simmons, a warrant was issued against my client, Ann Regan. Crystal Spencer called Chief Simmons on his cell phone and an investigation was initiated concerning missing Spencer signs.
Rather than advising Spencer to go through regular police channels to file a complaint, the Chief kept control over the case and sent [Assigned Officer] to investigate instead of a regular uniform patrol officer. It should be noted that Chief Simmons’ wife, [redacted] is employed by Crystal Spencer.

[Assigned Officer] tracked down the home owner as she was not the complaining party.

In fact, there was no formal complaint made until he confronted Ms. [Home Owner]. After speaking with Ms. [Home Owner] and others, [Assigned Officer] filed a police report that was absent Crystal Spencer’s initial involvement.

[Assigned Officer] had separate telephone conversations with Ann Regan and the other volunteer for Mark Taylor’s campaign regarding the missing signs. Ann Regan related to [Assigned Officer] that she had personally spoken to Ms. [Home Owner] and given her Mark Taylor literature and received permission to place his signs in front of her house. This was also stated by the other Mark Taylor volunteer. [Assigned Officer] failed to file any supplemental report outlining these facts as they were presented to him. This exchange was never reported with his report stating in relevant part, “On 9-29-14, I responded to a complaint of a theft at 201 S. Alcaniz. I made contact with the homeowner, Ms. [Home Owner].”
It appears from the report that Ms. [Home Owner] called law enforcement, she did not.

Crystal Spencer’s response to comments made by Diane Mack in the Pensacola News Journal was, “Ms. Mack, this is not Brian Spencer pointing fingers. Apparently, this is a citizen who is upset that someone would enter her property who is not authorized to do so and remove her property.”

It should be noted that Ann Regan is Ms. [Home Owner]’s neighbor and the other volunteer has known Ms. [Home Owner] for many years on a friendly basis.

In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, Mayor Hayward instituted a policy that city council members were to go through his office with any communications that were to be delivered to any of the city department heads. This included the Chief of Police.

Chief Simmons should have advised Crystal Spencer to address her concerns through regular police channels like any other citizen of the City of Pensacola. This would ensure an impartial investigation would be conducted to get to the truth of the matter.

Had a regular tax paying citizen made the complaint instead of Crystal Spencer, wife of a local politician, then it is doubtful a warrant would have been issued. However, it seems some citizens are more regular than others.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Asst. Director FL Division of Elections...Pensacola Charter a "Circuitous Mess"

In ducking out of "contributiongate", Greg Marcille states:

"The question that ultimately must be decided is whether there is one election or two for purposes of campaign contributions.  In an email to Supervisor of Elections David Stafford, the Assistant Director of the Divisions of Elections has failed to answer the question but indicated that an argument can be made for both positions."

Ultimately, Mr. Marcille just tells me to take it up with Messer and the Division of Elections.  He's out!

The Assistant Director of Elections stated to Stafford about our charter:

"It's a circuitous mess which should be placed in the hands of the City Attorney to interpret the Charter."

What a jacked up document our charter is:
  • powers vs. duties
  • veto powers
  • election processes
  • staff vs. no staff
  • etc etc etc
Charter Mama, thanks for the worst document in the history of Florida government.

Hi ho, hi ho its off to court we go!

Marcille: I'm out!

Hialeah Only Holds Primaries 1 Week Before General Election

No way to abide by the states primary and general campaign finance timelines.

Section 5.03. - Primary elections.
A primary election shall be held 1 week prior to each general election, provided that 2 or more people are seeking the office of mayor or that 2 or more people are seeking the office of councilmember in any particular group.
If only 2 people seek the office of mayor, their names shall appear at the primary election, and the person receiving the highest number of votes at such primary election for the office of mayor shall be deemed elected.
If only 2 people seek the office of councilmember in any particular group, their names shall appear at the primary election and the person receiving the highest number of votes at such primary election for the office of councilmember in any particular group shall be deemed elected.
If there are more than 2 candidates for the office of mayor or for any particular councilmember group seat, then there shall be a primary election conducted for that office.
If a primary election is conducted for either the office of mayor or for any particular councilmember group seat, and any candidate receives a majority (50% plus 1 vote) of all the votes canvassed and certified for the office sought, then the candidate receiving such majority vote shall be deemed elected.
(Ord. No. 2000-53, § 1, 6-13-2000)
  • Section 5.04. - General elections.
    General elections shall be held on the second Tuesday of November of each odd numbered year.
  • Broward County Spells It Out...Looks Like a Messer Mess for Sure

    Municipal Election Information

    Municipalities have governing bodies whereby the members are elected by the voters.  Each of the 31 municipalities in Broward has a Charter which stipulates the term of the office and the frequency of the elections.  Until 2004, all Broward municipalities held their elections the second Tuesday in March.  One city also requires a Primary Election and that is held the second Tuesday in February.  These are called stand-alone elections and the municipalities bear the costs for the election.

    Other municipalities have now moved their elections to the General Election in even numbered years and their candidates are listed after the other non-partisan offices listed on the ballot.  Referendum questions are listed after the state and county questions.  Municipalities are permitted to move their elections by virtue of the passage of special legislation.

    Early Voting – Unlike the County, Early Voting is optional for municipalities if it is a stand alone election.  Since the inception of Early Voting, no municipalities have opted to offer Early Voting.

    Absentee Ballots – As in all other elections, municipal voters have the option to vote by absentee.  Requests can be made to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections’ Office in person, e-mail, phone call or in writing.

    Candidate Qualifying - The criteria required for an elected office is contingent upon the requisites of the level of the office desired.  Where the candidates file their respective campaign documents and where they qualify is dependent on the level of the office.  For candidates running for Municipal offices, the qualifying officer is the Municipal Clerk.  All campaign documents are therefore filed with the Municipal Clerk.
    Qualifying dates for the 2014 elections are as follows:
        Election:                                                               Qualifying:     
    March 11, 2014 Municipal General Elections Noon, January 2 to noon, January 9, 2014
    November 4, 2014 Municipal General Elections Noon, June 16 to noon, June 20, 2014

    Note: In a year when there is a Presidential Preference Primary, the municipalities scheduled to vote in March may change their election to coincide with that election.

    Campaign Financing - Any information regarding campaign contributions and expenditures will be contained within the campaign files in the office of the Municipal Clerk.  These files are open to public inspection and copies of the reports may be purchased.

    Polling Places – Municipalities are responsible for securing the polling places for a stand alone election.  They use the same facilities as the Supervisor of Elections, unless the location is not available.

    Leon County SOE refers to City Elections as "Municipal"

    Leon County SOE states that a "municipal primary" is only held if more than two candidates on the ballot.  Otherwise just a General Municipal election.

    Link to Leon SOE on City Commission Races

    Additionally, the Leon Charter limits campaign contributions to $250 REGARDLESS of the State statute of $1,000.

    So it looks like a Charter can over rule the state statute, Mr. Messer.

    Facts aren't lining up well here in Escambia for the Messer Mess of 2014.

    Does this mean anything to anyone?

    Hayward Attest to Campaign Finance

    He signed it. 

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Post 4 of 4: Messer to SOE; Not MY Issue, Back Over To You

    City Attorney Jim Messer, a nice guy, weighed in with his hefty legal analysis of the campaign finance debate by essentially stating that it was the SOE's issue under Florida Statutes.

    He does give the SOE this advise:

    "I would remind you that the regulatory authority established to implement the Florida Election Code, the Florida Division of Elections, has a statutory duty to render a binding legal opinion if you asked."

    Thanks for being such a stand up attorney Jim.  By the way, your contract is up December 15th.

    Your outstanding legal opinions, analysis and championing of all things legal in Pensacola has rewritten the standards by which all future and past City Attorney's will be measured.

    Cue the Circus Music Please!

    Messer: Not me!

    Post 3 of 4: SAO weighs in on Campaign Contributions

    Post 2 of 4: Myers asked SOE, SOE weighs in on her process.

    Sherri Myers sent me this email:


    Here are the facts regarding how I came to obtain two contributions from Ann Regan that total over $1,000.00.  Ann Regan gave me campaign funds before the before the primary.  After the primary she offered to give me $950.00. 

    I went personally down to the Supervisor of Elections Office and discussed my situation with [SOE Staff].  [SOE staff] knows the city did not have a primary.  [SOE staff] told me emphatically that it was legal for me to accept Ann's contribution.  I had every reason to rely upon the advice given to me by the supervisor of elections office regarding this matter.

    I believe Mark Taylor sent you a copy of Jim Messer's opinion.  But, regardless of Ms. Messer's opinion, I can assure you that the state attorney was not contemplating prosecuting me for campaign violations.

    Even if it were a violation - it was a mistake based on what the supervisor of elections office told me I could do and the money would just have to be given back. Thank you for the good investigative work you do - but I would appreciate your letting your readers know the facts that I have set forth in this e-mail. 

    Thanks Sherri

    This is another hot mess.
    • SOE office gives advise and instruction.
    • Sherri follows SOE advise and instruction.
    • Donator to Myers also donates to Taylor based on Myers advise from SOE.
    • Charter Mama goes thermo-nuclear.
    • I file a complaint on Hayward with the SAO.
    • When complaints are filed, SOE calls Florida Division of Elections.
    • Florida Division of Elections advises to seek opinion of City Attorney.
    • Anyone want to guess what the City Attorney does?
    You will love it!

    Of course, since a CRIME is involved the SAO is also preparing his statement in the background I'm sure.

    Post 1 of 4: SOE and State of Florida to City Attorney...Campaign contributions your issue!!

    On Friday, the supervisor of elections office issued the following email concerning the $1,000 per election contribution issue.

    Good afternoon City Candidates:

    The question as to whether a City candidate who will only be on the General Election ballot is able to accept up to $1000 for the Primary election and up to another $1000 for the General Election from the same contributor has been posed.  We contacted the Florida Division of Elections for clarification who advised us to seek the opinion of the City Attorney which we have done. Once we receive a response, we will forward it on to you.

    Thank you.

    Sounds like the State of Florida and the SOE office consider the issue to be one that City Attorney Messer must opine on.

    That usually clears things up!  Stay tuned to see what happens next.

    Of course, since a CRIME is involved the SAO is also preparing his statement in the background I'm sure.

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Charter Mama Up in Arms...Could She Tank the Mayor?

    I was told late Friday that Charter Mama Crystal Spencer has been making charges against Sherri Myers and Mark Taylor for the exact same thing I made charges against the Mayor for...accepting more than $1,000 PER ELECTION. 

    It just may be that Spencer and I can read the same charter passage and come to the same conclusion that being that all three of the candidates may have committed misdemeanors.

    Myers accepted greater than $1,000 from
    Regan $500
    Regan $950

    Taylor accepted greater than $1,000 from
    Regan $500
    Regan $800

    What will the SAO do in this matter?
    Was he ready to charge Myers and Taylor before the Mayor's actions were revealed?

    Is everyone getting arrested?
    Does everyone go free?
    Will the SAO address this issue with an opinion?

    If left up to Charter Mama, sounds like it will be a race for top bunk between Taylor and the Mayor.

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    Another Campaign Finance Violation?

    Last year Florida revised its campaign laws to increase the maximum contribution PER ELECTION to $1,000.

    Violation of this law is a first degree misdemeanor. 

    In reviewing Hayward's campaign finance reports, I noted that Hayward accepted not one but two (2) $1,000 contributions from at least 2 different contributors.  I looked at the Florida Statutes as well as the Florida Campaign Finance Handbook which said only $1,000 PER ELECTION.

    Levin 1
    Levin 2
    OBrien 1
    OBrien 2

    I reviewed the City Charter to see what it said about City elections.  The charter is clear.

    Pensacola has one General Election and a Runoff Election if needed per the Charter.  There is no Primary.

    (a) General and Primary Elections. City Council shall make all necessary arrangements for holding the regular City elections and shall declare the results thereof. The general election for contests with three (3) or more candidates shall be held on the date of the primary election established by general law for election of State and County officers. The runoff election for the two (2) candidates receiving the greatest number of votes at the primary election, where none received a majority, shall be held on the date of the general election established by general law for election of State and County officers. The general election for contests when there are only two (2) candidates shall be held on the date of the general election established by general law for election of State and County officers.

    • 3 or More Candidates equals a General with a Runoff Election
    • Only 2 Candidates equals a General only
    The State statute clearly states per election in the statute.  The Mayor could have asked for additional contributions over the $1,000 ONLY if he was in a runoff.

    The Mayor is claiming that he gets to reload his campaign accounts with second donations over the $1,000 because the State and County primaries have passed and that was an election.  And that the General election is a second election.

    That's not what the charter says. 

    Now in order to get around the Charter the Mayor claims state law applies.

    Let's be real.  Hayward applies whatever he wants to whatever allows him to do whatever he wants.

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Campaign Finance Violation?

    Mayor Hayward has a little 'splaining to do.

    Here is a link to the Mayor's City operated Facebook page

    Here is a link to the Mayor's campaign Facebook page which correctly states in "About"  The official Facebook page of Mayor Ashton Hayward's re-election campaign. Paid by Ashton Hayward for Mayor of Pensacola

    Here is the issue.  Go back through the photos on each Facebook page.  You will see the EXACT same photos from various events on both Facebook pages. 

    Who PAID for the pictures....the City or the Campaign? 

    Laura Bogan has a contract with the City, paid for with City dollars, to maintain the Mayor's City Facebook account.

    Bogan City Contract

    Laura Bogan is also being paid by the Ashton Hayward for Mayor campaign to operate its social media according to the below campaign finance report.

    Hayward Campaign Report

    Let's take the case of the ST Aerospace signing party the Mayor threw.  Remember the jets were gifts. (Lumon...reminder)

    Was Bogan there as a City contractor, on City dollars, taking pictures for the City and its Facebook page?

    If so, then City assets (Bogan's services) and resources (photos) have been used by the Hayward campaign to further Ashton Hayward the candidate without permission or reimbursement of the taxpayers.

    If Bogan was there as a campaign worker, then the Hayward campaign is using campaign material on the City Facebook page.  Also a violation of the law.

    Same for National Flight Academy event
    Same for Bayview event
    Same for Community cookout
    Same for Firefighter event.
    And on and on.

    I have screen shots of all pictures on both sites if anyone needs them.

    That's another Campfire "pro" caught in pickle. 


    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Despite Spencer...The Hummmmm of Money

    Anyone remember a $800,000 grant for shore power at the port so that Brian Spencer could appease his posse?

    Every time I am downtown I chuckle out loud listening to Global 1200 purr like a kitten right across the inlet from Spencer's posse.

    I know Spencer can feel the purr as he goes to sleep every night, as he wakes up every morning and as he plots his next insider deal.

    Folks, that purr is "dollar bills" for the Port of Pensacola.

    Global 1200, thank you for being here.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    CMPA NMTC: Where is the breakwater?

    A reader called me out yesterday regarding my support while on Council of the CMPA construction.  This prompted me to do some digging back into my efforts to make sure the park was built as promised.

    In the email string below, you will see an email that I sent to Messer and Hayward asking for clarification as to whether required components of the project under NMTC's were being changed.

    From: Maren Deweese
    Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 2:02 PM
    To: Jim Messer
    Cc: Ashton Hayward
    Subject: FW: Big Issue??
    Importance: High

    Good Afternoon,

    Have proposed changes to Maritime Park improvements been considered with regard to NTMC's and our requirements for project components? 

    Please advise as this may come up tonight and I need your answer. 


    Maren DeWeese                 
    Council President
    District 3 Representative
    2435 Semoran Drive
    Pensacola FL 32503-8203

    City Attorney Messer has no clue so he sends it off to the "2 Eds" and Al Coby.

    From: Jim Messer
    Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 2:10 PM
    To: Edward P. Fleming; Edward Spears; Al Coby
    Subject: FW: Big Issue??
    Importance: High

    What is most curious is the response from Ed Spear's below:

    From: Edward Spears
    Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 2:13 PM
    To: Jim Messer; 'Edward P. Fleming'; Al Coby
    Subject: RE: Big Issue??

    Yes, Ed Gray has been at the table during all discussions.  Mr. Gray is the single reason why the Breakwater remains in the project, as he would not allow it to be removed as a major asset under NMTC.  Thanks - Ed

    Edward E. Spears
    Neighborhood & Economic Development Administrator
    City of Pensacola
    222 West Main Street
    Pensacola, Florida 32502
    (850) 436-5655 (office)
    (850) 595-1143 (fax)

    • Where is the breakwater Mr. Gray?
    • Why did Gray not continue his insistence?
    • If it was a major asset under NMTC, where is it and how did it get removed?
    Now I'm sure that further review will show that the removal was done with full knowledge of the NMTC attorneys and such, but it just seems curious that the breakwater was promised, insisted on, and then dumped as the project crept along.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    CMPA Strategic Plan: Paid for but Unexecuted

    In April 2011, one year before the park opened, the CMPA commissioned a strategic planning process to begin the process of making the CMP be a vibrant active location for various community events.

    The plan stated:

    6. Programming
    The Community Maritime Park needs to develop a reputation as the premier regional " venue of choice" for fine education, sports, entertainment, cultural  and diverse festivals and events. In addition to maintaining the open space that attracts so many people, the CMPA needs to develop "proprietary" events to draw people into the Park and to also "vehicle" for CMPA fund-raising activities. Many of these events need become part of the Park‟s "signature events," the CMPA needs to develop such "signature" programs as the Maritime Park Concert Series, Maritime Park Music Festival, the Maritime Park Easter Egg Hunt, the Maritime Park Fishing Contest, Maritime Park New Year‟s Eve fireworks, Maritime Park Seafood Festival, Maritime Park Arts and Craft Festival and Maritime Park Children‟s Festival. Also, the CMPA should develop new cultural programs to meet the changing needs and diversity of the Park‟s users. To accomplish a diverse "programming strategy," the CMPA needs to develop an event marketing strategy and festival planning process in order to solicit, engage and contract with the many groups that want to sponsor their own events, festivals and other activities in the Park. The CMPA also should actively recruit and solicit the organizers of established regional events and festivals (i.e. Deluna Fest, Thunder on the Gulf, Panama City Jazz Festival, etc) to utilize the Maritime Park as the "new" venue for their existing and established entertainment and festival "properties."

    Sounds like what should have occurred. 

    • Who had this due out? Which committee?  Which Trustee?
    • Who was responsible for this event marketing strategy?
      • CMPA Trustees?
      • CMPA Executive Director?
      • SMG?
      • Parks & Rec?
      • Mayor Hayward?
      • The Festival Fairy?
    • The City has $56 million reasons to utilize this park, who is acting?
    • How many hours has the CMPA met to discuss THESE issues rather than how to change the current agreements?
    • Besides these types of events, what else could be held at the park?
      • Local business events?
      • Weddings?
      • Cookouts?
      • Church outings?
      • School events?  Anyone engage Malcolm Thomas


    Monday, October 6, 2014

    CMPA: Where are the Events?

    Dr. Jimmy Jones is a wonderful man.  He was put on the CMPA specifically to tie in the community organizations who stated over and over and over again that they would use the Maritime Park.  He had such high expectations for the CMP.

    In 2011, Dr. Jones chaired the Design Development Committee of the CMPA.  This committee met with:
    • The Crawfish Festival
    • The Seafood Festival
    • The Greater Gulfcoast Arts Festival and
    • The Jazz Society
    These organizations expressed their "needs" such as booth power, layout, and staging.


    It is now almost 2015.  Where are the festivals?

    Not until the Hayward administration directs that festivals WILL be held at the CMP will they move there.

    Otherwise, just like UWF and Dr. "Run for the Hills"  Bense, these organizations will be responsible for the City and the CMPA counting on their use of the CMP in the design development and spending of millions of dollars just to have them renege on their promises.

    Chairman Reeves, instead of attempting to squeeze Quint Studer for more money, why don't you use your position as head of the CMPA to push our community organizations to use the CMP for their events!

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    What Current City Staffer Also Had Campaign Sign Issues? Warning: Potty Mouth Language

    Based on the PNJ story below, sign wars are erupting in Pensacola.

    Well, members of Team Hayward also have some campaign sign stories to tell around the Campfire.

    Sent from a reader without alteration:

    Well I had a bit of a scare today. Let me fill you all in:

    A few weeks ago I noticed that someone had erected a "Re-Elect Sheriff Ron McNesby" sign right in my neighborhood. That annoyed me. Becuase I do not like Mr. Ron McNesby, seeing as he is a sexist, dirty, low-down liar and cheat and all. So I got my handy baseball bat and... "modified" the sign... the modification being the fact that it was no longer there.

    Anyway, I came home today and saw that someone had put up a new one. Aaarrggh! You just can't win with these McNesby fucks! So I got the ol' trusty baseball bat out again and fucked that sign up. But this time, a McNesby sympathiser saw me!

    Apparently, what I did was illegal. Now, seeing as the sign was on public property, I didn't think it was. But I guess I was wrong. I'd been home for about 5 or 10 minutes when 2 Sheriff's Department patrol cars pulled up at my house.

    "Criminal Mischief" they called it. My ass. More like "Removing That Asshole's Sign From My Fucking Neighborhood"... Well, anyhoo, my mother, being an amazing person and all, talked me out of all the trouble I was in. Coz she hates McNesby too. We actually agree on something. It's rare and nice.

    So that was my exciting adventurous day of stupid decisions!
    Can you guess the City Staff member?

    Congratulations Mayor...Best Community Disappointment/Letdown

    In the InWeekly's "Best of" issue tomorrow, Mayor Ashton Hayward wins for Best Community Disappointment/Letdown.

    Don't worry Mayor Hayward, you have been the reigning champion of that category at Maren's Blog Dot Biz for 4 consecutive years!

    Monday, September 29, 2014

    Molton Allen Williams...Asmar/Freeman/ Hayward...What Outzen Won't Tell You

    In his blog post regarding the Molton Allen Williams bid, the Asmar Weekly states:

    "The last set of documents concerned the insurance broker services. Stuart Freeman of Molton, Allen & Williams approached the city believing that he could save the city money by consolidating all the insurance policies under one broker (Freeman ), at the time the city had five firms – Carriers

    The city bid out the business – six bids were received. There is nothing in the Request of Qualifications that appears to have given Molton, Allen & Williams an advantage (Broker RFQ ). Six companies appear to have met all the qualifications."

    Well, lets break down the facts and the timeline linking each to documents:
    • September 23, 2011- MAW inquires of Asmar "Drinks on Tuesday?  Global?"  Elisabeth Buswell of the City responds " Mr. Asmar can meet you at 5:30pm on Tuesday..."  Here's a question.  The email from MAW to Asmar goes only to his Asmar Law Firm account but the response comes from Buswell at the City. No forwarding is reflected.  
    • October 2011 - Dinner at Jacksons where MAW executives meet and greet with the Mayor and his staff to propose the idea of their company becoming the broker of record for the City.
    • Throughout October City staff is made available to inform MAW about everything regarding the City's insurance.
    • November 8, 2011 2:59pm - The email Outzen reflects as Freeman above was sent ONLY to John Asmar at his Asmar Law Firm email.  Key terms: 
      • "Good to see you last month"  So October 2011.
      • "If appointed".  Its a RFQ situation
      • "Here is what we know, have recently learned"  inside access?
      • "You (Asmar) asked me to "make the case" for using our firm"  His words!
      • "I have a meeting with Dick Barker, Jim Odom, Sherrer Kuchera and Tracy Walsh on Thursday November 10th.  I need your direction on how to proceed prior to this meeting."  What direction?  Why would Asmar direct to proceed as this must be bid?
      • "MAW is the exclusive P&C broker for the following clients based in Pensacola:
        • Baptist Health Care
        • Lakeview Center
        • Pensacola Christian College
    • November 9, 2011 - Asmar meets with MAW at Happy Pig at 4:30pm
    • January 18, 2012 12:37pm - Asmar sends MAWs "case for using MAW" to Hayward's private yahoo account for review prior to dinner
    • January 18, 2012 - Private Dinner between MAW executives, Hayward, Asmar and Reynolds.  Private home on the beach.  Private chef. Rack of Lamb.  Chauffeured car for the Mayor.
    • February 8, 2012 - City staff post the RFQ to the City website.  Barker immediately (within 5 minutes) notifies Asmar.
    • February 9, 2012 - Bid 12-016 is issued for Property Insurance Broker of Record Services.  Three months after the November 8, 2011 case for Molten Allen Williams was made to Asmar and a month following the rack of lamb dinner.
      • The bid required:
        • "References of at least two (2) Pensacola area clients with total insurable values in excess of $50,000,000"
    • February 21, 2012 - McMahon & Hadder emailed the City asking:
    "Pursuant to the Submission Instructions, Item #8 (please see attached PDF where I have highlighted this item in yellow). the criterion states, "References of at least two (2) Pensacola area clients with total insurable values in Excess of $50,000,000 in which you as Agent/Agency) are retail insurance Agent/Agency providing "property Insurance - Broker Services"

    "Based on the demographics of the Pensacola area, there are a limited number of entities whose insurance property values total $50,000,000+"

    "My questions are as follows:
    • Was item #8 in the RFQ meant to eliminate any Agent/Agency/Broker who is not already the Agent/Agency/Broker of at least two large property accounts?
    • If the above is a pre-requite, does the fact that our agency submitted a very competitive proposal for the City of Pensacola's last RFP and possesses extensive experience in catastrophic claims situations overcome this obstacle?

    • March 13, 2012 - Bids opened.
      • Six responses:
        1. Arthur Gallagher Risk Management
        2. Fisher Brown Bottrell
        3. FL League of Cities
        4. McMahon & Hadder
        5. MAW
        6. Public Risk Insurance Agency
      • Only two bids are compliant due to the clause "References of at least two (2) Pensacola area clients with total insurable values in Excess of $50,000,000".  The proposals reflect as to item #8:
        1. Arthur Gallagher Risk Management - Only Escambia County Schools
        2. Fisher Brown Bottrell - Only West Florida Medical Center Clinic
        3. FL League of Cities - ECUA and Area Housing Commission but No Original copy, No debarment and No Addendum; Non compliant
        4. McMahon & Hadder - None
        5. MAW - Baptist Health Care, Pensacola Christian College
        6. Public Risk Insurance Agency - Many but Santa Rosa County is closest.
    • March 28, 2012 - City Insurance Consultant Jim Odom meets with Asmar and recommends MAW as the Broker of Record.
    • April 10, 2012 - Odom sends an email confirming the meeting and recommendation.
    • April 14, 2012 - Asmar forwards the recommendation email to Hayward at his email address.
    • Asmar/Hayward gave MAW unequal access to review any data and discuss any matter with City staff they needed to advise how the RFQ should appear.
    • Asmar/Hayward both had the proposal from MAW via "the case for MAW" before the RFQ was ever issued as it was used as the requirements in being a qualified bidder. 
    • The RFQ was written with "the case for MAW" as the outline such that ONLY one firm could be compliant with the requirements.
    • What was communicated to Jim Odom regarding the MAW proposal by Asmar?
    • Was there any "extra" entertainment provided at the dinner on the beach as I have heard?
    • Was Stuart Freeman dating Mayor Hayward's sister Lauren at the time as I have heard?
    • What if anything did the City "save" in using MAW or a new expense to the City?
    • Why would Outzen not mention all of the above facts and say "There is nothing in the Request of Qualifications that appears to have given Molton, Allen & Williams an advantage (Broker RFQ ). Six companies appear to have met all the qualifications."
    Here is an answer to the last of those questions!!!