Thursday, March 3, 2016

City of Pensacola Circus Roundup...Que the Music

Here's the current status on some ongoing issues and some new issues that have many asking questions.

Fire Chiefs - Both Chiefs have been interviewed by the Mayor's personal criminal defense firm.  The allegations are apparently ridiculous.  The Citizens will likely be grabbing pitchforks for Olson and Sisson when the allegations are announced.  Over one month of administrative leave and for what? Administrative leave is unprecedented in any employee investigation action outside of a shooting!  The Mayor must make a decision here.  HIS Chief Human Resource Officer made formal allegations against two senior level employees.  He can't have a City HR department where the department head is seen as an attacker and not someone who is approachable and employee centric.  The only way the EEOC and Fire Chief complaint get minimized is for the City to admit no wrongdoing by the Chiefs and for Sisson to get a box.

Removal of Evidence? Olson was seen lurking around the Fire Admin Building the other day.  He entered with nothing but left with a black folder.  Removing evidence the Chiefs left in their offices before Russell VanSickle visits? What was in that black folder Mr. Olson?  We will find out!

Tornado Response - Council members are hopping mad about the City's failure to stay on top of the damage in the City.  It appears that 12 hours after the storm, neither the Mayor nor Olson knew there was damage in the City.  Who was in the EOC from the City?  Public records requests are flying over any sign in sheets at the EOC.  Camera footage? Where was Olson?  The City Administrator should have been the City's lead on this.  Police, Fire and Public Works roll up to him on the org chart. Hey Olson, hate to break it to you but Council members are calling your Boss about your job performance.

Automatic Aid - Fire Union opposes it.  City residents oppose it.  Leaves the City exposed.  But hey, I hear many including a local radio host think that we the Citizens of Pensacola owe it to those who live in the County to use our City tax dollars to protect the County residents for free.  It never ceases to amaze me when ultra conservatives rant about their federal tax money going to social programs but don't acknowledge that it's the same thing at the local services level.  Why should City Tax Dollars fund someones service when they very easily could chose to ask to be annexed by the City and then they can pay for the service they desire to receive.  I could be wrong as I did not hear the comments. I must have flipped over to Pensacola Speaks while doing the afternoon sports shuttle.

YMCA Parking - The building is going up fast and, according to the PNJ, the building will be 52,000 square feet.  The Y currently has 3,000 members, 100 staff and tons of new programs.

new-downtown-ymca-open-late-fall

WHERE IS THE PARKING FOR THIS STRUCTURE?
DID IT GET APPROVED WITHOUT ADEQUATE PARKING?
SURELY THE YMCA DIDN'T CLAIM PARKING IN ANOTHER UNCONNECTED DEVELOPMENT AS ITS PARKING SOLUTION?

Bill Weeks, go can go ahead and start pulling the paperwork for parking at the Y.  Public records request on the way!

Food Trucks - What constitutes a permit under the City ordinances?  Business license?

Access to City Hall - The Mayor and the City Administrator are:
  • participating in attacking the integrity and careers of two public servants and 
  • are allowing retaliation against the employees for the City's EEOC violations and
  • are using City Funds to fund the witchhunt with the Mayor's nonindependent criminal defense attorney and
  • can't effectively stay informed and manage the City in time of a weather related disaster and
  • are in the process of, without any legislative direction or appropriated funding, giving away City services to non-taxpaying County residents and
  • allowing the worst attorney in the history of City attorney's to mumble her way through the highest paying job in the City and
  • continue to allow an illegal lease for the Longhollow radio tower the Council voted to investigate and
all the City Council can muster is to complain that the Mayor and Olson won't allow them unescorted access to a floor at City Hall staffed by people the Mayor forbids them to talk too without his permission?

Really?  Eye on the ball people!









21 comments:

George Hawthorne said...

Maren - Your section under "Access to City Hall" could almost be used verbatim in a petition for Recall under malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty and incompetence.

Anonymous said...


YMCA PARKING -

The city's zoning ordinance does not require developments in the downtown area to provide parking even though developments in the rest of the city are required to provide parking. How do you think Studer Stadium was allowed to be built with only a few parking spaces? Where were you when a 5,000 seat stadium was being designed with only 200 parking spaces? Oh, that's right, you were on the city council acting as a cheerleader for the project!

When all of the nearby businesses complain that visitors to the YMCA are occupying all of the parking spaces in the area, the mayor and most of the city council will wring their hands and declare that the city MUST spend tax dollars to solve this problem (created by them!). The city will build a nice parking garage that, LO AND BEHOLD, will also take care of Quint Studer's apartment complex. Why do you think that Mayor Hayward has just hired a firm to do a "downtown parking study"? Guess what the results of this study will show? Remember, the argument for not providing parking at the stadium was that "plenty of street parking is available in downtown Pensacola." Let's see how fast that argument flip-flops!

Anonymous said...

So Olson is STEALING evidence from the Fire Dept? Did he have Sisson shred documents?

How are these two still employed by The City of Pensacola? Why aren't citizens outraged afterall, we're paying their salaries!

FIRE THESE TWO IMMEDIATELY AND RECALL ASHTON HAYWARD!

Liz Watkins said...

Please someone start a recall.

Anonymous said...

This fills me with sorrow. I wish I could see a way out of this disaster, but Pensacola is stuck with a strong mayor form of government & the voters have shown that they will pick a pretty boy over an ethical, competent candidate.

Anonymous said...

How much longer is Pensacola going to tolerate these abhorrent acts? Then again the mayor is so arrogant that he would just simply ignore a RECALL with city attorney finding it "non-binding"!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about ECUA trying to build holing tanks right in North Hill and the radio tower in the rain water basin also in the North Hill area.

George Hawthorne said...

Someone who is a courageous citizen of Pensacola should start a RECALL.

I think it should be Maren or Charles Bare. If I lived inside the City I sure would file the Recall Petition.

Someone, Anyone? Please?

Anonymous said...


We do not have a "strong mayor" form of government.

We have individuals on the city council who are weak, lazy, scared, incompetent, corrupt, and always looking out for their own best interests.

Anonymous said...

The mayor & his flunkies have created a toxic environment for city employees. Why would anyone want to work for a fear-based organization with an HR staff that instills distrust & an administration that hoards information. It's shameful.

Anonymous said...

Part l

Fire Chiefs
The city continues to be silent on how hiring practices were allegedly altered by the Chiefs. Why? If they were guilty of embezzlement would that be a secret? How about harassment or dereliction of duty? Would the city be hush hush about any of those violations? I think not. What heinous act have they committed that would necessitate placing both individuals on administrative leave? What crime have they committed that rises to the level of a 30 day + "investigation"? Have they committed gross negligence? Have they unreasonably endangered their firefighters? If they failed to follow a procedure was there a reason? Were they counseled for their actions or given an opportunity to explain?

Most would agree that the following would justify administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by an "independent" source:

-Allegations of race discrimination
-Surreptitious changes to policy
-Ranking official lying to the public
-Conducting secret investigations
-Harassment
-Conspiracy
-Malfeasance
-Retaliating for an EEOC complaint
-Violations of the state constitution
-Violations of constitutional rights
-Imposing gag orders on employees
-Intimidating potential witnesses
-Denying employees due process
-Evidence tampering
-Dereliction of duty (Tornado response)
-Illegally violating the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement

Anyone found guilty of any of these things should be punished severely. Can anyone think of potential violators?

"Administrative leave is unprecedented in any employee investigation action outside of a shooting!"

Actually Maren, the Chiefs were compared to officers who have shot someone!

Removal of Evidence?
Hmmm...The Chiefs were stripped of all access to city resources and facilities. They were also prohibited from returning to their workplace where possible evidence supporting the EEOC claims could now be removed and or destroyed.

Of course restricted access seems to be a recurring theme in the Upside where transparency is always murky!

How often has Olson stopped by to visit the fire station prior to the "hit" that was put out on the Chiefs?

Anonymous said...

Part ll

Let's recap. The "investigation", which Olson publicly stated was related to the EEOC complaints filed against Sisson and himself is being conducted by the mayor's criminal defense attorney. The Chiefs have no access; Olson and Sisson who are named in the EEOC complaints have unlimited access. Presumably, the Chiefs have obtained legal counsel for which they are likely paying for out of their own pockets. Meanwhile, Sisson and Olson have carte blanche and unlimited access to attorneys at the taxpayers expense. What a shame!

Could they not find a more partial investigator? Were Sisson and Olson's parents unavailable to conduct the "impartial" "independent" investigation?

Tornado Response
In a word, EMBARRASSING!!! Talk about being totally aloof and unresponsive. The mayor and his top brass were completely unaware of significant tornado damage in the city. Can't blame that one on the Chiefs who had no access!

Hard to believe Olson was in the military. It's even more of a disgrace that he was an officer. Well it's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words and Olson's picture conducting himself like an idiot speaks volumes.

His dereliction of duty is dishonorable and demonstrates a serious lack of character.

Automatic Aid
DUMB....Bad for city taxpayers.

Mutual aid works for the city and county when used properly.

End of discussion!!!

YMCA Parking
The mayor strikes again. Yet another bad deal for taxpayers. Hayward's planning can be likened to taking off in an airplane without knowing whether you have landing gear. "We'll just cross that bridge when we get there." "Landing gear smanding gear." "Pensacola Intergalactic Spaceport has two men and a truck if there is a plane crash." But hey that's for another post on another day!

Of course everyone around Hayward tells him how great his ideas are because they don't want to be fired!

Food Trucks
"What constitutes a permit under the City ordinances?  Business license?"

What does it matter? The city attorney has determined that the mayor can do whatever he darn well pleases!

Access to City Hall
Again, access seems to be a recurring theme with Eric Olson in charge. Maybe he should have gained access to the EOC for more than an hour during the storm that according to him and the mayor "caused no damage in the city". Then maybe he would have known about the major tornado damage that occurred in Eau Claire Estates which actually is in the city!

Anonymous said...

Part lll

Conclusion
"The Mayor and the City Administrator are:
* participating in attacking the integrity and careers of two public servants and 
* are allowing retaliation against the employees for the City's EEOC violations and
* are using City Funds to fund the witchhunt with the Mayor's nonindependent criminal defense attorney and
* can't effectively stay informed and manage the City in time of a weather related disaster and
* are in the process of, without any legislative direction or appropriated funding, giving away City services to non-taxpaying County residents and
* allowing the worst attorney in the history of City attorney's to mumble her way through the highest paying job in the City and
* continue to allow an illegal lease for the Longhollow radio tower the Council voted to investigate and
all the City Council can muster is to complain that the Mayor and Olson won't allow them unescorted access to a floor at City Hall staffed by people the Mayor forbids them to talk too without his permission?"

Responses from city leadership:

Lysia Blowing-Smoke: "I find nothing in the language of anything ever written anywhere which binds the mayor to ever do anything. Furthermore, it is my legal opinion that he has the power to do whatever he wishes with no restrictions from the Charter." The mayor gets his legal counsel from a bobblehead which means he gets his advice from someone ten times smarter than he is!

Rusty Wells: "We can fix this; we always do."

Larry Johnson: "I want everyone to know that I support trees". Now that's leadership we can count on!

Brian Spencer: "I am not in a position of power." Well except when he and his business partner wants to control the voting on one of their projects.

Andy Terhaar: "I agree with whatever Larry and the mayor says." Of course this is the same guy who willingly puts his head up a turkey's butt!

P. C. Wu: "Huh?"

Ashton Hayward, Rusty Wells, Ed Sisson, and Eric Olson each needs to gain access to large boxes immediately!!!

Anonymous said...

Didn't I read somewhere that the two Chiefs were compared to officers who have shot someone? This all smells really fishy.

Anonymous said...

Why is the city manager still employed? He has NO municipal government experience! His obsession with planning department employees is apparent. RECALL the MAYOR.

The mayor does not have the best interest of the City before his own.

Anonymous said...

^^^
This made me literally lol...then I thought about the truly sad state of affairs. Seems that more and more citizens are supportive of a recall. The black community doesn't seem to be buying the Chief Alexander promotion any longer as a peace offering. Many of the black community leaders (Not the paid off pastors!) are now poised to destroy Haward.

Anonymous said...

There is so much more to all of these issues. Ms. DeWeese exposed a lot of the systemic racism that has been an ugly scar on the city's past. It now appears that those things will be brought out once again to embarrass us all.

Anonymous said...

It's really pretty simple Anonymous March 7, 2016 at 7:48 PM...He's still employed because he's terrorizing employees just like he & Sisson were hired by Hayward to do.

Anonymous said...

RECALL THE MAYOR! I will help with the process!

George Hawthorne said...

Anonymous 2:51 said, "Ms. DeWeese exposed a lot of the systemic racism that has been an ugly scar on the city's past"

Sorry to inform you it is not "a scar on the City's past" ... it occurs DAILY NOW.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hawthorne is correct and there are a lot of black city employees who work in fear DAILY. This is a FACT!