Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The CBRE RFP...Condos and Marinas? Not what was Promised!!!!


Above is the link to the now infamous CBRE RFP that Council will get stuck with dealing with.
CBRE Agency
All respondents will be responsible to pay a success fee or commission to CBRE, Inc. as the City and CMPA’s representative. Said commission should be considered and calculated as part of your development costs. A four percent (4%) commission will be calculated on the projected development cost proposed by your organization to include land and all hard and soft costs of the proposed development. Offerors will be required to submit a proposed project budget as part of their submittal.
In reading the RFP I have several additional questions which might want to be answered:

  • Can the Build America Bonds used to finance the park go towards what essentially is a condo development?
From the RFP...

If the market could support it, there are may be opportunities for multi-story residential condominium project. Research suggests that 2,000 units of multifamily housing were lost in the immediate area following Hurricane Ivan. While this presents an opportunity to rebuild and replace those units to modern standards, current market
conditions render for-rent housing uneconomical.

Anyone tell Quint that his for-rent housing project downtown was uneconomical?

It continues:


Based on market trends and our recent experience in the Pensacola MSA, we do not believe that a for-rent multifamily project is economically viable at the subject site at this time. However, a mixed-use boutique condominium project is likely to be viewed more favorably by the investment market. We have outlined below some recent and relevant data points to substantiate our position.

Here's a link to what the Treasury Department says Build Americas Bonds can be used for: The capital projects these bonds fund include work on public buildings, courthouses, schools, transportation infrastructure, government hospitals, public safety facilities and equipment, water and sewer projects, environmental projects, energy projects, government housing projects and public utilities.

  • A private marina was NEVER in the plans.  Just a "day use"  marina but that does not appear what was marketed.
Permits have been granted by the Army Corp of Engineers to create breakwater at the Southwest corner of Maritime Park which creates a terrific opportunity for a marina adjacent to and incorporated into the probable hotel, conference center and resort development of Lot 8.
A “Destination Downtown” resort with hotel, restaurant, patio bar and ancillary wet slips would complement the City’s goals to bring more business to the downtown Bayfront area.
Another exclusive Marina for the rich?  Can you imagine the condo owners letting people fish from the dock or from their exclusive sidewalks?
This project is turning the Condominium Mayor's Park rather than the Community Maritime Park.



Friday, March 27, 2015

Was Castille "Separated" for Saying No to GOBs

Former City Administrator Colleen Castille left the City abruptly and without much explanation.  Many theories as to why have been floated.

Based on my review of various documents surrounding her tenure, I am coming to believe that she may have been "separated" for not playing GOB ball with the P'cola Branch of the Good Ole Boys of America.

Fact 1
She was instrumental in the decision to go after Seville Harbour and the Fish House for the sweetheart lease that has developed into full blown litigation.

Fact 2
She was instrumental in the decision to select OHM for the Airport Concessions contract over a group that included several local restaurants "licensing" their brands to a proposer.

Then I stumbled over this nugget from an email to GOB Ray Russenberger when he asked for a list of City properties available for sale.

"But Ray, I have to be up front.  The deals on city owned property will not look like the deals the city made in 1985 or 90.  While we are hoping to encourage development and we award and recognize those who want to help make Pensacola a better place, in today's political climate and economic climate we have to be more open about letting potential buyers know we have properties available and be more transparent in our dealings."
Wow!  Stances like these could pose a problem in this City Hall.
Her Boss has no problem with cronyism based on his comments about cutting contracts to buddies and pals.
Her replacement COO Tamara Fountain has no problem with cronyism based on her husband's law firm representing folks before the City.

At Pensacola City Hall, if you SCRUTINATE and you must SEPARATE.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Who is the Real Mayor?

Everywhere you look in Pensacola, you see a sign, banner, mailout, billboard or web post that Ashton J. Hayward III is the Mayor of Pensacola.

But who is really running the City?

We all know that John F. Asmar as Chief of Staff outwardly ran the City along with his cohort Rick (We need some minorities) Outzen.


But Asmar's time passed and Colleen Castille came to town as the City's CAO.

Castille's year came to an abrupt end as City COO Tamara Fountain took charge and Castille's threat against the Fish House turned into litigation.

But Fountain is just the enforcer.  Who is writing the Mayor's script.  Based on the email found in recent public records request the answer is none other than Bob Kerrigan.  And notice he uses the YAHOO account, not the City email of the puppet.  The same folks that want to skewer Hillary Clinton don't mind the Mayor avoiding the sunshine.  See the latest episode of Within Reason at WUWF.

Here are my suggestions.  I will have Rachel, my paralegal longstanding, incorporate in a final document.  I have made suggestions only involving the opening portions.  The remainder of it is I think very good. 

From: Bob Kerrigan
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2012 7:07 AM
To: Rachel Aldridge
Subject: FW: minor changes to budget message

could you incorporate these changes into a finished document?

From: Bob Kerrigan
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2012 1:56 PM
To: 'ashtonhayward@yahoo.com'
Subject: minor changes to budget message

Ashton:  the changes that were the most needed to me were in the first three or four paragraphs.  The rest of it looked very good.  I enclose the red line changes.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ed Spears, the Power is Yours My Friend

With the "separation" of Ed Spears from the City, the biggest potential source of what has occurred in the City's biggest development in the past few years may come to light.

  • Did the Mayor and Asmar knowingly attempt to shakedown Quint Studer over his "2nd" Maritime Park donation? http://inweekly.net/wordpress/?p=6282
  • How much pressure did the Mayor put on the CMPA contractors and owners reps to integrate:
  • How much work at the CMP was "directed" to GOBs other than Pate?
  • Does the New Market Tax Credit program even accept that the funding is for what essentially is about to become just a condo development near a ballpark?
  • Did Colleen Castille agree to the changes with CBRE?
  • Is the Mayor committed to ridding the City of all members of Andres de Pez?
Ed has always been a soldier not a general.  Not one to get too far out in front of his superiors for the very reason we are seeing here.  I would be shocked if Ed went off the reservation without the tacit approval of someone.  Why is he being left out in the cold?

Time, and hopefully Ed will tell.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Here Endeth the Lesson

10 Lessons Learned from "Gray Matter"

  1. Spencer puppets come with baggage.  Buyer (Mayor) Beware!
  2. Vision Groupers are losing their power at City Hall Vision Groupers
  3. Spencer's special access means are dwindling...soon he will have no access to peddle.  Did the special access for Spencer get Gray on the termination list? Spencer Gray Joint Project
  4. Once you are marked for termination, any excuse will be used.
  5. There is a rift in the Spencer / Hayward universe.
  6. Tamara Fountain knew about this but did all she could to keep me from getting it.
  7. If you work for the City you should be nice to the Citizens that pay your salary
  8. Emails continue to draw the largest number of blog visitors
  9. The PNJ and Pensacola Today still don't report news.  The City Planner was FIRED for actions toward Citizens...crickets!
Farewell Vision Groupers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Allan Gray Gets Rung Up!

Wow!  Allan Gray see ya!
  • Do not condone
  • Swift action
  • No longer employed!
  • Call the Freakin Police!
-----Original Message-----
From: Edward Sisson
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2015 6:10 PM
To: Rueb, Randall D - Pensacola, FL
Subject: RE: A. Gray

Mr. Rueb,

I just wanted to take a moment to follow up with you regarding the outcome of the situation that occurred in your Postal Office involving a self-proclaimed City employee.  The short version is that the Mayor and his Executive Team do not condone any type of behaviors that were exhibited by this employee.  Thanks to your communication with me I have moved to take swift action to ensure the problem does not reoccur.  The individual involved is no longer employed by the City, and should you have any further problems with him I would recommend you contact our Police Department as there is no further action we can take with him. 

I apologize again for the situation, and hope that you will take confidence in knowing that the Mayor and his Team are here for the betterment of the community.  We are stewards of the public trust and are here to serve the City's citizens to ensure Pensacola remains a great place to live, work, and play!

Please let me know if our office can be of further assistance.


Edward F. Sisson, SPHR, CEBS
Human Resource Administrator
City of Pensacola, Florida
PH : 850-435-1727
Fax: 850-595-1298

You get nothing! You Lose! Good Day Sir!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

For Whom the Bell Tolls...Alan Gray, It Tolls for Thee

Can you start to see that this might not go well for the special, DIB connected, Brian Spencer "Homey" at City Hall?


First, not so nice to mailmen! Everyone loves mailmen!
Second, not so nice to senior citizens! Everyone loves seniors!
Third, the HR administrator is apologizing to Citizens about your actions!
If I were on Council and this HR administrator were a department head, I would vote to approve him!  But I'm not and he's not, so I'll continue.

Not condoned!  Not tolerated! I apologize!  Wow!

-----Original Message-----
From: Edward Sisson
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2014 3:09 PM
To: XXXXXXXXXX - Pensacola, FL'
Subject: RE: A. Gray


First of all I thank you for taking the time to send me a write up of exactly what happened.  Given your location, I feel certain that you that you do business with a number of City employees thorough the year and I assure you that this behavior is in no shape form or fashion in accordance with what we expect our of our staff (both while on the job or while away).  Our employees are informed from day one that we are all stewards of the public trust and are expected to carry ourselves as such at all times.  The behavior of this employee is not condoned and will not be tolerated.  

I apologize for this particular employee's actions and our organization will move swiftly to ensure that proper action is taking to address the situation.  I have conducted personal business with your location several times and have found all of your agents to be both helpful and courteous.  Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me and to provide this written statement. 

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!   

Edward F. Sisson, SPHR, CEBS
Human Resource Administrator
City of Pensacola, Florida
PH : 850-435-1727
Fax: 850-595-1298

Monday, March 16, 2015

Maybe Alan Gray has an Attitude Issue?

In my previous post, I shared the sense of entitlement and privilege Alan Gray had while with the City.  It appears that his people skills might also have been lacking.

Does he just have problems with mailmen and senior citizens?

From: Alan Gray
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2014 10:41 AM
Subject: Voicemail


I sent you a voicemail a few minutes ago that I was forwarded from Inspections.  It has come to my attention that this individual has sent you, via a now deceased building inspections addressed letter. I am sending it to you to show you the individual was very hostile well before I even spoke with him. I received his voicemail and in the voicemail he referred to himself as Bernard Sullivan. When I called his number I asked for Bernard Sullivan. He exploded into a tirade about respect for elders and then told me I am not allowed to call him by his first name as he is a 70 year old man. I explained to him I customarily refer to people how they refer to themselves and since this was how he referred to himself I followed suit. I then gave him the information about setbacks and he closed by informing me that my supervisor needs to correct my attitude. 

I hold strong that my attitude is not the issue as hundreds of people call me and get superb customer service and often compliment me at the close of the conversation.


Alan Gray, AICP
City Planner
Planning Services Division
City of Pensacola
P.O. Box 12910
Pensacola, FL 32521

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spencer's Pup and Vision Grouper Alan Gray Thought He Was Special

Vision Grouper Alan Gray had some issues.  He thought he was special.  No rules being on Team Hayward and "connected" at the DIB.  The issues came boiling to the surface when the City received the following email from a Citizen.  I have redacted the Citizens name.

-----Original Message-----

From: XXXX, XXXXX - Pensacola, FL [mailto:XXXXXXXXXXXXXX]
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2014 2:28 PM
To: Edward Sisson
Subject: A. Gray

 Mr. Gray entered the downtown post office on 18 December 2014 and when the line was not moving to his satisfaction he looked at my myself and my partner and stated I am illegally parked and I need to get moving so can you two go faster. He was told by my partner that when she could she would help him. When he approached my counter I asked him why he was illegally parked  and advised him that other customers had said that parking tickets  were issued a short while ago. Mr. Gray said that he knew someone or worked at the dowtown improvement board.  I asked him what he said but he did not respond but took out his cell phone and acted like he was recording me. He then stated that he worked at the Mayor's office and acted like he could do what he wanted. A customer at the counter turned to Mr. Gray and stated if you would quit acting like an asshole you could get something done. I told Mr. Gray that he would have to wait on my partner to finish his transaction. When he was done with his transaction he exited saying something I could not understand.
My dad was a Mailman. 
People love Mailmen. 
Shouldn't mess with a Mailman.
Hear beginneth the lessen.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Coby, Barker, Wells...The Three Amigos Ride Again!

Does anyone see the irony in that the entire charter debate that led to a new charter, that led to a strong mayor, that led to the debacle that his Mayorship has become is leading us right back to where we started?

In 2009, people were frustrated that an unelected cabal (City Manager, Finance Director and City Attorney) ran a council and weak mayor form of government wherever they wanted.

The people said No More!  They passed the new charter and put in a Mayor that was supposed to be accountable to the people.

Fast forward a few years and tonight hastens the return of the cabal while all actually drawing pensions and salaries.

Barker is now all powerful in the executive branch as City Administrator, CFO, Chief Cook of the Books and Keeper of the Mayor's Secrets.  He OWNS Hayward's posterior and probably reminds Hayward of that fact daily in his subtle sort of Gomer Pyle way.

Rusty Wells completes a recovery from a porn surfing critic of how boring working with Council is to their loyal attorney ready to attend every meeting in order to guide their path and minimize public input.

Al Coby returns to do exactly what he did before which is to walk the halls, counting votes, him alone knowing where Council members sit on issues, free to plot with Wells and Barker about passing issues as long as he doesn't actually tell Council about each other.

The absurdity of the deja vu aspects of this makes me laugh out loud.

Pensacola, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Everyone who worked on the Charter initiative, including me....We are Losers!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

OOPS....New City Attorney So Good She Got Fired From Miami

From a Miami blog:

Nine City of Miami Workers Earning More Than $100K Get the Boot

The Commission, Mayor Manny Diaz and the city's three unions staged a vicious tug-of-war over who would feel the most pain in plugging a $118 million hole.
But as Tomas Regalado prepares to take over Diaz's seat later this afternoon, he inherits a budget balanced for the moment by an uneasy agreement. The unions and  City Manager Pete Hernandez all agreed to pay cuts and layoffs in early October.
Charlie Cox, chief of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union, tells Riptide he ended up with 40 layoffs. Hernandez, in turn, promised the Herald he'd lose "a dozen" of his top earners.
So who did Hernandez and City Attorney Julie Bru actually lay off? Riptide has obtained their records, and it shows that, indeed, pink slips went out to 39 city employees, from Bru's office to NET to Information Technology.
But only nine of those layoffs hit managers pulling in more than $100,000 a year.
Hernandez's own executive assistant, Gilbert Cabrera, avoided the ax by taking a pay cut and moving to the Solid Waste Department.
Click through for the full list of the top-earners who did get laid off.
  • Lysia Bowling, Assistant City Attorney -- $133,900
  • Gary Cobb, Assistant Director to the Department of Information Technology -- $120,000
  • Teresita Fernandez, Executive Secretary in the Office of Hearing Boards -- $ 125,598
  • Elliot Fixler, Assistant Director in the Department of Risk Management -- $120,276
  • Roger Hernstadt, Assistant City Manager -- $179,500
  • Kirk Menendez, Project Manager in the City Manager's Office -- $107,362
  • Heriberto Padilla-Morales, NET Administrator -- $111,061
  • Michael Rath, Assistant Director in the Department of Purchasing -- $122,445
  • Maria Santovenia, Assistant City Attorney -- $146,779


Mayor's Criminal Investigation Now the Topic of Texas...Upside of Corruption?

The insider dealing and contracts directed to friends and supporters under investigation by the Federal government are what the rest of America are seeing of Pensacola.  In a post from San Angelo where the new City Attorney is coming from, the writer notes:

"Unfortunately, Ms. Bowling may have more to worry about than intrepid local bloggers.

The federal bribery investigation involving Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has just passed the six-month mark with no end in sight, nor any indication of its outcome.

And we thought San Angelo was surprising!"


Is the Mayor apologetic about the face of government his administration is presenting to America?


He told the PNJ this weekend:

"Hayward said he doesn't plan to change his criteria for awarding contracts, which he asserted are based on the quality of work by Jerry Pate Design."


Anyone remember NO BOSS MAYOR?  Boy did they have it right!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Studer Sleuths Can't Even Trip Over the REAL News

In doing their in depth analysis of the Pensacola Education Report, the Studer Community Institute staff did enough looking to know who bought Hallmark Elementary.

8. Hallmark Elementary: Closed in 2011, when it earned a D, along with Allie Yniestra. The student populations were combined into Global Learning Academy, which earned a C in 2014. The Hallmark building on F Street was bought by developer Matt Pair in 2013.


No one asked any questions beyond that. For what, what since then in the neighborhood?

They couldn't (or wouldn't) even look into the Mayor's role in the purchase even after I notified them of it.

A Perfect Replacement for Messer? She Doesn't Even Show Up?

Pensacola Today and the rest of the local press shared the press release that the Mayor has picked his new choice for City Attorney.


So other than posting the Mayor's spin, did the crack journalistic team at Pensacola Today investigate this choice before the Council invests in her...nope.  Just happy talk from the "newsroom".  Same for the other outlets.

I did some checking and here's what I found:

"Bowling joined the City of San Angelo in November 2009. Her tenure has seen many controversial issues pass across her desk, including the trash contract and the sand depot controversies. The latest was the blowup over Lee Pfluger's sand depot. Privately, some city officials said that her approach to the controversy, and advice, has been too limited and timid. Appellant H.R. "Winkie" Wardlaw III, a former city councilman said that the city legal staff was offering bad advice to council.

She was mysteriously missing from all of this year's most contentious meetings on the sand depot, and many were speculating that she was fired. City Manager Daniel Valenzuela denied her termination two weeks ago in an email."


Won't show up, timid, limited advice.  Great...Messer 2.0.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Barker Depo

As I previously posted, sooner or later Russenberger's attorney's will get Tricky Dick Barker ON VIDEO UNDER OATH....not his best media by the way.


When the deposition is actually taken, I bet it goes something like this:

Attorney: Mr. Barker have you been the Director of Finance since 1998?
Barker: Yes
Attorney: In that role are you responsible for the collection and recording of City leases fees?
Barker: Yes
Attorney: In that role are you familiar with the lease between the City and Seville Harbour?
Barker: Yes
Attorney: Are you familiar with the percentage rent clause within the lease?
Barker: Yes
Attorney:  Has Seville Harbour ever missed a lease payment?
Barker: No
Attorney:  Has Seville Harbour ever included any percentage rent from any business in their lease payments?
Barker: No
Attorney:  Have you ever been to the Pitts Slip building?
Barker: Yes
Attorney: Have you ever eaten at the Fish House?
Barker: Yes
Attorney:  Mr. Barker the Fish House has been in that location of 15 years.  Prior to this issue arising, have you ever once made a demand for percentage rents from the Fish House as due under the lease?
Barker: No
Attorney: In 15 years have you ever advised any Council that you felt a percentage rent was due under the lease?
Barker: No
Attorney:  Mr. Barker after 15 years of operations as one of the most successful restaurants in Pensacola with no percentage rents being paid OR DEMANDED did you just wake up one day and realize that you have been incompetent for over a decade and take the opinion that percentage rents were in fact due?
Barker: No
Attorney: Mr. Barker when did you realize that percentage rents were due under the lease?
Barker:  When the Mayor told me that my opinion was that percentage rents were due under the lease?
Attorney:  Mr. Barker, what is 9 plus 10?
Barker: Mayor says its 21 so 21.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

City v. Seville Harbour...A Breakdown of the Issues

I have been reviewing the documents associated with the showdown of the GOBs:
  • The City of Pensacola led by the invincible Ashton J. Hayward III with bumbling Dick Barker as his anchor to the facts of the past and
  • Seville Harbour captained by Ray Russenberger with J. Collier Merrill standing patiently in the wings awaiting the outcome.

Here is my take on the issues:
  • In 1985, an entity owned by Ray Russenberger, Florida Sun International, entered into a lease with the City of Pensacola for the Pitts Slip property.
  • That lease stated that if a restaurant was on the property and was a sublessee of Florida Sun International, it would owe a percentage rent on its Gross Sales.
  • Florida Sun International became Seville Harbour at some point since then, still controlled by Ray Russenberger.
  • In 1998, Dick Barker became Director of Finance.
  • In 2000, Seville Harbour subsequently subleased the Pitts Slip building to Merrill Land.
  • The sublease to Merrill Land noted the percentage rent clause and explained it in detail.
Link to the Seville / Merrill Sublease
  • Merrill Land "subsubleases" space within the building to tenants, one of which is Great Southern Restaurants.
  • If Seville had subleased straight to Great Southern Restaurants, a percentage rent would be due on the Gross Sales.

Seville Harbour Position

By placing Merrill Land between Seville Harbour and Great Southern Restaurants, the parties are able to skip the percentage rent.  Seville gets only the square foot rent in the sublease, Merrill Land only gets the square foot "subsublease" rent in the "subsublease" agreement.  Ha Ha! We have smarter lawyers, Dick Barker isn't our fault, we get another lease extension and the City can pack sand on any percentage rent.

City's Position

The original lease contemplated a percentage rent, the sublease agreement contemplated the real possibility of a percentage rent since it discusses the percentage rent and a provision whereby if the City finds a percentage rent to apply a method by which the sublease will be altered to accommodate the percentage rent.  Don't let Russenberger and Merrill get away with a great business deal just because they have smarter lawyers and Dick Barker didn't do his job!

It is sad to say but here is the essence of the cause of the disagreement:
  • Dick Barker was asleep at the wheel for years.  So much so that the sublease basically in essence states "If the City ever figures out what is going on and finds out a percentage rent MIGHT be due, we will deal with it then but till then lets enjoy this Barker debacle for tons of cash".
Sadly, since 1998, many other City's financial issues find their home at the feet of Mr. Barker.  It continues daily.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mayor Violator to District 7...I Don't Want to Invest in You Any More...I'm a Scrub...I'm Out!

On Ricksblog today, Rick notes that Mayor Hayward has sent out his latest Upyours newsletter pointing out all of the investment HE has done in District 7.


You see, those are City dollars!  When it comes to his OWN PERSONAL INVESTMENT in District 7, he is cut and running for the hills...East Hill that is!

A new set of John S. Carr & Company (where his cousins work) for sale signs have been planted in the lawn of Hallmark Elementary School as the Mayor and his partners abandon their plans to invest in District 7.

Yet another derelict school in District 7.  Maybe he can push some City dollars toward knocking this one down also helping out him and his partners.

The real estate wiz kid is on a bad real estate losing streak.

Link to City v Seville Harbour Case

Per request...enjoy!

Notice that Outzen wants in!