Tuesday, April 25, 2017


PNJ Article on DIB / Vinyl Parking Agreement:

"At the start of 2013, Vinyl Music Hall had a formal use agreement with the Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board to take over three meters along East Garden Street. The concert venue covered the meters with yellow bags that read "NO PARKING" on some days of events. The bags were meant to ensure the spaces remain open for performers' tour buses and other large vehicles."

Link to Article

From the City Council Agenda when Peacock was appointed in 2012

The DIB ED stated the deal with Vinyl was done "at the start of 2013".

But what appeared on the City Council Agenda at the May 23, 2013 Agenda?

Folks, how in the world is the Vinyl Agreement not self dealing when you consider the below facts:

  • Vinyl's owner was on the DIB Board when the special one of a kind parking deal was done.
  • He was an employer of the DIB director thats job depended on Board support.
  • No documentation of any Parking Committee review has been provided as required in the interlocal.
  • No documentation of the Public hearing has been provided as required in the interlocal.
  • No documentation of a DIB vote of a majority plus one has been provided as required in the interlocal..
  • Others have asked for similar deals but have been told NO by the DIB.
  • It has been proven to the DIB that in addition to the three spaces, Vinyl has illegally covered 2.5 blocks of spaces.  No consequences.
  • Even with a special agreement, Vinyl towed a legally parked car from a City street,  The DIB is aware of the incident and has done nothing.
Ethics Violation?

The DIB parking committee meets today at 4:30 at the Earle Bowden Building 

Should be interesting!

Did DIB Violate the City Interlocal?

The City of Pensacola and the DIB entered into an interlocal agreement in 2007 for the management of parking downtown.

That Interlocal states:


  • Did the DIB parking committee authorize the original Vinyl agreement?  Please provide the public record.
  • Was a public hearing conducted?  Please provide the public record.
  • Did the DIB Board vote in the majority PLUS ONE ADDITIONAL VOTE?  Please provide a public record.
  • Does a Power Cord running from the building to the bus impede the sidewalk to wheelchairs?
The entire interlocal is in the City Fortis program at the following link.  Word search for Downtown Improvement Board

Monday, April 24, 2017

Vinyl / DIB Just Gets Weirder!

So...lets get this right.

  • Three years ago when Hayward was Mayor a secret leasing deal was done with Vinyl, his supporter and the son of a Board member, for the meter spaces outside their business for three years.
  • No record of approval by the DIB Board or the Parking Committee of that secret deal is available.
  • Last month the DIB chairman states with no reservations in an email that the DIB does not lease spaces.  Lie or ignorant?  There are only two possibilities.
  • The DIB tells a Citizen requesting similar treatment that it does not lease spaces to businesses. The DIB ED admitted that he was unaware of the deal at the time.
  • So...the ED of the DIB executes a new agreement when he discovers the old one lapsed.  No Board approval, no Parking Committee approval.  Just makes up a SWAG number and makes a new agreement.
  • How does that work?
  • He is now making special deals for the Levins and telling other equal members of the DIB NO!
  • How is that even legal at all.  The DIB chooses who get special treatment?  Based on what documented criteria?
This is a HOT MESS!

PNJ article

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mayor Hayward...Before you open your mouth, prepare to...

The Mayor was all brave and cavalier on the radio yesterday about the coming lawsuit by the ACLU against the City for its panhandling ordinance.

He is intent on the illegal panhandling ordinance. Intent on paying Beggs & Lane to fight the bad fight.

What he should have done is turn to the Bobblehead and ask her about CASE NO. 8:15-cv-1219-T-23AAS from the Middle District of Florida.

You see Bobblehead would have been able to show him the following against the City of Tampa:


Challenging an ordinance that bans in parts of Tampa, Florida, the solicitation of “donations or payment,” Homeless Helping Homeless, Inc., sues (Doc. 42) for an injunction against the City of Tampa’s enforcing the ordinance and for a declaration that the ordinance unconstitutionally infringes the right of free speech protected both by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by Article I, Section 4, of the Florida Constitution. Under Rule 12(c), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Homeless Helping Homeless moves (Doc. 47) for a judgment on the pleadings.

Blah blah blah

A. Soliciting money is protected by the First Amendment.

The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”3 Soliciting “donations or payment” is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.


Accordingly, Homeless Helping Homeless’s motion (Doc. 47) for a judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED. Homeless Helping Homeless’s motion (Doc. 48) for a preliminary injunction is DENIED AS MOOT. The clerk is directed to enter a judgment for Homeless Helping Homeless and against the City (1) DECLARING that Section 14-46(b) unconstitutionally infringes the right of free speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by Article I, Section 4, of the Florida Constitution and (2) PERMANENTLY ENJOINING the City from enforcing Section 14-46(b). Also, the clerk is directed to terminate any pending motion and to close the case.
ORDERED in Tampa, Florida, on August 5, 2016.

Federal Order

Nice work Bobblehead!  You are sooooooo good!  You made the Council and the Mayor look like buffoons!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hayward's Next Windfall to Beggs & Lane...Panhandling

Never one to stop the meters at Beggs & Lane, it appears the Mayor Hayward's insistence to push the panhandling ordinance for his DIB cronies will once again make him the top revenue producer at the prestigious downtown lawfirm.

ACLU attorney Sara Latshaw explained today that the organization will be filing a lawsuit against the City of Pensacola regarding the ordinance.


B&L is killing it with Hayward at the helm.

Beggs & Lane
2014 $267,837.31
2015 $220,107.68
2016 $540,613.00

Lets run down all the litigation one of Pensacola's premier law firms is handling for the City:

  • Fish House / Seville Harbour - $250,000 plus
  • Bayview Cross - $70,000 plus
  • ECUA Wells - $109,000 plus
  • Lease matters for CMP
  • Independent Investigations
  • Charter Challenges
  • Criminal Investigations of the Mayor
Bet the attorneys at Beggs & Lane are begging AJHIII to run for a third term.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Insanity of Fining A Panhandler...Only in Pensacola

Last week the Pensacola City Council went to a new level of insanity in passing a panhandling ordinance.  According to the PNJ:

"A law enforcement officer would have the authority to issue citations to those caught soliciting donations. A first offense would levy a $50 fine, a second $100, a third $200 and all additional citations would hit offenders with $400 fines. The officer could also opt not to deliver a citation and instead direct the panhandler to local services meant to assist the poor.

Those opposing a citation would run the risk of a county court imposing a maximum fine of $500. No violations of the measure would carry jail time."

Link to PNJ article

Stop and think about this!  Fining someone begging for money $50.  Jail never possible but the fines increase. Insanity!

Has anyone heard the phrase you can't get blood from a turnip?

PPD should just tear out the pink copy and throw it in the nearest trash can.

More questions for the esteemed Council:
  • If a guy is begging for quarters...is he gonna pay a $50 fine?
  • Do you spend more money sending unpaid citations to collections?
  • What address do you put on the citation if they are homeless... front doorway of Jewelers Trade?
  • Who keeps track of all these citations?  
  • Is Pam Childers to bill the City for the clogged artery of uncollectible fines?
Why not just make the panhandler empty his pockets and seize his money, Gestapo?

By the way...If Peacock stops you to ask for a donation to his charity on Palafox...Call a cop and have him fined.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Special Snowflakes Part 5 of 5

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Public, these are the facts and they are indisputable.

  • Vinyl Music Hall is owned by very prominent supporters of the Mayor. In fact, the Mayor held his victory party AT VINYL.
  • The DIB is comprised of a Board of Directors appointed entirely by the Mayor.
  • The City has a contract with the DIB to manage parking downtown.
  • Vinyl, in violation of Florida law, had an LEGALLY parked car towed away for the private unpaid use of a City of Pensacola resource.
  • The illegally towed vehicle incurred $3,000 in damage while in the custody of the towing company.
  • The management of Vinyl were made aware of the damages incurred by the Citizen and have refused to do anything to correct their illegal activity.
  • After growing ever bolder, Vinyl approached the DIB parking contractor about purchasing bags for the meters outside their business.
  • The purchase and use of these bags was unknown to the DIB chairman or the DIB parking committee.
  • Vinyl Music Hall, without permission began a campaign of illegally depriving the City of Pensacola and the DIB revenue by illegally covering the meters outside its establishment falsely stating that the metered spaces were "no parking" and "violators would be towed".
  • Ever emboldened in their illegal enterprise, Vinyl had a multitude of Vinyl meter bags manufactured and with no regard to the illegal nature of their actions and extended their illegal diversion of City resources to over 2.5 blocks of City of Pensacola parking meters.  
  • The illegal actions of Vinyl were video taped by the bar manager and posted on social media in a blatant flaunting of their illegal acts.
  • The DIB in its capacity as the parking management organization for the City routinely decides enforcement issues and fines Citizens for breaking Pensacola parking regulations.
  • Once confronted about the situation, the DIB, in violation of its contract, admitted it allowed the illegal activity as it was arbitrarily allowing Vinyl to act illegally in an attempt to provide the FOR PROFIT business with a private unapproved economic incentive to enhance the profitability of the business. 
  • The actions of Vinyl were pointed out here on this blog and in the Pensacola News Journal.
  • Management has refused to comment to the newspaper
  • The illegal activities are continuing 
  • The DIB once made aware of the illegal activities is continuing to allow the business to deprive the DIB and the City of its rightful income.
Ladies and gentlemen of the public,  how do you find!

Super Special Snowflakes!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Special Snowflakes Part 4 of 5

What Vinyl Music Hall is doing with the bags is a CRIME.

877.08 Coin-operated vending machines and parking meters; defined; prohibited acts, penalties.—
(1) A “coin-operated vending machine” or “parking meter,” for the purposes of this act, is defined to be any machine, contrivance, or device that is adapted for use in such a way that, as the result of the insertion of any piece of money, coin, or other object, the machine, contrivance, parking meter, or device is caused to operate or may be operated and by reason of such operation the user may become entitled to receive any food, drink, telephone or telegraph service, insurance protection, parking privilege or any other personal property, service, protection, right or privilege of any kind or nature whatsoever.

(2) Whoever maliciously or mischievously molests, opens, breaks, injures, damages, or inserts any part of her or his body or any instrument into any coin-operated vending machine or parking meter of another, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.


tr.v. mo·lest·ed, mo·lest·ing, mo·lests
1. To disturb, interfere with, or annoy

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Special Snowflakes Part 3 of 5

Yesterday, I showed how the DIB, with Mama Levin on the Board, allowed a private business, Vinyl Music Hall, which her son owns, to purchase bags for $258 (the cost of the bags) to place over the City parking meters to magically, with a little magic marker, turn them into a tow away zone.

Never mind that it is illegal.
Never mind that it wasn't approved by the Board.
Never mind the Chairman said the DIB didn't do it.

Dang it now, the DIB is trying to help a private for profit business that supports the Mayor of Pensacola to attract profitable bands to their business.  Personal marketing assistance by the organization that their mom is a Board member of.  Whats the issue Maren?

Well yesterday I stated "if you give a mouse a cookie he will want a glass of milk"

That's nicer than saying if you give Special Snowflakes an inch they will take a mile...literally

Why only buy bags for 4 meters, when you can go online and buy bags for 2.5 blocks of Palafox and not pay anyone for them.

Look at the audacity in this video of Vinyl, WITH NO PERMISSION, bagging 2.5 blocks of City meters for their exclusive use.


These run all the way down Garden Street folks.


They are proud of it.  They took a little favoritism due to WHO THEY ARE and decided to DOUBLE DOWN.

What has the DIB done?  Nothing.
What are they going to do?  Nothing

The Ultimate Special Snowflakes!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Special Snowflakes Part 2 of 5

Yesterday, I shared how Vinyl Music Hall had a Citizen's car towed from a legally parked City of Pensacola street causing over $3,000 damage after it was illegally towed.

We also saw the bar manager hold up the tow away zone sign that was hidden behind the bar.

When the Citizen confronted Vinyl Music Hall, what happened?

  • Apology...no!
  • Payment for wrongful act...no!
  • Attempts to correct what a local attorney has told me amounted to Grand Theft Auto...NO!
Special Snowflakes don't want the hassles of rules for their Special Snowflake havens.

After this incident, the Special Snowflakes went to their Mama's organization, the Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board to find a way to make their OWNERSHIP of City parking spaces legal.

For the sum of $258, Vinyl Music Hall purchased from the DIB NO PARKING bags to go over the meters outside its facility.

I'm pretty sure, the bags sold were NO PARKING bags.  The "Violators will be towed at owner expense" was written with a Magic Marker so I don't know if it is enforceable.

Wow, what a way to have your own private parking spaces for your business.  Many downtown business owners would want those.  Right?

So a Citizen and downtown business owner began asking members of the DIB Board about obtaining their own bags for the their business.  Look at their email and responses below.

To: curtm@downtownpensacola.com
Cc: john@downtownpensacola.com, Brian Spencer <bspencer@cityofpensacola.com>, teri@downtownpensacola.com


I am sorry I missed your call this morning.

I spoke to Wayne Glass and he told me Vinyl Music purchased Yellow Meter bags from the DIB at a cost of $258. Each.

They were purchased the week of 2/20/17.

Here is a picture of what they look like.

My question is:

1)How long are the bags good for?
2)Is there an application I need to fill out to get some?  
3)What type of signage is required to post in order to be able to tow vehicles? Are the bags sufficient?
4)How many hours ahead of time do they need to be on the meter before you can legally tow cars?
5) If a car is already parked before the bag is placed on the meter, can you tow it?

Mr. Glass was very nice but he could not answer these questions.

Thank you,


My understanding is that Curt has already provided you an answer.  We do not lease spaces to individual businesses




"I’ve spoken to Mr. Glass again this morning, and he’s related the same information to me that he shared with you previously.  Unfortunately, parking in Downtown Pensacola is public parking, unless otherwise posted. Public parking spaces are not available for lease for specific customer parking use.

We’re working on a master parking plan that could include new parking equipment that would allow a merchant to pay for parking on behalf of a customer. That technology exists in other markets, and we definitely see the value of installing it here. The spaces you’ve referenced to on Garden Street adjacent to Vinyl Music Hall are utilized much the same way that space is provide to The Saenger. Those parking spaces help to accommodate performers that travel in oversized vehicles. In making accommodation for those special vehicles, it encourages acts to book Pensacola as a stop because oversized parking is readily available at the venue.

Please give me a call anytime I you’d like more information. "

Read the email again!

In paragraph 1, the DIB states: "parking in Downtown Pensacola is public parking unless otherwise posted."

In paragraph 2, the DIB states: "The spaces you’ve referenced to on Garden Street adjacent to Vinyl Music Hall are utilized much the same way that space is provide to The Saenger. Those parking spaces help to accommodate performers that travel in oversized vehicles. In making accommodation for those special vehicles, it encourages acts to book Pensacola as a stop because oversized parking is readily available at the venue."

HOLD THE FREAKING PHONE, the Saenger is owned by the City, the Citizens.  

Vinyl is a FOR PROFIT BUSINESS owned by huge supporters of the Mayor being given special accommodations FOR THE PROFITABILITY OF THEIR BUSINESS so they can pump more money into the Mayor's campaigns.

Would Nick like some spaces so he could bring more Springsteen fans to Pensacola?
Would Don Allen like a private parking space so he could bring dapper dressers to Pensacola?
Would O'Reily's like some private spaces so they could attract Irish Bar enthusiasts to Pensacola?
Would the Mayor's neighbor like some private spaces in front of her shop since the Mayor asked her to locate downtown?
Would Bubba's Sweet Spot like some private spaces for golf fans coming to Pensacola?

Where does the DIB get off making special accommodations for the kids of the Board members while the rest of Pensacola and the other DIB members are told to eat cake?

This takes Special Snowflakes to a whole new level folks!

Public spaces are public spaces.  Period!  But not in the Upyours of Florida!

Tomorrow...If you give a mouse a cookie they will want a glass of milk.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Special Snowflakes. Part 1 of 5

Its Pensacon weekend.  A Pensacola Citizen legally parks on Garden Street at a metered space just east of the loading zone for Vinyl Music Hall.  The Citizen is in our downtown enjoying the event, spending money in local businesses.  Later, the Citizen returns to drive home.

The car is gone.  They have no idea where it is.  Has it been stolen?  There are no signs. No markings. A metered space.

They inquire at Vinyl Music Hall.  The manager informs them their car has been towed.

Let me repeat for the point of emphasis.

  • A downtown business owner has had a legally parked car towed from a City street on their own authority.
The Citizen asks the bar manager where the sign noting tow away zone was posted.  The bar manager REACHES BEHIND THE BAR AND RETRIEVES A SIGN.  SEE PROOF BELOW!

Thank God for cell cameras and cocky bar managers.

When the Citizen goes to retrieve their car, they find $3,000 of damage has occurred since they legally parked their car on a City of Pensacola street.  
  • The towing company denies responsibility
  • Vinyl Music Hall denies any responsibility

So what does Florida Statute say about this situation:

(4) When a person improperly causes a vehicle or vessel to be removed, such person shall be liable to the owner or lessee of the vehicle or vessel for the cost of removal, transportation, and storage; any damages resulting from the removal, transportation, or storage of the vehicle or vessel; attorney’s fees; and court costs.

But not in Pensacola!  Pensacola has Special Snowflakes that don't have to follow the laws.

Vinyl refuses to do anything.

Rules are for fools...Not Special Snowflakes!

So what do the Special Snowflakes do next.  They double down on making up their own rules.

Tomorrow....Vinyl begins making up their own laws using the DIB, which Mom sits on, as their personal tool.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Proof that Council not the Mayor, the DIB or Mini Mayor Peacock Control Parades

In the Pensacola Code of Ordinances is the following:

Sec. 8-1-17. - Throwing certain objects at parades prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person, while participating in a parade or while on a parade route or in a parade staging area or in a parade disbanding area to throw, toss, distribute, possess, or have in his custody or control any fireworks not expressly permitted by Florida law; any life-threatening objects; any noxious substance or any liquid intended to be poured, tossed, handed out or otherwise distributed; or any throw containing sharp points, including but not limited to plastic spears or plastic, paper or silk flowers with wire stems, intended to be tossed; or to throw, toss or otherwise distribute, any other object having a weight in excess of two (2) ounces; or to throw, toss or otherwise distribute any object in such a manner as to encourage spectators to enter the street or to closely approach vehicles, floats, horses or other conveyances.
(Ord. No. 19-90, § 1, 3-22-90)

Parades clearly come under Council authority.
Sorry Ashton!  Sorry John!

Party on!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

DIB Oversteps its Authority...AGAIN

Rick Outzen posted that the DIB has established Guidelines for Street Performers.


As previously stated, by statute the DIB has NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE ANY REGULATION.

See the entire authority of the DIB under state statute at the post below.


So what did the Executive Director say?

"The DIB staff will be finalizing the new guidelines over the next week and requesting community input before finalizing a plan."

Under what authority?

These regulations help maintain the vibrant atmosphere of downtown while protecting the rights of pedestrians, businesses, and performers.

The DIB CAN NOT pass regulations!!

"Persons have a right to perform on public property, but those performers can cause adverse impacts to the community in the form of gathering crowds attracted to the entertainment offered in locations where there is insufficient room for crowds; blocked sidewalks; blocked ingress and egress of buildings; the risk of disruptive nearby motor vehicles traffic; and/or disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of residence and businesses."

Correcting these issues are a City function, not the function of a taxing district!

Performers may utilize sidewalks subject to the following guidelines:
 Not violate the prohibitions set forth in the County Noise Abatement Ordinance.
 Not obstruct or cause to be obstructed pedestrian or vehicular traffic, sidewalks, doorways, or other access areas.
 Performers must provide a minimum of six feet for pedestrian passageway.
 Not sell, display or exhibit any tangible good, on any sidewalk, in exchange for a fixed price or donation.
 Perform only at times between the hours of 10am and 10pm.
 Not consume or be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or other controlled substances while performing.
 Performances involving the use of knives, swords, torches, axes, saws (except non-powered saws used solely as musical instruments), fire, or other potentially dangerous objects or that involve acrobatics, tumbling, or other inherently dangerous activities are prohibited.
 Performances are not to take place any closer than 40 feet from another performer with additional regulations within two designated High Impact Areas.

Once again, the DIB can not make this enforceable, only the City Council can pass regulations and ordinances and only the City of Pensacola can enforce those regulations!

Police officers can not enforce DIB guidelines they must enforce laws and ordinances.  This is a Council function...Period!

Mini Mayor Peacock is out of control and should be removed!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Andrew Tallman Is Left Dumbfounded Parades off Palafox is Being Evaluated By Hayward

Andrew Tallman on AM1620 and now on FM at 92.3 tried to have the Mayor tell him my post regarding the DIB meeting and potentially moving parades off of Palafox was a "early rumor" and a "total lark nonstarter"


But the Mayor knows:

  • I have all 2.5 hours of the meeting recorded.  I know what he said.
  • He directly told his neighbor who owns a SOGO business he would look at alternative parade routes
  • He had other special snowflakes present who want the parades moved off of Palafox.

So when Tallman tried to "pin him down", the Mayor admitted that other routes were being evaluated.

He even had an alternative route planned and shared it.

So there is your "early rumor" and a "total lark nonstarter", Tallman.  Tallman tried to call it fake news...but its not fake its fact.

Apology Tallman?  Oh, your not "big" enough for that!

Finally,  the Mayor ends the interview by discussing his love of pancakes, how he wants pancakes all the time on weekends.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud because the scene below is all I could think of.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Consent Agenda...Right Under Councils Nose Hayward Does A Deal for Kerrigan

On the Council's March Consent Agenda was an action item sponsored by Ashton Hayward himself.

The action item was entitled:

Airport - Approval of Amendment No 4 to the Lease and Operating Agreement with ECKO Air LLC


That City Council authorize the Mayor to execute Amendment No 4 to the Lease and operating agreement between the City of Pensacola and ECKO Air LLC at the Pensacola International Airport. Further that City Council authorize the Mayor to take all necessary actions to execute Amendment #4.

So whats the big deal,,, a simple amendment...well lets unpack this simple language

Questions Nobody Asked:

Who is ECKO Air LLC?

Its Bob Kerrigan!  Period

Sunbiz Annual Report

Why did they need an Amendment?

To secure the rights to space that a new tenant at the airport needed for Kerrigan's profit!

Resicum International LLC is coming to Pensacola International Airport to instruct foreign flight students in the operation of UH-60 helicopters.


This is great news for Pensacola and Resicum but...

Why did the Economic Development Mayor not ask his puppet master, attorney and financial supporter Kerrigan to let his unused lease go and lease the additional hanger and office space and tarmac tie down direct to Resicum rather than letting Kerrigan EXPAND HIS FOOTPRINT to PROFIT off of the new business?

Under the "amendment" Kerrigan goes from 36,568 square feet to 63,188 square feet.

Resicum was subleasing space from Kerrigan prior to additional space becoming available in the adjacent hanger.  They began the sublease in January 2017.

Why not decrease the cost to a new tenant at the airport by leasing that space directly to Resicum?

Did the City even give Resicum an opportunity to lease direct without a Kerrigan markup?

Does Resicum know their "landlord" was given a sweetheart deal at their expense by the Mayor?

Lavallet, Brittney Forge...learn this phrase...RUN UP TIME

More developing....

Friday, March 31, 2017

17 Inches...No matter who you are!

I got this in email from a local coach.  An excellent piece to read from beginning to end.

Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend.  One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.  No matter; I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?
After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches.  Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.  Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible.  I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.  “I may be old, but I’m not crazy.  The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” 
Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room.  “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”
After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said.  “How about in Babe Ruth’s day?  Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos.  “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?”  Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear.  “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked.  “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

 “Any Minor League coaches here?  How wide is home plate in pro ball?”............“Seventeen inches!”
 “RIGHT!  And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?
 “Seventeen inches!”

 “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.  “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?”  Pause.  “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.  

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy.  If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target?  We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches.  We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.'”  

Pause.  “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven?  What if he gets caught drinking?  Do we hold him accountable?  Or do we change the rules to fit him?  Do we widen home plate? "

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.  He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something.  When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.  “This is the problem in our homes today.  With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids.  With our discipline.  We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards.  We just widen the plate!”

Pause.  Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.  “This is the problem in our schools today.  The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people.  We are allowing others to widen home plate!  Where is that getting us?”

“And the same is true with our government.  Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries.  They no longer serve us.  And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.”

I was amazed.  At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.

From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader.  I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today.  It is this: "If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.”

Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine.  Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches.  He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.  His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches."

And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it!

"Don't widen the plate."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Peacock's Real DIB Powers

Mini Mayor Peacock likes to believe he has the power.  Heck he's the Sixth most powerful person in Pensacola.

But lets look at what the DIB can actually do under the law.  Bold are my comments

In the performance of the functions vested in or assigned to the board, it is granted the following powers:
To enter into contracts and agreements, and to sue and be sued as a body corporate; So what!
To have and use a corporate seal;  Yippee!
To acquire, own, convey or otherwise dispose of, lease as lessor or lessee; construct, maintain, improve, enlarge, raze, relocate, operate and manage property and facilities of whatever type to which it holds title; and to grant and acquire licenses, easements and options with respect thereto; provided, however, any property owned by the board not used for public or governmental purposes will be subject to the applicable state and local taxes imposed thereon;  Build and manage stuff.
To accept grants and donations of any type of property, labor or other thing of value from any public or private source;  Beg for stuff
To receive the proceeds of the tax hereby imposed upon it by trusts or other agreements validly entered into by it;  Collect taxes
To have exclusive control of funds legally available to it, subject to limitations imposed upon it by law or by any agreement validly entered into by it; Manage Money
To cooperate and enter into agreements with other governmental agencies or other public bodies; Enter into agreements
To make to or receive from the city or Escambia County conveyances, leaseholds, grants, contributions, loans and other rights and privileges;  Get giveaways
To request by resolution that the city exercise its powers of eminent domain to acquire any real property for public purposes. If the property involved is acquired, the board shall take over and assume control of the property on terms mutually agreed upon between the city and the board, but the board shall not thereafter be authorized to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the property so acquired without the formal consent of the city council; REQUEST
To issue and sell revenue certificates as hereinafter provided, or in any other manner permitted by law and not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, including the power to exchange revenue certificates for property, and to take all steps necessary for efficient preparation and marketing of the certificates at public or private sale at the best price obtainable, including the entry into agreements with corporate trustees, underwriters, and the holders of certificates, and the employment and payment, as a necessary expense of issuance, for the service of consultants on valuations, costs and feasibility of undertaking, revenues to be anticipated and other financial matters, architecture, engineering, legal matters, accounting matters and any other fields in which expert advice may be needed to effectuate advantageous issuance and marketing; Sell revenue certificates
To fix, regulate and collect rents, fees, rates and charges for facilities or projects or any parts thereof or services furnished by it or under its control and to pledge the revenue to the payment of revenue certificates issued by it; Rent facilities
To borrow money on its secured and unsecured notes, for a period not exceeding nine (9) months in an aggregate amount for all outstanding unsecured notes not exceeding fifty (50) percent of the unpledged proceeds received during the immediately prior fiscal year from the tax hereby imposed, and at an annual rate of interest not exceeding the rate being charged at the time of the loan by banks in the city on unsecured short-term loans to local businesses; Borrow money
To acquire by rental or otherwise and to equip and maintain a principal office for the conduct of its business and such branch offices as may be necessary; Have an office
To employ and prescribe the duties, authorities, compensation not to exceed the highest salary paid to other nonelective city employees and reimbursement of expenses of the executive director of the board, who shall act as its chief executive officer; a general counsel, who shall be an attorney in active Florida practice and so engaged at the time of appointment; and such other personnel as may be necessary from time to time; provided, its personnel shall not be under civil service regulations, and shall be employed to serve at its pleasure, and with the exception of its secretary, shall not while employed by it serve as a member of the board; Have an ED
To exercise all powers incidental to the effective and expedient exercise of the foregoing powers to the extent not in conflict herewith or inconsistent herewith; Blah Blah Blah
To establish development and taxing subdistricts within the downtown area for sectional development in accordance with the comprehensive plan; taxes acquired from said subdistricts to be utilized solely within the subdistrict area, said area not to be less than one city block in size; provided, however, that no subdistrict shall be established nor any tax imposed without the written approval of a majority of the electors located therein. No limitation shall be placed on the amount of taxes imposed under this subsection, said taxes to be levied only on the real property within the subdistrict area; Set districts
To raise funds by the issuance of bonds of the same types and in the same manner, with the same power and authority, and subject to the same limitations as are now provided by statute and charter for issuance of bonds by the city. The general provisions relating to the issuance of revenue certificates as set out in section 322 [section 11 of this article] shall apply to the issuance of such bonds. No such bonds shall be issued except on approval in a referendum. The referendum shall be held in accordance with the provisions of section 324 [section 13 of this article]. The aggregate amount of bonded indebtedness shall at no time exceed twenty (20) percent of the valuation of taxable property in the downtown area at the time of issuance. The term of the bonds may extend beyond the life of the board if the city shall have agreed to service and pay the bonds after the expiration of the board. In that event, after the board expires, the city shall continue to levy and collect any fees, charges or special taxes which have been authorized for the purpose of retiring the bonds. Any excess fees, charges or tax revenues remaining after retirement of the bonds shall be transferred to the general revenue fund of the city and such fees, charges and taxes shall not be levied in subsequent years. Issue Bonds

Thats it!!  No regulations, no laws, no parade route determination, no ordinances, no rules.

It manages parking by intergovernment agreement. They can't even rule on traffic tickets!

John Peacock and the DIB can only lobby the City (ie Hayward) for actions with COUNCIL making any decisions.

No one has to listen to a word Peacock says but poor Curt Morse.  

Peacock has no more authority over what happens in downtown than a dog has over choosing its brand of dog food.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What Do Others See About Pensacola in a Google Search?

The world Googles!  That's how we find out about people, places and things we don't know about. Yesterday Florida West hosted a Cyber Security Summit to see how we can attract Cyber Security industry to Pensacola.

So I did a little experiment.  If I am vetting a person or place I assume that all the good stuff is put out by the people or places that I am researching.

So here was my first google search...Pensacola Best for business.  My results:

  • Choose Greater Pensacola - Of course!
  • Best place to start a small business - Nerdwallet  We are the # 47 city in Florida for starting a small business.
  • Florida 2016 Opportunity Guide
  • 10 businesses Derek Cosson wants downtown
  • Trip Advisor best restaurants
  • Trip Advisor best hotels
So I refined my search to be "Is Pensacola a Good Place to live?"  My first result:
  • bestplaces.net stated " First is lack of real jobs. You will not make a lot of money working here. While the beaches are very nice, the crime is very bad. The majority of the crime lies in the fact we have over 15 large housing projects. Pensacola is a very small area and we shouldn't have this much poverty in an area this small. We have a lot of gang activity in these areas and there is no one to counsel young people to keep them away from the streets where drugs and violence rule the day. Pensacola is the 6th most violent small city in the United States. Until we find some way to help at risk young people and find them mentors we will continue to have this problem. The county government is useless. Everyone wants to point their finger at the police for all the crime but this is a community problem. The high cost of living is ridiculous. Rents are sky high and to buy a house you'll overpay what the house is actually worth. You have rich people, lower middle class people and poverty. While the mayor of Pensacola has done a lot to bring downtown Pensacola to life, the county really needs to step up and deliver the same changes that our mayor has been able to provide. Before you decide to move here do your research. Make sure you have a good paying job before you ever think of moving to this area. This is a tourist area and that is where all the jobs lie and it's seasonal employment so great money in the summer. That means bartending, waitressing, working in a service related industry, mostly low paying retail. You get the picture. We have three large hospitals and we have a lot of older people who retire here so there is a lot of hospital jobs but they do require some form of formal education. And speaking of education the schools here are horrible. Unless you send your child to private school you might as well hang it up on your children getting a decent education.
That's the first thing that comes up!!!  And that's from a Hayward Supporter!!!!

Instead of spending millions on meetings, conferences, grant requests and such, why don't we pay Derek Cosson $5,000 to make our web presence better than the Pope's!  Evidently he knows how to manage what comes up on site searches.

No kidding!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DIB in Context

Mini Mayor Peacock stated that our Mayor's statements at the Saturday DIB meeting must be considered in CONTEXT.  To be fair, I would like to put the Mayor's dysfunction with the DIB into CONTEXT. 

Upon taking office in 2010, Mayor Hayward had hopes of outright dissolving the DIB all together or bringing the DIB into City Hall for better control of it's function.  I was there and worked on this issue while President. 

Finally, someone advised Mayor Hayward that  he would be crazy to eliminate an income stream and that he needed to simply control the DIB...not do away with it.  And this process began... why have to listen to his supporters needs and demands within his small kingdom of the Downtown core?  Simply install them on the DIB to do their own work. If you gave the Mayor any trouble while serving on the DIB you were shown the door.  Go along to get along folks.

Mayor Hayward has shown himself to believe the space within the DIB boundaries are his single most important endeavor as Mayor.  Some citizens even feel that he knows no other districts around our City even exist. 

Here are just a few DIB missteps by our Mayor over the past 6 years:

Theissen Building & Jefferson Street Parking Garage...apparently taking care of a client.  His Chief of Staff was sent walking documents around the DIB to accomplish the debt forgiveness plan.  My meeting and records request of the then DIB Director produced only 18 emails for the entire scheme.   There's more emails than that when coordinating snacks & drinks for one little league game.  Our Mayor obviously had something to hide...i.e. his direct benefit from the proposed transaction. 



In the end the Citizens of Pensacola lost $77,000 when the debt on the parking garage was forgiven by the City and Pen Air opted to not relocate to the building.  Where is David Toyo anyway?

Puppetry at it's best.  Clear evidence that the DIB is the Mayors playpen for cronies.  He and his team make the decisions.




More puppetry.  Every decision made by City Hall.  Not the appointed body.


And finally, we all remember this mess:


This is only a snapshot of the issues.  Feel free to search DIB in my blog for more posts.

The Mayor's response the these issues has been laughable.  He has brushed off the issues that he isn't forced to deal with and has never been held accountable for his bad decisions. 

I wonder how the parade discussion goes from here?  With all of Peacock's "walking it back" on the radio last week, looks like the Mayor's neighbor he convinced to move downtown is going to have to get over the fact that the Mayor may say one thing to your face but will do what is most beneficial to his political future in the long run.

Most of us learned that lesson years and years ago!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spencer's Reply Shows He is Not a Leader

Or Both!

Council President Nero Spencer issued the following statement:

Mayoral Veto of #17-00186 Hiring of a Budget Analyst

Although requests have been made of me as Council President to provide an opinion on the Mayoral veto of the City Council’s action regarding the hiring of a Budget Analyst, I do not feel it is appropriate to do so at this time.

I believe that this matter may prove to be a complex legal issue requiring the advice and opinion of outside legal Counsel in order to assist the City Council in determining the appropriate course of action. I do not feel it is appropriate for me to unilaterally make such a decision without the majority consent of City Council.

I further believe this matter has the potential of far reaching implications that extend beyond the hiring of a Council Staff member. Thus, the City Council should address this issue as a body, not as individuals expressing individual opinions prior to a meeting of the entire Council. I will be submitting this item as an agenda item for discussion at the April 10, 2017 Agenda Conference.

Until such time as we meet, I will be making no further statement in an effort to avoid any appearance of a Sunshine violation.

Time to unpack it!

Although requests have been made of me as Council President to provide an opinion on the Mayoral veto of the City Council’s action regarding the hiring of a Budget Analyst, I do not feel it is appropriate to do so at this time.

Translation: I'm scared of leading, of making the Mayor mad or otherwise doing my job.  Maybe he's not made for this duty!!!

I believe that this matter may prove to be a complex legal issue requiring the advice and opinion of outside legal Counsel in order to assist the City Council in determining the appropriate course of action. I do not feel it is appropriate for me to unilaterally make such a decision without the majority consent of City Council.

Interpretation: A bit of information for President Nero, the Council must vote to override at its next meeting.  But he lives with Charter Mama, he knows that!!  That means the outside legal Counsel to assist the Council would be under the assumption that Council votes to ignore the Mayor's illegal veto and proceed with the hiring of the Budget Analyst.  

Spineless Spencer fiddles!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Assistant Fire Chief Case City Response

According to the PNJ, the City has filed its response to the Assistant Fire Chief lawsuit filed against the City and Ashton Hayward individually.


I find it comical that the reason that the City requested and the plaintiffs agreed to release Wilkins, Sisson, Olson and Walsh from the suits is they were:
  • acting at all times under the direction of Ashton Hayward, their supervisor.
But the City states that Glover's dismissal was "legitimate and non-retaliatory in that plaintiff violated the employment policies of the city of Pensacola."

Ummm.....at all times Assistant Chief Glover was operating with the knowledge of and the direct instruction of his supervisor who himself never did anything outside the parameters of his job description at the time before Sisson changed it.

How come the City staff gets to use the"I was only following orders" excuse and it works but Chief Glover does not?

Which employee was in a paramilitary organization where orders and chain of command matter and which employees sit around all day sending pooch pictures on City time with City computers?

Ummmm. isn't the picture below alone a violation of employment policies of the City for which this supervisor was treated differently from Glover?

Motion DENIED!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dottie Dubuisson Reporting

To be fair the conversation was about more than MardiGras parades. But a member of the city staff was there to provide information on how often Palafox was completely shut down. Reducing the number of closures was discussed. Discussion of alternate parade route; beads in trees and tree fund money for maintenance; weight of parade throws; regulations on parades established by organizers. Incomplete information was shared and real parties to the special events (organizers) were not there to discuss. Mayor did suggest charge more for Seville Square events to reduce use there, and direct to Maritime; alternate routes, supporting businesses that he encouraged to come downtown. John is right that context of conversations impacts statements. And it would have been better for topic to be widely advertised with organizers and historical participants made aware of meeting. I also believe special meeting time and location meant fewer attended in audience. It was a lovely affair with great coffee, fruit, muffins and downtown ambiance. Glad I was over my bug crud and able to go. Other important items were on agenda.

So lets break this down.

To be fair the conversation was about more than MardiGras parades. It should be as it was a Board of Directors meeting.

But a member of the city staff was there to provide information on how often Palafox was completely shut down. Staff on Saturdays.  REMEMBER THEY CLOSE IT TO MAKE MONEY.

Reducing the number of closures was discussed.  Agree, stop the silly races no one goes to see.  

Discussion of alternate parade route; BAM!

beads in trees and tree fund money for maintenance; I don't think thats the intent of a tree fund, to remove beads

weight of parade throws; Really, Hayward and Peacock are the weight police for throws?

regulations on parades established by organizers. read this to be Hayward Crony regulations for Parade organizers

Incomplete information was shared and real parties to the special events (organizers) were not there to discuss. Perfect time for Hayward to cater to his supporters, when nobody is there to call him out

Mayor did suggest charge more for Seville Square events to reduce use there, and direct to Maritime; 
I have been recommending that for 6 years.  Remember, he is slow.

alternate routes, BAM!

supporting businesses that he encouraged to come downtown. one word SCOUT

John is right that context of conversations impacts statements. I'm sure it does.  Really shows the Mayors intent to please his peeps.

And it would have been better for topic to be widely advertised with organizers and historical participants made aware of meeting. Not better for Hayward and his inner circle of cronies

I also believe special meeting time and location meant fewer attended in audience. As it was meant to!

It was a lovely affair with great coffee, fruit, muffins and downtown ambiance. They do a great job there.

Glad I was over my bug crud and able to go. Me too Dottie, I'm glad someone independent was there.

Other important items were on agenda.  Thank You Dottie for your diligence.