Thursday, October 29, 2015

Is the Mayor Participating in Redfish Harbor?

Mayor Hayward is a partner in Redfish Harbor, along with City contractor Cody Rawson and recurring business partner Matt Pair.  The LLC owns property on Innerarity Point Rd in Perdido.

Redfish has been a financial disaster for a number of years after the Mayor and Pair sucked some serious cash out of the sale and refinance of the property in 2005.  Since then Redfish Harbor has had:
Well, the future is looking up and Hayward doesn't have to lift a finger to make some dollar bills.

Matt Pair who was business partners "with the Mayor's wife An" in another investment, 349 LLC, which bought Hallmark Elementary, has printed up some pretty pictures and listed the lots for sale for $60,000 each.


81 lots at $60,000 each is $4,860,000 not even considering the extra for the waterfront lots.

County records indicate the project is moving forward.  I'm sure Cody Rawson's company will do the roads and infrastructure.  Matt Pair will do the sales.

The Mayor just cashes checks baby!!

So what does it look like on the seventh floor of City Hall??




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Question: Is Gulf Breeze a City of Vampires?

In this Halloween week, everyone is on the hunt for scary creatures.

From Wiki: A vampire is a mythical being who subsists by feeding on the life essence of living creatures.

Does the City of Gulf Breeze subsist by feeding on the life essence of others?

In the 2014-2015 budget at the link below, Gulf Breeze, a city of 5,763 residents with 22 full time employees in their police department, BUDGETED $540,000 in Revenue from TRAFFIC CITATIONS.

Heck, the traffic citations have their own fund AND it is called Sales Revenue in the budget.

Gulf Breeze-2015-Budget-Summary

Contrast that with the City of Pensacola, a city of 54,283 residents with 203 full time employees in their police department, BUDGETED only $ 115,000 in revenue from Traffic fines in our 2014-2015 budget. (Source page 69 of 2014-2015 budget)

Pensacola - 10 times bigger in population
Pensacola Police Department - 10 times bigger in employees

Gulf Breeze - traffic fines 5 times as much!

Gulf Breeze  - $ 24,545 in traffic fines per police employee
Pensacola - $ 566 in traffic fines per police employee

Vampires?
Boo!




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pate Failed...Now Pate Makes Moulton a Liar

After Jerry Pate's company screwed up the landscaping at the Airport and Davis intersection creating an intersection to nowhere, their customer, the Moultons, were forced to send a letter to the State of Florida stating:

"All trees, shrubbery, and sprinkler systems currently located in the DOT right of way at the corner of Davis and Airport Blvd will be removed and replaced with sod in 21 days from the date of this letter or sooner"

Letter dated September 22, 2015

Today's date October 27, 2015

Replacement done...Nope!

Moulton-Letter

  • Did Moulton lie?
  • When do fines kick in?
  • Has the Mayor intervened?
  • Are special favors being given?
  • Has Vice Chair Pate used influence with the Northwest Florida Water Management District for the project?
  • Does everyone need to pile on Jerry's plane and go play Doral or Augusta to discuss?

http://www.nwfwater.com/about/governing-board/





Monday, October 26, 2015

SHOCKER! Wilkins picked as Olson's boy!

PNJ Article regarding Wilkins

Welcome to the Thunderdome, Keith!  How long will he survive?  What's the over / under?

Since you have officially joined the Dark Side of the Force let me give you a friendly introductory blog post.  I look forward to reading your emails regularly.  Hope you know how to text.

FYI here in the City we the Citizens ask questions so you can't get so testy as in the interaction with the Citizen below!

Remember transparency in appearance but not in practice!

http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/f21/i-think-i-pissed-em-off-time-32166/

So yesterday I emailed Keith Wilkins to ask him about Robert Turpin's attendance at the Gulf Council meeting and apparentlythat pissed him off. I had emailed Robert a week prior to the meeting to ask him if he was planning on attending. He waited until the day before the meeting and then replied back that "At present, that has not yet been determined." So when about 20 Escambia County citizens walked into the Hollywood Casion Hotel to find Robert Turpin attending the Gulf Council meeting we were all very suprised to say the least. Then Robert actually stood up, as Escambia County Chief of Marine Resources, and claimed to be representing the citizens of Escambia County. So I decided to ask Keith Wilkins, Director of Neighborhood and Environmental Services (Robert's boss,) what it takes to get information out of Robert. Apparently you are not allowed to ask that of your County Government. It is a huge problem for me that someone is claiming to represent me on fisheries and reefing issues, but won't even tell me if he is attending a meeting on these issues.

Here is my first email to Keith:

Keith,

Can you tell me on what date it was determined that Robert would be attending the recent Gulf Council meeting on January 28 in Bay St. Louis, MS? In an email on January 21, 2009 I asked Robert if he would be attending the Gulf Council meeting. In his email reply on January 26, 2009 Robert responded to my question, "At present, that has not yet been determined." Much to our suprise on January 28, 2009 Escambia County citizens walked into the Hollywood Hotel to attend the Gulf Council meeting and found Robert Turpin sitting in the Gulf Council meeting. Not only did he attend, but he also got up and addressed the Council. I was never afforded the opportunity to address with the Chief of Marine Resources for Escambia County my position on the Red Snapper issue as it related to the Gulf Council. This is a problem for me Keith. If my representative is not only going to attend a meeting that personally affects me, but also speak, I feel as though I should have an opportunity to discuss that with him before hand (especially when I specifically ask him about it.)

This is just one more instance of the public losing faith in the Marine Resources Division. I hope that we can count on you to fix the problem. Until accountability and transparency are brought to the Marine Resources Division problems like these will continue to occur. In the future, if Robert plans to attend any fisheries or reef related meetings at the federal, state, or local level I would like to be notified. I should not have to pry this information out of Robert, but this is apparently what it has come down to.

Sincerely,
Redacted

Here is Keith's reply:

Mr. Redacted,

If there is a factual problem then we are more than anxious to address it at the direction of the Board of County Commissioners and the County Administrator. However, I will not tolerate or entertain your misguided personal attacks on Robert. Your representatives are the elected officials, they have an Advisory body, the Marine Advisory Committee. We work at the direction of the County Administrator, upon guidance from the Board and the MAC. If you are not pleased with the County's direction, please present me with factual, objective information and I will address it. If you fee like your position wasn't represented, then you should discuss it with the MAC who we utilize for guidance.

I totally believe in and support transparency. I count on our citizens and interested parties to do the same but to date have not found that to be the case in my discussions with many of those involved in these issues. If you have a specific public records request on county travel arrangements or travel plans you may request so.

In that vein, we will provide you with the Travel Authorization Form for Robert's trip to the Gulf Council meeting. However, please keep in mind that authorization to travel is not verification of travel. Trips may be cancelled due to other circumstances or tentative depending on other demands. Robert may have had authorization to attend but not decided to do so until a later time than your discussion.

Keith

And here is my reply to that:

Keith,

First, I fail to see how asking for clarification on a county employee's travel to a meeting in which he wore his Escambia County Marine Resources shirt and stood up and stated that he was representing the Marine Advisory Committee, the Board of County Commissioners, and the citizens of Escambia County before addressing the Gulf Council as the Chief of Marine Resources is a "misguided personal attack on Robert." Second, I should not have to force you or Robert to be open and honest with the citizens which he claims to represent, especially when it is an issue that directly affects me. Thirdly, the idea that the onus of providing transparency falls on the citizens and not the government employee is ludicrous.

I simply asked you to clarify Robert's attendance of this meeting since Robert refused to do so when directly asked. You do not get to dismiss that as a personal attack. That is a legitimate question. The day that a County employee is no longer accountable to his constituency is the day that you as a government employee have lost focus on your role as our servant.

So let me ask my question again, and if need be consider this an official public records request, can you tell me on what date it was determined that Robert would be attending the recent Gulf Council meeting on January 28 in Bay St. Louis, MS? I would like to know if he specifically discussed the Gulf Council meeting with the Marine Advisory Committee, or the Board of County Commissioners and what their input was. I would like to be sent a copy of Robert's travel authorization form as well.

I do not find it acceptable to ask a County employee if he plans on attending a federal meeting to represent our County and not getting an answer. That will continue to be unacceptable to me, and that should be unacceptable to you.

Sincerely,
Redacted

PS Good Luck Keith!  Enjoy your how to violate the sunshine law briefing!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hawkshaw/CMP...Back up and Look at This Reality

The recent rantings of Big Stuff and my analysis of the Hawkshaw deal have made me sit back and assess the two projects.

I am left with the following questions and thoughts:

  • Isn't is interesting that 2 sitting CMPA Trustees thought the Hawkshaw property was worth putting a $20,000 deposit down and proposing on but neither believe enough in the project they manage for the CMPA to leave the Board and do a project at the CMP?
  • Both of those CMPA Trustees would be classified as astute developers, but what has either done to make the CMPA offerings more attractive?
  • The CMPA chairman is doing more to run developers off with his obsession with sticking it to potential investors through CAM fees.  Soon he will propose charging CAM fees prospectively to anyone who inquires about the site.
  • If Big Stuff believes the CMPA/City Council relationship is dysfunctional, why doesn't he LEAD the community and propose City Council take over the CMPA?  Dysfunction solved!
  • The reason Big Stuff won't is his role gives him POWER with the Mayor and Council.  
  • Does the fact that 2 Trustees proposed on Hawkshaw but not at the CMP make a bold statement that:
    • The CMP is too expensive?
    • or was Hawkshaw too cheap?
  • Trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to their assigned project, yet both proposed developments at Hawkshaw exactly like what was desired for CMP?
  • Showing up for meetings prescripted by Big Stuff is not leading an organization.
  • What has any individual Trustee done to bring events to the CMP?
  • What has any individual Trustee done to use contacts to bring development to the CMP?
  • If I am missing some monumental effort by a Trustee, please let me know so I can correct it and quickly apologize.
Council, it is time to thank the current Trustees for their service, replace the CMPA Trustees and either appoint yourselves or have a direct appointment that serves at your pleasure like the SRIA.

Stop letting foxes guard the hen house! 

And as for our Econonic Development Mayor.  He occasionally sits at his desk on the seventh floor looking over a $50 million dollar development site all the while spending his time on the presales for Redfish Harbor and the sale of Hallmark Elementary.

Hayward has a $50 million case of ADD.

Only in Pensacola.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Big Stuff Has Lost His Mind

The CMPA Operations and Audit Committee is a Committee appointed entirely by the Chairman, James J. Reeves Esquire.  The Committee meets on days prior to the CMPA meeting and is essentially used to position items for presentation to the CMPA Board and set the stage for the meeting of the full membership.

At the October 19, 2015 meeting of the Ops and Audit Committee, the Chairman and fellow committee members begin a discussion regarding structuring board members when Chairman Reeves states about Councilmember Sherri Myers:

"I always found that its always good to have whoever your adversary is go to the bathroom inside the tent rather than outside the tent."

"She's (Myers) queer to get on the Board.  Shes been on it before. Let's put her on there."

"Look, two days of her (Myers) is like two days of hell"

Old Business 29 Minute Mark

The lack of respect Mr. Reeves shows a sitting member of City Council who has the responsibility of oversight of that Board in front of other Trustees and the public is inexcusable.

It is the Chairman's responsibility to foster BETTER relationships with oversight bodies not feed the discourse.

It's time for Big Stuff to go...City Council remove him for cause.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hawkshaw (Who Got to Spencer?)

Yesterday I discussed the connection between John Peacock and the highest ranked proposer and the following questions were asked:

Who else has ties into this process?
What happened between oral presentations and the CRA meeting?
Were there other motives at play in telling ITEX NO?

Councilman Spencer killed the latest deal in a spectacular fashion, blind siding the proposers, his fellow CRA members and the public as well.

Was he pressured by Aragon homeowners?
Was he lobbied by other proposers that were also campaign contributors?

Let's look at who donated to Spencer's campaign in 2014 and see if the interests of his donors may have had a hand in his decision that "more public input would clarify the desired outcome" for a vacant lot!

Donors AND Proposers for Hawkshaw


202/17/2014Robert Montgomery
657 E. Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
IndividualRealEstate/DevelopmentCheck$500.00
894/29/2014
North Palafox Plaza, Inc.

120 E. Main Street
Suite A
Pensacola, FL 32502-6096
BusinessRealEstate HoldingCoCheck$500.00
1397/18/2014
Granger Development & Brokerag

1101 North 9th Avenue
Pensacola, FL 32501
BusinessRealEstate DevelopmentCheck$500.00
22610/30/2014Ensley Shopping Center
120 E. Main Street
Suite A
Pensacola, FL 32502-6096
BusinessRetailShopping CenterCheck$500.00
22810/30/2014Eric J Nickelsen
120 E. Main Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
IndividualRealEstate DevelopmentCheck$500.00

The list above is only the developers involved in the process that donated to Spencer.  Many Aragon owners are also donors.

http://www.voterfocus.com/ws/wscand/candidate_pr.php?op=rp_all&e=17&c=escambia&ca=469&cname=Brian+K.+Spencer&coffice=City+Council%2C+District+6&rellevel=

Remember, Brian Spencer raised $71,228 for a part time job that pays $14,000 per year.

He raised more than he will earn in all four years of his term combined?

Sooner or later, someone has to ask why?  For a City Council seat?

Do you think Spencer blind sided everyone to make SOMEONE happy?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Digging into the Hawkshaw Deal (Homyak Peacock Edition)

Jim Homyak owns New World Landing  He is a nice guy, and is well connected. He was just voted onto the Visit Pensacola Board of Directors.  Jim was also part of the ITEX deal team that proposed on the Hawkshaw property.  ITEX is a Port Arthur Texas based Company.

Homyak's team (ITEX) was selected as the "winner" for the Hawkshaw deal only to be told NO! when Brian Spencer killed the process for some unknown reason.

His trusted allegiances did not pay off for him as expected, or did they? In this edition, I will detail the relationship between Homyak and fellow DIB member John Peacock who was on the Hawkshaw selection committee.

March 27, 2014 City Council Minutes

Mayoral Appointment - Downtown Improvement Board

Recommendation
That City Council confirm the Mayoral appointment of Jim Homyak to the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) to fill the unexpired term of Corbett Davis Jr. expiring June 20, 2014.

Current DIB Board

John Peacock Chair - Downtown Property Owner
John@downtownpensacola.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Susan Campbell Vice Chair - Susan Campbell Jewelry
Susan@downtownpensacola.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jim Homyak
Board Member
Jim@downtownpensacola.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Teri Levin Treasurer - Levin Rinke Resort Realty
teri@downtownpensacola.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Burney Merrill
Merrill Land Company
Burney@downtownpensacola.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Grover Robinson Escambia County District IV Commissioner
gcrobins@myescambia.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brian Spencer
City Councilman - District 6
bspencer@cityofpensacola.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ron Butlin*
Secretary - Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Board
ronbutlin@downtownpensacola.com This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*Mr. Butlin is an officer of the agency but not a member of the board.

DIB Board

So Homyak was on the ITEX deal team being evaluated by fellow DIB member Peacock who is a good enough friend to be invited to Homyak's intimate reception at a friend's home.

Is there any conflict for Peacock here?

Sep 23, 2014 - Dee Dee Davis Column

Pamela Woodiwiss recently married Jim Homyak in a small, intimate setting.

Family and friends there to wish the newlyweds well included .... John and Jerre Peacock

VISIT PENSACOLA DESIGN TEAM COMMITTEE
  • Others
  • Jim Homyak, Pelican Real Estate
  • John Peacock, Edward Jones
They serve on the same committees for Visit Pensacola.

So along comes ITEX and Jim Homyak to propose on Hawkshaw!


Peacock Scoring on Written Proposals
  • Aragon Group     61 points
  • Granger Group    80 points
  • Gunther Group    25 points
  • ITEX Group         67 points
  • Whitesell Group   75 points
Peacock rates them third not first but the top three get into the Oral Presentation Phase.  Good enough!


Final Evaluation

Evaluation of Hawkshaw Proposals

Peacock moves them up to second but his second actually gives the vote to ITEX on points.

But something is weird here! Who else has ties into this process?
What happened between oral presentations and the CRA meeting?
Was ITEX trying to get out of the Hawkshaw RFP after it won the bid?
Were there other motives at play in telling ITEX NO!

Does Spencer have ties to this?  Tomorrow we dive into Spencer and Homyak.






Thursday, October 15, 2015

How Often Does Hayward Go Thru Another Burner?

Mayor Hayward, for some unknown reason, always is changing his cell phone number.  It is so often that other elected officials apparently can't keep up!

-----Original Message-----
From: Grover C. Robinson [mailto:GCROBINS@co.escambia.fl.us]
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 6:10 PM
To: Ashton Hayward
Subject: Please call

Your phone has been changed. Please call me

Grover

Sent from my iPhone

Why could he possibly need to change his number so frequently??

Is it part of the reindeer games at City Hall?

  • Snapchat
  • No emails
  • WIFI at City Hall
  • Facebook messenger
  • IPhone Messenger
  • Phone texts
The list is long, intentional and still illegal.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What about Catfish Ponds??

For those not familiar with "catfish ponds" it refers to the practice in Escambia County of allowing unpermitted borrow pits for construction projects.

See the InWeekly Article regarding the issue.

"In Escambia County, some people are above the law. They get to choose which ones they obey and which ones they ignore. And county staff is pressured to look the other way while the lawbreakers make millions and some county commissioners rake in campaign dollars."

"In 2006, Touart had helped Roads, Inc. get around the borrow pit ordinance by letting his friend permit a pit as a catfish pond in the Cantonment area. The company’s trucks hauled dirt through the quiet Knollwood subdivision for two years. At the time, owner Cody Rawson claimed he planned to build four homes there and his son would live in one of them. Eventually, the commission worked out a deal, but no homes were ever built on the site. It’s not known if catfish were ever put in the pits."

Who was county staff in charge of the environmental department when all this happened?  Keith Wilkins

Who was one of the Company's that built numerous "catfish ponds" aka illegal borrow pits?  Roads Inc.

Who owns Road's Inc?  Cody Rawson

Who is partner's with the Mayor in Redfish Harbor?  Cody Rawson

Who gave money to each of the Mayor's campaigns?  Cody Rawson

Who is a big contractor to the City? Roads Inc.

Who got emergency no bid contracts under the Mayor's authority during the flood?  Roads Inc.

Let me repeat:

And county staff is pressured to look the other way while the lawbreakers make millions and some county commissioners rake in campaign dollars.

Keith Wilkins should fit right in at the City... but he is a really nice guy!!





Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Smoke and Mirrors Hayward Style

It has all been staged and will continue to be staged until the plan is in place.  Let me show you the trail.

Bob McLaughlin discusses coming on board the City as an Asst City Administrator for Operations and Facilities.  He sends Olson his resume but does not apply for the Asst City Administrator role.

http://pensacolad3.blogspot.com/2015/09/wheres-bob-mclaughlin-didnt-apply-que.html

His resume even says the position he wants...Operations and Facilities

McLaughlin Resume

I bust the City Administrator in cooking an inside deal with McLaughlin prior to the job openings even being announced.

The City needs McLaughlin on the dangle for the job so Hayward and Olson cook up a contract role investigating ADA compliance for the City.  The contract runs for just enough time.

http://pensacolad3.blogspot.com/2015/09/mclaughlin-out-for-asst-city.html

This contract even though Bob has been sued in the past for failure to comply with ADA.

http://pensacolad3.blogspot.com/2015/09/mclaughlin-sued-for-ada-failures-in.html

So fast forward a month.  The City has posted two roles and received resumes.  What does spokesman Vernon Stewart say to the press?

"Two assistant city administrator positions — one for daily administration and one for policy — had been advertised, but Stewart said the city will hire just one assistant administrator before determining whether a second will be necessary.

“We will onboard them then reassess our needs and make further decisions from there if we still wish to hire a second (assistant city administrator),” Stewart wrote in an email."

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2015/10/12/city-announces-five-administrator-finalists-really-has-three/73814218/

The shortlist includes Keith Wilkins who apparently was in Eric Olson's wedding??

Former COO Tamara Fountain is quoted on Facebook saying:

"Tamara Fountain Keith has the job if he wants it. He had it before the national search was kicked off. They have to put on a show now to avoid criticism. Keith is a friend of the Mayor and very close friends with the City Administrator. Keith was in Eric's wedding. They go back that far. I do have to say, I have heard very good things about Keith. I really liked him the few times I met him."

Insider deal number 1 is cooked.  Keith Wilkins!

What do you want to bet that after a "contractual period" the City determines it needs to fill the role of Asst City Administrator for Operations and Facilities and the decision is McLaughlin.

This is how stuff is cooked in the Underside of the Upside!!

Anyone want to take a bet that the new stormwater pond at the airport becomes classified by the City as a "Catfish Pond" in the future!!

Wilkins loves catfish ponds!







Friday, October 9, 2015

Email Fan Letters to the Mayor

When you get a public records request, the truth is not always as good as you read in Upwards.  The emails below from Citizens to the Mayor show that all is not perfect in Hooville and even his supporters are jumping ship due to him and the actions of his administration.

_________________________

>>Eric Olson should have apologized to Melanie Nichols for trying to stifle a citizen's right to speak freely, her constitutional right in case we have forgotten.  Instead he chose to apologize to the public for being "misperceived"   Arrogant acts like this don't help you accomplish the good things we know you want to be remembered for as mayor.   A simple and direct apology would go a long way.  

_________________________

>> Dear Ashton,
>>
>> As early and strong supporters of your political campaigns, we have been enthusiastic about the growth of Pensacola generally in the right direction.   Things are vastly different than they were when we arrived here twenty years ago, and we're excited about developments on the way. 
>>
>> However, recent actions by your administration are disturbing and mar this generally good record. 
>>
>> Most recent and egregious is the outrageous effort by Eric Olson to go to Melanie Nichols' boss and complain about her sending emails to city staff.  Intimidation is the wrong way to do things, and this was a naked effort to intimidate a citizen advocating for her community.  You should terminate Mr. Olson immediately.  To not do so means you accept his behavior, which we hope you don't. 
>>
>> You are trying to emphasize transparency in our local government, but there seems to be a lack of real transparency in real world situations.  We hope this can change. 
>>
>> Thanks again for your hard work on behalf of our great city.  All the best to you and your family. 

_________________________

> Mayor Hayward,
> I could have sworn that you would have made the offer to sit down and talk to me. The system is broken and there will be more turmoil until you fix it.
> I intentionally lost it at the end of my 3 minutes. I wanted to show you and the Council the MOOD of the public in attendance. You are dealing with a very hostile crowd.
> I will be back at City Council for my 3 minutes until I am finally given the explanation I deserve.

_________________________


>>I would like to know since the Mayor's office is a public office, working for the City of Pensacola, can I get any and all information that I request? I too would like to know who forgave the fines to the developer for University Heights. And here is the reason why..............those are dots, see if you can connect them. I will start at the bottom and go up the ladder. The attorney for the developer of University Heights is Kerrie Anne Schultz. Ms. Schultz is a partner with Kenneth R. Fountain at Fountain, Schultz & Associates, in Navarre, Florida. Mr. Kenneth Fountain is married to Tamara Fountain who worked with the Mayor until just recently. Now, most married couples will share with one another what happened during their day at work. I'm thinking that Mr. & Ms. Fountain talked about their day, as Ms. Schultz talked to Mr. Fountain since they are both attorneys and licensed real estate agents. Up until the minute that Ms. Fountain left the mayors office, there was a hugh CONFLICT OF INTEREST. As usual, we the people were not heard. If you think that I am wrong with my reasoning, let me know, I'm a big girl and can take what comes my way. NOW, another issue: I had a visit from Latasha Buchanan well over a month ago. Ms. Buchanan said she would get back to me as soon as she found out why the trash is still sitting outside of the two houses across from me. All I can say is the city works mighty slow to their advantage or is it to the developer or maybe The Fountains advantage??? Either one, the trash is still outside. I don't care who owns the property across the street, I want the trash removed. I now live in the HOOD. I know that there is a law against trash being left in the front yard, on the porch, etc . I would suggest that the Mayor pick up the phone and make a call. That is all it will take.

_________________________

Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:00 AM
To: Ashton Hayward
Subject: Recent city events

City government seems to be out of control! Just to refresh my memory on why I voted for you, could you please repost your resume?






Thursday, October 8, 2015

To the Anonymous Poster

Anonymous Post:

"You cannot hide behind being a woman. Fact is that you did NOT report correct information and made accusations based on incomplete, incorrect and fictitious information. Now you are trying to play the injured person. Get it right or suffer the consequences. Doesn't matter if you are male or female. You should be ashamed."

Dear Anonymous, my name is on the Blog...no hiding here.  Mr. Levin said what he said.

Please share just what part of the documentation provided is incomplete, incorrect or fictitious.

Did Mr. Levin attempt to "persuade" the Fire Marshal to classify the Special Amusement Building as an education facility?

As much as it must pain you to hear...there are no injuries to me.  Just chuckles.

What consequences do you expect I should suffer?  Parakeets on the porch? Is Pope on the way?

Believe me there is no shame here...just the truth and documents to support.

Let me be clear, I support youth sports!  I support the Not for Profit that would have benefited. What I do not support are company's that KNOW they need Fire Marshal approval and do not follow the proper procedure nor community leaders that attempt to "persuade" people charged with protecting Citizens to look the other way for them because of who they are.

It's always no big deal until something happens.

"The fire killed eight teen-agers on May 11, 1984. Great Adventure Inc. and its parent company, the Six Flags Corporation of Chicago, are on trial on charges of aggravated manslaughter. The state contends they were ''reckless'' in not taking adequate precautions against fire. There were no fire or smoke alarms or sprinklers."

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/06/14/nyregion/patrons-entered-haunted-house-as-fire-burned.html

I once again ask the question:

How many thousands of times has Levin Papantonio sued folks for not following rules and regulations and cutting corners that resulted in injury or death?







Wednesday, October 7, 2015

If I were an Investigator, Some Things I Might Investigate

In the PNJ article on the Hallmark School, many statements were made that might bear a little more investigating.

Levin states he "fronted the money for the purchase"
Levin stated that "the group hoped to convert the school into an elder care facility"
  • Why invite the Mayor's spouse who is a clothing model to be a partner in a elder care facility development deal for no cash money investment and without any development experience?
  • A way to pass money to the Mayor?
  • Was the Mayor the "real" partner?
"An Hayward was a partner but we bought her out" Levin said "She did not make one cent"
  • Exactly how does that work?  "Bought her out" "She did not make one cent"
  • Did they buy her out with bit coin?
  • Did they buy her out with champagne wishes and caviar dreams?
  • Did they buy her out with a jar of really good jelly?
  • If you put nothing in, and you are bought out...didn't you make at least one cent?
The property was "sold for $ 1 million in 2013 to a company called 349 LLC".  The article states "The property was put back on the market earlier this year for $1.95 million and a sale is currently being negotiated by the Mayor's cousin, Harry Bell"
  • Sounds like Levin screwed Hayward and Pair. 
  • Based on the contract Matt Pair of Pair & Hayward negotiated the whole deal for the group with the school district.
  • But Levin states Hayward and Pair were bought out and that "She did not make one cent"
  • By my math, Levin and Vigodsky will make a profit of $950,000 on the deal.  Poor An didn't make one cent!  With partners like that...
  • Using the Mayor's cousin on the deal.  Does every Hayward family member get some payoff except the Mayor?
Other questions (some we know the answers to):
  • Has Hayward made any Mayoral contract edicts that drove business without bids to a Levin affiliated organization?
  • How does a Chico's clothing model come to be involved in a elder care development for no money?
  • Hypothetical conversation
    • Hello An, how was your last trip to Milan?
    • Great Fred, the new fall line is fabulous
    • I'm sure.  Hey me,  Fred Vigodsky and Ashton's business partner Matt Pair want to start a company to buy an old school building and convert it to a elder care facility.  I am going to front a million dollars to buy it.  We want you to be a partner in it?
    • Do I have to put any money in the deal?
    • No
    • I don't have any development experience
    • We don't care
    • Why would you ask me?
    • You seem like a perfect fit for this project
  • Now that Levin has confirmed his ownership and An Hayward's ownership in the school, how could such pillars of the community allow the school to have all of the code violations, become derelict, and as the PNJ states "fallen into disrepair after homeless people had taken up residence inside"?
  • Don't these leaders care about their property's impact on a neighborhood in our city?




Expletive Deleted...Fred Levin shows his true colors

Interesting article by Will Isern in the PNJ today about the Hallmark School.

Link to PNJ Article

When I read it the first thing I thought was if a man had researched the issue, found the letter, saw the attempt by Levin to strong arm the Fire Marshal and printed the story, it would have been touted as a "great investigative piece" and that the writer was tough, didn't fold to the all powerful Fred Levin and had no sacred cows.

But since I'm a woman, I'm just a Expletive Deleted.  How sexist!  Fred Levin has been exposed by his own words.

And because Levin's firm retained the firm my husband formerly worked for to do accounting work for his client's BP claims in 2010, I somehow should just look the other way when he misbehaves in 2015. Really?

Check back later for what questions Mr. Levin now raises based on his statements.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fred Levin asks City to Waive State Law

As previously posted, a local not for profit partnered with a for profit promoter to construct a haunted house in the old Hallmark Elementary School owned by 349 LLC who has as one of its partners local attorney Fred Levin.

No City permissions or inspections were requested by the promoter prior to construction and when the Fire Marshal was contacted by City Code Enforcement regarding the haunted house, the Fire Marshal denied the haunted house promoters permission to use the building for the haunted house due to the lack of the required automatic sprinkler system among many other things.

Owner and attorney Fred Levin wrote a letter to the City Fire Marshal, ON FIRM LETTERHEAD, stating:

"The committee was notified by you on September 11, 2015 that since the occupancy has changed from education to entertainment, there must be the installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system. The purpose of this letter is to ask that you consider the occupancy as education and/or waive that provision."

Levin-Letter

Really?

Questions:
  1. Were all of the necessary permits pulled by the owners of the building for all the work done by the volunteers as detailed in the NFP letter?
  2. Is the Fire Marshal being asked to fraudulently classify a building?
  3. Is the fact that 200 little girls are selling tickets a consideration for the Fire Marshal in assessing safety and fire code?
  4. Has Mr. Levin taken advantage of the not for profit to do free labor on his building?
  5. Can the type of charities benefiting determine the type of building classification?
  6. If a fire occurred and the Fire Marshal waived compliance is the City exposed to lawsuits from Levin Papantonio or other lawyers?  LP sued the City in the Steen case.
  7. Is it the policy of the Levin Papantonio law firm to encourage government officials to BREAK THE LAW?
and most interesting

How many thousands of times has Levin Papantonio sued folks for not following rules and regulations and cutting corners that resulted in injury or death?

This is a twisted hot mess!!  More later.




Hallmark / Levin / Fear City Nights

The story you will see detailed in this post detail the path that has led to a worthy not for profit being used, a profiteer failing to do his required due diligence and a prominent local attorney attempting to coerce the Fire Marshal to break the law for him.

Background

Fear City Nights LLC is a for profit business that operates haunted houses through not for profits annually in various places.  The Company is owned by Russell Paul of Pace.

Fear City Nights LLC Sunbiz Data

In previous years, they have held haunted houses in the building across from Seville Quarter and in the old (now demolished) PNJ building.

Fear City Nights provides the scary stuff and the not for profit provides manpower.

This year, Fear City Nights was partnering with Gulf Coast Baseball Committee Inc., a Florida not for profit founded by many former professional baseball players and possibly the best family practitioner doctor in Pensacola, to put on the haunted house.

Gulf Coast Baseball Committee Inc. was going to use the funds raised by the endeavor to support Omega Gym Cheer and fund expenses for baseball equipment and fields in Escambia County.

The group was in need of a location for their haunted house and was referred to 349 LLC, which owns the old Hallmark Elementary School.

Well, if you have ever read my blog you already know that 349 LLC was founded by:

  • Fred Levin
  • Matt Pair
  • Fred Vigodsky and
  • Mayor Hayward
to develop the school as an assisted living facility.


You also already know that the owners have let the building fall into a state of dereliction to the point that numerous code violations have been brought by the city against the building for over a year.


The Situation

Fear City Nights has historically followed a process in that the owner contacted the Fire Marshal to discuss the proposed site and it's use as a haunted house.  However, this year no contact was made with the Fire Marshal to inspect the site and discuss Hallmark School. 

Once permission to use the school was obtained from the owner, 349 LLC:

"at least 20 volunteers working in and around the building who have expended some  2,000 hours of work readying the haunted house. This work includes but is not limited to:

  • Cleaning up trash in and around the buildings,
  • fixing and bringing up to code the fire alarm system
  • fixing the exit lights
  • fixing all of the perimeter lights around the outside of the property
  • fixing air conditioning systems
  • as well as putting up the haunted house

The Hallmark School location was to have 3 separate haunted houses in three different buildings and none of these plans were presented to the Fire Marshall in advance of construction. Construction was undertaken without asking one single question of the City of Pensacola.  

Why the change?   Did Fear City Nights believe they no longer needed Fire Marshal approval?  Were they told not to follow the established process for inspection and approval?

Apparently, it would take a week to write up the code violations and fire issues per State of Florida law...yet here is the most important and life threatening issue. 

From National Fire Protection Association 101 2012

A.3.3.36.10 Special Amusement Building - Special amusement buildings include amusements such as a haunted house, a roller coaster-type ride within a building, a multi-level play structure within a building, a submarine ride, and similar amusements where the occupants are not in the open air.

Are we clear so far?

12.4.7.2 Automatic Sprinklers.  Every special amusement building, other than buildings or structures no exceeding 10 ft in height and not exceeding 160 sq ft in aggregate horizontal projection, shall be protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system installed and maintained in accordance with Section 9.7.

Seems clear to me!

Guess what Hallmark Elementary School does not have?

Yep...Sprinkler system.

So what will come of the haunted house plans.  The letter below details the results.

Access Prohibited

So who is at fault?

Responsibility for managing the compliance process for the production rests solely with Russell Paul of Fear City Nights.  

Questions:

  • Why didn't Paul get approval from the Fire Marshall prior to construction of the haunted house as he had done every time in previous years?
  • Was Paul told he didn't need to worry about approval by "one of the owners"?
  • What recourse does the NFP that has clearly been used by the building owner's  to correct their obvious code violations and the haunted house promoter have to recover their costs to date?
  • Can the NFP recover and find another location in time to have the fundraiser?
But this is Pensacola!  When super heroes aren't around and the situation seems dim, who do you call?


Check back later today.







Friday, October 2, 2015

Hallmark / Levin / Haunted House...Fred Levin wants Law Broken? We need to help here!!

When I posted recently that Levin/Hayward/Vigodsky's Hallmark Elementary site was slapped with numerous code violations and cited for potentially harboring rats, I received the blog post below.

To all concerned: Yes, trailers were parked on the property, and substantial repairs were made to the property including but limited to: repairing the fire alarm system, all air conditioners, windows, doors and the property was cleaned up both outside and inside. All Trash was hauled away. Thank all of you for your complaints as a lot of work by over 20 volunteers who were working to secure funds for a non-profit 501c3 that was working to renovate and promote baseball AND 125 cheerleaders who were to sell tickets so they could go to national competition is now down the drain. Money was also to be donated to kids who could not afford bats and gloves for their sports. We had a EMT, Doctor and extra personnel, 25 exits with lighted signs and escorts, wheel chair accessible on site to look over everything in the haunted house. Thank all of you for your hard work!!! Now all that remains is take down all that was done. Its to bad that your politics have collided with such a worthwhile and noble project.

That sounds like a frustrated dad!  

I have been looking into the situation and what the not for profit is being told is not nearly the entire story.  It is true that Hallmark will not be eligible to be used as a haunted house for Halloween.  But more to follow.

Kids should not be in that building.  Levin/Hayward/Vigodsky's building is UNSAFE!

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF AN ALTERNATIVE LOCATION THE NOT FOR PROFIT CAN USE FOR THE HAUNTED HOUSE?

Email me if you do.

Anyone who finds a location will win a framed copy of a letter from Fred Levin encouraging the City of Pensacola to break the law and the thanks of dozens of kids trying to raise funds for their organization.

Seriously, you will!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Stumbled Over The Mayor Pimping for Pate Again

You never know where you will find the Underside of the Upside of Pensacola!

As noted here previously, I have tracked the exploits of Jerry Pate's landscaping company and Bridgetender Steve Dana's inappropriate landscaping plan and placement at the corner of Airport and Davis.  The plan led to what other are calling the "crosswalk to no where"
















I also detailed how the property owner is having to rip out Jerry Pate's landscaping and put in sod in the state right of way.

We Will Rip it Out!

Well, we all know that Pate and Hayward are like peas and carrots.  So it is of little surprise that FDOT has been lobbied by the Mayor's office regarding this PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT.  In the email below from FDOT to the WFRPC, note who the State has been contacted by.
  1. The Property Owner
  2. The Landscaping Company
  3. AND THE MAYOR'S OFFICE
Do all street corner commercial projects get Mayor's Office lobbying??

What do you get for that?  Masters, Sugar Bowl, Alabama Game, World Golf Hall of Fame?


From: Paulk, Bryant [mailto:Bryant.Paulk@dot.state.fl.us]
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 9:45 AM
To: Kramer, Gary
Cc: Johnson, Christy
Subject: RE: Airport and Davis Hwy

Gary, we have checked with our Permit staff and Councilwoman Myers has been in contact with the Department to try and remedy the issues at the subject location.  The Department is working to correct the guardrail issue on Airport Rd and are coordinating with the property owner for the removal of landscaping along the FDOT r/w at this intersection.  To date there has been involvement by the property owner, Landscape company and the Mayor’s Office.  The Department will continue to try and correct this situation.  If you have any additional questions please let us know. 

Thanks.    

Bryant T. Paulk, AICP
Urban Planning Manager